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        Why Bulletproof Vests Don't Go Below the Navel

        Why Bulletproof Vests Don't Go Below the Navel

        The concept of a person wearing a bulletproof vest often conjures up images of invincibility, with some assuming that it should provide complete protection from gunfire. However, the reality is that bulletproof vests are designed not to make the wearer impervious to injury but to save lives. Even if someone is wearing a bulletproof vest when they’re shot, it’s highly likely that he or she will sustain grievous injuries from the event and may even be knocked out. Still, there are some who wonder why it does not cover the entire torso since modern bulletproof vests typically do not extend below the navel.

        One of the foremost reasons bulletproof vests do not extend below the navel is to ensure the wearer's freedom of movement. While the primary goal is to protect against ballistic threats, it is equally important for individuals wearing these vests to be able to perform essential tasks, such as running, sitting, and even driving, without hindrance.

        Most bulletproof vests cover this area above the pelvis, allowing freedom of joint movement while protecting the most vital internal organs.

        A bulletproof vest that covers the entire torso, including the abdominal region, would limit the wearer's flexibility and comfort significantly. Blocking the body's flexible abdominal muscles with rigid armor material would make sitting down in a patrol car or armored vehicle uncomfortable and restrictive. In emergency situations, officers and security personnel need to be agile and quick on their feet, and cumbersome armor could impede their response time.

        The practice of designing armor to end at or slightly above the navel has a historical precedent dating back to the Middle Ages. Medieval breastplates or cuirasses featured a lower front piece known as the "plackart" that ended at the "natural waist," which is just above the belly button. Below this section, metal strips known as "faulds" flared out, resembling a skirt. This design allowed knights and men-at-arms to move freely, whether on foot or horseback. The faulds, in particular, played a crucial role in enabling mobility without sacrificing protection.

        In modern law enforcement and security, duty belts are essential equipment for officers and security personnel. These belts come equipped with various accessory pouches, containing items like handcuffs, tourniquets, radios, and firearms. Easy access to these tools is vital for professionals who may need to respond swiftly to a wide range of situations.

        A full-torso bulletproof vest that extends below the navel would obstruct the duty belt and make it challenging to reach these critical tools quickly. In high-stress situations, any hindrance in accessing equipment could have dire consequences. Therefore, maintaining a clear and unobstructed path to the duty belt is a practical consideration that influences the design of bulletproof vests.

        While some armor solutions with more extensive body coverage do exist, such as the U.S. Army's Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), these vests are often met with disdain by troops due to their weight and mobility issues. Carrying additional weight can be physically demanding, especially for those who need to be agile and responsive in dynamic situations. Balancing protection with the ability to move swiftly is a delicate trade-off.

        In summary, the design of bulletproof vests not extending below the navel is a deliberate choice to strike a balance between protection and practicality.

        What will stop a bullet?

        What will stop a bullet?

        The arms race between offensive weapons and defensive armor has spanned centuries, and with the advent of the firearm, so has the quest to find the most effective and efficient bulletproof materials. A combination of innovations and accidental discoveries have led to the development of modern bulletproof materials like Kevlar and UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene). However, those who want to be prepared for future situations where they might not have the opportunity to don body armor may want to consider the benefits of proper cover and the types of materials capable of protecting them.

        Relying solely on armor like bulletproof vests may not always be an option, particularly when you’re caught unaware. It's crucial to understand that not all materials are created equal, but anything capable of rapidly decelerating a bullet or stopping it outright is considered "bulletproof." Thin corrugated sheet metal and wooden planks, for example, are far from effective at stopping bullets. In fact, wooden barriers can shatter upon impact, sending bits of wood flying at whoever was unfortunate enough to choose the wood for cover.

        Steel, however, with its exceptional strength and durability, was one of the earliest materials used for bulletproofing. In the early days of firearms, steel armor was effective at deflecting low-velocity musket rounds. However, as bullets evolved into the powerful centerfire cartridges of the modern era, steel had to become thicker and heavier to provide adequate protection. This made it impractical for armor, particularly for personal use.

        Contrastingly, earth or tightly packed sand can be remarkably effective at stopping bullets. Sand, for example, can absorb over 85 percent of the energy exerted against it, its resistance increasing with projectile speed. This means that sand can outperform even steel when it comes to absorbing ballistic impacts. If you're ever in a situation where you need to fortify your home, consider filling your barriers with sand.

        I say this because the walls of modern American homes are not normally rated to stop bullets. Small caliber pistol ammunition has been known to penetrate the cheap, thin walls characteristic of American architecture, as was demonstrated in a recent incident in San Antonio in July 2023. A man who was doing nothing but lying in his bed was shot through the walls by a shooter who was seemingly attacking apartments at random. In the same way, another victim was killed in May of the same year when his next door neighbor was modifying his loaded weapon and accidentally fired it through the wall. This highlights the importance of understanding the limitations of common construction materials.

        When it comes to bulletproof construction materials, the ballistic resistance of concrete largely depends on its thickness. A solid 4-inch section of wall can effectively stop bullets ranging from .40 S&W to .308, while a 6-inch brick wall reinforced with 4 inches of clay can withstand even .50 caliber rounds.

        However, when it comes to protecting the human body, we need materials that offer high tensile strength while remaining lightweight and flexible. This is where UHMWPE and Kevlar enter the scene.

        UHMWPE, or Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, derives its strength from its unique molecular structure. Its long, overlapping molecular chains provide enormous tensile strength, making it an ideal material for bulletproof applications. In comparison, Kevlar derives its strength from numerous short inter-chain bonds. Both materials have revolutionized personal protection.

        Kevlar, accidentally discovered by the Dupont tire company, is seven times stronger than steel, while UHMWPE takes it a step further by being fifteen times stronger than steel. In fact, UHMWPE holds the distinction of being the world's strongest fiber, and the material used in BulletSafe bulletproof vests.

        The pursuit of bulletproof materials has come a long way from the days of heavy steel armor. Today, innovative materials like UHMWPE and Kevlar provide lightweight, flexible, and incredibly strong protection against ballistic threats. As technology continues to advance, we can expect further breakthroughs in materials science, pushing the boundaries of what we consider "bulletproof." In a world where personal safety is paramount, the evolution of these materials brings us one step closer to a safer and more secure future.

        Why EMTs Need Bulletproof Vests

        Why EMTs Need Bulletproof Vests

        Opioids, narcotics, and mental illness have been exacting a devastating toll on American society. When victims of drug abuse writhe in distress on the floor of a motel room or a city sidewalk, it's the paramedics who race to the forefront to stabilize the patient, readying them for a crucial journey to the hospital. One might naturally assume that those on the receiving end of an EMT's compassionate aid would be, at the very least, appreciative. However, the dark grip of drugs has a knack for distorting reality, making individuals delusional, paranoid, or, regrettably, prone to violence.

        In the face of such challenges, we have to ask: How can we better protect these courageous men and women who risk their safety (and at times, even their lives) to save others? Statistics from a 2017 CDC report paint a grim picture. According to the report, more than 2,000 EMS professionals are injured annually in violence-related incidents. This statistic is a staggering 22 times higher than the national average for all workers. A separate report suggests female EMS personnel may face an even greater risk of violence-related injuries, further illustrating the need for action.

        Consider the case of two EMTs who responded to a call at a J.W. Marriott in Georgia. They courageously rushed to aid a person who had collapsed in a lobby bathroom, only to find themselves under a violent attack. Another incident unfolded in New York, where an EMT was viciously stabbed while trying to provide assistance.

        In light of these sobering realities, it's imperative that EMTs seriously consider integrating bulletproof vests into their standard gear. One promising solution lies in BulletSafe vests, which offer not only bulletproof protection but also defense against stabbing and slashing injuries. While originally designed to protect users against ballistic threats, the BulletSafe VP3, the company’s lightest and most comfortable model which gives wearers the protection they need for the most probable threats.

        These vests are designed to withstand various forms of violence, from bullets to sharp-edged weapons such as ice picks or hatchets.

        The secret to their effectiveness lies in their construction. Crafted from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene and an aramid fiber blend, BulletSafe vests consist of multiple aramid layers carefully stacked to create a lightweight yet formidable defense. Their ballistic layers of a VP3 are NIJ-certified to Level IIIA, ensuring protection against bullets up to .44 magnum, while also being effective at preventing stabbing and slashing attacks from sharp-edged weapons.

        EMTs are the unsung heroes who confront the chaos and dangers of the world every day. In their selfless pursuit of saving lives, they often find themselves in perilous situations, exposed to violence. The CDC's alarming statistics and real-life accounts of EMTs under attack underscore the urgency of equipping them with the best protection available.

        BulletSafe vests offer a lifeline, ensuring EMTs can carry out their life-saving duties with enhanced confidence and safety. The incorporation of bulletproof vests into their standard gear is not just practical; it's a moral imperative. Protecting those who dedicate their lives to saving others is a duty society must uphold. As we continue to revere and respect the invaluable work of EMTs, we must prioritize their safety, with bulletproof vests serving as a crucial element of that commitment.

        How to Ensure Your Bulletproof Vest Fits Properly

        How to Ensure Your Bulletproof Vest Fits Properly

        In a world where personal safety is paramount, the use of protective gear has become more prevalent than ever. One crucial piece of equipment in the realm of personal protection is the bulletproof vest. Whether you are a law enforcement officer, security professional, or concerned citizen, wearing a properly fitted bulletproof vest can make a significant difference in your safety. Ill-fitting armor not only compromises its effectiveness but also hampers your mobility and comfort. In this article, we'll delve into the key steps to ensure your bulletproof vest fits properly.

        Understand the Importance of Proper Fit

        Before delving into the specifics of fitting a bulletproof vest, it's essential to understand why a proper fit matters. A bulletproof vest is designed to absorb and disperse the impact energy of bullets or other projectiles, thereby reducing the risk of injury. However, for it to perform optimally, it needs to be snugly fitted to your body. A loose vest may shift upon impact, reducing its protective capabilities, while an overly tight vest could limit your movement and lead to discomfort.

        Take Accurate Measurements

        The first step in ensuring a well-fitting bulletproof vest is to take accurate measurements of your body. Use a flexible measuring tape to measure your chest, waist, and hips. It's important to measure over the clothing you would typically wear underneath the vest, such as a uniform or shirt. Be sure to measure both while standing and while seated, as the vest should accommodate your movements in various positions.

        Consult the Sizing Chart

        BulletSafe bulletproof vests come in various sizes, determined by a user’s height and weight. Use the measurements you've taken to consult the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer. If you find yourself on the upper end of a particular size, it would be safer to get one size larger than what’s recommended. For example, a 5’2” 350lb man would find himself at the end of the 3XL size spectrum, but in truth he would be better off with a 4XL vest, which would allow better mobility and comfort.

        However, if you are a heavy person with a slim stomach such as a bodybuilder, you would do well to order one size smaller.

        Consider Your Clothing

        Keep in mind that wearing your bulletproof vest under your regular clothing can add some bulk. It’s advisable to wear a t-shirt or tank top underneath to prevent chafing. If your intended use requires you to wear multiple layers or thicker clothing, such as during colder weather, account for this when choosing the vest size and choose jackets that are one size larger for more arm mobility.

        Check for Adjustability

        Most modern bulletproof vests come with adjustable straps and panels to fine-tune the fit. When putting on the vest, it's easier to undo only one side of the vest before donning it, rather than undoing both sides and the shoulders. Adjust the shoulder straps to ensure the proper length, making sure the vest isn't riding up too high or too low. The vest should cover the area between the clavicle and the navel, aligning its top edge with the uppermost part of your sternum and the bottom edge with your navel. This placement ensures protection for your vital organs and comfortable movement when sitting down.

        Test Mobility

        It's important to note that most vests will not fit properly right out of the box. They will have to be adjusted to the individual wearer's body. After fitting the vest, test your mobility by performing a range of movements, including bending, reaching, sitting, and squatting. The vest should allow you to move comfortably in both sitting and standing positions. If the vest is placed too low below the navel, it may ride up when you sit down, causing discomfort. However, the vest does not need to be flush with a duty belt; leaving room for hip rotation and sitting/standing comfort is important.


        Investing in a bulletproof vest is a significant step towards personal safety, but its effectiveness hinges on proper fit. A well-fitted vest not only enhances protection but also allows for comfortable movement during critical moments. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your bulletproof vest fits properly and serves as an effective shield in potentially dangerous situations. Remember, the right fit could make all the difference between safety and vulnerability.


        How to Prepare for Home Defense

        How to Prepare for Home Defense

        If you’re reading this, you’re probably worried about your next-door neighbor, who, for all you know could be a drug-addled hardened criminal intent on stealing all your stuff, burning down your home, and kidnapping your dog; or you’re afraid of your psychotic ex who knows where you live and wants to return to your place do the exact same thing. You want to make sure you’re well-defended. You may have a gun at home, but you’re not going to be there all the time. In desperation, you may be tempted to “Home Alone” your house to make sure uninvited guests don’t leave unscathed.

        This is stupid. Don’t booby trap your home.

        While not explicitly illegal in federal law, laying booby traps around your house indicates an intent to cause harm, and if a home invader dies because of your expertly rigged shotgun trap, then you have committed murder. This would be especially true if you were nowhere near the trap when it went off, negating any self-defense claims. The courts will destroy you.

        Instead of turning your home into a suburban Viet Cong bunker, focus instead on turning it into an unassailable castle. There are several legal things you can do to turn your home or apartment into a hardened target that can be done without too much strain on your wallet or your convenience.

        Peepholes and Peephole Cameras

        Asian woman looking through ring peephole camera

        The antiquated peephole is no longer the best option for checking who’s at the door. You won’t be able to see much, and your view will likely be distorted. By replacing your traditional peephole with a Ring Peephole Camera, you’ll be able to see more of what’s going on outside your door, even from your own mobile device or PC. The 1080p full color HD camera wakes up whenever someone rings its integrated doorbell or triggers its motion sensor, and it comes with built-in night vision to detect anyone approaching in the darkness.

        Reinforcing your door

        Door jammer propped up against a door.

        A door bar, also known as a door jammer or door stopper, is a cheap, effective way to block any would-be intruders. Relying on physics instead of locks, a security bar is placed between your doorknob and the ground, creating a brace which makes the door impossible to open. Typically adjustable in length, they consist of a bar or rod that can be extended or retracted to fit different door widths.

        High-quality door security bars are designed to be tamper-resistant. They may have features such as non-slip rubberized grips on both ends to ensure a secure fit and prevent damage to the floor and door.

        Since they’re usually placed during the night when the homeowner is sleeping most door security bars are designed for quick and easy removal in case of an emergency or when you need to leave the house. You can simply release the pressure on the bar, retract it, and put it away.

        Door security bars are particularly useful for reinforcing the security of doors that may have weaker locks or are located in high crime areas. They can also be packed in a bag and used in sketchy motels. While a door security bar can add an extra layer of protection, it's important to note that it's not a substitute for proper locks and other security measures. It's always a good idea to have a comprehensive security strategy that includes strong locks, proper lighting, and possibly even a security system to ensure your safety and the security of your property.

        Reinforcing windows

        Burglabar 1 Piece - Great for Sliding Patio Door Lock, (Use 2 for doors),  Sliding Window Lock, Sliding Basement Windows Lock, Child Safety Lock -  Home Security Systems -

        A simple $12 piece of plastic is all you need to stop undesirables from sliding open your windows. As long as your window isn’t simply a large piece of glass big enough for a grown man to slip through, the Burglabar is a simple device which sticks to your windows to prevent them from being opened from the outside.

        This 3x2x1.38 inch self-locking hinge can be put on any sliding door or window to keep home invaders out or keep toddlers or little children in, whether a window is pulled up or down or slid to the side. For older windows or shutters that open inwards, shutter locks reinforced a simple stick cut to the length of the window and placed on the base of the shutter should be good enough to prevent entry.


        Rose bush thorns

        If you have a second-floor window and all you can see out of it is a tree, the window is useless, and the tree needs to go. Not only will you be able to get the benefits of more vitamin D from sunlight, but you’ll also get a view of the exterior of your house, and you’ll be able to see anyone approaching from far away.

        If you imagine your home as a castle, your upper floor windows are the home defense equivalent of watchtowers, and watching the approaches to your castle gate is a vital part of any defensive strategy. Bushes or shrubs in your lawn also provide places for people to hide, either if someone is fleeing from another residence onto your property or if someone is waiting to ambush you when you walk to your garage.

        I know I mentioned not to booby trap your home earlier in this article, but consider planting thorny bushes and shrubs like barberries, blackberries, cacti, or crown of thorns plants to act as a sort of natural barbed wire fence and keep home intruders away while keeping your lawn looking nice. Houseplants are neither booby traps nor deadly weapons.

        Safe Room/Panic Room

        panic room

        A safe room doesn’t necessarily have to be an armored vault with enough food and ammo to get you and your family through a siege. Growing up, the saferoom in my house was mom and dad’s room, because it was located at the end of a narrow hallway and only had one entrance and exit. The procedure was that in the event of an emergency, I would grab my gun, head to dad’s room, he’d grab his 12ga Armscor M30 and I’d grab my .22lr AK trainer and we’d both point it at the door while waiting for whoever or whatever was in the house to finish its business and get out.

        The logic in choosing a defensible position in your home is that it may be more dangerous to go looking for the intruder, especially with a flashlight that announces your presence long before you step into a room. Once a hostile knows he’s likely to be compromised, he’ll either run, change his position to hide more effectively, or fight you. Moreover, getting your entire family in one room together ensures you will be able to defend them if you are the sole firearm owner, or preferably, fight together with them if all of you have your own personal firearms.

        If the burglar in question takes any of your possessions, so be it. The primary purpose of home defense is to safeguard your life and the lives of your family. No amount of money or valuables is worth your life.

        Personal Protection

        In the event of a break-in, we must assume the intruder is armed and dangerous. When you’re awoken by the sound of breaking glass, you may want to don body armor before reaching for your weapon and flashlight to head for your saferoom.

        BulletSafe VP3 vests are NIJ certified and rated to Level IIIA, purpose-built to stop most handgun rounds up to .44 magnum. The most common pistol round in the United States today is the 9mm, so a Level IIIA vest would be more than adequate protection for such a threat. For more potent threats such as intruders armed with AR-15s, a Level IV Tactical Plate Carrier Kit is preferred. Like BulletSafe’s VP3, the armor plate inserts in a tactical plate carrier kit are NIJ certified. Made of rigid ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene and a blend of aramid fibers, these Level IV plates are rated to stop rifle rounds up to .30-06 AP.

        When it comes to preparing for home defense, it's crucial to prioritize your own safety and those of your loved ones when creating a secure environment in your home.

        Investing in modern security measures like peephole cameras and door security bars can significantly enhance your home's defense capabilities, so can securing windows with cost-effective devices like the Burglabar. Additionally, strategic landscaping choices, like carefully placed thorny bushes and shrubs, can create a natural deterrent without resorting to dangerous traps.

        Establishing a safe room or panic room within your home serves as a practical defense strategy. By gathering your family members in one fortified location, you can better safeguard their well-being while avoiding unnecessary confrontations with intruders. Lastly, equipping yourself with body armor, such as NIJ-certified Level IIIA vests or Level IV plate carriers, can offer vital protection against potential threats, allowing you to respond more confidently and effectively.

        Ultimately, the key takeaway is that while safeguarding your property is important, prioritizing life and safety should always remain paramount. By adopting legal, thoughtful, and effective home defense strategies, you can create a secure haven that protects both your physical well-being and your peace of mind.



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