Body Armor Levels of Protection
- Level 1 – You don’t really see anything with a Level 1 rating unless you are buying a used product. This level was around when bullet proof technology was still being developed and honed to the exceptional level we have today.
- Level 2-A – This is designed to stop calibers such as 9mm and .40 S&W with a full metal jacket
- Level 2 – Tested against 9mm and .357 magnum
- Level III-A – This is a high level of body armor and tested against .357 SIG and .44 Magnum bullets. If you have ever shot a .44 Magnum you know what I am talking about when I say that it is an extremely powerful bullet that can take down a Grizzly bear. I don’t practice with a .44 because it is too big for most circumstances. Having body armor or a pack that can stop something like that is pretty amazing to me. This is typically the level of armor used in packs and mid priced inserts. This level will not stop an AR-15 or AK-47 round. For those that don’t remember, the AR-15 is what was used at the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
- Level III – Designed to stop a 7.62 x 39 full metal jacket AK round or .223 ammo like that used by the popular AR-15. This is the minimum needed to stop bullets from any of the major assault rifles.
- Level IV – This will stop armor piercing roundsand is the highest level of protection you can currently buy. Typically this is used by SWAT teams and those that are at risk for being under heavy fire from large high velocity rounds made to penetrate as deeply as possible.