Guns vs. Armor; What You Need to Protect Yourself

Bullet proof vests cannot completely guarantee protection against a bullet; some instead refer to them as bullet resistant vests. This is compounded by the fact that there are multiple levels of protection available in bullet proof vests, utilising different materials like Kevlar. It is important to know what types of ammunition a vest is capable of protecting you against. Below is a list of some of the most types of bullet, as well as the weapons they might be used in, and what protection you need for each.

9mm Parabellum
This round is credited as being the most widely used handgun ammunition in the world. The 9mm Parabellum, usually shortened to simply ‘9mm’, is a German made bullet that is commonly used by U.S. Law Enforcement and in semi-automatic pistols. At lower velocities a 9mm will be stopped by a Level IIa vest, but at higher velocities a Level II vest is needed.

.357 Magnum
The .357 Magnum is a popular round that is credited with beginning the ‘Magnum era’ of handgun ammunition after its introduction in 1934. This bullet is known for its stopping power, and is usually fired from revolvers, although the Desert Eagle is one of few semi-automatics that can fire it. For this ammunition you will need a vest at Level II.

.357 SIG
Named for its manufacturer (Swiss ammo makers Sig Sauer), the .357 SIG is almost identical to the .357 Magnum, apart from its reduced recoil. It also boasts increased reliability and is compatible with autoloader platforms. A Level IIa bullet resistant vest is needed against this caliber of ammunition.

.40 S&W
The .40 S&W comes from Smith & Wesson and was designed to be used by the Police. It has gained popularity among Officers since its introduction in 1990, and has increased power with decreased recoil compared to similar ammunition. The .40 S&W was originally designed as a shorter version of the 10mm Auto. Protection against the .40 S&W requires Level IIa bullet resistant armor.

10mm Auto
The 10mm Auto never gained the popularity that its shorter counterpart (the .40 S&W) did, despite its promise of extra stopping power. This round is designed to be used in semi-automatic pistols, and suffers from high recoil, though has found use in certain branches of Law Enforcement. Stopping the 10mm Auto requires a Level IIa vest.

.44 Magnum
Famously featured in Dirty Harry, the .44 Magnum is one of the most famous rounds in the world. However, until Dirty Harry it was relatively unknown, despite having been available since 1955. The .44 Magnum is well known for its stopping power, which naturally causes high recoil and muzzle flash. The .44 Magnum requires a Level IIIa bullet proof vest.

.45 ACP
The .45 ACP was created for the prototype Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol made by John Browning. From 1911 the US Army has used the .45 ACP, sometimes called the .45 Auto, in its M1911 pistol. It has gained popularity thanks to its high velocity and moderate recoil, coupled with its low muzzle flash, despite it being heavy and costly to produce. Protecting against the .45 ACP requires a vest at Level IIa.

Bullet resistant vests at Level I-IIIa are capable of stopping the vast majority of rounds commonly used in handguns. For protection against high caliber and even armor-piercing rounds however a higher level vest that uses ceramics or polyethylene is needed. Here are examples of the most common high caliber rounds and the armor you need to protect against them:

5.56x45mm NATO
This round is a very common high caliber round most commonly used in the M16 rifle. Despite being widely used, the 5.56x45mm NATO is affected by the weapon it is used more than any other ammunition is. The 5.56mmx45mm NATO is often criticized for performance issues, but is still popular. A Level III vest will protect against this round.

The .30-06 was primarily used by the US Military from 1906 to 1956, particularly because of its relatively low recoil. For this reason the .30-06 was a very simple cartridge to use. Protecting against a .30-06 bullet needs a Level III vest.

.308 Winchester
Primarily used by big game hunters and militaries worldwide, the .308 Winchester is one of the most successful rounds in the world. The .308 Winchester duplicates the ballistic performance of the .30-06. A Level III bullet proof vest is needed to protect against this round.

7.62mmx51mm NATO
This is another successful rifle round that can be used in a number of weapons. The 7.62mmx51mm NATO is a versatile round that shares similarities with the .308 Winchester and was released in 1954, only 2 years later. The armor-piercing 7.62mmx51mm NATO will need a Level IV vest as protection, though regular 7.62mmx51mm NATO ammunition can be stopped with a Level III vest.

Hard armor is armor that uses rigid plates of ceramic or polyethylene to protect against higher caliber ammunition. Hard armor is available at Level III or IV. For more information on the specifics of the protection afforded by each level, have a look at the NIJ’s official documentation concerning body armor testing.

Written by Joshua Nash for SafeGuard Armor. Josh has written a number of articles as part of SafeGuard. He uses his expert knowledge on ballistics to help inform people in a number of different professions.

Must-Have Gear for Your Next Hunting Trip



Hunting trips are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Explore nature, enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and then relax with a cookout afterwards; hunting for food and pleasure is a win on all fronts. But before you leave on your big trip you need to pack the right equipment. Here are some things to consider before you hit the road.

The Best Hunting Rifles

When you’re at work you want the right tools for the job and hunting is no different. There are many great rifles on the market, but why settle for less than the best.

Big Game: For hunting big game you can’t do much better than the Nosler M48 TGR 2010. While this hunting rifle isn’t cheap, it’s $1,745, this rifle can sit in your collection as your rifle-of-all-rifles, and with a hand-lapped custom barrel, a Timney trigger, and a Bell and Carlson stock, this price tag is easily justified.

Artisan Made: The 1898 Mauser is a legendary rifle at a reasonable price. Each Mauser 98 is made with painstaking meticulousness, and unlike other traditional bolt action rifles, is difficult to manufacture. These Serbia-produced guns, by Zastava, are milled, drilled, grinded, and hand fit and polished into a rifle with a reputation of great accuracy and reliability.

Weatherby Mark XXII: Legendary German manufacturer Anschutz produces world renowned accuracy in their rifles. The action and barrel of this rifle are produced by Anschutz, while Weatherby brings the distinctive California look and style to a high velocity magnum rifle. This rifle is a beautiful collaboration of style and performance.

Travel Preparedness

Don’t find yourself unprepared for the mundane parts of your trip, like the drive. Pack a car emergency kit with bandages for minor cuts and burns, antibiotic ointment, a fire extinguisher, tire iron, car jack, and road flares. Before you leave check the tread of your tires. If they are old and worn they could develop small leaks that decrease your fuel efficiency and can quickly become flat tires. Check the thickness of your tires with penny and quarter. If your tread isn’t passing the test, replace your tires before beginning your trek. Michelin’s Latitude Tour tire is an all-purpose tire made with a special tread compound that reduces road friction and maximizes fuel efficiency. Smooth and quiet on paved roads, all purpose tires, can be trusted when the going gets rough.

Prepared for Anything

When you leave the grid, you put yourself in a position to get lost. Pack survival rations, a water filter, and emergency space blanket in case your sleeping bag gets wet. A Garmin GPS device, specifically built for wilderness hikes and survival can help you navigate your position and stay safe while on your trip. The Garmin Oregon 600T enables you to track routes, set waypoints, and navigate even the most wild places in the country. You can also share your position with friends, orchestrate and communicate while on the hunt.

Paracord For The Gun Lover



I have to say that BearArms Bracelets are a pretty neat twist on the standard paracord as they give a nod to the 2nd Amendment. They are very well manufactured, look great, and feel great. I have nothing but good things to say about the product and the manufacturer.

As a token of appreciation, I will be giving away one BearArms Paracord Bracelet to someone that leaves a comment on this post. Ensure to leave a valid email address (will not be shown publicly or used for any other purpose than contest notification) so that I may contact you on how to get your prize delivered. The deadline for contest entry is July 31, 2015 and a winner will be selected August 1, 2015.



Press release from the manufacturer:
It all started from a single man’s one bedroom apartment in Louisville, Kentucky back in February 2014. Fast forward and here we are now, a little over a year later and Mr. Sean Ramsey has had over 1500 transaction on his website, making approximately 3000 of his unique and exclusive BearArms Bullet Bracelets. The kicker is very minimal advertising was used and 95% of it came from Instagram posts.

Mr. Ramsey BearArms Bracelets are individually handmade by him one at a time. The bands are made with nylon rope, known for its durability, and are flexible and conform easily to the wrist, allowing for a tight fit. The bands are then paired with recycled shell casings in various different calibers. Some of the choices are, .22 Long Rifle, .380ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 Smith and Wesson and .45ACP. With over 50 colors and patterns available, the bracelets can be easily customized to the wearer’s preferences including specific ones representing the different branches of the United States Armed Forces.

These exclusive pieces of bullet casing jewelry came to fruition back in the beginning of 2014 as a way to allow people to express themselves in new, unconventional ways, and grew into something more. With the Second Amendment in mind, BearArms Bracelets founder Sean Ramsey sought to make a statement by developing these unique trinkets.

“I honestly didn’t think my bracelets would be this sought after. I just made a couple and posted a few pictures of them up on Instagram and they’ve taken off since then. I just wanted to make a symbol for people who believe passionately in Second Amendment rights, and I’m just happy to have been able to compact these views and freedoms that are important to millions of others, as well as myself into a beautiful piece of jewelry anyone would be proud to place upon their wrist.” says Ramsey.

The bullet bracelets are also a beautiful sentiment to show support and respect to a family member or friend who is an active servicemen/woman, in the reserves, retired and/or no longer with us. “In my opinion I just don’t think these heroes get the recognition they deserve and it makes my day each time I get an email from a soldier or their family member thanking me for what I am doing.” Ramsey stated.

Mr. Ramsey also donates a portion of the proceeds to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Ramsey’s ultimate goal is to make them available in care packages to be sent to military troops overseas and their families.

A short video featuring Mr. Ramsey giving back to those that serve:

Find out more information:

Armor and Ammunition; Choosing the Right Bullet Proof Vest

One of the most important aspects of choosing body armor is preparation; knowing the different varieties of body armor, and being aware of the threats they are designed to stop. In the same way that weapons are designed to use certain types of ammunition and cannot work otherwise, body armor is designed to protect against certain calibers of ammunition, and will not protect against higher levels of ammunition. Body armor is not simply a ‘one size fits all’ product, in terms of protection or fit, and it is very important to be aware of what exactly each level of body armor can protect against.

How Body Armor Works
Bullet proof, or bullet resistant vests, mainly utilise materials made from plastic, like Kevlar or Dyneema. These materials are para-aramids that are plastics woven into flexible yet strong fibers with a high strength-to-weight ratio. These are then layered to make the ballistic plates used in body armor. Their flexibility and strength allow them to ‘trap’ bullets and knives within a ‘web’ of fibers, slowing them down by dispersing energy across the entirety of the vest. With each successive layer the weapon is slowed further, and bullets are flattened, coming to a complete stop long before they can penetrate the vest. Vests that utilise products like Kevlar are known as ‘soft’ armors, because of their low weight. Carriers- the part of body armor into which protective materials are inserted- can carry these soft plates, or harder plates of ceramics, steel or titanium. These plates are used to protect against higher caliber ammunition and even armor piercing rounds, in addition to common handgun ammunition. These are known as ‘hard armors’, and are naturally much bulkier and heavier.

The Different Types of Bullet Proof Vest
The materials used in body armor are tested and graded by internationally recognised institutions, ensuring that bullet proof vests can be standardised and easily accessible. The US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is recognised as the world leader in the ballistics testing of body armor, and grades body armor accordingly. Body armor is available in levels I-IV, with Soft Armors available in Levels I-IIIa. A Level IIIa vest will protect against the vast majority of handgun ammunition, and as handguns are the most common weapon used in crime in the USA, and the most commonly owned, Soft Armor is ideal for the majority of people. It is important to note however that the threat of firearms extends to any weapon you may be carrying, and the FBI reports that 33 Law Enforcement Officers have been killed with their own weapon in the last decade. Even if it is only a slight risk, ensuring that the body armor you wear is suitable to protect against the ammunition you carry will mitigate any chance of being injured by your own weapon.

Soft Armor
The higher the level of a bullet proof vest, the more and stronger ammunition it will protect against. However, it will also protect against any ammunition outlined by lower levels. For example, a Level IV vest- the highest level available- is designed to stop armor-piercing rounds, but will also protect against any smaller caliber ammunition. The minimum recommended protection according to the NIJ is a Level IIa bullet proof vest. This will protect against 9mm and .40 S&W caliber bullets. For increased protection without investing in ‘hard armor’, a Level II or IIIa vest is needed. A Level II vest, will offer protection against .357 Magnum Jacketed Soft Points, and a Level IIIa vest will stop .44 Magnum Jacketed Hollow Points. These ‘soft armors’ are much lighter and thinner than their hard counterparts, and have the benefit of being available in both covert and overt styles.

Covert armor is simply armor that is designed to be worn underneath clothes, making it ideal for those who do not wish to have their armor displayed. Being thin and lightweight allows it to be worn comfortably under a uniform, for example, without restricting movement. Some manufacturers incorporate temperature regulating technologies into vests, helping to draw moisture away from the wearer. However, in some situations it may be beneficial to be seen wearing body armor, in which case an overt style is preferable. Making it known that you are protected will certainly deter some from attacking.

Hard Armor
As opposed to ‘soft armor’, hard armor is only available in an overt style due to its extra weight and bulk. This however has the advantage of protecting against high caliber and armor-piercing rounds. These vest function in the same way as vests of Kevlar or Dyneema, but utilise Ceramics, Steel or Titanium. Hard armor is available in two levels; a Level III vest protects against 7.62mm Full Metal Jacketed Bullets, or M80 as they are designated by the Military, and a Level IV vest protects against .30 caliber armor piercing rounds (Military designation M2 AP). While these armors offer the maximum protection, and can often defend against explosives and fragmentation, they are naturally very heavy because of the materials used, and so are not recommended to be worn for extended periods. They are reserved only for the most extreme situations, but are certainly suitable in these scenarios. Furthermore, because of the way the materials protect against ammunition, certain hard armors are not suitable use after taking a bullet, and should be replaced immediately.

It is important when choosing body armor not only to be aware of the different types available to you, but the situation you will find yourself and the likely threats being faced. This is vital in choosing the correct body armor and ensuring that you are properly and completely protected.

Joshua Nash has written a number of articles as part of SafeGuard Armor. He uses his expert knowledge of ballistics and body armor to provide information for people in a wide range of occupations.

Why Choose a Nikon Rifle Scope?

Nikon rifle scopes have always been patronized by experienced hunters and even the newbie in this field. As a hunter emphasized “it’s the ticket to success” in which he was pointing to his freshly purchased Nikon Prostaff Scope. He also further said that his Nikon Prostaff Scope is fog proof, has good light transmission particularly during low light conditions and a terrific price.

Known for its user-friendly models, Nikon is great for experienced hunters and even the newer ones. Serious hunters use Nikon rifle scopes because they released a few new rifle optics with ground breaking modern technology. It gives a sharp and vivid image, which is due to the multi coated optic. They also have a power series that is intended to deal with fast shots.

Before deciding on purchasing an ar 15 scope, always look into each sides of the coin. Does it give you the features you are looking for? How much will it cost you? It does not necessarily follow that the most expensive rifle optics matters most, but the one that matters most is the one that is a perfect match to your lifestyle and personality.

Equipped with their company beliefs that are “Trustworthiness and Creativity”, Nikon rifle scopes are designed with sturdiness that most patrons are looking for. Their lenses are famous for strength and multi-purpose stability.

In any weather conditions, you are able to use your Nikon scope and have a crystal clear, detailed view. Moreover, its lenses are produced with several layers of anti-reflective coating compounds, which are the main reason for Nikon’s optimal accuracy and vision clarity.

Nikon’s features are flawless and the price is right, don’t let an opportunity of having a Nikon scope slip through your fingers. Furthermore, every purchase you make has warranty. If you check to see which scope most seasoned hunters use, it will most likely be a Nikon scope.

For more information on Nikon rifle scopes and other rifle scope brands, visit

Logan is an avid hunter and has been doing it for over 25 years. He mainly hunts in Northern Minnesota and Arkansas during the summer. He thanks you for reading his blog post! Visit to enjoy his Hunting Gear Reviews, guides and blog posts!