Most of those who have taken steps to prepare for a post-collapse America have acquired the basic essential goods and trading supplies that will be needed in the event of worst-case economic, financial or societal collapse. We’ve created bug-out, bug-in, and self defense plans that we hope will be sufficient enough to give us the edge against potential thieves, looters and criminals who will undoubtedly be coming for our supplies when resources in the general population begin to run dry. Stocked with the latest in SHTF weaponary and ammunition, the overwhelming majority of us believe that we’ll be able to neutralize any threat that may present itself.
In general, the three million preppers in America will no doubt hold several key advantages over non-preppers, namely that we’ve stocked larder to provide the energy we need to function at optimal production levels, land that is isolated or well secured against the inevitable hordes of people looking basic survival goods like food, and firearms to defend what’s ours.
However, despite how prepared we think we are, if there’s one principle by which preppers should operate it’s that best laid plans generally don’t pan out the way we anticipated. Murphy’s law will be in full effect in a post-collapse scenario. As such, we must operate from the standpoint that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Many of us may (wrongly) assume that our guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition will be all that is needed to defend our homes against those who would do us harm, and that our well honed shooting skills will allow us to quickly incapacitate would-be attackers.
Speak to any soldier who’s been in a firefight and you’ll quickly learn that this is not usually the case.
While you may be able to accurately hit static targets at the range, if you’re engaged in a real life or death scenario your target will be moving, they’ll likely be coordinating with other elements of their raiding party, and most important of all, they’ll be shooting back.
That’s right, you won’t be the only one with the firearms and best laid plans.
As such, we must look to force multipliers which, through enhanced technology, strategies and equipment, increase our probability of victory.
For those preparing for the end of the world as we know it and a battle for resources, one such force multiplier which can provide a significant advantage on a number of different levels is body armor.
The fact of the matter is that if your home or property are under attack and you’re firing down range, in all likelihood the attackers are not coming at you with machetes and rocks. You can bet they’ll be shooting back at you – and they’ll be shooting to kill.
In the video below, James Yeager of Tactical Response, gives some insight into the different types and protection levels of body armor that you should consider adding to your preparedness supplies.
How effective is body armor? In February of 1997 two bank robbers armed with fully-automatic AK-47’s and wearing heavy body armor were confronted by some 400 LAPD police officers. They were repeatedly hit by small arms fire, yet continued the shootout with police for some 40 minutes before they were finally eliminated by police SWAT snipers and LAPD officers who had acquired high powered rifles from local gun shops.
As you consider your home and property defense plans, think about the type of weaponry your attackers may be utilizing as they attempt to overtake you. How would you do it? Then, consider that classification levels of body armor you will need to protect against those weapons.
NIJ (National Institute for Justice) Standard-0101.04 establishes six formal armor classification types, as well as a seventh special type.
Type I (.22 LR; .380 ACP)
This armor protects against .22 long rifle lead round nose (LR LRN) bullets, with nominal masses of 2.6 g (40 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 320 m/s (1050 ft/s) or less, and against .380 ACP full metal jacketed round nose (FMJ RN), with nominal masses of 6.2 g (95 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft/s) or less. Type I body armor is light. This is the minimum level of protection every officer should have, and the armor should be routinely worn at all times while on duty. Type I body armor was the armor issued during the NIJ demonstration project in the mid-1970s. Most agencies today, however, because of increasing threats, opt for a higher level of protection.
Type II-A (9mm; .40 S&W)
This armor protects against 9mm full metal jacketed round nose (FMJ RN) bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 332 m/s (1090 ft/s) or less, and .40 S&W caliber full metal jacketed (FMJ) bullets, with nominal masses of 11.7 g (180 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against Type I threats. Type II-A body armor is well suited for full-time use by police departments, particularly those seeking protection for their officers from lower velocity 9mm and 40 S&W ammunition.
Type II (9mm; .357 Magnum)
This armor protects against 9mm full metal jacketed round nose (FMJ RN) bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 358 m/s (1175 ft/s) or less, and .357 Magnum jacketed soft point (JSP) bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 427 m/s (1400 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against Type I and Type IIA threats. Type II body armor is heavier and more bulky than either Types I or II-A. It is worn full time by officers seeking protection against higher velocity .357 Magnum and 9mm ammunition.
Type III-A (High Velocity 9mm; .44 Magnum)
This armor protects against 9mm full metal jacketed round nose (FJM RN) bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 427 m/s (1400 ft/s) or less, and .44 Magnum jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets, with nominal masses of 15.6 g (240 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 427 m/s (1400 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against most handgun threats, as well as the Type I, II-A, and II threats. Type III-A body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available from concealable body armor and is generally suitable for routine wear in many situations. However, users located in hot, humid climates may need to evaluate the use of Type III-A armor carefully.
Type III (Rifles)
This armor protects against 7.62mm full metal jacketed (FMJ) bullets (U.S. military designation M80), with nominal masses of 9.6 g (148 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 838 m/s (2750 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against Type I through III-A threats. Type III body armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.
Type IV (Armor Piercing Rifle)
This armor protects against .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) bullets (U.S. military designation M2 AP), with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 869 m/s (2850 ft/s) or less. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Type I through III threats. Type IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist “armor piercing” bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection, since the ceramic tends to break up when struck. As with Type III armor, Type IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.
Off the Grid News offers some additional items to consider before purchasing body armor:
At a minimum, the vest you purchase should have the ability to accept hard plates, and that usually means purchasing exposed armor. Exposed armor like military IBA and IOTV vests (and clones) as well as plate-carrier-type systems have some serious advantages for the wearer. For starters, they are usually designed to by much tougher externally and use fabrics on the outside like 1000 denier nylon – ultra strong. They also accept hard plates for the front and back, and some models accept side plates. These vests and plate carriers are also usually equipped with MOLLE loops so you can add ammunition and sustainment pouches to the vest, giving you a full load out at your fingertips. Accessories are also widely available— things that take protection to the next level such as collar yokes and groin protectors and clever features like pull releases to drop the armor in the event of an emergency.
If you’ve got the preparedness basics covered, body armor should be your next serious consideration. When your enemy is shooting back there is a good possibility someone you love can be seriously injured or killed. While body armor is not going to provide 100% protection, it is a force multiplier that can certainly give you, your family and friends a much better chance of repelling an attack. As we saw with the 1997 bank robbery, body armor can give you the ability to take a lickin’ and keep on kickin’, while the enemy at the gates may not have such a benefit. Additionally, in a collapse scenario there will be no doctors or emergency rooms, so even bullet wounds that are survivable with modern hospital care can quickly become deadly.
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Read by 38,134 people Date: April 25th, 2012 Website:www.SHTFplan.com
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