A Practical Guide to Buying Bulletproof Vests

Despite what many people think, body armor is not illegal in most states for the average law abiding citizen. Only felons are barred from owning these items in states where it is otherwise legal. Of course, it goes by many names, including bulletproof vest and armored vest. Some names are misleading because no armor is 100% bulletproof. Most people do not have a practical use for armor, but some individuals either want it regardless or need it for a profession. With that in mind, how does one go about buying a “bulletproof” vest?

It is very simple to understand armored vests. There are two basic levels of protection: Level II and Level III. Basically, the former will protect from low-powered handgun rounds and some shotgun rounds while the former will protect against those and low-powered rifle rounds. Most individuals will only need Level II body armor. For protection against stab injuries, there is a different type of armor.

A person needs to figure out what kind of protection and how much is needed for whatever purpose. Obviously a person can only protect so much of his or her body without becoming a weighed-down and immobile brick. Basic armor protects the torso, but they can protect the neck, shoulders, thigh area, and groin with additions. It is not feasible to wear tons and tons of armor because it can become very heavy and reduce a person’s mobility greatly.

Armored vests are available through various sources, including self-defense companies, police surplus stores, and other businesses. Fortunately, many of these places will sell to civilians too. These vests can range in price from $200 or so for police surplus (used) models to $1,000 or more for Level III vests. Most people will end up paying somewhere in the middle for new armor that is in the middle with regards to protection offered and mobility allowed.

It is very important that a person gets the vest fitted to his or her exact measurements. Otherwise, a small vest will restrict mobility and decrease protection offered. Also, a large vest will leave a person more open and more weighed down. A perfect form-fitting one will provide maximum protection and mobility – two things that a person absolutely needs. Size does matter here.

In the end, buying a bulletproof vest is fairly simple. You find a company, send in your measurements, and place your order. This can be done online or in a store, but most people will find it simplest to go with the former option rather than the latter. Unfortunately, some stores are difficult to find in some areas. Either way, buying body armor is fairly simple and legal in most states.

For more information, visit Body Armor FAQs.

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