Frequently Asked Questions

When were the first effective bullet resistant vests made?

It wasn't until the 1960s that engineers developed reliable bullet-resistant armor that a person could wear comfortably.

What is “blunt trauma”?

Blunt trauma is also known as BFS, Backface Signature or Deformation – It is the greatest extent of indentation on the backing material caused by a nonperforating impact on the armor.  The BFS is the perpendicular distance between two planes, both of which are parallel to the front surface of the backing material.

What is the difference between hard armor and soft armor?

The design of hard armor, plates, helmets and shields rely on both art and science of armor engineering.  This combination of materials such as aramids, uni-directional polyethylene, alumina ceramic, and fiberglass with proprietary designs and advanced manufacturing allows Safariland to produce the most advanced hard armor products in the industry. When the bullet hits or strikes the Soft Armor, the fibers in the Kevlar or ballistic material push back, absorbing the dispersed energy.  The fibers of the Kevlar or ballistic material disperse the energy from the point of impact over the entire area of the vest, which absorbs the energy.  The energy is dispersed due the interlaced ballistic weave of fibers. So, when the bullet hits the vest it is basically caught in a web of ballistic material, like that of a ball that is caught in a catcher’s mitt. 

Is body armor actually bullet-proof?

No, there is no body armor that is truly 100% bullet-proof. Both soft and hard armor used separately or together defeat the vast majority of ballistic threats; however there is always the chance of bullet penetration.

What is V-50?

The Ballistic Limit for a given bullet type, the velocity at which the bullet is expected to perforate the armor 50% of the time.  The ballistic limit is typically denoted as the v50 value.

How long is Second Chance's vest warranty and how often should a vest be replaced?

Each unit of body armor is made up of two parts: the ballistic panels and the carrier. The ballistic panels are warranted for five years, and a replacement is recommended at the end of that period. The carriers are warranted for 12 months and should be replaced as needed. The warranty is null and void if improper care, misuse or neglect occurs. See warranty information  for exact details.

How do I make sure my vest fits properly?

You can be fitted at one of our many distributors. The advantage of a distributor sizing you is that they can  use  specialized sizing vests to determine the proper fit and ensure your vest will offer maximum protection and optimum mobility.

Does Second Chance guarantee the fit of my vest?

What if my vest doesn’t fit properly?  Please see the APEX Portal for exact details for exchanges, returns and or alterations.

To what standards are Second Chance vests certified?

All new Armor Models are certified to the stringent NIJ 0101.06 Standard.

What level of ballistic protection should I choose?

Each officer faces different situations, but we recommend that you choose a vest  which is rated to  stop your  duty weapon and any other authorized weapons that may be carried by your department or surrounding  agency.

Can I buy Second Chance factory direct?

Second Chance vests are only sold by authorized distributors. To locate a dealer near you, please use our dealer locator or contact us.