Considerations when buying ballistic shields
Shields have been around since the beginning of combat. After a long-period appalication, they have been proven to be a valuable asset to solders.
With the development of human civilization, shields have been constantly evolving and upgrading, from animal fur, which was originally only used to defend swords and arrows, to metal shields, to high-performance materials shields with powerful bullet-proof functions. Now many people think that bulletproof vests and hard armor plates are necessary in the combat, while bullet-proof shields are not suited to the current combat scenario. Actually, as more powerful guns become more widespread, the extra protection provided by shield could become a necessity in many situations, for its bigger protective area can provide a more comprehensive protection for the wearers.
Most of the ballistic shields available today are rectangular in shape and share much in common with ancient shields. Typically, one arm and hand is dedicated to carrying the shield, while the other arm and hand manipulates a weapon. At this point, some of the questions are often raised: What is the handle and carry system used in the ballistic shield? How heavy is it? Is it easy to operate with one hand? How many protection levels of shields are there?
Here is a list of important aspects to consider before purchasing a ballistic shield:
There are three levels of ballistic shields: NIJ IIIA, NIJ III, NIJ IV.
NIJ IIIA shields are designed to resist gun bullets. They can stop 9 mm FMJ，.44 MAGNUM JHP and any lesser threat.
NIJ III shields are expected to deal with regular rifle bullets. They can stop 7.62 x 51 mm M80 FMJ and any lesser threat.
NIJ IV shields have a higher protective capability. They can stop 7.62 x 63mm M2 AP and any lesser threat.
According to the usage type, ballistic shields can be divided into three categories: Handheld Bulletproof Shields, Handheld Bulletproof Shield with Trolley, and Special types of Ballistic Shields.
Handheld Bulletproof Shields:
Handheld Bulletproof Shield is designed with 2 handles on the back for both left-handed or right-handed users, and a bulletproof glass speculum for external observation.
This kind of shields can adapt to more complex combat scenarios. For example, in narrower corridors, compared with other types of shields, a handheld bulletproof shield can work better with weapons.
Handheld Bulletproof Shield with Trolley:
Hand-held bulletproof shield with trolley is designed with a trolley for shield transferring, and two handles on the back for hand holding, as well as a bulletproof glass speculum for external observation. Generally, shields with high defensive levels are usually of heavy weight, so a trolley is necessary for a long-distance transfer.
This kind of shields are better suited to open and flat battlefields. With a trolley, the shield can be moved freely over a long distance, which is much more labor-saving. It can also be handheld when necessary.
Special types of ballistic shields:
There are usually special structures in some bulletproof shields to achieve more diverse functions. For example, a ladder ballistic shield, which has a special structure on the back, can be transformed into a ladder to adapt to complex terrain. In addition, At the same time, the bottom of the shield is also equipped with wheels, which make the movement more convenient and labor-saving.
There are many kinds of shields with different special functions on the market. Some can be quickly unfolded and folded, and some can be turned into briefcases.
3.Size and Weight
As we all know, the larger the size of bulletproof shield, the larger the protective area, but the higher the weight.
The shield with too large size will be very heavy, affecting the flexibility of users, while smaller shield is lighter in weight, but its smaller protective area may not provide effective protection for users.
There are many materials for making ballistic shield, such as metal, ceramics, ballistic fibers and so on.
Metal shields are firstly used in history. They usually have a larger weight with an unsatisfactory protective performance. But they are still capable to stop some lower threats such as guns.
With the development of material science, people have found that ceramics have better anti-elastic properties and much lighter weight than metals. So, they are ideal materials for ballistic shields.
The bullet-proof fibers such as PE and aramid are high-performance bullet-proof materials developed in recent decades. They have great protective capability and much lighter weight. Their application is a great leap in the history of shield development. However, pure bullet-proof fiber shields don’t perform well in stopping rifle armor-piercing ammunition and armor-piercing incendiary bullets. Now, most bullet-proof shields are made by the combination of ceramics, fibers and other materials, whose protection effect are much better than that of pure bullet-proof fiber ones.
Above is all the clarification of factors you should take into considerations when choosing shields. If there are still any questions, welcome to cont