Tag Archives: Body Armor

Plate Carrier Kits: 7 Reasons to Train with One TODAY

Designed to be donned quickly and protect the most vital organs against advanced threats, plate carriers have become a necessity to Law Enforcement. Although plate carriers seem pretty straightforward, they require some preparation and training. Here are 7 reasons why you can’t procrastinate on either: Continue reading Plate Carrier Kits: 7 Reasons to Train with One TODAY

Body Armor Sizing and Measuring

Body armor is quite simply the most important piece of any law enforcement officer’s uniform. It saves lives. Unfortunately, when it doesn’t fit properly, your body armor can also be the most uncomfortable part of your uniform. However, with the correct fit, your body armor will not only be more comfortable but also provide effective and protective coverage. All it takes are a few simple measurements and some fine tuning once you have your vest, so let’s get started.

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The Six Levels of Tactical Body Armor

It’s a well known fact that body armor can save your life; that’s why knowing which tactical body armor you should purchase is a crucial decision. Before you start comparing prices it’s important to be informed about the varying levels of body armor available. There are six levels, with level one offering the least amount of protection and the most at the sixth level. It is imperative to know which level is suited to your specific job, as you don’t need over protection nor can you afford under protection. It’s not as easy as simply choosing the armor that offers the highest amount of protection, as each level also increases in weight and bulk. Below is a breakdown of each level and what they offer protection against, as well as a few suggestions for body armor.

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Level I

Level I vests protects against .22 caliber pistol rounds or long rifle rounds, and .380 caliber rounds. Level I body armor is notably light, but that comes at the cost of greater protection. This is the minimum level of protection every officer should have, and the armor should be routinely worn at all times while on duty. Level I body armor was introduced during the mid-1970s. However, most agencies today have opted for a higher level of protection due to increased threat levels.

Level IIA

This level protects against all lower levels as well as 9mm rounds and .357 magnum rounds. Level IIA body armor is well suited for full-time use by police departments, particularly those seeking protection from lower velocity ammunition.

Level II

Protects against the same types of rounds that Level IIA protects against, except the added safety at this level increases the speed at which that ammunition can be fired while still protecting the wearer. Level II body armor is typically heavier and more bulky than either Level I or IIA.

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Level IIIA

Level IIIA provides protection against most handgun threats, as well as the Level I, II-A, and II threats. Level IIIA body armor provides the highest level of protection available from concealable body armor and is appropriate for routine wear in many situations. However, users located in hot or humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Level IIIA armor carefully, as the added weight and bulk may impede with the wearer’s duties.

Level III

Level III body armor is the first vest that mandates the use of heavy, bulky hard plate with softer body armor to protect the wearer from rifle rounds. The soft armor is able to absorb some trauma and minimize injury to the wearer. This armor protects against 7.62mm full metal jacketed ammunition, as well as everything protected from the lower levels. Level III body armor is mostly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.

Level IV

Similar to Level III, Level IV body armor is a hard body armor designed to protect the wearer from “armor piercing” bullets. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Level I through III threats. Level IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist “armor piercing” bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection, since the ceramic tends to break apart when struck. Just like Level III armor, Level IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.

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With the knowledge of the various levels you can now choose the right piece of equipment to suit your needs. Here are some examples of a few top selling vests from Galls.com:

Galls SE Series IIIA Body Armor

Point Blank Alpha Elite AXIIIA Ballistic Vest with Hi-Lite Carrier

GH Body Armor Pro Vest Level IIIA

Below are a few videos suggesting the best way to properly fit a ballistic vest, as well as how to measure sizing for both men and women.

Proper Fit:

Sizing for Women:

Sizing for Men:

Galls, VTAC and 5.11 Tactical – Bringing Innovative Design To Tactical Vests

 

Looking for an innovative and expertly designed tactical vest?

Consider the 5.11 Tactical VTAC® LBE Vest from Galls. It’s the ultimate tactical platform, designed by experienced special forces operator Kyle Lamb. Buy 5.11 Tactical Vest

Special Operations Combat Veteran (RET) Kyle E. Lamb served his country for 21 years, 17 of which were with the most elite elements of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Lamb has been decorated for valor in Mogadishu, Somalia during the battle that was made famous by the movie Blackhawk Down. He was also decorated for valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom. SGM Lamb is one of the most credible and sought-after shooting and tactics instructors in the country. The owner of Viking Tactics (VTAC™), his master-level expertise comes directly from real-world experience.

5.11 Tactical has joined with Lamb and Viking Tactics to create the 5.11 Tactical VTAC® LBE Vest. This vest as well as other tactical vest can be found at Galls.com.

Some features of the 5.11 Tactical VTAC® LBE Vest

  • Made from a stiffened mesh that provides the necessary structure for all your gear, yet allows air in for ventilation and breathability
  • Hidden document pockets and is fully compatible with 5.11 VTAC® pouches plus standard molle gear
  • Grab handle is located on the interior of the vest, not visible to an outsider, but there if needed
  • Adjustable in girth and length

About 5.11 Tactical:

5.11 Tactical is well known within the industry for offering superior tactical gear, clothing to safety personnel, military and outdoor enthusiasts. Their products and equipment are highly functional for tactical operations. Because of their reputation for innovative design, Galls carries a wide array of 5.11 Tactical products which is of great value to law enforcement agencies and personnel.