Frequently Asked Questions About Bulletproof Vests

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Center Mass Tactical? Center Mass Tactical makes a great bullet proof vest at an unbeatable price. Our vest offers Level IIIA protection for only $299 $250. It will meet the needs of most every customer, will stop almost all handgun bullets, and will keep you safe, all for a price that many people cannot believe. Read below to determine if your bulletproof vest is right for you.

What is so great about the Center Mass Tactical vest? It's a really nice bulletproof vest and will stop handgun rounds up to a .44 Magnum, but what is really amazing is the price. $299 $250 is way less than any equivalent bulletproof vest. Our vests offer all of the safety, and all of the featuress, at an unbeatable price. The Center Mass Tactical vest is the best value in bulletproof vests.

The Center Mass Tactical vest is available in six sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, and 4XL.

The Center Mass Tactical Vest Size Chart Please use this helpful Center Mass Tactical size chart. We use your height and weight as a good way to fit a bulletproof vest. The size might be different than what size shirt you wear. Bulletproof vests do not stretch, and not have to contain your shoulders so you cannot order them the same way that you order a t-shirt.

Center Mass Tactical Size Chart

Another note on bulletproof vest sizing Your bulletproof vest needs to fit across your navel. The length of the vest is not important as you can use the shoulder staps to adjust it, only be concerned with diameter of your midsection adn chest. If you are a thin man with a large belly, try to order at the top of your size range so that you can fasten the vest around your mid-section. If you are a competetive cyclist with large legs and a slender waist, order at the bottom or your size range. If you are very fit, you will probably be surprised at how small of a size you will need because you have a small mid-section.

What is the best way to put on a bulletproof vest? The first time you put on your bulletproof vest, you should adjust the straps exactly as you want them. Make sure the bottom of the vest is where your navel is located. That will allow you to sit down and stand up all day in comfort while still protecting your vital areas. After you have your vest adjusted, you only have to undo one of the side straps to get the vest on and off.

How do you clean your bulletproof vest? First take out the ballistic panels and then wash the outer portion (called a carrier). The carrier can be machine washed. You can use detergent and everything. When you are done, insert the ballistic panels back into the carrier and you are ready to go.

Do you have bullet proof vests in XXXL (3XL), and XXXXXL (5XL) sizes? We have U.S. sizes S, M, L, XL, and XXL. Our XXL vest is really generous and is almost a XXXL, and we make a size 4X vest. Use the height and weight chart on this page to see what size is best for you.

Can you make a custom-sized vest? Unfortunately, no we do not. Bulletproof vests are made from over 60 pieces of fabric, making custom sizing very expensive for the customer.

What level of protection did you choose for your vest and why? We choose a NIJ Level IIIA (3A) vest. This vest is more protective than a level I (1), level IIA (2A) or II (2) vest but below the protection level of a level III (3) and IV (4) vest. The Level IIIA (3A) vest will protect you from almost all handgun rounds. It is tested for rounds up to a .44 Magnum full metal jacket round nose bullet. That's a big, powerful bullet that will easily kill you if you are not wearing a vest.

Does your vest offer complete side protection? Tough question. Most vests offer certain sized panels and fasten on the side. Our panels are 19 inches wide (the front and the back panel are both the same width), so our vest will cover 38 inches of you. Some people will get complete protection from this, some very thin people may even see a little overlap. However, if you are a little bit larger in the belly, there may be a gap on the side. Take a good look at our photos to see how this might work for you. Or you can download a full spec. sheet about the Center Mass Tactical Vest here.

What is your ballistic material made from? Our ballistic panels are made from Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE or High Strength Polyethylene). Most bulletproof vest manufacturers have moved beyond Kevlar into stronger materials and so have we. Our material is not a brand name, but comparable brand names are Dyneema or Spectra. UHMWPE is incredibly strong. It is the same material used in the US Military's Interceptor Body Armor. UHMWPE has been used successfully in body armor since the 1970's. UHMWPE is also used in cut-resistant gloves, bow strings, fishing line, parachutes, sales, yacht rigging and climbing equipment.

How long does a bulletproof vest last? The generally accepted length of service is 5 years, but we have never seen scientific data available beyond that. They may be effective beyond 5 years, but no one has run tests to determine if this is true. Our research into the materials used would indicate a longer life if it is kept dry and out of the sun, but the testing to prove that vests are durable past five years does not exist.

What is the warranty on a Center Mass Tactical Vest? Our vest is warrantied to maintain its ballistic performance for 5 years.

Do bulletproof vests last for more than one shot? Tough Question. During the testing of bulletproof vests they are shot six times and required to protect against all six. But the six shots are done in six different spots on the same vest. What happens if two bullets hit in the same spot? On our Videos page we have a video where we shot a vest repeatedly in the same spot and even after multiple rounds there still was no penetration. After examining the vest post-test, however, the bullets were traveling further and further into the fabric of the vest, so the impact would be more and more severe. It was obvious that bulletproof vests will protect you really, really well. That said, if you are shot wearing one, you will probably want to get a new one.

Anything I shouldn't do with a bulletproof vest? You shouldn't get it wet and you shouldn't take the inserts out and leave them in the sun. Both of these things will degrade the performance of the vest.

Does it hurt when you are shot wearing a bulletproof vest? Yes. The vest doesn't make the energy of the bullet disappear, it just dissipates it to a wider area. This is why people who are hit often suffer significant pain, bruising, and often have a few broken ribs. Our testing indicates that being shot while wearing a bulletproof vest is about the equivalent impact as being struck in the gut with a rubber mallet. Of course, that's much better than having a bullet penetrate your body and pierce internal organs. In short, a bulletproof vest allows you to trade death for pain.

Who buys these vests? We sell vests mainly to people who live, play, and work in potentially violent environments. These folks include: Cops, Security Guards, Shop Owners and Workers, Surveyors, Park Rangers, Volunteers, Bank Employees, Couriers, War Photographers, Urban Explorers, Paramedics, People Who Don't Trust The Other Patrons At The Gun Range, etc.

Who can buy a bulletproof vest? As a resident of the US, you have the right to buy and own a bulletproof vest. If you have been convicted of a felony you have forfeited this right. There is no background check, waiting period, or federal registration required. You can order a vest here, on this website, and have it delivered to your home or office. You do not need to register it with any authorities and we do not share your information with anyone.

Who cannot buy a vest? If you have been convicted of a violent felony, you cannot own a bulletproof vest.

Where can you ship a bulletproof vest? We can send bulletproof vests to 49 states. We cannot ship vest to individuals in Connecticut, where vests must be purchased face-to-face. Connecticut customers should ask their local gun shop or surplus store to inquire about selling our vests.

Why is your vest contract manufactured outside the USA instead of in the US? We have majority of the vest manufactured outside the USA because the quality is the same, but the price is lower. Our vest passes the same United States NIJ standard as other vests but it is much less expensive. Police and military all over the world use bulletproof vests, and many countries have high-tech companies that can make them. Here at Center Mass Tactical we are taking advantage of other countries capabilities to allow more people to afford a bulletproof vest.

Should I buy a US made vest or your vest? Honestly, if you have a few hundred extra dollars and you feel that you want to keep it within the borders of the US, you might want to shop elsewhere. If you have a limited budget and still want the protection of a well-made, safe bulletproof vest, you should shop here at Center Mass Tactical.

Where do the vests you sell come from? Before our final decision on where to buy our vests, we looked at vests from the US, Israel, New Zealand, and China. We currently are sourcing our vest from China and are very happy with their quality. The factory that manufacturers our ballistic protection panels is actually owned by the Chinese Government and manufacturers panels for the Chinese military and police. They do a great job making our vest.

What percentage of your vest is made in the US? A small portion of our vest is made in the USA. It is roughly 5% US made. Final assembly and inspection of your vest is done here in the USA. Your vest was also engineered and tested in the USA. All of the warehousing, packaging, marketing, and sales are handled in the US as well. All told, about 50% of the revenue you spend goes to workers in the USA.

Do you test the vests on yourself? The President of our company is a former military equipment Test Engineer. Mr. Nardone has handled the testing and certification of our vests. He won't wear one during the testing process though, here is what he has to say about that. "As a Test Engineer it is not unusual for things to go wrong. The simplest part of a test can go badly. I've been witness to some accidents and they are always ugly. If anyone were to ever be injured just so that we could have made a cool YouTube video, I would never be able to live with that. The test standard is enough to determine if the vest works or not. We don't need to risk anyone's life..

Do you wear a bulletproof vest? Fortunately for us, we work in a warehouse in a nicer suburb of Detroit, so there is no reason for us to protect ourselves every day. We do participate in volunteer work in Detroit and wear a vest when we are in Detroit parks. See our volunteer group at

Do you sell vests specifically for women? Not specifically. But some women find that our vest fits them well enough to use. If a woman is especially busty (D-Cup or Larger), our vest will not fill well. In that case, we suggest a custom-made vest.

Do you sell other colors? Nope. We sell black only. We do this to simplify our manufacturing. This keeps our prices unbelievably low.

Are bulletproof vests comfortable? Is yours better than others? Bulletproof vests are much more comfortable than being shot or dying, but bulletproof vests are not all that comfortable. We'll be honest: they weigh five to six pounds. Our vest is just as comfortable or uncomfortable as any other. Most vests are very similar in design and performance. Ours just costs less, so it is more comfortable for your budget.

Can I buy your vest and put the inserts in a different carrier? While our inserts are removable, they cover a larger area than most vests, so they most likely won't fit in your existing carrier. If you have a custom fitted vest, it probably has custom fitted inserts and won't work.

What is the difference between your vest and DragonSkin Body Armor? The Center Mass Tactical vest is made up of woven high density polyethylene. This same material is used by police and security departments all over. It is a flexible material, not an armor plate. The Center Mass Tactical vest is very similar to vest by Second Chance, Safeguard, BulletBlocker, Point Blank, and GH Armor Systems. It is not the same type of material as DragonSkin. We are not experts on DragonSkin, but from what we know about it, it is a series of small hard plates that overlap like scales. They are meant to create hard armor that is flexible. Our vest is soft armor, and our ballistic material itself is flexible. DragonSkin was designed to protect against rifle fire that soldiers see in combat. Our vest and the vests most police officer/security wear are designed to protect against handgun rounds because that is what is used in most crime situations. We do offer ballistic plates to protect against rifle rounds, our plates are ceramic, and are not flexible. They are 10 x 12 inches and fit in the plate pockets on the front and rear of the Center Mass Tactical vest.

Can I exchange a vest for a different size? You may exchange your vest for a different size within 30 days. If you would like to exchange for a different size, please return the vest in as-new condition (clean, dust-free, unworn, not covered in animal hair, doesn't smell like cologne) and include a note with your return telling us what size you would like receive. We will mail the correct size free of charge.

Can I return a vest for a refund? Returns are accepted if they are postmarked within 7 days of receipt. All returns are charged a 15% inspection/restocking fee. The vest must be returned in as-new condition (clean, dust-free, unworn, not covered in animal hair, doesn't smell like cologne). When you mail it back to us, contact with your tracking information. Orders that originally received free shipping will also be charged the $9.95 shipping fee that they received for free initially.

Your vest saved my life, what should I do with it? Did a Center Mass Tactical Vest save your life? If you want to keep it to show it to everyone you know, we understand, but if you don't want it, we want it! We want to buy it back from you. We will give you half of the price of a new vest in exchange for your used vest. We'll be able to examine how well it worked and use that information to make improvements to future vests.