Ballistic Protection: Choosing The Right Body Armor

BALLISTIC PROTECTION: CHOOSING THE RIGHT BODY ARMOR

When selecting the appropriate body armor for your mission, our experts can help track down the best solution based on:

  • Certifications
  • Armor Types
  • Ratings
  • Threat Level

CERTIFICATION: NIJ VS. MIL-SPEC National Institute of Justice (NIJ): Ballistic threats faced in domestic situations:

  • Federal, State and Local Agencies
  • DoD CONUS: Army, Navy, USAF, and USMC

Mil-spec: Proprietary and classified in-theater military threats:

  • DoD OCONUS: Army, Navy, USAF, USMC, and SOCOM
  • Hard armor, such as SAPI, ESAPI, ESBI, or SPEAR rifle plates, are certified in conjunction with soft armor packages

ARMOR TYPES, RATINGS & THREAT LEVEL

Certification: NIJ
Armor Type: Soft
Ratings: Level IIA, Level II, and Level IIIA Threat Level: Shrapnel and lower velocity projectile protection, such as handguns or submachine gun ammunition

Certification: NIJ
Armor Type: Hard
Ratings: Level III and Level IV Threat Level: Rifle protection—Level III is certified for a single hit while Level IV combination plates protect against multiple hits

Steel Plates

Thin, heavy Exceptionally durable and typically constructed of MARS armored plate Recommended for concealment applications Available up to NIJ Level

Polyethylene Plates

Thick, light High impact resistance and moderately durable compared to steel plates Recommended for maritime applications: Neutral or positive buoyancy Poor performance against steel core rifle ammunition (standard U.S. issue 5.56mm M855)

Ceramic Plates

Weight and thickness vary greatly (highly configurable to specific needs) Lower durability compared to steel or polyethylene Recommended for most situations: Industry standard and only material rated to stop NIJ Level IV threats Available in NIJ level III and IV

Learn More about Ballistic Protection

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