What are the standards implemented by the National Institute of Justice?
Why body armor?
Why body armor?
Firearms have shown to be a threat to a lot of lives all around the world, including the United States. Body armor has come into play, safeguarding the life of a lot of people, for at least the last three decades. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene conducted a study, where they compared officers that wore body armor daily to those who did not. Results showed how officers who do not wear body armor as a routine are 3.4 times more likely to be fatally injured from a torso shot than those officers who do wear protection. Law enforcement and correction officers have relied, and continue to do so, on the protection provided by bulletproof vests. But how do they choose the right protection? The answer is by following the NIJ standards.
What does NIJ stand for?
Not everyone’s armor is made to shield the same impact, reason why there are various levels of protection that need to be taken into consideration. Therefore, when choosing the right body armor, it is essential to ensure that it adheres to the protection level you need. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by following certain common standards. Even though there are several standards set by different departments, the most widely used guidelines are those set by the National Institute of Justice, recognized as one of the world leaders at standardizing body protection. The NIJ standard is the only one that is nationally accepted for the body armor worn by law enforcement, which proves why it is the most reliable and used measurement. When handling body armor, the NIJ has three specific tasks, the first one being the establishment and update of voluntary minimum performance guidelines for the body armor. Secondly, they are to conduct testing against those standards to make sure that the body armor in question meets those guidelines. The other major task the NIJ is responsible for is sponsoring research with the ultimate goal of improving body armor in general, since technology and new discoveries are constantly improving and growing.
What is the standard used now?
The NIJ Standard-0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor was released on July of 2008 by the National Institute of Justice. The “.06” standard is responsible for setting the minimum performance requirements and examination methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor meant to shield impacts directed at the torso. Something to take into consideration is that the fact that this new standard has been imposed does not mean that the body armor models that comply with the .04 standards are invalidated. However, it is recommended to follow the new standard rather than the old one. Also, the NIJ Standard-0101.06 requires more rigorous testing of ballistic armor.
What does NIJ level I protection include?
The first level of the National Institute of Justice is NIJ Level I, which is the most basic level of protection. This armor protects against .22 caliber Long Rifle Lead Round Nose (LR LRN) bullets with nominal masses of 2.6 g (40 gr) impacting at a velocity of at least 320 m/s (1050 ft./s). It also protects against 380 ACP Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 6.2 g (95 gr) with a velocity impact of 312 m/s (1025 ft./s) or less. In more general terms, this level of body armor protection shields against the impact of small handguns only.
What does NIJ level IIA protection include?
The second level of protection, NIJ Level IIA is a little more complete than the first one in the sense that it not only protects against small handguns but also against low velocity handguns as well. This type of body armor protects against 9mm Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) at a minimum velocity of 332 m/s (1090 ft./s) and .40 S&W caliber Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) bullets with nominal masses of 11.7 g (180 gr) at a minimum velocity of 312 m/s (1025 ft./s) or less. Additionally, it protects against Level I threats as well. NIJ Level II protection is usually required by police departments and full-time guards.
What does NIJ level II protection include?
The third level is referred to as NIJ Level II because it is basically the same thing as NIJ Level IIA, but with a little more of protection. Instead of just shielding impacts from small handguns and low velocity handguns, it also protects against high velocity handguns. In more specific terms, it shields impacts of .357 Magnum jacketed soft-point bullets with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr.) going at a velocity of 425 m/s (1,395 ft./s) or less and against 9mm full-jacketed bullets with nominal velocities of 358 m/s (1,175 ft./s). It is also great protection against most of the other factory loads in caliber .357 Magnum and 9mm and is assumed that it also protects against the Level I and IIA threats. This type of body armor tends to be heavier and with more bulk than the levels before it. It is usually worn by full time officers.
What does NIJ level IIIA protection include?
The National Institute of Justice provides levels that range from NIJ Level I all the way to NIJ Level III. In between those there is NIJ Level IIIA, which is one of the most commonly sought levels of body armor protection. A person that is looking for a complete protection that can be worn daily usually refers to this level. This armor protects against impacts from a .44 Magnum, semi jacketed hollow point (SJHP) bullets with nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft./s) or less, and against 9mm full-metal jacketed bullets with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 426 m/s (1,400 ft./s) or less. NIJ Level IIIA also protects bullets from small handguns, low velocity handguns, high velocity handguns, high powered handguns and sub machine guns.
What does NIJ level III protection include?
After NIJ Level IIIA, the next level of protection is called NIJ Level III. This level protects against impacts from 7.62mm full-metal jacketed bullets (US military designation M80) with nominal masses of 9.7 g (150 gr.) impacting at a velocity of 838 m/s (2,750 ft./s) or less. Also, it provides protection against threats such as 223 Remington (5.56mm FMJ), 30 Carbine FMJ, and 12-gauge rifled slug, as well as Level I through IIIA threats. NIJ Level III is considered one of the best levels, since it protects from a larger range of guns. Specifically, it can receive bullets from small handguns, low velocity handguns, high velocity handguns, high powered handguns, sub machine guns, machine guns, high powered rifles as well as assault rifles.
The Best Body Armor
The Best Body Armor is a company that specializes on providing the highest quality of body armor at the lowest prices. It not only offers body armor that has surpassed the Department of Justice guidelines but that also exceeds National Institute of Justice standards for NIJ IIIA and NIJ III. All the products are assembled and manufactured here in the United States, and come with a 10-year warranty included. Every unit is to be custom made to spec, hand inspected individually, and sold direct from a United States government sanctioned body armor manufacturer. We offer one size vest, since they can be easily adjusted to any body type. All the body armor is tested by independent, government sanctioned weapons labs, and each vest is individually made and inspected for each customer to provide a vest that offers maximum protection against any attack. All the plates are made with a specialized shooter cut to provide the maximum coverage possible while also having enough space for good mobility.
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