Armored Threats – Bad Guys and Body Armor

The widespread acceptance and commonality of body armor have allowed the average Joe to equip themselves to defend themselves. On the flip side, body armor use amongst criminals has only grown in the last few years. There is a loud crowd on the internet that will proclaim your chances of meeting an armored threat are small, and it’s not a realistic concern. In reality, if you are a law-abiding person, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever end up in a violent situation. If we are willing to prepare for the unlikely, it seems perfectly reasonable to prepare for armored threats.

There are plenty of examples of armored threats being violent and criminal. It’s wise we don’t forget the potential of modern armor and prepare to defeat violent criminals who choose to wear it.

Examples of Armored Threats

Brink’s Robbery – You’d think most armored threats are modern, but if we step back to 1981, we see members of the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army knock off an armored car. They wore body armor and carried rifles in their assault. They killed one guard and two police officers.

Tyler Courthouse Shootout – In 2005, a man waited in ambush to attack his estranged wife and son. He killed the woman and wounded his own son. He wore armor, and several police officers engaged the man but were wounded and retreated. A concealed carrier attempted to intervene but was unfortunately killed. An officer with a rifle finally showed up and ended the threat.

Dallas Shootings – A lone gunman enraged with the police utilized rifle to rifle and ambush police. These police were wearing soft armor only at the behest of government officials. Five officers were killed, nine officers were wounded, as were two civilians. An EOD robot armed with a pound of C4 ended the man’s rampage.

These are three quick examples, but there are many more. The Sutherland Springs shooter, the shooter in Buffalo, and many more wore body armor when they conducted their crimes. Google the term, the suspect wore body armor, and you’ll see a number of lower-profile events that involved the criminal use of body armor.

How Does That Affect You?

The most important thing you can do is remember that armored threats exist. It happens, and you should be prepared for it. If you’re aware of this possibility, then you’ve taken a step in the right direction. The next step is to train.

BB guns and Body Armor

What do you train for? I recommend the same thing we all train for. You want to be able to hit a target, specifically a small target, with relative ease and efficiency. Being able to hit a small target quickly and easily helps you strike the smaller vital zone of armored threats. Namely the head of the target.

Practicing the classic failure-to-stop drill can be a great way to deal with armored threats. Regardless of the type of armor, two shots to the body will make anyone pause. A quick transition to a headshot down the threat in most situations.

There is also the pelvic shot. Pelvic shots with rifles and shotguns can be absolutely brutal. It makes it pretty tough to fight. In a home defense scenario, a pelvic shot also provides a safer angle of fire in case there is an issue with an unsafe backstop. With a handgun, it’s less likely to do a ton of damage, but if that’s your shot, a bullet anywhere is better than hesitation.

Finally, don’t get wrapped up in the old two shots, and it’s over philosophy. That’s a very silly way to do things. Be prepared to keep shooting until the threat stops being a threat. Armored threats are rare, but they exist, and with armor getting cheaper and more accessible, it might be a more realistic threat than you imagine.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.