By using a wide variety of new ballistic materials and through proprietary design technologies, the makers of soft body armor are starting to produce some innovative vests that meet the NIJ .06 standard, provide excellent threat protection, and give wearers improved comfort.
We sent Police Magazine contributing editor Mark W. Clark to the SHOT Show in January and he came back with these shots of guns and gear from Media Day at the Range and from the show floor.
The big trend at this year's SHOT Show was flashlights so bright that they can probably take X-rays. Police staff members accidentally got blasted a few times with these 700-lumen light sabers, and they are more less-lethal weapons than illumination tools.
SHOT Show 2013 plenty of new duty gear with a backdrop of the gun-violence debate in Washington, D.C. The show drew more than 62,000 attendees to Las Vegas, and POLICE editors focused on gear rather than politics. View our gallery and read additional coverage in "Best of Show" and Video: SHOT Show 2013 Highlights. Photos by Mark W. Clark and Paul Clinton.
Soft body armor ballistic vest packages are rated levels 1 through 4 by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) based on how much protection from ballistic rounds they are rated to provide. Similarly, armor plates are available in two different types or classes tested and recognized by the NIJ: type 3 and type 4.
Despite the industry's attempt to transform shooting sports and self-defense into some kind of video game for the Generation Z folks, there was still plenty of serious hardware for law enforcement at this year's show.
You spend every shift for several years wearing the same ballistic vest under your uniform. You know it's there keeping you safe, but it's even better when you aren't constantly aware of this protection because it fits just right. Thanks to thinner, more advanced ballistic packages as well as carriers featuring high-tech materials and designs, manufacturers are able to make concealable vests more comfortable and effective. Here's a look at some standout vests available right now.
This year, the law enforcement section of the show wound through both floors of the Sands Expo Center and into numerous ballrooms in the Venetian Hotel. Exhibitors along the law enforcement aisles were showing everything from machine guns to mannequins, ranging in size from vehicles to lights the size of a stick of Dentyne gum.
You don't need to have majored in biology to know that men and women are not created equal-in measurements, that is. That's why female officers need ballistic vests made especially for their unique shapes. And now that women make up a more significant amount of the market share in law enforcement, body armor companies are taking notice.