Soft Armor

BODY ARMOR INSERTS

LIGHTWEIGHT AND FLEXIBLE BODY ARMOR.
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SOFT ARMOR EXPLAINED

Ballistic Soft Armor Inserts

Soft armor is widely used by most law enforcement agencies, first responders, security guards, and many civilians as well all over the United States. It is more comfortable than using hard armor plates and offers great protection against common ballistic threats. Soft armor panels are used to make concealable body armor, and it is also worn by Police officers under their uniform.

However, there are many things you need to know about soft armor before you can buy a bulletproof vest for yourself. You need to know about different protection levels, what it is made of, how long it can last, and many other important things. All of these questions and more will be answered in this post. So, read on.

1
What is soft body armor?

Soft body armor is used in bulletproof vests and is designed to be lightweight, flexible, and comfortable while providing different levels of personal protection against both gunshots and knife attacks. However, ballistic armor and stab-proof armor are different from each other.

2
What is soft body armor made of?
3
What can soft body armor stop?

Soft armor is designed to defeat handgun threats, and it is available in multiple threat protection levels. According to the NIJ, which is the authority that sets the standards for Body armor in the US, there are three protection levels of soft armor. These are level IIA, Level II, and Level IIIA.

Level II armor is almost obsolete, and level II and IIA protection are the most common in the US. level II ballistic armor stops pistol rounds up to a .357 magnum. It will also stop common rounds like .380 ACP, and 9mm. Level 2 soft armor is very light and thin, making it ideal for concealable body armor.

 

Level IIIA soft armor stops almost all popular handgun rounds, at higher velocities. It is tested using .44 magnum, and .357 sig flat nose bullets, and can take multiple hits from them, and all smaller handgun calibers like .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .357 magnum. Some larger handgun rounds, like the 500 magnums, and 50 AE cant be stopped by level IIIA protection armor.

4
How long does soft body armor last?

Expiration dates are not only limited to food items and medicines. Body armor can also deteriorate with time and go bad. Many environmental factors, like heat, and moisture can affect the fibers of soft armor, and if you wear it again and again, certain points can get deformed to create weak spots.

Typically, most body armor manufacturers give their soft armor vest a shelf life of 5 years. Though your vest will work after that as well, it might have weak points, which are not as effective at stopping incoming rounds. Some manufacturers, like the Ace Link armor, offer the most durable and reliable soft armor panels, which have a shelf life of up to 8 years.

5
Will soft ballistic panels stop a rifle round?

No, soft armor is not designed to protect against rifle rounds. Level IIIA soft armor, which is the highest level of soft armor, can only protect against pistol calibers. The best way to beat any kind of armor is speed, and as we know, rifle rounds are moving a lot faster than pistol rounds. They can easily rip through the Kevlar fibers and penetrate multiple layers of level IIIA soft armor.

However, for most people, level IIIA protection is sufficient, because it is highly unlikely that home intruders and normal street thugs will use high-caliber rifles. In fact, even on-duty police officers in the US use level IIIA armor panels instead of armor plates in a plate carrier.

6
How to clean soft body armor?

If you are wearing a soft armor bulletproof vest all day, it is about to get dirty from sweat, and dust, and it can also start to smell really bad. Therefore, it is important to clean your vest, however, you should put it in a washing machine.

Soft armor is not machine washable. Water can damage and loosen kevlar fibers, and deteriorate their ballistic protection capabilities. When you have to clean your armor, you should remove the armor inserts from the carrier vest. Then you can wash the vest in a machine and hang it to dry. Make sure that the vest is completely dry before you enter the soft armor panels back into it, and don’t use fabric softeners.

 

You may also need to clean your ballistic panels after some time. To do so, you need to make sure that the waterproof cover of the panel is not damaged. Then you can use a wet whip or a slightly damp cloth to clean the surface of the ballistic panels. Make sure not to use bleach wipes, which can damage the armor. Dry the panels using a dry cloth immediately after cleaning and let them air dry completely before putting them back into the bulletproof vest

7
Can soft armor take multiple shots?

Yes, according to the NIJ, soft armor panels are tested to take six shots of the largest caliber they are designed to defeat. However, depending on the caliber, most bulletproof vests can take a lot more shots, provided the vest isn’t shot at the same exact spot again and again. Some body armor manufacturers stand out from the rest, like Ace Link Armor. Our soft armor panels can take dozens of rounds.

However, you shouldn’t rely on armor that has been damaged to protect you. Once your soft armor vest is shot, it is better to replace it.

8
Can I wear soft body armor in school?

Yes, in most states of the US, it is completely legal to own, carry and wear body armor in any public area, including schools. However, in Louisiana, it is illegal for anyone to wear body armor on school premises, on school trips, or during any school-sponsored functions. There is an exception for people who may need to wear armor for their jobs, for instance, a security guard, or a police officer who may visit a school.

However, in Louisiana, students can wear a backpack that may have a soft bulletproof insert or a ballistic Panel. If a student needs to use body armor in school for any specific reason, they need written permission from the principal of the school.