The Correct Protection Levels and Types for Preppers
So you have solved various problems that you'll have to face in case something happens and our own civilized way of life ends. You've thought of food, shelter, water, facilities but what happens when everybody else, who didn't prepare start coveting your supplies? What's that? Yes, security. Now I've seen a lot of preppers that have an assault rifle, a kevlar helmet and a tactical vest? What? There is something wrong with that.
If you want to protect your family from the effects of the collapse of society you better not die right away. See, what some preppers forget is that no amount of firepower will stop a sneak attack. This threat worsens if you haven't had any type of military training. You could be a victim of a concealed assailant, remember if you can't see them you can't shoot at them.
What I recommend is to consider buying a bulletproof vest. There are many kinds of vests with wide applications and price ranges. Don't forget that one of the cardinal principal of preparedness is to be frugal. So, I'll tell how to make the most of your resources.
There are many things to consider here, the first is to go for soft or hard protection. If you go for soft protection it will be easier to hide under your clothes. With hard protection the vest will have to be worn over your clothes; although it protects from more threats, it is heavier.
Another thing to consider is that bulletproof vests are divided into 6 different types according to how fast they can dissipate kinetic energy. This is a fancy way to say that they are organized according to the kinds of bullets they can stop. The entity responsible for this classification is the US National Justice Institute or NIJ. The two main types I recommend are: type II and III-A.
Don't consider buying a level I (if you can find one, they have been very hard to find lately since they are only certified to stop 22s) or II-A which is still too low. Type II-A can only stop 9 mm bullets all the way up to 40 caliber S&W. The problem is that, as everybody prepares for contingencies and more powerful rifles are available, you will be left unprotected if you go with the average. Going a little over would be a good idea. Consider type II protection.
Type II is still made with Kevlar, it is very flexible and is proven to stop all bullets a type II-A and also all the way up to 357 magnums. Another alternative is the type III-A that can stop high velocity rounds from 9 mm, All the way up to a 44 caliber magnum round. It will protect you from a full metal jacket round nose bullet traveling up to 1400 feet per second.
Now from type II to III-A can be obtained with stab and spike protection!
The first thing right off the bat is: “A bulletproof vest WON'T protect you from a stab wound” – says body armor experts at safeguardclothing an online bulletproof vest manufacturer. Kevlar is not designed to prevent lacerations; it is designed to dissipate force. So, in order to be protected from a knife or even an ice pick you'll have to make different arrangements.
So, just like the types of ballistic vests there are also stab proof vest levels. These are sanctioned by the NJI as well. These are organized by the amount of impact energy needed to stab. Level 1 will stop a military grade knife that's coming at you at 24 joules. Level 2 will protect you from 33 joules and level 3 will stop a knife generating 43 joules. For reference, level 3 can protect you from a force 20 percent greater than an average adult male can produce. There are also 3 levels of spike protection too, this is different since the force of a spike like an ice pick is concentrated on a very tiny area and it can still defeat stab protection. Get the highest level of spike protection possible, no questions asked.
The importance of body armor has already been noted, and it is an important piece of equipment for Preppers of all dispositions to consider. Not only is it cheaper and more accessible than ever before, but it can provide you with protection against a number of threats, from firearms and handheld weapons to car accidents, falls from a height, and even attacks by wild animals. All of these are things you should be prepared against, even before the SHTF, and body armor allows you to go about your daily routine secure in your own protection.
You may be aware that body armor is available at different levels of protection according to the strength of the threat it can protect against. These levels are the result of official ballistic testing, and help you see at a glance how protective your armor is. However, it can be difficult to translate this into the real world and understand just what a vest can protect you against. Therefore, below are a number of the most popular, common, or famous handguns and what level of vest you will need to protect against them.
The Colt Python was first produced in 1955 by their namesake, and is often referred to as a ‘combat magnum’. Despite being somewhat popular among US Police Forces, production of the Colt was eventually stopped in 1999, and in 2005 the final Python was released. This was due in part to its being dropped by Law Enforcement in favour of modern semi-automatic pistols. It’s somewhat limited run and now lack of availability has made the revolver especially popular among collectors and enthusiasts. To protect against the Colt Python you will need a Level II bullet proof vest.
Smith & Wesson 686
The Smith & Wesson 686 double action revolver was first introduced in 1980, and gained fame thanks to its quick adoption by the US Navy Special Operations. Part of this quick adoption came from the weapon’s suitability for extreme weather, proving to remain both durable and consistent. Furthermore, the revolver is relatively easy to maintain, furthering its popularity. Other famous adopters of the weapon include the Grand Ducal Police in Luxembourg. Protection against this weapon requires a vest at Level II.
Sig Sauer P226
The SIG Sauer P226 was based on the design of the previous Sig Sauer P220, but with the ability to use higher capacity stagger-column magazines. The handgun was designed initially to replace the official handgun of the US Army, the M1911A1. However, it was beaten by the Beretta 92F, though did go on to increase in popularity thanks to its adoption by the Navy SEALs. For protection against this powerful weapon, you would need a bullet proof vest at Level II.
The 1911 pistol was created by John Browning and would go on to become one of the most popular and iconic handguns in the world. Its popularity first began with its adoption by the US Military, with the M1911 pistol being used in an official capacity for 75 years, when it was replaced by the Beretta M9 series. During its service life, the US procured around 2.7 million of the pistols through military contracts. Its popularity and history have made it incredibly popular; though one its major benefits is its customization, with the 1911 often used as a base model for competitors to build upon. A 1911 handgun would require a Level IIa vest.
The Beretta M9 became the official handgun of the US Military in 1986, replacing the M1911 and beating several other competitors as the cheapest and most effective weapon. Officially entering service in 1990, the Beretta would grow in popularity among civilians thanks to its customizability, with a large number of variants available. However, the Beretta faced controversy during its service period because of low satisfaction and reports of malfunctions. However, whilst nothing ever came of these reports, the Military is looking to replace the Beretta despite an update version being offered by Beretta. The M9 requires a vest at Level IIa for protection.
The Glock 17, or simply ‘Glock’, is named for its manufacturer, and is one of the most efficient and well-used handguns in the world. It was originally developed in 1982 as part of a tender for the Austrian Military, who were looking to update their service handguns from the Walther P38. Despite initial worries about the handgun being composed primarily of plastic, the Glock 17 proved to be efficient and easy to use, and would go on to win the tender and be adopted throughout the world. The Glock is synonymous with handguns, commanding over 65% of the handgun market in the US, and having over 5 million produced in the 25 years following its design. It even become a standard NATO-classified sidearm, and is continually updated to improve performance and ergonomics with each generation. Glocks will need body armor at Level II.