Modern body armor may combine a ballistic vest with other items of protective clothing, such as a helmet. Vests intended for police and military use may also include ballistic shoulder, and side protection armor components. Bomb disposal officers wear heavy armor and helmets with face visors and spine protection.
A ballistic vest, bulletproof vest or bullet-resistant vest is an item of protective clothing that absorbs the impact from firearm-fired projectiles and shrapnel fragments from explosions. This protection is for the torso. Soft vests are made from many layers of woven or laminated fibers and protect wearers from projectiles fired from certain handguns, shotguns, and small fragments from explosives such as hand grenades.
When metal or ceramic plates are used with a soft ballistic vest, it can also protect wearers from shots fired from rifles. In combination with metallic components or tightly-woven fiber layers, soft armor can offer some protection to the wearer from stab and slash from a knife. Soft vests are commonly worn by police forces, private citizens and private security guards or bodyguards, and hard-plate reinforced ballistic vest is mainly worn by combat soldiers in the armies of various nations as well as police tactical units and hostage rescue teams.