There are several types of hard armor on the market today, from lightweight to heavy. The NIJ IIIA level of soft armor is quite effective against assault rifles, but is useless against armor-piercing ammunition. To get the level of protection required by law enforcement and military personnel, one must use Level III or IV hard armor. For example, the EnGarde(r) rifle plate can stop AK-47 MSC rounds with tremendous stopping power. In addition to its high stopping power, the EnGarde(r) hard armor insert can protect against the high-powered ammunition that is used by terrorists.
The cost-effective choice is steel. The durability of steel is higher than other materials, and it is easier to maintain. Some manufacturers sell armor with water-proof cloth, which has a lower price. Another type of hard armor is made with polyurea, which has a polymer coating that is sprayed on the plate and provides a degree of protection. However, these armors can be more expensive than other types of hard armor.
The main differences between soft and hard body armor are in the material used. Soft body armor is more flexible and light, while hard armor is heavier and more rigid. It works by deflecting incoming bullets from a distance. When a bullet hits the hard plate, its energy is dispersed and eventually destroyed by high-performance fibers. Hard body armor can stop more powerful rifle bullets than soft armor. Hence, it is the best option when you’re facing a hostile situation.