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Will a level IIIA vest stop a 5.56 or 7.62 bullet?

Will IIIA stop smaller or larger bullets?

This questions comes up pretty often.  When it comes to vests there are different ratings commonly IIa-IV which shows how much stopping power a select armor has.  When looking at these IIIA is often seen as a middle ground between lightness and stopping power.  That is why police and militaries will often use a IIIA vest with III or IV insert plates to add when needed.  

IIIA's flexibility, and at the same time rigidity, are very useful when it comes to carrying it around town and in dangerous areas.  

Smaller rounds like .22 and 9m are all easily stopped by "soft" 3A.  However once you get to 5.56 or 7.62 you'll be needing level 3 instead.  Only if the bullet is hitting you at an angle will a 3A rating stop larger rounds like 7.62 and 5.56.  Even then, its not a guarantee. 

We recommend a concealed IIIA vest alongside level 3 or 4 plates incase someone pulls out an assault rifle.


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