When looking to purchase body armour for protection in a potential active shooter situation, you aren’t limited to bulletproof vests. Bulletproof blankets provide a temporary body shield in many scenarios – whether you are a police officer, bodyguard or military personnel, or require protection in a school, office, place of worship, or at home – and are fabricated from the same materials used for bulletproof vests.
Why are bulletproof blankets a popular choice?
- Versatility: a bulletproof blanket can be hung over walls, doors and windows, effectively used in a car or in a room, and provides adequate protection to a person who is moving or stationary.
- Weight: depending on their size, tactical blankets can be fairly lightweight. A 2’x6’ blanket weighs just 15lbs and is easy to carry when it is rolled up and when it is being worn.
- Convenience: other forms of body armour which provide full-body protection, such as ballistic shields, are not suitable for civilian use and can require some time and effort to set up. Ballistic blankets can be unfurled and used in a moment’s notice.
- Size: Unlike a bulletproof vest which just covers the torso, a tactical blanket is unfolded to protect a greater surface area and is held in place with straps or handles. They are available in different sizes: smaller and lighter blankets can be purchased for school kids and more substantial blankets provide appropriate protection for adults.
- Discretion: other types of body armour which provide the same level of protection cannot be concealed so effectively. A rolled-up ballistic blanket just looks like a bag and can be easily stored in a small space such as a closet.
What should I be aware of when purchasing a tactical blanket?
As with purchasing any body armour products, there are several factors you must consider.
- Weak spots: a ballistic blanket is not just an unbroken shield of bullet-resistant material. The seams where straps and handles are attached to the protective material are the weak points, and their correct placement on the blanket can mean life or death.
- Portability: it is vital to determine the situation in which the tactical blanket will be deployed, and who will be using it. Military and police personnel must be able to carry their blanket without its size and weight impeding them. Alternatively, they may need a more substantial product, like the 4’x6’ ballistic blanket which can be attached to an upright frame. In schools, bullet proof blankets should be easily stored and light enough to be carried by a child during an active shooter situation – a 2’x6’ blanket would be more suitable for them.
- Protection: there are different categories of body armour available depending on the ballistic threat level that the wearer is likely to encounter. When looking for a bulletproof blanket for sale, this threat level should inform your choice.
What protection can I expect from my ballistic blanket?
Most bulletproof blankets belong to the National Institute of Justice IIIA classification. Type IIIA body armour is commonly used by police officers and security guards and is the highest possible protection level provided by soft armoured plates, making it light and flexible enough to be used by civilians and offering the best price-to-weight ratio. Level IIIA tactical blankets can withstand most handguns, high-velocity .9mm bullets and .44 Magnum bullets.
There is a caveat: although we generally call them ‘bulletproof’ blankets, it is more accurate to describe them as ‘bullet resistant’. Nothing is truly “Bulletproof.” Additonally the level IIIA Blankets will not protect you against high-velocity rifle rounds such as 7.62 mm NATO FMJ (M80), .30 Carbine FMJ, or .30 Caliber M2 Armor Piercing ammunition.