The Gun Writer TV episode 31: Testing KDH Defense System’s body armor

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The Department of Homeland Security, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Defense and a growing number of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have chosen body armor made by KDH Defense Systems.

Founded in 2003, the North Carolina-based firm quickly garnered a reputation for making high-quality products that exceed the end user’s expectations, and for their near constant product innovations.

KDH has sold more that 850,000 units to the DOD, and they are now focusing on law enforcement applications — a field dominated by two other firms.

KDH products are available locally through USA Tactical Supplies, which is owned by our friend John Schwemler.

When John invited us to attend a KDH product demo — testing their vests with a variety of calibers — of course we jumped at the chance.

The demo was held Monday at Take Aim Gun Range.

Julie Kiselica, KDH’s Director of Sales, was as impressive as her firm’s body armor.

“Vests are bullet resistant. Nothing is bullet proof, ” she cautioned as the testing was about to begin, adding, “We have by far the best product on the market.”

Gerrad Allison, Director of Product Development, was KDH’s designated shooter.  He engaged the vests from near point-blank ranges.

Allison used 9mm, .40 caliber, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP, 5.7mm Blue Tip (a polymer-tipped hollow-point) and a 12-gauge tactical slug.

He shot FMJs, a .40 cal. Speer Gold Dot and a 9mm Liberty round — a 50-grain screamer traveling at around 2,000 FPS.

A Sarasota Police sergeant handed Allison the Gold Dot, which he took from his magazine. I gave him the Liberty round to test.

To be clear — nothing penetrated the vest, nor did anything manage to penetrate a variety of “speed plates” — lightweight panels that up-armor the flexible vests to Level III NIJ standards.

I watched Allison dump around 20 handgun rounds into one of these speed plates, followed by a 12-gauge slug. When he removed the plate from the vest carrier, nothing had penetrated. The plate had become a small bag full of lead.

USA Tactical Supplies has speed plates in stock, John said.

The vests were strapped to a torso target, which contained ballistic clay. NIJ standards, Allison said, specify that the test is a fail if the cavity in the clay exceeds 44mm. None of the handgun rounds came close to this mark. The vest alone, and when it was up-armored with the speed panels, mitigated the blunt force trauma that the wearer would have received from the rounds.

KDH Defense System’s body armor is the best I’ve seen. Not only is it reliable, it’s far lighter than other models, and that’s a big deal.

In my humble opinion, KDH armor is perfect for patrol, SWAT, a wide variety of military applications and for the armed citizen who demands the very best.

Sure, it’s more expensive than some competitor’s models. But how much is your life worth?

— If we don’t run into each other at the range, you can reach me at (941) 284-8553, by email at lee.williams@heraldtribune.com or by regular mail, 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You also can follow me on social media at facebook.com/TheGunWriter or Twitter.com/ht_gunwriter or watch us on our new YouTube Channel.

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About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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