Ballistic Plates: What You Need to Know

When you read the news, you probably hear about some shooting here or there. It’s easy to become desensitized to them and ignore them as another isolated incident that will not happen to us. However, in an active shooter or another emergency where your life is threatened, having body armor can make a huge difference. In these situations, ballistic plates can be your best friend. They are designed to protect against bullets, knife cuts, and other threats you may face. Whether you work in security or have another occupation that exposes you to danger regularly, wearing body armor can give you peace of mind in any situation. There are many different kinds of ballistic plates available on the market today. Let’s take a look at what they are, their different types, and when it makes sense to use them.

What Is a Ballistic Plate?

Ballistic plates are a type of body armor that protects against bullets, knife cuts, and other threats. When you hear someone being shot in the leg, that is likely the result of a low-velocity handgun round. If that same person had a ballistic plate under their pant leg, they would likely only have sustained a bruise and not even need a bandage. This makes ballistic plates incredibly convenient, especially if you wear a uniform and cannot tuck in a shirt. The level of protection ballistic plates offer depends on their type. You can generally classify them into three types: soft ballistic plates, hard ballistic plates, and hybrid ballistic plates. Soft ballistic plates are designed to be flexible and lightweight. They are made with materials like Kevlar and are designed to absorb and distribute the energy of a bullet. Hard ballistic plates, also known as ceramic ballistic plates, are made of ceramic material. These plates are rigid and heavy but effective at stopping most bullets. Hybrid ballistic plates combine the two, offering the best of both types.

Types of Ballistic Plates

Soft ballistic plates – These are designed to be flexible and lightweight. They are made with materials like Kevlar and are designed to absorb and distribute the energy of a bullet. These are ideal for people who cannot tuck in their shirts, such as firefighters and law enforcement officers who have to wear their uniforms at all times. Hard ballistic plates – Also known as ceramic ballistic plates, these are made of ceramic material. These plates are rigid and heavy, but effective at stopping most bullets. They are usually worn outside the body, under the uniform. Hybrid ballistic plates combine the two, offering the best of both types. These are usually worn inside the uniform and are ideal for people who cannot tuck their shirts in.

When Should You Use a Ballistic Plate?

There are several situations where you might consider wearing a ballistic plate. They are a must have and you should order ballistic plates if you work in a dangerous occupation, such as law enforcement or security. However, ballistic plates can be useful in an emergency even if you are not in a hazardous profession. They are especially helpful if you have to wear a uniform and cannot tuck in your shirt, such as for a bus driver. Ballistic plates are meant for one-time use. They are designed to stop a bullet once, after which they will no longer be effective. That’s why it’s important to wear the right plate for the situation. You will want to wear soft ballistic plates when responding to a shooting. If you are on the SWAT team, wearing hard ballistic plates will make more sense.

Limitations of Ballistic Plates

Ballistic plates are designed to stop bullets but are not the best solution for all situations. They are not effective against rifle bullets, which are much faster and travel further than handgun bullets. They will not protect against blades and other sharp objects, nor will they protect your organs from the shock of a blast. This is where the rest of your body armor comes into play. Always wear a full-body armor vest when you are responding to a dangerous situation. This will protect your upper and lower torso and your arms and legs. A quality vest will also include a trauma plate in the front to protect your organs from the blast’s shock.

How do ballistic plates work?

There are two ways a ballistic plate works. It can either stop the bullet or reduce the damage it does to your body. Ballistic plates are made of materials such as Kevlar, which can absorb a bullet’s energy. If the bullet is stopped by the plate, it will not be able to continue into your body. This is ideal if the shooter is far away and you are wearing a hard ballistic plate. If the bullet is reduced in velocity as it passes through the plate, it will transfer less energy to your body. This is ideal if the shooter is close and you are wearing soft ballistic plates.

Conclusion

When you read the news, you probably hear about some shooting here or there. It’s easy to become desensitized to them and ignore them as another isolated incident that will not happen to us. However, in an active shooting or another emergency where your life is threatened, having body armor can make a huge difference. In these situations, ballistic plates can be your best friend. They are designed to protect against bullets, knife cuts, and other threats you may face. Whether you work in security or have another occupation that exposes you to danger regularly, wearing body armor can give you peace of mind in any situation.