Karen Hunter: Legacy Safety & Security Body Armor Test & Review
When we think of body armor the images brought to mind are typically tactical: law enforcement officers, military or any first responder completely decked out in full tactical gear and ready to go. But body armor really does have a home among the civilian population. In years past an armor plate was very difficult to obtain. Present day, however, is a different story, especially with companies like Legacy Safety and Security setting the pace for not only the professional industry but the civilian market as well.
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First responders and military have an obvious need for body armor but most of us don’t realize the ways in which civilians can also benefit from it. From slipping an armored plate into your child’s backpack, a handbag or messenger bag to utilizing the armored t-shirt first created by Legacy Safety and Security, we are now able to expand and increase our protection by incorporating a shield.
Legacy’s body armor is among the lightest in the industry. Holding one of their plates in your hands can boggle your mind, making you wonder if it really works. Well, there’s only one way to find out – it must be tested. I’d like to say that this was a selfless sacrifice for the greater good, but I can’t. Obviously, testing was indeed for the greater good, but I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t wait to get to the range, put some rounds into this plate and cut it open to see what happens. If I haven’t said it before, I’m saying it now – I absolutely love my job! To not be totally selfish I decided to incorporate a detailed video to share the experience. I mean, it’s not everyday you get the opportunity to put an armored plate under fire. The fact that Legacy Safety and Security offered their product for testing without any supervision or direction from their company speaks volumes of the confidence they have in their armor.
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I was sent the Level IIIA plate for testing. Out of the box you immediately notice how light it is. The Level IIIA plate weighs in at just about 3 lbs., 2.7 to be exact which is a drastic difference over most level III plates on the market weighing in at 8 lbs or more. This plate is 10×12 inches and has a single curve shooter’s cut which conforms to the body versus a flat plate, making it much more comfortable to wear allowing it to move with you a bit. I recently held a carbine class and wore this plate along with Legacy’s vest and found the comfort level to be above par and ended the day much less fatigued than heavier armor I have utilized before. A unique feature of the Level III plates from Legacy is that they have Positive Buoyancy, yes – they float! The inner material is polyethylene which is a type of plastic. The polyethylene is compressed very hard together which gives this plate its buoyant ability.
Range time would be the true test. I affixed the plate to a hanging dummy. To make things a bit more challenging, I did not affix the bottom of the dummy to anything so that my target would swing/move requiring a bit more effort in target acquisition than a stationary target. The Level IIIA Legacy plate is NIJ compliant is rated for the following ammunition; .357 SIG FMJ, .44, .223, 5.56X45 and 7.62X39. This highest rating for this plate was six rounds of the 7.62X39 so that’s what I chose to run. As you can see in the video all six shots hit the plate. After shooting, it was time to open it up. Looking at the back you could see the BFD (Back Force Deformation) but zero holes or exit points. I had a tight grouping of four shots which caused a higher BFD that enabled the polyethylene to protrude and tear the outer lining but zero penetration of a round. Cutting through the actual plate material proved to be impossible without some type of hand saw, so actually retrieving the rounds was not a possibility at the range. The confidence I had in Legacy armor skyrocketed after this T&E. This armor truly lives up to everything it claims to be. Light, comfortable, dependable and affordable. The MSRP on the level IIIA plate is approximately $249.99.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the CEO of Legacy Safety and Security, Rob Hausman. I asked Hausman what drove his passion for his company and his response couldn’t have been more genuine.
“We only sell light weight body armor as we want everyone performing at their best. We know the importance of not only being protected but being able to perform at high levels. Being former military, I witnessed too many people wearing empty vests because they didn’t want to carry that much weight. Our armor is light to enable individuals to perform at their highest level and not be weighted down. Top peak performance while also being protected at the highest level possible, to be safe. Everything comes down to being safe. That’s what it’s always about, just getting everyone home, every single day… safe.” Rob Hausman, CEO of Legacy Safety and Security.