It began with an email from Alan Foster, founder of KnightHawk Vests, LTD, a body armor dealer based in London, England.
“We’ve taken our time developing our vests and would like someone like yourself to give us your honest opinion good or bad,” Foster said in the email. “Would this be something that you’re interested in?”
I couldn’t respond fast enough.
KnightHawk Vests, LTD, is the US and UK licensed dealer of body armor made in Greece by Elmon Products.
Elmon Products manufactures an impressive line of personal protection gear: body armor, ballistic briefcases, PASGT helmets and visors, ballistic blankets, EOD suits and ballistic shields.
Two weeks later we had the vest, the “Knighthawk Guard,” which is soft body armor rated at NIJ -IIIA, which is supposed to stop rounds from .22LR to .44 Magnum.
The vest is impressive. It featured removable ballistic panels mounted in a durable carrier with good side coverage. It had a flexible trauma pad, which is designed to provide extra protection over the heart and lungs. It retails for around $400. To be clear, this is not a military-style plate carrier. It’s an LEO-type vest, which the manufacturer says is designed to be donned quickly and worn over clothing.
It’s a nice piece of kit, especially at the low price. It was almost a shame to shoot it up — almost.
I met Mike Young and Dave Krieseder, from Young Guns and Safety, at High Noon Gun Range‘s brand new Venice facility, where we were joined by High Noon’s troika of owners, John Buchan, Bill Arkenau and Marc Rosenthal.
For our admitedly unscientific testing, the six of us put together an impressive brace of pistols and carbines chambered in: .22 Magnum, 5.7x28mm, 9mm, .44 Magnum .45 ACP, .223, 7.62x39mm, 12-Gauge, and the show-stopping .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum.
We put a lot of lead into this vest — a lot — and it held up very well.
The vest stopped all .22 Magnum, 9mm, .44 Magnum and .45 ACP rounds.
Of course the .223 AP and the 7.62x39mm rounds penetrated, which we knew they would. As stated, this vest is only designed to stop handgun rounds.
While it stopped a “blue tip” 5.7x28mm round, an FMJ 5.7 penetrated one ballistic panel, as did the .500 S&W Magnum.
It also stopped the 12-Gauge buckshot round, although I’m glad I wasn’t wearing it at the time.
This is a great vest for the money — period.
Most flexible body armor costs hundreds more than its $400 MSRP.
This vest provides excellent protection against the handgun calibers favored by most thugs — .22 LR, .25 ACP, .380 and 9mm. Thankfully, not a lot of street hoodlums are carrying M4s, P90s or AKs.
For its intended use, and for it’s incredibly low price, I’d recommend this vest.