Ballistic Body Armor Guide for Survivalist
No matter what you are preparing for, whether it’s a natural disaster or drilling yourself for the worst case scenario, survivalists know that every piece of survival equipment is crucial.
Food, water, power, tools, medical equipment and offense. But have you thought about your defensive position? While a bunker or safe house provides a static defensive position in the case of a major occurrence, there are times when you will need to be mobile and on the move. Your number one priority is keeping your body protected and you cannot stay bunkered down indefinitely. So how do you keep yourself protected from position to position?
Body Armor and Survival
Owning firearms is common in the United States, and in the event of a catastrophe it’s possible that they are not always going to be used safely. In extreme conditions, body armor and  s are considered essential personal protection equipment. It’s common knowledge that body armor can effectively saves lives. When it comes to personal protection against projectiles, fragmentation and bullet rounds, there is no other option to keep you alive aside from ballistic body armor and plate carriers.As their name implies, your vital organs are vital for survival. Aside from food and water, body armor is the next critical need to keep your vital organs alive.
What Type of Body Armor Is Best for Survivalists?
Lightweight, soft body armor is a great choice for mobility, maneuverability and small caliber handgun threats. However, soft body armor does not offer a high level of protection for larger caliber rounds and rifle threats that hard body armor does. The highest level of protection you can receive from soft body armor is an NIJ level IIIA rating, which will only protect against threats up to a .44 magnum semi-jacketed hollow point. For those who are likely to encounter rifle threats, soft body armor will not do the trick.
On the other hand, hard body armor plates, made of steel or ceramic/composite, will provide protection against some of the most common handgun and rifle threats, such as 7.62 armor piercing rounds and more.
For the most prepared survivalists, owning both a soft body armor package and a hard body armor package is ideal. Some situations will require a fast getaway, where soft body armor is the only option. Other situations will call for higher protection from imminent or unknown threats. For the heaviest, most extreme situations, you can wear your soft body armor as a back for your hard body armor system. For example, you could pair Spartan Armor Systems Concealable Level IIIA Certified Wraparound Vest in conjunction with a comprehensive body armor package like our Spartan Armor Systems AR550 Body Armor Shooters Cut and Plate Carrier Entry Level Package.
Which Body ArmorRatings Are Best for Survivalists?
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) tests body armor against various bullet rounds and develops the only nationally accepted standards by law enforcement and corrections officers.
The NIJ levels for ballistic protection are as follows:
Level IIA body armor can stop threats including certain 9mm and 40 S&W rounds. Level II body armor can stop threats including certain 9mm and 357 mag rounds. Level IIIA body armor can stop threats including certain 124 FMJ, .357 Sig, and .44 mag rounds. Up to level IIIA will most likely be soft body armor. Hard armor typically comes in level III, III+ and IV.
Level III body armor can stop threats including certain 7.62mm lead core rifle ammunition. The highest rated plates, level IV body armor, can stop up to .30 cal AP rounds.
Shooters Cut or Swimmers Cut?
Shooters cut body armor plates have the top corners cut out to improve maneuverability and holding your weapon. This body armor cut provides the most protection area, but is also heavier and bulkier than swimmers cut body armor plates. For a basic shooters cut package, check out Spartan Armor Systems AR550 Body Armor Shooters Cut and Plate Carrier Entry Level Package.
Swimmers cut body armor plates remove even more of the shoulder and upper torso protection. This greatly reduces weight and improves maneuverability, but decreases the protection area of the plate. This may be a good middle of the road option for survivalists, who may need the protection of hard armor and the mobility that the cut provides. A great swimmers cut option for survivalists is Spartan Omega AR500 Body Armor and Sentinel Swimmers Plate Carrier Package.
Steel or Ceramic/Composite?
Because it has been around so long, most people think that steel plates are the best and most trustworthy option. But with so many advancements in technology, ceramic/composite plates now provide the same protection while decreasing weight. This could be a huge selling point for survivalists who want to be on the move without adding unnecessary weight.
Steel plates are often multi-hit rated, meaning they can withstand impacts to the same area, but they often get small cracks that compound injuries from fragmentation, etc.
Spartan Armor Systems Body Armor Designed for Every Survivalist
Law enforcement officers, soldiers, civilians and avid survivalists trust Spartan Armor Systems to provide premium, affordable body armor options and tactical gear. We also offer all law enforcement, military and first responders a special 10% discount on all orders.
For more information on any of our body armor systems or any other questions, call (520)396-3335 or contact us online via our contact page.