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How to Maintain a Bulletproof Vest


As most Troopers will be more than aware, a bullet proof vest is an incredible useful piece of equipment. These lightweight and discreet vests can protect you against a wide variety of threats and keep you safe in a number of dangerous situations. The myriad models, sizes, and protection levels available ensure that an individual can stay as protected as possible no matter what the scenario. However, these items can only stay protective if they are maintained properly. Even after you have chosen the correct style and level of protection according to the environments you will find yourself in, it can be difficult to know how best to care for your armor. Many overlook the need to keep body armor properly maintained, but unless you do, you cannot be assured of your protection.


Body armor should be seen as an item of clothing- albeit a very specialized item that requires specialized care. Nonetheless, without proper cleaning, drying, and storing, it will last no longer than any other piece of clothing. By doing all this correctly you can ensure the integrity and protection of your vest. Unlike other items of clothing a bulletproof vest is actually rather susceptible to damage and deformity, and it is important when cleaning to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary in your vest. If the vest is at all damaged or deformed it should not be worn and must be replaced immediately.


Body armor is made of multiple parts: the protective inserts, which are usually made of soft fabrics with an incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio, like Kevlar, and the carrier itself which can be made from a wide range of materials and is designed to keep the protective inserts in the correct position on your body. Both parts of the vest are important, and should be treated with care. However, each has specific requirements that need to be met, and they must be separated before cleaning.


Cleaning your vest is so important for a number of reasons. Firstly, having a dirty vest is simply unpleasant. If your vest is offensive to the eyes or nose, you may refrain from wearing it. This would leave you without protection, which is simply not an option. Secondly, a dirty vest can breed germs and potentially bring about illness. For simple hygiene, a vest should be cleaned regularly. Most importantly, however, is the effect cleaning can have on your protection.


If you allow your vest to become dirty it can inhibit the protection offered by the fabrics inside. Just as extended exposure to adverse weather conditions can disintegrate Kevlar, if it is allowed to get too dirty the fibers within can break down, meaning your protection is no longer guaranteed. However, you must be careful when washing to avoid submerging or otherwise getting the Kevlar damp, as this may also reduce its effectiveness. The carrier can often be machine washed, but the protective inserts should be cleaned with a non-abrasive cleaner and sponge.


The vest must also be dried properly, again to avoid any moisture from settling within the vest and degrade the materials. Unlike machine washing, no part of the vest should be tumble dried. Instead, both the protective inserts and the carrier should be hung out to dry. Following this, a vest should be stored just as carefully, allowing nothing heavy to be placed on top of it, and keeping it flat and unfolded. Following these steps allows for your vest to be in its best possible quality.


The advice listed above is not the result of simply being cautious, and does indeed sound overly careful when it comes to your body armor. However, it is important to follow these steps as you cannot afford to take chances with such an important piece of equipment. Changing its shape in any way means it may no longer fit properly, making it uncomfortable at best, and at worst leaving you with gaps in your protection. Similarly, a damaged vest can no longer guarantee your protection.


Following the steps above allows you to stay safe and comfortable, and means you can perform to the best of your ability safe in the knowledge that your vest will protect you. 

A Guide to Body Armor for State Troopers
State troopers have to work a difficult job that far too many do not understand. Law Enforcement has to do stuff that is quite difficult, and state troopers do all that but also a lot of traffic stuff. This means that, while State Troopers need to be protected to be able to perform their job confidently, they will have their own specific requirements for body armor that need to be filled. State Troopers are their own unique branch of Law Enforcement, and their protection needs to reflect this.
A large proportion of a State Trooper’s mandate concerns the enforcement of highway laws and vehicular violations. This means that, perhaps more than any other branch of law enforcement, flexible and adaptable protection is needed. Body armour is lighter and more flexible than ever, and can be worn comfortably for extended periods. Many do not realise that bullet proof vests are designed to be worn above the naval, protecting the vital organs. This means that even when sat down body armor can be worn comfortably, which is vital for State Troopers. Body armor uses protective materials with an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio, designed to absorb impact and disperse energy. This means that even in a traffic accident a bullet proof vest can save a life. DuPont, the makers of Kevlar, regularly honor Law Enforcement Officers whose lives have been saved by body armor. A large proportion of these Officers’ lives were saved in traffic collisions, and so body armor is a very useful and necessary piece of equipment for State Troopers.
Kevlar makes body armor protective by ‘trapping’ and flattening bullets, dispersing the energy across the protective fibers. However, materials like Kevlar will only protect against bullets, and only certain bullets depending on the level of protection offered. A bullet proof vest is necessary protection for Law Enforcement Officers, as firearms- particularly handguns- are not only easily accessible, but very deadly. However, it is possible that- particularly in close quarters situations- edged weapons like knives and broken bottles are more likely weapons. These can be just as deadly, and a bullet proof vest will not protect against them. This is because these weapons will simply cut through the protective fibers, and will therefore need stronger materials to help keep the wearer safe.
Even bullet proof vests may not protect against all ammunition. Body armor is tested and graded according to its strength in line with standards set by the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which is recognised as the world leader in ballistics testing. Bullet resistant vests at Levels I-IIIa can stop the vast majority of handgun ammunition, but will not protect against higher caliber ammunition used in rifles and automatics. For these weapons, a vest at Level III or IV is needed.
The level of protection a State Trooper will need is largely a matter of personal choice; however, it is recommended that Officers have a vest that is at least capable of protecting against the ammunition used in their own weapon. The FBI reports that 33 Officers were killed with their own weapon over the last decade, and so it is important that State Troopers are protected against their own ammunition. Just as important is choosing the right style of vest.
Bullet proof vests are available in different styles depending on how they are designed to be worn. A covert vest, for example, can be worn underneath clothing comfortably, and still offers complete protection. On the other hand, an overt vest is worn over and as part of a uniform. Both are lightweight and flexible, yet come with their advantages and disadvantages, meaning State Troopers will need to decide for themselves which style is most appropriate for the situations they will find themselves in. For example, an overt vest can be outfitted with pockets for equipment, as well as quick release systems and even high-visibility covers. This means that body armor can become part of a uniform, and will help cement an Officer’s authority. However, in certain situations discretion may be better, in which case a covert vest will be needed.
Body armor incorporates a wide range of products including bullet proof vests, stab proof vests, and even ballistic helmets. However, even bullet proof vests are available in different styles and levels of protection, and without understanding the myriad options it can be hard to choose the appropriate protection. Ensuring that your bullet proof vest can protect against the most likely threats, is worn in the appropriate style and keeps you comfortable and secure is vital. However, a bullet proof vest can only keep you safe if it is worn; far too often Officers do not wear their armor, and this can lead to disaster. Keep yourself properly protected and ensure you wear your vest.
What Can Stop a Bullet? A Look at Popular Guns and Kevlar Vests
It is important to know exactly what your bullet proof vest can protect you against.  Everyone working in Law Enforcement will be well aware of the myriad weapons available, and exactly how dangerous each of them is. However, there are far too many weapons available for Officers to have an intimate knowledge of all of them. Moreover, very few are aware of exactly what level of protection is needed against different firearms.
All too often Kevlar is treated as truly bullet proof; a magic fabric which can protect against bullets. However, it can only protect against certain threats and even then only if it as at the appropriate level. Bullet proof vests are tested and graded according to international standards set by the US National Institute of Justice. These protection levels outline exactly what body armor can protect against. Below are some of the most common, popular, and famous firearms, and an explanation of what is needed to protect against each. 
Colt Python
The Colt Python was first made in 1955 by Colt, and is often referred to as a ‘combat magnum’. Colt stopped production in 1999, and the final release of the Python was in 2005. This revolver was originally favoured by law enforcement, with different variants used for different roles. However, the modern need for semi-automatic pistols meant it fell out of favour. 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 and popularity thanks to its adoption by the US Navy Special Operations. This revolver is popular for waterborne missions in particular because of its durability in the face of exposure to the elements, and it is easy to maintain compared to similar weapons. The Smith & Wesson 686 is also famed for its use by Luxembourg’s Grand Ducal Police. Protection against this weapon requires a vest at Level II.
Sig Sauer P226
The SIG Sauer P226 follows the same basic design of the SIG Sauer P220, but was developed to use higher capacity staggered-column magazines. It was originally conceived as a replacement to the M1911A1 used by the US Army, but it was eventually beaten by the Beretta 92F. However, the SIG Sauer P226 still gained fame thanks to its adoption by the Navy SEALs. A bullet proof vest at Level II is needed to protect against this weapon.
Ruger 10/22
The Ruger 10/22 is a semi-automatic rimfire rifle, designed as an ‘adult gun’ that could nevertheless provide easy handling. This, coupled with low recoil, made the Ruger 10/22 popular with young and inexperienced shooters, as well as being popular among small game hunters. It is also known for its compatibility with modifications, which are relatively easy to create and equip compared to other rifles. Protection from this rifle would require a Level II bullet proof vest.
Constructed to be extremely modular, the FN SCAR became incredibly popular thanks to its use by the US Military. It is available in two common variants; the SCAR-L for ‘light’ ammo (5.56x45mm NATO) and the SCAR-H for ‘heavy’ ammo (7.62x51mm NATO). The first rifles were issued in April 2009, and given to a battalion of the US 75th Ranger Regiment. However, US Special Ops Command would later drop the SCAR-L in favour of the SCAR-H, and plan on adopting conversion kits for the MK17 SCAR-H to enable their use of 5.56mm ammo. As of early 2015 the FN SCAR in various types  was used by special ops/police in over 20 countries. The FN SCAR-L requires a Level III bullet proof vest, though only  a Level IV vest can protect against the SCAR-H.
Named for the makers (Heckler & Koch), the HK416 is based on the AR-15 platform and was designed as an improvement on the M4 Carbine for the US army. This Automatic was made famous as the rifle used by the Navy Seals to kill Osama Bin Laden. The HK416 was adopted as the standard rifle of the Norwegian Armed Forces and is in official use by countries all over the world. This famous weapon uses a gas system which reduces malfunction and increases the longevity of its parts. A Level III bullet proof vest is necessary to protect against this weapon.
Designed in 1945, finished in 1946, and adopted by the Soviet Army in 1948. In 1949 it became the official weapon of the Soviet Armed Forces. The AK-47 is one of the most famous weapons in the world, and there is little that can be said about it that hasn’t already been said. The AK-47 is renowned for its reliability, accessibility, and its low production costs. The AK-47 is so popular that they make up approximately 15% of all firearms in the world. Protection against an AK-47 requires the highest level of protection at Level IV.
A US military adaptation of the AR-15, the M16 is another incredibly famous and popular rifle. The M16 was most famously used in Vietnam from 1963, and in 1969 the M16A1 replaced the M14 rifle to become the US military’s standard service rifle. In 1983, the USMC adopted it as their official weapon, and three years later the US army did the same. The M16 is the most produced firearm of its 5.56mm caliber, and total worldwide production of the rifle is approximately 8 million. The M16 was originally designed as part of an effort to replace the M1 Garand and other similar weapons, but also as a direct US competitor to the AK-47. Protecting against this famous weapon will require a vest at Level III.

Body Armor Recommendations for Different Rounds
It is important to know exactly what your bullet proof vest can protect you against. While there is no such thing as complete protection against a bullet, a vest will dramatically increase your chances- provided it goes up against the correct rounds. Bullet resistant vests are available in different levels according to the ammunition it can protect against, and a vest can only protect against the rounds outlined at its level. The following list compiles some of the most popular and available rounds, the firearms they can be used in, and what level of body armor you will need to protect against each.  
9mm Parabellum
The 9mm Parabellum is commonly known as the most widely used handgun ammunition, thanks in part to its adoption by Law Enforcement. Made in Germany, the 9mm can be used in semi-automatic pistols as well, increasing its popularity. 9mm rounds are available at different weights, and can be fired at different velocities. A Level IIa vest will stop anything up to and including a 124gr FMJ 9mm fired at 1,200 ft/s. However, for anything stronger or faster, a Level II vest is needed.  
.357 Magnum
The .357 Magnum is credited with beginning the ‘Magnum era’ of handguns. This round was introduced in 1934 and can be fired from revolvers and certain semi-automatics like the Desert Eagle. It is renowned for its stopping power, and will need a Level II vest to protect against it. However, its versatility means that it can be used by some rifles, particularly older lever-action models. A .357 Magnum fired at 1,800 ft/s or more will need a higher level of vest to stop it.  
.44 Magnum
The .44 Magnum is possibly the most famous ammunition in the world, thanks in no small part to Dirty Harry. However, until it was featured in the film it had been largely ignored and remained unknown from its introduction in 1955. This round has excellent stopping power, though this naturally causes high recoil and muzzle flash. For this ammo, a Level IIIa vest is needed.  
10mm Auto
The 10mm Auto suffers from high recoil, though is known for its stopping power. However, despite its use in certain branches of law enforcement it never gained the popularity of its shorter counterpart (the .40 S&W). No matter the grain, a 10mm round will only require a Level IIa vest when it is fired from handguns.  
.40 S&W
The .40 S&W was named for its creator, Smith & Wesson, and was designed as a shorter version of the 10mm Auto to be used by Law Enforcement. It is a rimless cartridge that ranges in weight from 105 to 200 grains. Whatever the weight and velocity, however, it is covered by one level of vest. The .40 S&W has gained popularity among Officers since its introduction in 1990 thanks to its increased power and decreased recoil compared to similar rounds. Stopping the .40 S&W requires a Level IIa bullet resistant vest.  
.357 SIG
The .357 SIG was named for its manufacturer Sig Sauer, and is almost identical to the .357 Magnum. Interestingly though, it was based around the .40 S&W case, albeit necked down and lengthened, originally to accommodate 9.0mm bullets. Most .40 S&W pistols can be converted to .357 SIG simply by replacing the barrel. The .357 SIG boasts decreased recoil and increased reliability over the .357 Magnum, while also being compatible with autoloader platforms. Protection against the .357 SIG requires Level IIa body armor.  
.45 ACP
The .45 ACP was designed to be used in John Browning’s prototype Colt Semi-automatic pistol, and gained popularity from 1911 thanks to its adoption by the US Army. The .45 ACP, also known as the .45 Auto, is famous for its use in the M1911 pistol, and is prized for its high velocity and moderate recoil. The .45 ACP is nevertheless heavy and costly to produce, and the most common variants- a common load being the standard military loading of a 230-grain (15 g) FMJ bullet at around 850 ft/s (259 m/s)- requires a bullet resistant vest at Level IIa. 

I recently came across this "survival bracelet" being sold on Ebay. As you can tell from the picture, it's a seemingly regular rubber bracelet. When the bracelet is opened, it contains a standard handcuff key made of plastic which can completely bypass metal detectors. This bracelet constitutes a huge threat to Law Enforcement as it is easy to conceal and deploy when hands are cuffed behind a suspects back.
survival  bracelet
Be alert, be aware and stay vigilant. 
Jeremy Richards
Santa Fe Police Department
Criminal Investigations Division

 Officer Safety Item
Officers should be aware of this knife. 
You might survive a stab wound with an ordinary knife, but this one would be fatal. It delivers CO2 into the body at 800 PSI. 
It freezes all the organs the gas reaches and causes massive damage. 
The knife is available for $499.99 on the internet.

"This weapon injects a freezing cold ball of compressed gas, approximately the size of a basketball, at 800psi nearly instantly. The effects of this injection will drop many of the world's largest land predators. 
The effects of the compressed gas not only cause over-inflation during ascent when used underwater, but also freezes all tissues and organs surrounding the point of injection on land or at sea. Dangerous Revolver Grip


When used underwater, the injected gas carries the predator to the surface BEFORE blood is released into the water. Thus giving the diver added protection by diverting other potential predators to the surface."
New Video!

WASP Knife vs. Watermelon 
WASP Injector Knife
Model A/12-N (w/ Sheath)
Land / Water Use Approx. 13.5 oz. (loaded) Surgical Stainless Steel Holds up to a 24g Gas Cartridge with the use of the Max Adapter Length: 11 1/4" (5 1/4" Blade) Reloads quickly on land or underwater.
Protected by U.S. Patent No. 7,331,108
Courtesy of:
Detroit Police Department
Investigative Resource Center/MI HIDTA

Suspect hides .25 automatic on front tire of patrol vehicle as officer exits vehicle. 

Link to video:   Click Here