Dangers of Using Used Body Armor

Body armor and ballistic vests are not cheap in their purchasing price and unfortunately in time of economic hardship, some may consider the option of saving money by purchasing used equipment. This is not recommended simply because it is a bad idea for a number of reasons. No matter what the cost of a new piece of body armor may be, the price is a small amount to pay considering the fact that it may be what saves a life.

The one main reason that purchasing a used piece of body armor is dangerous is that it will not have the same strength and integrity it used to have. This means less stopping strength and that may make the difference of whether or not a projectile will be deadly. Even if the body armor has never had to take a bullet, blunt force trauma or stabbing it may still be weaker and less reliable than a new piece. This is because the materials are weakened by moisture such as rain or sweating, humidity and heat. When exposed to such conditions for a period of time the fibers that make up the body armor or ballistic vest begin to break down and that weakens the effectiveness of the entire piece. Once the integrity is weakened, there is no way of repairing it or reinforcing it again. Even if there was, the costs would probably make it more expensive in the end than a new vest or piece of body armor would have cost.

Another reason that using used body armor is dangerous is that it also will have no insurance on it and it will be impossible to insure. This may not be life threatening itself, but if something should happen it can also have very serious effects on the wounded person and their family. Things like life insurance do not cover deaths if caused by using faulty gear, into which category used body gear falls into. Others may not be entitled to compensation or benefits if they willingly and knowingly use second-hand gear. On top of that there is no warranty on used equipment.

Used body armor that appears to be in good condition may also be outdated. This makes such body armor just as dangerous as pieces that have been used or weakened by external factors. Wearing outdated protective gear may be just as dangerous as wearing none at all since a certain bullet type used may go through it like any other piece of clothing.

It is always nice to save some money by making a good deal or finding something used, but in the case of body armor that is a foolish decision. Good and newly purchased body armor protective gear is worth every cent they cost and people who risk their lives in the line of duty on a daily basis should not shortchange themselves by increasing the probability of dying through a wound that could have been prevented. Even if someone decides to not think of themselves, in this case they should at least think of their family and what they could lose.

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  1. do u test… i mean shoot ur new body armor when u get it? i buy used in quantity. test and then wear remaining armor. why u ask? im not taking anyones word for saving my life. unless i saw the test… who tested it doesnt mean squat to me. im testing it myself!

  2. Body Armor says:

    That is scary to think that the body armor ordered for your Police Depratment or Military unit will not have the same strength and integrity it used to have. That is why it is so important to do your research. And be positive that you are getting what you paid for. After all, lives are at stake.

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  4. It’s true. They have to recalibrate it I think every 3 months. And you have the right to see the radar reading for yourself.

  5. Wesley Farrington says:

    don’t rely on used body armor? how long do you own it before it’s used? probably needs to be graded like firearms conditions, can’t very well call all of it used after 3 months and destroy all of it that’s older than that.

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  16. Vests over 10 years old have been tested and found to have lost no level of protection over a new vest. This is fact. Used body armor is perfectly usable and safe.


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