Have you ever wanted to shoot body armor, then open it up to see exactly what happens? What it’s made of and what the ammunition looks like inside? Well, I certainly have, and recently I was granted that exact opportunity. Legacy Safety and Security graciously allowed me to test their soft body armor. I received their Dual Threat, NIJ compliant panels which protect against gun and knife threats. Each 10×12 panel weighs a mere 1.25 lbs. and has an MSRP of $64.99. Holding one in hand, I had a very difficult time understanding how in the world it could stop any bullet or blade. I have utilized different types of armor in the past but nothing this light.
My state of wonder didn’t last long as I quickly assembled a team of shooters and hit the range for testing. I utilized different shooters, guns, and ammunition to get a broad spectrum of results. We also conducted a stab test. We tested .38 special, 9mm, .40 S&W and .357 mag. The stab test was done AFTER the panel had been shot and the blade never made it past the superficial black cover, zero penetration to the armor. Ammunition testing was even more impressive. Out of 26 layers, only one round made it to layer 8. The rest didn’t pass layer 3. The remaining layers are purposely there for BFD (Backface Deformation). BFD is the bulging that occurs on the opposite side of where the bullet hits. This bulging can be powerful enough to cause serious injury even without bullet penetration. This is measured by placing clay behind the armor. After shooting, the indentation is measured. While the U.S. Government requires the BFD measurement not to exceed 44mm, Legacy’s measured 23mm – not even close to what’s allowed.
The Dual Threat panels are solely for protection against blade and handgun rounds. Legacy does, however, offer a full line of products to meet individual needs, including soft armor with rifle ratings. The need for body armor stretches from military and law enforcement to other civilian uses that bear great validity. This was an eye-opening opportunity to realize that soft body armor exists that truly works while being light and affordable. This opens an entire world of new possibilities for civilian usage. To learn more about Legacy’s products you can catch them at legacysafetyandsecurity.com.