Range Test: Shooting Bulletsafe Body Armor


Oftentimes seeing is believing and the best way to test the effectiveness of body armor is sending rounds into it at the range. Bulletsafe, a manufacturer of affordable body armor, offered Guns & Tactics the opportunity to test their product. In this special video edition of the Tactical Parent, Doug does the honors of putting the vest through its paces.

Bulletsafe is a manufacturer of affordable body armor and is the same company behind the ballistic panel inserts for backpacks that I have written about before. Prior to the backpack panel insert, however, their first product was level 3A soft body armor. Recently Bulletsafe offered us the opportunity to test it.

The level 3A vest meets the standard set by the National Institute of Justice to stop handgun calibers ranging from .22LR up to .44 magnum. Bulletsafe does make a plate which, when inserted into the vest, increases the protection to a level 4 but, on this particular day we were only testing it to the level 3A with handguns. For the shoot we mounted the vest on a plastic water jug and shot it with each caliber while monitoring the performance. At the end of the test we opened the vest to remove the projectiles and examine the material.

The vest stopped everything we shot at it.

Twice during the shoot, with the .357 magnum and the .44 magnum, there was water leakage from the jug under their respective impact areas. Both times, however, the vest held and did stop the rounds – the water jug was cracked, but not penetrated by the bullets themselves. This performance is particularly impressive as these were also the two calibers with the closest groups, where the second shot nearly impacted on top of the first. Both times the blunt force this placed on the water jug cracked the plastic but the vest itself performed flawlessly.

After the shoot we opened the vest to examine it and were impressed with what we found. As we had expected, the higher velocity rounds penetrated much deeper into the vest than the lower velocity ones did. The 5.7mm round required several layers of material to stop it while the .44 magnum went through six layers. At the end of the day we decided to shoot it with a S&W 500 which the vest stopped in only two layers of material due to the mass of the projectile.

After taking time to look at the construction of the vest and to personally test its performance, I’m very impressed with what Bulletsafe has done. Even more impressive is the fact that this armor retails for only $299 while similar body armor can cost more than triple that price. Whether it’s their affordable body armor or their affordable backpack panel insert, Bulletsafe is bridging the gap between cost and quality when it comes to ballistic protection. I very much look forward to seeing what they do next.

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