Ballistic Insert
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Basic Information

A ballistic insert is a disposable piece of re-inforcing material that can be fitted to a ballistic vest to improve the level of protection that it provides. In general these take the form of frangible ceramic plates that adsorb the impact energy of a round by shattering when hit. Fitting an insert can increase the protection level of a vest by several steps - up to and including giving it the ability to resist rifle rounds - but at the cost of substantially increased cost and mass. And of course the plate only protects the areas it covers and for the first couple of hits.

A ballistic insert may also be made of metal plate - these are usually heavier and less protective, but also more durable and capable of sustaining multiple impacts.

A common setup is for the vest to have a pocket at front and back, located over the heart and designed to hold one roughly A5 sized plate each. Some users will neglect to install one or more of the plates (usually the rear one) for reasons of shortage, comfort or encumberance. Larger, and or more numerous plates are entirely possible.

Both sorts of plate rely on being installed in a carrier to work (the frangible type in particular relies on the carrier to stop fragments being carried on into the wearer) and various insane strategies - like taping a plate to yourself for additional protection - cannot be expected to work.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • As a directly usable consumable, these may constitute treasure.
  • Many RPGs also forget the disposable aspect. And the very limited coverage.
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