Being in the business of body armor and protective gear for over 5 years now, a question we get asked a lot is: "How much longer until my order gets here?"
Here at Bulletproof Zone, trust us when we say, "We understand you." That's why in this article, we'll give you a full, transparent look at how body armor lead times work and a complete rundown of what happens between the time you placed the order and the time it arrives at your doorstep.
"I have placed the order. Now what?"
First and foremost, it's important to understand why lead times in the body armor industry even exist.
In a perfect world, we'd like to imagine manufacturers churning out armor plates like patties at a burger chain.
But alas, a demand surge and a pandemic combined with an intricate production process have produced a perfect storm causing longer lead times. It affected body armor vendors everywhere.
Demand Surge for Body Armor
The demand for body armor has surged in the past few years. In some cases, it's due to active shooter cases and mass casualty events that have taken place at schools, churches, and other public places.
In others, it could be attributed to the fact that starting in 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic, the BLM riots and protests, and the U.S elections were all over the news, ordinary citizens began to take their safety more seriously.
You'd think with this, manufacturers would start securing even bigger supplies of raw materials in order to create more body armor to meet the demands, right?
Sure. This is where the manufacturing process comes into play.
"Isn't body armor mass-produced?"
The short and not-so-sweet answer? No. Even the world's greatest body armor manufacturers produce a limited quantity of vests and plates to be sold to their clients and distributors each month, and for good reason.
Believe it or not, body armor has an expiration date.
Just like any other material with a chemical compound, the ones used to build it will eventually degrade. Add to this other factors like frequency of usage and exposure to UV rays or moisture, body armor has about 5 to 10 years of shelf life from the time it was made (20 years for steel plates).
Body armor is not cheap, so wouldn't you want to receive an armor that's freshly manufactured and that you can make the most use of?
Another factor is the supply chain. The massive lockdowns brought about by the pandemic have severely impacted the global manufacturing operations.
Logistics, temporary business closures, and employees undergoing days and weeks of quarantine have extended lead times beyond what any company anticipated.
Because of the life-saving purpose of these products, we and our partner suppliers refuse to compromise quality in the name of saving cost and cutting corners.
Once you place an order with us, you can rest assured that is processed immediately and entered into the production line.
The good news is we're optimistic we're almost at the tail end of this crisis, and manufacturing time has already shortened by a mile compared to how it was 2 years ago.
Current Body Armor Lead Times
To assist you in making your purchasing decision, here's a quick rundown of our current lead time range. You can also find the estimated lead time of each of our products in the Product Details section of the page.
- 1-3 weeks
- 2-5 weeks
*Armor plates and inserts from RMA Defense, Spartan Armor Systems, Shellback Tactical can ship out sooner with 1-5 days lead time depending on availability.
- 2-6 weeks
*Body armor packages include several different components and are shipped as one once the longest lead time in the set has been met.
- 1-4 weeks
- 6-8 weeks for Protection Group Denmark (manufactured and shipped from Europe)
- 6-12 weeks
- 1-2 weeks for pouches, holsters, medical supplies
- 30-50 days (includes shipping time) for overseas partners
The Priority Fulfillment service option is offered because we want our customers to have the best shopping experience possible.
During times when stock is limited, you can rest assured that your order will be processed ahead of other orders and you will not receive the dreaded "Sorry, we're out of stock" message after placing your order.
However, keep in mind that this is not the same as expedited or overnight shipping. Feel free to send in a request and our team will be happy to arrange that for you.
We're Here to Help
We are dedicated to providing high-quality protective gear to ensure everyone's safety at all times, especially when it is most needed.
If you have any questions or concerns throughout the process, feel free to leave a comment down below or contact us and our world-class customer service team would be happy to assist you.