While bulletproof vests receive NIJ laboratory-tested ballistic protection ratings and, therefore, don’t really need to be tested by your friendly neighborhood gun blog, I’m not one to pass on what’s basically guaranteed to be a fun time. So, we hit the range with a BulletSafe Level IIIA Bulletproof Vest and we shot it.
We shot it up close with .44 Magnum, +P+ 9mm, 7.5 FK, and 12-gauge 00 magnum buckshot. Then we dumped 20 rounds of 9mm into it from a machine gun. This wasn’t a fair test.
“Fair” for testing a bulletproof vest involves hitting it with up to five rounds from within the caliber range it’s certified to stop. The 7.5 FK, firing a little bullet at 2,000 FPS, is 600 FPS beyond that range. Firing nearly four dozen rounds into the vest is unreasonable and unfair.
Still, we kinda did it anyway. And, naturally, we got it all on video:
Click the “play” button to watch the Rumble-hosted video embedded above, or click HERE for the direct link to Rumble.
The BulletSafe soft armor stopped the full power .44 Magnum loads, it stopped the +P+ 9x19mm loads, and it even stopped a 95 grain 7.5 FK round doing 2,000 FPS. Then it stopped two shots of 12-gauge 00 magnum buck from just a few feet away.
After that I put 20 rounds of that same 115 grain +P+ 9mm JHP ammo into the vest, effectively right on top of the 2-inch buckshot pattern. Most of these rounds ended up fragmented within the vest — it was a mess of lead and copper embedded into the layers of kevlar. Ultimately I do think a couple of the final 9mm rounds snuck out the back side of the vest; I couldn’t account for all of the bullets and it visually appears as though a couple bullets made it all the way through.
The poor vest had simply taken too many hits in exactly the same spot. Still, it greatly exceeded my expectations. I anticipated the 7.5 FK making its way through, and the IIIA soft armor took far more rounds piled on top of each other than I expected before any made it out the back.
For the very competitive price of just $299 (the average IIIA soft armor market price is likely over $500), BulletSafe’s Level IIIA Bulletproof Vest represents a solid value for protection against the most likely ballistic threats encountered in robberies, home invasions, etc. And based on our redneck ballistic testing, it goes above and beyond.
Putting a BulletSafe Level IIIA Bulletproof Vest to the Test (and then some) is written by Jeremy S. for www.thetruthaboutguns.com