How long does body armor actually last?
Many people don't realize it, but many types of body armor have an expiration date where the materials are no longer considered as effective as they are when the armor is new. Most experts do not recommend wearing any armor that is well past this date because the material breaks down over time and through use. At least that's what the manufacturers of these vests will tell you. It may make some people wonder if that is just a marketing ploy to try and sell more vests every few years.
Well, of course someone had to test this theory and find out. This old ballistic vest is well past its expiration date, but will it still hold up?
Watch this 20-year-old Safari Land Kevlar ballistic vest get gunned down in the name of curiosity.
This Safari Land Kevlar ballistic vest may have been over 20 years old, but it performed exceedingly well against three popular calibers. Three calibers were tested against this vest: 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 Magnum. And, the old vest stopped each projectile in its tracks.
Although, as you can hear the men in the video saying, being hit with a round on such an old vest probably would not be a pleasant experience. Especially with all the new advances in technology making newer armors lighter and more effective than ever before.
However, as long as the body armor is in good shape without delamination, it appears there should be no real reason for it to expire.