A bulletproof vest is a form of body armor that is designed for protection against light handgun fire, shotgun fire and light caliber rifle fire. Most types of bulletproof vests will also protect you against knife attacks. Special reinforced types of bulletproof vests may also offer you protection against high-impact, armor piercing rifles of the 0.30 caliber range. Bulletproof vests are most commonly found in industries such as the military, the police force, protection agencies, government agencies, hunters, private investigators and security services. Unfortunately many politicians and celebrities have now taken to wearing bulletproof vests as a part of their daily work wear. Bulletproof vests are also ideal for protecting cracked and broken ribs from impacts at work and during sports.
Bulletproof vests are made out of impact-resistant materials such as Kevlar, carbon, and ceramics and can sometimes feature more than 16 layers of the fabric. The layers of fabric provide high-impact resistance and do not allow bullets to slip through, at least at the first impact. The force of the bullets is absorbed and distributed along the clothing and the human body. Although the wearer has to absorb some of the bullet impact, the bullet is hopefully stopped before it can enter the body.
Many bulletproof vests are reinforced with steel or titanium, ceramic or polyethylene plates that are designed to provide added protection to your vital areas. These vests are generally used in the military as Kevlar vests are often ineffective against most military rifle bullets. Bulletproof vests are not a guarantee of safety and it's important that you are wearing the right type of vest for the ammunition that you will be facing, and in many cases this is hard to do as you never know what you may be up against.
Bulletproof vests are now very lightweight and can be worn under conventional clothing such as sweaters, coatsand jackets. Bulletproof vests are available in different sizes and shapes. The NIJ Standard 0101.04 gives designations like Type I, Type II to specify the type of guns and bullets that the vests should resist. Bomb disposal squads have very heavy protection with special protection for the spine and other areas. They are very bulky and restrict movement. Law prohibits free sale of such apparel, as these products tend to be popular with criminals.