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Different protection levels of body armor/ballistic vests and which type a user should wear according to his job

It has already been proven that body armor/ ballistic vests have saved the lives of those serving for the public good, such as the case with police officers and those in any form of the military.

As of today there are six different levels of body armor / ballistic vests and each category has its own characteristics that make it more or less useful to certain job groups. It is important to study the chart of armor levels and understand what each type is good for before making a final decision. Some groups, such as police officers, recommend certain levels over others. In this case, normal police officers generally have a Type II or IIA level ballistics vest, since this covers the types of weapons generally used against cops and anything else heavier would make the job too difficult to perform.

The agency responsible for testing and categorizing the bullet resistance of body armor / ballistic vests is the United States National Institute of Justice, more commonly just referred to as the NIJ. According to them there are six levels of body armor / vests and they are referred to as Type I, Type IIA , Type II, Type IIIA, Type III and Type IV. Each of these levels has different resistance levels and is recommended for a specific type of weapon. To summarize the protection levels: Type I is resistant against weapons with a caliber of .22 or .380; Type IIA protects against 9 mm and .40 caliber bullets; Type II protects against 9 mm and .357 Magnums; Type IIIA is resistant to high velocity 9 mm weapons and a .44 Magnums; Type III protects in addition to the other categories against rifles, like the M80 and finally there is the Type IV or armor piercing rifle ballistic vests which do all of the above and also are resistant to .30 caliber armor piercing bullets, such as those from the M2 AP.

Whereas levels I to IIIA are generally used in by police officers or military servants who are not in active fighting, the types III and IV are almost strictly used by the military and are mandatory for those who are involved in fighting or are part of a potential target group.

There is also other body armor that has been specifically developed with military servants in mind. The military has special body armor that protects against blast fragments or shrapnel. These are especially used by bomb disposal officers or those in war areas that are known to have mines or bombs dangers. Police officers that work with the bomb division also use the whole body explosive protection armor.

Body armor and ballistic vests have come a long way in recent years. The research being done on protective gear has made progress and there are now studies being done as to the effectiveness of new fiber materials, woven textiles, laminates and ceramic armor. Nanomaterials are also being studies and may prove to be the next level of protection for those who serve to protect us all.

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Used Body Armor Level IV

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