TruPrep Blog: Body Armor, What’s the Deal?

TruPrep Blog: Body Armor, What’s the Deal?

We often have people come into the shop or write us on social media asking us about body armor.  What are the different kinds? What do I need? Is it heavy? Who do I talk to about it before I buy?… Almost too many questions to list here. So, we hope to soon have a class at TruPrep HQ on this very subject, but until then I thought we could give you all a short run down on body armor and carriers.

First let’s start with the actual armor. There are several different types of armor to choose from and they come in different sizes and rated thicknesses.

Armor is broken down into different levels of protection. The first we will go over is the The National Institute of Justice NIJ 0101.05 Standard type of soft armor. This is usually worn by law enforcement personnel on the streets to protect against common handgun calibers.  The different levels are:

  • Level II-A is rated for 9mm FMJ @ 1,090fps and the .40cal S&W FMJ @ 1,025fps
    • This seems to be a hard level of armor to currently obtain but is light enough to be comfortable to wear and stop a variety of common calibers on the streets.
  • Level II is rated for 9mm FMJ @ 1,175fps and .357 JSP @ 1,400fps
    • This level of protection is popular among enthusiasts as it offers a good level of protection and is still light and concealable.
  • Level III-A is rated for 9mm FMJ @ 1,400fps and .44mag SJHP @ 1,400fps
    • This gives you just that added bit of protection for those strange calibers and rounds at a high FPS. This armor is still easy to wear light enough to maneuver in.


There is also HARD body armor to wear. These usually offer a greater degree of protection. Hard armor is the standard choice when needing protection from rifle rounds.  The different levels are:

  • Level III is rated for .308Win FMJ 7.62x51mm @ 2,750fps
    • @ 0.25” ballistic steel plate
    • @ 0.5” ceramic plate
    • @ 1.0” polyethylene plate
  • Level IV is rated for .3006 Armor Piercing @ 2,850fps  (Highest Rated Body Armor)
    • @ 0.75” ceramic plate
    • @ 0.5” ballistic steel plate


All of this armor is going to need a carrier as well as a trauma pad to absorb some of the kinetic energy when the round hits the armor.   We carry a variety of plates and carriers at our Retail Store.  The different thicknesses of the plates will dictate the types of carriers you will need.

No body armor is 100% bullet proof and different brands and levels are not all equal in quality and protection. When buying, it is best to speak to a knowledgeable salesperson or someone directly involved in the manufacturing of the armor.

Stay safe out there and be sure to visit us at for more info and sales.

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