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Factors to consider when selecting a body shield

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Posted April 28, 2018

For anyone looking for personal protection, finding the right gear is a requirement. One of the best ways to ensure you get value for your money is purchasing your protective gear from a reputable supplier such as TenCate Advanced Armor. When it comes to purchasing shields, it is important to ensure you purchase one that will serve the protective role shields are supposed to serve.

Here are factors to consider when selecting a shield.

Handle system

This is the most important factor to consider. The handle is what helps you to position the shield appropriately in front of your body. The right handle system should offer balance, it needs not be complicated or heavy. The handle system plays a role in coverage function. Regular shields May require the arm holding it to only hold the shield. In the case of batshields, the arm can be used to perform other functions as it holds the shield. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s handle instructions as these instructions are tested to suit the particular shield’s intended function.

Lighting

The need for lights on shields is a requirement for different deployments and optional for others. A shield light may not be needed in the event where the location is lit by other sources such as weapon mounted lights, ambient light, designated lighting devices or night vision optics. It is important to understand that using a lighted shield can be a risk factor. This is because the light directs the attacker directly to the person holding the shield.

It is also important to consider the amount light on a shield versus the weight. While bigger lights may be better, they come with extra bulk in terms of battery and the actual light. This can be heavy for the user since the shield is ready on its own. Consider going for smaller shield lights as they are less cumbersome. Shield lights are also maintenance sensitive. Any lighting system requires regular servicing.

The size

Regardless of the ballistic resource, there are factors that need to be taken into consideration. These factors include deployment speed, individual against team coverage, nature of the mission they will be used for and vehicle space. The average size of any hand shield is 34 inches high and 20 inches wide. The purpose of the shield is to enhance body protection beyond that which is offered by body armor. Therefore, the size of the operator and also the combat posture are determining factors.

Force on force simulations where gunfire is involved show that responders with ballistic shields are in a better position to aggressively move towards the threat when they use a shield with unlimited mobility, adequate visibility, and femoral region coverage.  They are also able to deliver accurate shots on the threat.

Speed

Shields are designed for either offense or defense. It is important to have enough units to meet the deployment speed. Instant action, rapid deployment shields are best for high-speed deployments. However, users are mostly trained on adjusting their resources to meet the unexpected changes in the attack field.

Shield storage

While it is important to create space for each equipment, none of them come in handy as much as shields. It is therefore important to keep the shields as close to the operator as possible. This makes it possible for the operator to reach for it in case they come under fire unexpectedly.

When traveling in team deployment, body shields are needed to be stored away from clutter. They should not be kept together with heavy equipment and should always be insider durable covers or cases.

Suspension

Reduction of fatigue is the most important function of any shield suspension feature. Bunkers come equipped with shoulder straps for easier we3ight management especially for operators in extended deployments.

The rifle threat shields are generally heavier which makes the support straps a necessity. Batshields come equipped with bungee slings which offer buoyancy, tethering, weapon assistance and weight reduction.

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