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The new ballistic gear has ceramic ballistic plates that, yes once they are hit or damaged in any way they are compromised and must be replaced. I did take a hit to the chest and then the lower right quadrant of my back wearing this protective gear and both 7.62 x 39 rounds from the shooter (with an AK-47) were stopped from penetrating. Of course I had damage from the hits, and soft tissue damage, but the rounds did not penetrate. These vests are extremely expensive but from time to time they do come available. You just must be very careful to make sure there is no degradation in the ballistic plates or other materials.

Note... I always wear a safariland summit IIIA vest with front and back plates in addition to the outer ballistic armor. Even though the rounds did not penetrate the ceramic plates, I know that this extra protection mitigated a lot more damage, and the fact that it was a long range shot.

Fact is, as stated previously within 500 to 1000 yds, the penetrating power of ammunition from many long guns and assault weapons is unsurvivable if the shot group is in the right place. If your hit, your hit. If you have the money now and can afford it... cant hurt to get ballistic armor. Otherwise, spend you dollars on something you can enjoy now.
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