Dealing with Body Armor

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Normally when we talk about body armor, we do so from the viewpoint of using it ourselves. But with the ready availability of body armor today, it’s only going to be a matter of time until the criminal element starts using it. While I don’t expect every criminal out there to start wearing body armor, I wouldn’t be surprised to see criminals committing high-profile crimes wearing it. That has already happened in the case of mass shootings.

Of course, not all body armor is created equal. There are still people out there peddling Level II body armor, as if that would be enough. But the standard today, which is what most people buy, is Level III-A. I don’t think it’s reasonable to think that a criminal who bothers to buy body armor isn’t going to go ahead and buy that level, making our job of protecting ourselves from them all that much harder.

So what do we do if we are confronted by a criminal so dressed?

First of all, don’t bother looking around to see who is wearing it. That’s probably a waste of effort. Unless someone is wearing a plate carrier, their body armor probably isn’t going to be visible. There are companies making Level III-A hoodies today, which don’t look any different than any other hoodie that someone might wear. So it’s unlikely that you’re going to notice someone’s body armor, unless they’re trying to make it obvious.

When you will notice that a criminal has body armor on is if you are forced into a shootout with one of them. We’ve all been taught to shoot for center mass. But that means you’ll be shooting at the part which is protected by the body armor. So chances are that unless you miss your mark, your bullet is going to have very little effect on them.

Granted, there is no guarantee that shooting someone is going to make them fall down dead; at least not outside of Hollywood. But if the ballistic armor is doing its job right, then only the kinetic energy of that shot will be transmitted to the person and the bullet won’t penetrate through the armor. Unless you fired an extremely powerful round or it hits something vital, it’s not likely to knock them down.

What this means is that if the criminal you shoot at doesn’t fall down, it doesn’t mean a thing, except that you need to shoot again. Your shot might have missed them, they might be on drugs, or they might have had a good enough stance that your shot just didn’t knock them down.

But if you hit them more than once, without them going down, it might mean that they are wearing body armor. Either way, it would be prudent to make that assumption, taking the appropriate action.

So what’s that appropriate action?

Police are taught to shoot twice to the body, quickly, and then if the suspect they are shooting at doesn’t go down, to take a slower aimed shot at the head. This is the perfect way of dealing with body armor. If the criminal doesn’t go down after those first two shots hit their body, chances are pretty good that they are either on drugs or wearing body armor. In either case, the solution is the same; shoot them in a critical enough place where they cannot continue to stand. That’s where the headshot comes in.

The big problem here is that the head is a much smaller target than the body and therefore much harder to hit. Added to that, the adrenalin going through your veins is going to make it much harder to shoot accurately. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to constantly work on your shooting skills, becoming more accurate. If you expect to be able to make that head shot at 5 meters, you should be able to shoot a 2 inch group on the range.

Remember, this is a slower, aimed shot, not a quick shot or double-tap. You’ve already tried that and it didn’t work. So when it comes time to start taking head shots, slow is fast. Take the time to make that shot count; otherwise it might be the last one you get.

Taking the time to practice the two-one combination is worth it. When the time comes, you might not be thinking all that clearly. Practice will help you build the muscle memory necessary, so that after those first two shots don’t take them down, you will naturally slow down and take that carefully aimed headshot that is needed in the situation.

It’s just one more tool in your toolkit, just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.