NIJ Releases New Classifications For Physique Armor -The Firearm Weblog

The times of the outdated “ranges” of physique armor are coming to an finish. Lastly, the Nationwide Institute of Justice launched their long-awaited new armor classification information. Let’s check out NIJ 0101.07 and NIJ 0123.00 to see what the brand new rankings appear to be. 

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Historical past

For those who’ve ever checked out physique armor you’ve in all probability seen rankings like Stage III and Stage IV. In brief and with out getting too far into the weeds, Stage IIA, Stage II, and Stage IIIA have been for handgun rounds. Stage III and Stage IV have been for rifle rounds. “A” rankings point out a lesser score, so Stage IIA gives much less safety than Stage II. 

That system served nicely for a few years however doesn’t make that a lot sense. Stage IIIA doesn’t actually have a lot in frequent with Stage III. The ammunition sorts utilized in Stage III and Stage IV left a bizarre hole between these two. Some producers created their very own “III+” or “particular risk” rankings that cut up the distinction. That’s clearly not nice for consumers as a result of these rankings are usually not standardized or examined uniformly.

The developments mentioned earlier on this planet of armor led the NIJ to reevaluate the score system. There was speak of the brand new score system coming in 2018 or 2019, nevertheless it lastly arrived in late 2023. As anticipated, it addresses the IIIA/III confusion in addition to the III/IV hole. It additionally spells out the testing methodology in nice element.

NIJ 0101.07

The NIJ separated the brand new armor score system into two separate publications. 0101.07 covers (in exhaustive element) the testing protocol for varied sorts of armor. Issues like backface deformation calculations and the way near the sting of the armor take a look at rounds can hit. These checks additionally eat fairly a number of items of armor, in some circumstances as excessive as 83. NIJ testing shouldn’t be some man in a shed taking pictures one plate a few occasions and calling it good. Simply take a look at this movement chart for the testing course of for one sort of armor:

NIJ 0101.07, Determine H.3

One attention-grabbing diagram reveals the array of hits {that a} pattern exhausting armor plate should maintain with a purpose to go. The darkish spots are areas the place rounds will influence. Every spherical reveals the angle it can influence from. So the six hits on a multi-hit plate break down to a few head-on hits unfold round two inches from the sting of the plate, one angled hit at 30 levels on that very same line, one hit within the center high space of the plate, and one within the center space at an opposing 30-degree angle.

NIJ Releases New Classifications For Body Armor

NIJ 0101.07, Determine 10

NIJ 0101.07 is 87 pages lengthy and is stuffed with attention-grabbing particulars about how armor will likely be examined. For those who put on armor or are ready to purchase armor that different folks put on that is price a learn to know what armor is examined to do. It’s also actually essential to know what sorts of issues are usually not examined.

NIJ 0123.00

Most individuals will care extra about 0123.00 as they’re searching for new armor. There are 5 sorts of armor score. HG (for handgun) 1 and a pair of, and RF (for rifle) 1, 2, and three. First up we’ve the handgun ranges. The outdated system was, so as of accelerating safety, IIA, II, and IIIA, which makes virtually no sense. Shifting to solely two rankings is sensible as a result of IIA is pretty unusual as of late.

There are solely two handgun safety ranges beneath NIJ 0123.00. HG1 handles 9mm and .357 magnum threats. HG2 additionally covers 9mm and provides .44 magnum. Of observe, the take a look at spec for the 9mm load for HG1 is 1,305 toes per second. For HG2 the required velocity is 1,430 toes per second. That could be a sout load with 124-grain 9mm ammo. Each of these hundreds are working fairly a bit sooner than the 1,000-1,100 FPS that 124-grain ammo will do from the common handgun, and look extra like submachinegun (HG1) and 16″+ PCC (HG2) stats. The magnum revolver hundreds each clock in at 1,430 toes per second. 

 

NIJ Releases New Classifications For Body Armor

NIJ 1023.00, Desk 1

Turning to rifle threats, there are actually three choices as an alternative of two. RF1 is the bottom degree and gives safety in opposition to 7.62 NATO, 7.62×39 with a gentle metal core, and 5.56 M193. RF2 retains these risk ranges and provides 5.56 M855. The NIJ specifies 3,250 FPS for the M193 and three,115 FPS for the M855 hundreds. These are spicy velocities made potential by a 20-inch barrel, which is the true and proper barrel size. RF2 additionally fills the area for a “particular risk” plate, with safety in opposition to the metal core within the M855 however not full-on precise armor-piercing projectiles.

Rounding out the record is RF3, which is simply examined with .30-06 M2 armor piercing (aka black tip) ammo. That could be a brutal spherical, and if it could possibly deal with the ~80-grain metal core of the M2 AP load at 2,880 FPS then every thing else will likely be straightforward. This additionally necessitates altering “Are these plates Stage IV” jokes to “Are these plates RF3” jokes.

NIJ Releases New Classifications For Body Armor

NIJ 0123.00, Desk 2

Conclusion

I’m not an knowledgeable on this subject, nevertheless it looks as if NIJ 0123.00 and 0101.07 are enhancements to the outdated “Stage” system. Seeing {that a} piece of armor is HG2-rated or RF1-rated offers a really clear distinction, not like the outdated IIIA/III overlap. This new system clearly builds on the older requirements and makes them simpler to know for the common purchaser, and that may be a win in my guide.

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NIJ Releases New Classifications For Body Armor -The Firearm Blog is written by Daniel Y for www.thefirearmblog.com

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