International school shootings, racially or ethnically motivated attacks, and terrorist attacks are numerous and deeply distressing and terrifying. You never know what's going to happen the next moment. More and more people pay more attention to their own safety and protection work. However, there are a wide variety of ballistic equipments on the market，and there ballistic levels are difference. Do you know what kind of product and NIJ level to choose when purchasing protective equipments? The following article will tell you how to choose the right product when faced with NIJ level.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is known as the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and is responsible for improving the understanding of crime and justice issues through science. So, what does this mean for you? The NIJ is the department in charge of setting, testing, and advancing the bulletproof standards associated with purchasable body armor. These standards ensure a certain level of safety from ballistic protection—if used correctly—and are helpful when deciding which protection works best for your needs.
The various ratings established by the NIJ refer to a body armor unit’s ballistic performance—or the ability to handle the impact of a bullet without being penetrated and also without blunt trauma to the body.T he NIJ sets different standards of protection levels based upon the caliber and speed of a bullet that a piece of body armor is capable of handling. More larger and faster bullet that a piece of armor can handle, more higher the NIJ rating it will achieve. How does the NIJ test its standards? Relevant testing departments take multiple samples from each piece of commercial body armor, let them wear out, and then continue to conduct follow-up tests months and years later. If an armor is NIJ grade, then its product integrity will be super high.
What are the different ballistic levels of the NIJ?
Listed below are the five basic NIJ ballistic protection ratings along with their tested capabilities and which types of armor they are most commonly associated with.
The NIJ IIA rating is designed to effectively absorb a lower velocity 9mm round or a .40 Smith & Wesson (S&W) round, which is typically fired from a lightweight handgun. Armor rated at the NIJ standard IIA are most commonly lightweight ballistic vests—often weighing in far below 10 pounds, much due to its thin layering of aramid fibers. Level IIA protection is well suited for use by law enforcement looking for protection against low velocity ammunition.
Like the IIA rating, armor with the brief NIJ II rating is capable of handling the impact of a 9mm or .40 SW bullet, but is slightly thicker and able to handle higher velocity 9mm ammunition— as well as a .357 Magnum round. This means that body armor with the NIJ II rating is heavier and bulkier than that stamped with the IIA rating. The II rating is commonly found on ballistic vests.
While thicker and heavier duty than level II, the materials used to construct IIIA rated armor are still soft and somewhat flexible. Armor with this rating is capable of protecting against .44 Magnum or 9mm submachine gun ammunition. Body armor with the IIIA rating continues to grow bulkier than that of the ratings below it. This level is often offered in vests, but also used in other ballistic protection—like a deployable shield built from Kevlar.
With the jump to the level III rating, armor is now able to handle small-caliber rifle rounds—like a 7.62mm bullet fired from an AK-47 or SKS rifle. It’s important to note that armor with level III protection comes equipped with solid ballistic plates, which also significantly increases the weight of the protection. This type of protection is designed specifically to handle tactical situations and confrontations with more serious firepower.
The highest level of the NIJ ratings, level IV, can withstand the impact of up to a .30 armor-piercing rifle.Level IV armor is most ballistic protection offered in current day, and is what is issued to soldiers in the military. The high weight associated with IV rated protection makes it difficult to use for someone who is not properly trained.
How to choose the right NIJ bulletproof grade for you?
First, consiering where it is that you might need it and how you plan on using it. Of course, more higher the NIJ rating more protection available.Typically, a higher rated piece of body armor will be thicker and heavier than a lower rated piece, which can not only make it difficult to use but store. Usual don’t want to skimp on protection for something that is ultra-lightweight. As you can see, balance is key. Considering that most gun crimes in the United States involve 38 caliber and smaller handguns as well as semi-automatic 9mm handguns, choosing a piece of body armor with a NIJ rating of level II should be adequate. However, if you are looking for more protection without too much weight or hassle, a piece with a NIJ IIIA rating might fit the bill perfectly. The IIIA rating will do a better job of stopping larger, faster bullets and is offered in easier-to-use applications than the typical vest.In any case, it is vital to choose an NIJ bulletproof rated product that suits your own needs,everyone is the first person responsible for their own healthy and safety.