A bulletproof vest, is an item of personal armor that helps absorb the impact and reduce or stop penetration to the body from firearm-fired projectiles and shrapnel from explosions, and is worn on the torso. Soft vests are made of many layers of woven or laminated fibers and can protect the wearer from small-caliber handgun and shotgun projectiles, and small fragments from explosives such as hand grenades.
These vests often have a ballistic plate inserted into the vest. Metal or ceramic plates can be used with a soft vest, providing additional protection against rifle rounds, and metallic components or tightly woven fiber layers can give soft armor resistance to stab and slash attacks from knives and similar close-quarter weapons. Soft vests are commonly worn by police forces, private citizens who are at risk of being shot (e.g., national leaders), security guards, and bodyguards, whereas hard-plate reinforced vests are mainly worn by combat soldiers, police tactical units, and hostage rescue teams.