NIJ Levels

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What are NIJ ratings?

All standards and ratings of ballistic armor are set through the United States National Institute of Justice. The NIJ sets the minimum performance requirements and testing methods for personal body armor for the United States government, military, and law enforcement. The American Armor Association views these standards as the minimums they are and not as goals. All of our armor must exceed each and every standard set by the NIJ in order to meet our personal safety requirements for consumers. We provide only the highest quality body armor available.

How the American Armor Association uses NIJ ratings

The standards set by the United States National Institute of Justice are the benchmark for every piece of body armor for military and law enforcement. The levels provided by the National Institute of Justice serve as the rating system for all body armor. The American Armor Association only provides armor that not only meets but in fact exceeds all standards for ballistic, stab, spike, and edged blade attacks. The standard for ballistic protection set by NIJ III Standard 0101.06 is the minimum requirement for body armor. American Armor views these standards as minimums rather than goals and only sells armor that exceeds these standards to ensure maximum protection. Our armor has surpassed every requirement set by the NIJ in regards to not only the ballistic standard, but also NIJ Standard 0115.00 for stab, spike, and edged blade protection. Every aspect of our armor has surpassed every testing metric listed by the NIJ and the United States Government. We make only the best body armor because our customers deserve only the best protection.

Our Rating System

Bulletproof Vest Chart
The American Armor Association Bulletproof Vest Chart

NIJ Body Armor Levels

The National Institute of Justice provides levels as the rating system for all body armor and ballistic materials. All testing for body armor that meets the NIJ levels of protection is administered at independent, government approved weapons testing laboratories. At these facilities, the armor must be put through a grueling week-long torture test. This test uses a programmable cannon and engineered blades and spikes at specified drop weights against a composite backing material to determine the impact on a vest and the energy transferred beyond the vest to a the wearer to ensure that the wearer is protected against all threats. The armor is then subjected to firings after this initial testing to verify that the armor will remain resistant to all ballistic threats regardless of environmental conditions such as extreme heat or cold, and the armor must still meet all NIJ standards as before. American Armor exceeds every metric listed in these tests at the initial and subsequent firings. All testing is done at independent, third party testing laboratories that are approved by the United States government. The American Armor Association only sells armor that goes above and beyond all standards set by the United States government and has been certified by the NIJ.

NIJ Rating System

Body Armor NIJ Chart
NIJ Body Armor Testing Ballistic Standards Chart

The American Armor Association provides the highest quality personal body armor available. All of our tactical vests and plate carriers must also meet our rigorous production standards. Extensive consultation and field testing by multiple military units has been performed to hone the design of our products to their maximum tactical capabilities. An unimaginable number of tactical advancements has been implemented into our military grade tactical system carriers that come with every body armor package we offer.