Bullet-proof vest

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German police demonstrates a bullet-proof vest; November 1931
Modern-day German police, with bullet-proof vests and machine guns

A bullet-proof vest (also called "bulletproof vest", "body armor" or "body armour") is a protective piece of clothing that covers the torso (chest, abdomen, and back) of a person. It protects the wearer from most pistol and revolver bullets and from fragments of explosive devices such as grenades. Bullet-proof vests are worn by police officers, soldiers, security guards, and people who are at risk of being shot (such as the leader of a country).

How do they work?[change | edit source]

Bullet-proof vests contain many layers of tightly-woven fabric such as Kevlar (or hard, strong materials such as ceramic or titanium) which can stop the metal pistol or revolver bullets or metal shell fragments from going into a person's body.

How much protection does a bullet-proof vest provide?[change | edit source]

When a bullet hits a bullet-proof vest, the force of the bullet can seriously hurt the person wearing the vest even if the bullet does not pierce (make a hole in) the vest.

A bullet from a strong sniper or machine gun can pierce a bullet-proof vest.

If a bullet hits a body part that the bullet-proof vest does not cover, the bullet can hurt or kill the person wearing the vest.

Types of vests[change | edit source]

The bullet-proof vests worn by most police officers and security guards are made with many layers of tightly-woven fabric such as Kevlar.

Bullet-proof vests for soldiers are heavier and stronger than the bullet-proof vests worn by police officers and security guards, because soldiers need protection from rifle and machine gun bullets. Bullet-proof vests for soldiers often have flat pieces of ceramic material or a strong metal such as titanium. These materials can stop bullets from many rifles and machine guns.

Other pages[change | edit source]

  • Helmet- soldiers and some types of police officers (called tactical police officers) also wear helmets to protect themselves