John Sun Data:
September 3, 2021 at 2:58 pm
we sat down
While you have some great ideas here, I think you have some unrealistic expectations from the NIJ when it comes to ballistic threat testing. While I would like to see more comprehensive and rigorous ratings, keep in mind that the NIJ is a civil/domestic LE rating system. It is intended for civilians and law enforcement to protect themselves from everyday domestic threats. Your qualifications proposed here seem really designed for the military to counter peer-to-peer threats, which I feel is unnecessary for Conus. It's also important to remember that the more subjects you want, the higher the costs, which in turn are passed on to the end user/consumer. Each test lap is loaded individually to ensure sufficient speeds. Current NIJ speeds are already generally a realistic worst-case scenario. I think the only thing that might be missing here is the size of the cost factor for retail and LE customers.
In my opinion it would be better to have more skill levels with less types of trial rounds. For example, test for 7.62×39 API and M855A1 instead of M855, 7.62×39 MSC, M855A1 and 7.62×39 API. M855A1 and API 7.62×39 are bigger threats than MSC and M855, so there shouldn't be a need to test those rounds either. There must be enough overlap.
Also, I think having ratings for M2AP or foreign hardened steel core threats at >3000 FPS is unnecessary. The current NIJ .06 Tier 4 rating already represents the M2 AP Hardened Steel Core at 2880 +/- 50 FPS. In fact, this speed is already faster than you would normally see with excess M2 AP. The NIJ hand loads these rounds and fires them from a 22" barrel to achieve their velocities. Also, for foreign threats I will only use 7.62x54R 7N13 as part of the Russian BR5 classification as my example which is a core projectile of 148 gram hardened steel which they test at 2723 +/- 49 FPS This will be a similar threat to the M2 AP and I think there is no need to test it against other foreign AP threats which function similarly and are incredibly rare of find in the USA.
With that said, I would personally suggest this. This represents common CONUS threats. (This is just a rough idea.)
RF1: Bola M80 (6x 2780 FPS), M193 (6x 3250 FPS), M855 (6x 3150 FPS)
RF2: Bola M80 (6x 2780 FPS), M855A1 (6x 3150 FPS)
RF3: 7,62x54R FMJ (3x 2760 FPS), 0,30-06 FMJ (3x 3000 FPS), M855A1 (6x 3150 FPS)
RF4: 0,30-06 M2AP (3x 2880 FPS)
I assume RF1 would cover mild steel core and FMJ threats. I agree with you, the proliferation of PE boards that fail to stop the M855 is worrying. The use cases are incredibly specific, and most people buy these boards without realizing they're not impeding the steel core.
Also, I think RF2 would be a "Light AP" rated board (I know A1 is not AP), I think RF3 would be a "Light AP" plus FMJ Hunting Rifle / Large Caliber Rifle Protection, and then RF4 would be a more complete protection AP.
I'm not sure if RF3 is needed or not and if it should be included in RF4.
Their numbered rounds of 7.62×39 MSC and M855 would be covered by RF1 and later. Its M855A1 numbered round would be covered by RF2 and higher. Its numbered 6.8mm NGSW (FMJ) cartridge would be covered by RF3 and higher. So 7.62x54R MSC, M80A1 and M2 AP would be covered by RF4.
In my opinion, your RF4 and RF5 threat profiles are unnecessary for CONUS. The shorter barreled M995 and M993 (16") can already be stopped quite often with domestic Tier 4 disks. If we talk about speeds of 3200-3400 FPS, this would not stop, but I think it would probably be unnecessary. The current ESAPI Rev J is rated for 3 shots of the M995 at 3350 FPS however only the XSAPI is rated for the M993 at 3200 FPS (I think the LTC 28595 is too but not sure).
RF5 would be an incredibly specific use. 50 BMG boards actually exist in the United States, they were originally made by Ceradyne for helicopter pilots and static defense. These were rated for 50 BMG FMJ. Well, the Russian GOST BR6 classification covers 12.7 x 108 mm API, but again, this is a military classification system and I don't think it's strictly necessary to use CONUS.
The threat ratings you describe would be great if we merged our military and civilian armor rating system, but I don't think that's entirely feasible or a wise choice as both will face very different threats.
He mentioned that our industry is currently stagnant, the civilian industry, but mainly because of the cost. The really innovative shielding systems are incredibly expensive (you can bet companies like Ceradyne or LTC are innovative). Only a limited amount is possible with inexpensive materials such as alumina ceramics, fiberglass, aramid and less expensive PE. As I mentioned earlier, cost is a major barrier for the civil defense industry, most civilians and law enforcement cannot afford the armor that the military pays for. So the cheap materials we have to work with are limited.
If Honeywell and DSM suddenly cut their PE prices, or Cerco, Bitossi and Coorstek suddenly cut their boron carbide and silicon carbide prices, I'm sure we would see a lot more innovation in the construction industry. However, due to costs and the resulting low demand, it is currently not worth squeezing the juice. Furthermore, there are so many ways to make a ballistic plate these days that the next leap in innovation must come from materials. We have been using (mostly) the same materials since the 1970's and 1980's, it's clear that the individual components have improved as we now have Dyneema HB212 or SB117 and better ceramic manufacturing processes and ceramic reinforcement techniques. But none of that would bring a big jump in performance.
I've read a bit about potential new materials like boron suboxide, aluminum dodecabiride, and AlMgB14. I'm not a materials scientist so I just read it for fun, but it seems the general consensus at the moment is that these materials show promise but are too expensive and difficult to synthesize to be commercially viable at this time. (There's a little post on the Diamond Age blog about this.)
Now for the points I completely agree with you on (because there are a few).
1. I completely agree with the "multi-hit" protection. NIJ .07 changed the requirements for the M80 ball to 3 shots and set the round count for the M855, 7.62×39 MSC and M193 to 3 shots each and then increased the number of test fields required. I think they should have stuck with 6 shots each.
You can now certify up to 3 M2 AP shots with the RF3 NIJ 0.07 (draft), but honestly I think 2 should be the minimum. This mainly serves to prevent ceramic tiles from being constructed erroneously without a suitable adhesive bond between the ceramic and the support (eg AR500...).
2. I completely agree with the reduction of the minimum lateral distance throw. Now I can understand your reasoning behind this first. The edges of a ceramic plate have reduced performance, especially with round APs like the M2 AP. This is mainly due to the fracture conoid (Hertzian crack) not having enough space to develop properly, reducing the amount of ceramic material with which the indenter core interacts. Too bad it was misused. I think it should be shortened to 1 inch and there should be a requirement for full edge-to-edge ceramic coverage.
3. Quality Control and LIABILITY.
This is something I've been screaming about for over a year now (and people seem to ignore me). BRAND CHANGING OF CHINESE LICENSES SHOULD BE ILLEGAL. REPEATED NIJ AUDIT ERRORS (CUSTOMIZATION ERRORS) AND RECALLS MUST HAVE ACTUAL CONSEQUENCES. It's absolutely amazing how some companies (I won't name names) seem to legitimately not be interested in their end users.
There is currently some level of NIJ testing and follow-up inspections (FIT) responsibility for certified boards, but I don't think this happens often enough (only once every 2 years for ISO certified companies) and there are no real consequences for NIJ audit error chains and recalls. Many people don't even know that the NIJ recommendation list exists, I'm sure some people would be incredibly surprised to see how often some brands fail the FITS.
If you've been at this this long, thanks for listening to my babbling. In general, I think I agree with most of your points. I just disagree with your suggested test rounds, I think they would be better suited to a military ranking system.
What is the current NIJ standard? ›
NIJ HG1 is the same standard as Level/Type II body armor, designed to protect against 9mm luger FMJ round nose bullets at 124 grain. The velocity of the bullet has to be less than 1,305 ft/s (398 m/s) for the NIJ HG1 to protect you.What is NIJ IIIA standards? ›
NIJ-IIIA rated ballistic body armor that is conditioned must resist 125g . 357 SIG FMJ FN projectiles with a velocity of 1410 fps and 240g . 44 Magnum projectile with a velocity of 1340 fps. With the NIJ-IIIA body armor rating you are protected against almost all handgun rounds.What is level HG2 armor? ›
HG2. This armor would protect against six (three for S-sized panel) hits, fired from 5 meters, of: 8.0±0.1 g (123±1.54 gr) 9×19mm Parabellum DM11 FMJ round-nose lead-core bullets at a velocity of 390±10 m/s. 10.2±0.1 g (158±1.54 gr) .357 Magnum R375M3 JSP bullets at a velocity of 430±10 m/s.Is Hexar armor good? ›
In our latest NIJ certification test Hexar exceeded the test requirements in a way that shows durability, an excellent margin of safety, and low trauma to the body as compared to other hard armor plates on the market.What does NIJ 0101.06 mean? ›
This document, NIJ Standard–0101.06, “Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor,” is a minimum performance standard developed in collaboration with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).What will NIJ 0101.06 stop? ›
Level Tested to stop 9mm and . 357 Magnum III rifle ammunition.Can Civilians Buy Level 3 armor? ›
A civilian may purchase any level of body armor they wish, from level IIA to level IV. There is no level 5 body armor. If you are a resident of Connecticut, you are not allowed to purchase body armor outside of a face-to-face transaction, but all body armor is still legal for civilians to own.Whats better level 3 or 3A armor? ›
Level III body armor is stronger than Level IIIA because it defeats rifle caliber rounds. Level III will always have a hard plate insert that must be tested in a conditioned state. The NIJ tests Level III conditioned armor against a 7.62mm FMJ (M80 military) weighing 147 grain and a muzzle velocity of 2,780 ft/s.Will Level 3 body armor stop a 308? ›
Will Level 3 Body Armor Stop a . 308 Winchester? Yes, a NIJ Level III body armor plate will stop a 7.62 x 51mm bullet from penetration. As with anything, there are caveats to what armor will stop hand-loaded ammo.What level armor do cops wear? ›
What level body armor do police wear? Most patrol officers choose to wear level IIIA soft armor vests for their everyday wear while on duty. But this is often supplemented with level III and IV 5 x 8 or 7 x 9 hard plates that can come in small form factors for inclusion with everyday duty wear.
Does level4 armor exist? ›
RMA Armament manufactures not only affordable and lightweight level 4 armor plates, but also the world's strongest level 4 armor plate ever to exist. All RMA Armament level 4 body armor plates are available to American civilians, law enforcement, and military agencies and personnel.What level armor does Russia use? ›
Ratnik protects almost 90% of a soldier's body. The main body armor with plates, designated 6B45 '6Б45', is rated at protection class 6, according to GOST R 50744-95, and weighs 7.5 kg (with the Assault variant weighing up to 15 kg).What is the most advanced armor? ›
SAPI and ESAPI are the most technically advanced body armor fielded by the U.S. military, and are constructed of boron carbide ceramic with a Spectra shield backing that breaks down projectiles and halts their momentum.Who made the best armor? ›
1) Milanese Plate Armor
The Italian city was home to world-class craftsmen who were innovators in their field. Milanese plate armor production reached its peak during the 1400s and into the early 1500s.
These guardians understand an AR-15's mass murder capability — and so should we. AR-15 bullets can penetrate the soft body armor typically worn by police, which is built to stop handgun rounds.What level body armor stops 9mm? ›
Level II can stop 9mm and . 357 Magnum ammunition fired from short barrel handguns. Level IIIA is tested to stop .What is the highest NIJ level? ›
The NIJ tests this armor to withstand 7.62mm FMJ lead core rifle ammunition. Level IV: Level IV is the strongest body armor available and it's designed specifically for military applications. It can stop . 30cal steel core armor-piercing rifle ammunition.What level armor stops ar15? ›
Level III – Designed to stop a 7.62 x 39 full metal jacket AK round or . 223 ammo like that used by the popular AR-15. This is the minimum needed to stop bullets from any of the major assault rifles.Will a ballistic shield stop an AR 15? ›
Most of the ballistic shields that police brought in response to the mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school weren't strong enough to stop bullets from the gunman's "AR-15-style" rifle, an investigation found.Does NIJ certified matter? ›
Certified products will have the NIJ watermark on their label. NIJ Certifications are important because law enforcement can only qualify for BJA funding assistance for body armor that meets the NIJ Standard 0101.03 or any subsequent revision, including the latest NIJ Standard 0101.06 certification code (Gist).
What states ban body armor? ›
New York State is the only state that restricts its citizens of their constitutional right to purchase body armor. According to the overreaching New York State Penal Law Section 270.21, "Unlawful purchase of body armor is a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class E felony for any subsequent offense."What caliber will a Level 3 vest stop? ›
Level III plates are designed to stop six spaced hits of 7.62X51MM NATO (Full Metal Jacket) travelling at 2,750 feet per second. This is roughly equivalent to the common . 308 Winchester hunting round.What level armor does Swat wear? ›
Depending on the agency, SWAT Teams can wear a rifle plate ranging from Level IV armor piercing rated, Level III+ which stops rounds like the . 308, Green Tip rated plates and Level III rifle rated plates. Many of these Level III also stop . 308 rounds.What will stop a 5.56 round? ›
- Steel. Steel bulletproof materials are heavy duty, yet at just a few millimeters thick, extremely effective in stopping modern firearm rounds. ...
- Ceramic. ...
- Fiberglass. ...
- Wood. ...
- Kevlar. ...
- Polyethylene. ...
Handgun Protection – Level IIIA
Under NIJ 0101.06 requirements, level IIIA armor is tested against . 357 SIG and . 44 MAG. However, level IIIA body armor is capable of stopping most handgun rounds on the market.
Level IV body armor will stop pistol rounds, rifle rounds, even 30-06 steel-core armor penetrating rounds! What is the highest-rated body armor? Level IV (4) is the highest rating of personal body armor. There is no such thing as Level V (5) body armor at this time.What level body armor do Marines use? ›
The U.S. military wears only NIJ-Listed Level 4 plates in active combat environments, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and small conflicts in Africa and South America. The reason they always wear 4 is the protection it offers versus Level 3 plates.Can 308 penetrate level 4 armor? ›
The only protection level that can stop a 30-06, . 308, or 7mm Rem Mag is a NIJ-Listed Level IV body armor. Level IV can stop these rounds.What caliber will body armor stop? ›
Level 3A/IIIA body armor is meant to stop handgun caliber bullets, including everything from a . 22, 9mm, . 45 ACP, .What kind of body armor does the FBI use? ›
For the men and women in law enforcement, being protected from threats like bullets, stabbing weapons and fire is critical.
Do undercover cops wear bulletproof vests? ›
For Detectives or those serving undercover covert armor is particularly important. Any Law Enforcement Officer should be protected at all times, but for those who want to blend in with a crowd a covert bullet proof vest should be worn.What is level 7 body armor? ›
UL 752 Level 7 Bullet-Resistant Barriers
Most commonly used as a protection barrier against multiple shots from a military assault rifle, such as the M-16, and the like, with muzzle energy of 1158-1402 foot-pounds (1570-1901J).
Finally, a slug is unlikely to penetrate body armor, but it transmits sufficient energy through the vest to cause massive and often debilitating injury.Can Level 4 armor stop a 50 cal? ›
Can Level 4 armor stop 50 BMG? Absolutely not! Unfortunately a 50 caliber BMG is just too fast and powerful for the human body to stop. With a muzzle velocity of 3,044 ft/s and an energy of 13,310 ft-lbs force, this bullet impact alone will destroy your skeletal structure.What body armor does China use? ›
What's New In The Chinese Armor? According to Zhu's team, grass carp, a freshwater fish, inspired their new type of scaled armor. Its grass carp's scales are highly resistant to piercing and biting, allowing the fish to escape from a predator's jaws more quickly.Can a Russian suit stop a 50 cal? ›
Bulletproof. The Russian state-owned military developer Rostec says that its next generation of combat armor will be able to withstand a direct shot from a . 50 caliber bullet.What will stop a 50 BMG? ›
Common bulletproof materials include:
- Steel. ...
- Ceramic. ...
- Fiberglass. ...
- Wood. ...
- Kevlar. ...
- Polyethylene. ...
The PLA has started to procure body armors for soldiers on large scale since March 2020, with 1.4 million body armor on order, which includes 930,000 units of plates for universal bulletproof vests and 467,000 units of plates for an enhanced bulletproof vest.What armor can stop 50 cal? ›
The U.S. Army's new Modular Scalable Vest armor plate. The U.S. Army's Modular Scalable Vest is capable of stopping 7.62-millimeter rounds, but weighs a total of 22.6 pounds. About one and a quarter inch of AR500-grade steel plate will stop a . 50 caliber bullet but steel is extremely heavy.What is the newest body armor technology? ›
TenCate Advanced Armour has introduced the Cratus Wave, a new thin Level III body armor ballistic insert with a patented design that redirects the pressure wave trapped between the wearer and the hard armor plates that are inserted into the front and back pockets of body armor carriers, thereby reducing the back face ...
What is the strongest body armour material? ›
Kevlar is the fabric that revolutionized the way of protecting people in dangerous professions. The Kevlar material turned out to be stronger than steel, while its threads can be woven into a cloth or used to create a variety of technical devices that are distinguished by their strength and resistance to flame.What is the most high tech body armor? ›
Kevlar® is one of the most reliable technologies in soft body armor. This synthetic composite “fabric” was developed by DuPont™ in the 1970s and continues to be used in soft armor systems today because of its lab- and field-tested performance.Do armor plates expire? ›
While there are many misconceptions around the topic, your life can depend on knowing the signs of expired armor. Body armor, and many other kinds of defense gear, are manufactured with an expiration date. Typically, between five to ten years depending on the manufacturer's warranty.Are ceramic plates better than steel? ›
Ceramic is better at absorbing and dispersing energy than steel. This will result in less broken ribs, broken sternum, and collapsed lungs. Ceramic does better against supersonic armor-piercing bullets than steel.What is the most protective armour? ›
Bulletproof vests at Levels I-IIIa use soft materials like Kevlar®, which are incredibly strong and can trap and slow bullets to a complete stop. A bulletproof vest at Level IIIa can stop the vast majority of ammunition used in handguns and is the strongest soft body armor available.What is the oldest body armour? ›
The oldest known Western armor is the Dendra panoply, dating from the Mycenaean Era around 1400 BC. Mail, also referred to as chainmail, is made of interlocking iron rings, which may be riveted or welded shut. It is believed to have been invented by Celtic people in Europe about 500 BC.What is the oldest armor ever found? ›
Bronze scales were found at Mycenae and Troy; scale armour, the oldest form of metal body armor, was used widely throughout the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East. In May 1960 Swedish archaeologists discovered the earliest example of a beaten bronze cuirass at Dendra, dated at the end of the fifteenth century BC.Are hesco 4800 NIJ certified? ›
Hesco Ballistic Inserts are manufactured to the highest quality standards at our state-of-the-art facility in Aberdeen, Washington, USA. Tested and verified to meet or exceed ballistic resistance as specified under NIJ Standard-0101.06 plus Special Threats validated.What is NIJ level IV standard? ›
NIJ Body Armor Ballistic Level IV are the highest rated hard armor plates under the NIJ standards. They are designed to take one hit from an Armor Piercing 30.06 traveling at a velocity of 2880 ft/s. This test will remain the same for the 01010.07 standard.What is the difference between NIJ Level 3 and 4? ›
Protection level 3 and 4
The difference is what type of projectiles they stop. A level 3 plate stop most handguns and a level 4 also stop some rifles. Our NIJ level 3 (III) plate is tested against NIJ standard 0101.06 against 6 shots from a 7.62x51 cartridge.
Is Level 3+ NIJ certified? ›
For advanced threat protection, we suggest AR550 level III+ plates (single curve, full coat) which have been NIJ certified under level III specifications but special threat tested up to level III+. NIJ certified armor with a level IV rating provides the best ballistic protection on the market.What is the strongest armor plating? ›
Level 4 body armor plates offer the most protection of any other threat-protection level that our government recognizes. However, there is a lot of misunderstanding around the type of plate that most soldiers wear.What level armor do police wear? ›
What level body armor do police wear? Most patrol officers choose to wear level IIIA soft armor vests for their everyday wear while on duty. But this is often supplemented with level III and IV 5 x 8 or 7 x 9 hard plates that can come in small form factors for inclusion with everyday duty wear.What is the highest NIJ rating? ›
LEVEL IV. Level IV is the highest rifle plate rating under the NIJ personal body armor specs at this time. A level IV must stop a single hit of 7.62MM AP “Black Tip”, which is effectively a . 30-06 Armor Piercing bullet.Should I buy level 3 or level 4 body armor? ›
In most cases, Level III + body armor is enough to get the job done, but sometimes it requires Level IV body armor. Whether you're from the Border Patrol, F.B.I., N.S.A., A.T.F,,D.E.A., U.S. Marshals, or the D.H.S., you need armor that will defeat the widest range of rifle threats.Should I get level 3 or level 4 armor? ›
The trade-off between the level of protection and wearability is the main point to think about when deciding which armor to wear. Level IV armor is going to be heavier and reduce your mobility, whereas Level III will offer protection against most rifles and pistols and offer better mobility.Can civilians buy Level 4 body armor? ›
Can Civilians Own Level 4 Body Armor? The good news for most civilians is we are allowed to own and wear Level 4 body armor in public spaces if we choose to do so. That is unless you're a convicted felon or are using the body armor to commit a criminal act.Will Level 3+ armor stop M855? ›
A Level 3+ armor plate will stop a M193 NATO round, but it will not stop a M855 or M855A1 round. Even with all the different brands of Level 3+, none are guaranteed to stop a 5.56mm Green-Tip bullet (M855).What body armor will stop a 308? ›
Level III polyethylene plates are ultra-lightweight and can stop rifle bullets up to and including 7.62mm/. 308 caliber.