About body armor...
- what do the different classes mean exactly?
- what of these armoured jackets? they look like regular jackets but are supposed to be armoured
- is body armor in need of any sort of maitanance?
- what about if you ever end up taking a bullet with it... doe sit require repair? CAN it be repaired? or is needing repair mean it was penetrated?
As to your first question, the different classes are explained in more depth than you'll ever care to read here: http://www.nlectc.org/txtfiles/BodyA...STD010103.html
To put it simply, the lower the rating number, the less it will protect you. However, every thing is a balance. The trade off here is that lower protection generally means less weight and less cost, and more comfort.
I personally have no knowledge of the armoured jackets, but I'm assuming that you're referring to something like was worn in "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man."
Yes, body armor needs maintenance but it is nothing complicated. The carriers need to be washed periodically, and the ballistic panels also need to be cleaned. Each vest will have specific instructions on care and maintenance.
No, it is not possible to repair vests once they've been struck with bullets or damaged in any way. As a matter of fact, the vests are only rated to stop the FIRST shot, not any subsequent shots to the exact same place. Also be aware that they are not designed to protect against sharp objects such as knives and screwdrivers.
Another thing to remember is that if you're ever shot while wearing a vest it does not mean that you won't be injured. You're still going to take some serious blunt trauma to the chest area, which may cause anything from a bruise to broken ribs to death.
Hope this helps.