Soft Armor: Rifles and handguns
Soft armor is the only kind of armor which provides a degree of protection against caliber ammo in comparison to fully-armored plates. Its effectiveness comes from a lack of metal construction, meaning it can be cut, bent, and shaped in any way, while also being able to resist the stresses placed on it by bullets and other projectiles. The various different types of soft armor are usually used by officers and soldiers from various branches of the armed services, including the Marines, navy, air force, and Marines, in both combat and non-combat situations.
Soft armor is often used as a component of plate carriers. Plate carriers have the ability to withstand a large caliber bullet, as well as energy blasts and fragmentation. This means that they will stand up to high impact force, such as a gunshot, but will break down after multiple impacts. This is a good thing for most tactical situations, since plate carriers are generally placed on the back face of vehicles, where they are unlikely to be shot at from the front, and generally will not be effective against handguns, unless they are designed specifically for soft armor. For example, although the M16 was designed and used specifically for use against personnel in close-quarter combat, the American tank has its own version of the plate carrier, called a soft armor profile, which are not only less effective against personnel, but also against handguns. The M16A1 was the first tank-mounted gun, and is still commonly used in the field.
Soft armor also comes in the form of soft plate carriers, which have the same benefits of hard armor, while being much more lightweight and less penetrable. They are often used as components for female plates, as they are easier to handle and less likely to jam with larger caliber handguns. Although there is no hard data available for female plate carriers, they do tend to have slightly stronger armor, which may account for the difference between M16 carriers and female plates, even between M16A1 rifles and handguns. Soft armor has many uses both in the army and in civilian life and has recently been incorporated into other rifles to make them more ergonomic, so that they are more acceptable to the female population.