November 29, 2013 // Christopher Dine, GunThink.com //
Guns and ballistic vests are like parachutes – If you don’t have one when you need it, you won’t ever need one again. For the past week I’ve been wearing SafeGuard ARMOR’s ‘GHOST,’ low profile, ballistic vest. I have to say, this vest is very comfortable, and I even prefer it over SafeGuard’s ‘Stealth’ vest. The primary thing I like better about the new GHOST vest is that it offers more adjustability than does the Stealth vest (which, I must say, is also an excellent vest). The thing I like about both the GHOST and the Stealth, is their low-profile concealability. The trade-off which must be considered is that this vest is not meant to stop rounds from a rifle such as an AK-47, an AR-15 or the like. Accordingly, this vest would not be my first recommendation if you’re going into battle. I do highly recommend it for civilians who are looking to protect themselves in a WROL or SHTF situation.
The GHOST vest is offers a high degree of adjustability, both in the shoulders and around the waist. This enables the wearer to achieve a custom, contoured, comfortable fit with their vest. This is especially nice for guys with larger chests – the bottom of the vest won’t be inclined to angle away from the body if adjusted properly. Each shoulder “flap,” I’ll call it, attaches to the body of the vest with Velcro. Another thing that’s nice about this vest, is there is plenty of space around the neck, so if you wear it under a button down shirt with the top unbuttoned, it won’t be visible.
What makes this vest so great if it doesn’t stop rifle rounds? The fact that it does stop most pistol calibers, including 9mm and even .357 magnum. The specs on this particular vest are shown below:
The construction of this vest is solid. The materials are top-notch — The ballistic panels are made of DuPont Kevlar, and the carrier is 100% Coolmax material. Here’s some good technical information on Kevlar from SafeGuard’s website:
Kevlar® has gone through several stages of development since first being introduced in the 1970’s. The first version, Kevlar® 29, was a revolutionary step for body armor, as it allowed for the production of protective panels that were both flexible and also easily concealable. This meant DuPont™ could now produce a piece of body armor that was lightweight, and that could be worn comfortably by people on a day to day basis. DuPont™ continued to develop Kevlar® for use in body armor, and in 1988 they released their second version, know as Kevlar® 129. This improved version was even lighter than Kevlar® 29, and offered increased ballistic protection for the wearer, including protection against high energy rounds from weapons like a 9mm FMJ.
The most recent version of Kevlar® was released in 1995 and named Kevlar® Correctional. This revolutionary version could stop attacks from knives and other such weapons, and led to the production of lightweight, multi-threat forms of body armor that were capable of stopping both ballistic and stab threats.
This type of vest is an excellent low-profile option for police, bodyguards and others who frequently put themselves in danger’s path doing their job. It’s also an excellent option for the civilian prepper like myself. Just look at the recent shooting at an ice rink in New York, where a teenager shot a man with a .22 because he wouldn’t hand over his coat. As of this article posting, the GHOST vest with level II ballistic and level I stab protection was available on SafeGuard ARMOR’s website for $476, including tax and shipping. For most of us, that’s a relatively steep price for a piece of gear, but in this case you’re getting what you pay for. In a WROL situation, crimes like the NY shooting mentioned above will increase dramatically – particularly when food and other resources become scarce. Of course an intelligent prepper will stock, or have access to, sufficient water and food supply as part of their preps. If you haven’t done that yet, get those and other essentials before investing in kit like this. That being said, a vest that will stop a pistol caliber just may save your life from a violent attack, giving you the opportunity to live, and shoot back, even after taking a surprise shot in the chest.