When you buy vest and armor, you’re purchasing what’s known as soft armor, which is just the opposite of hard armor. Soft armor is made out of lighter material, and it is not as effective at stopping impacts as hard armor, though it will still stand up against much more impact and much higher temperatures. While it is not as effective as hard armor, it is much more lightweight, which makes it easier to put on and take off. This is where the Vests and Armors come into play.
There are many different kinds of soft armor that are used in bulletproof vests and other self-defense devices. One of the most common soft armor materials are called thermoplastic inserts. Thermoplastic inserts are typically used in cushioned vests and ankle or groin protectors because they will not deflect flying projectiles such as pellets and buckshot but will deflect light and cause soft tissue damage to a shooter who is shooting from a long distance away. Because these vests will deflect only bullets that remain on target, they are very good at preventing injuries from long range shooters who have shot projectiles that missed the vests or misses the person wearing the vest. These vests are also good for recreational shooters because of their lack of ability to deflect long range projectiles, especially birdshot.
Other soft armor types include fiberglass plates which are shaped like a plate with inserts in them to prevent the penetration of high velocity balls and high velocity buckshot rounds. Fiberglass is especially useful in close quarter fighting and for defensive applications, because it’s slow to absorb the energy of a round and can be easily deflecting high velocity rounds aimed at it. Fiberglass plates are usually found in body armors and on tactical rifles. Bulletproof vests and plates are also commonly used in conjunction with soft armor insert systems to make them more effective against handguns, although there are some manufacturers that offer entirely bulletproof protective plates.