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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, i was wondering if anyone has a link that explains in depth the different levels in bulletproof vests (up to IIIA if possible).

thanx.
 

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Hi Chifus, Google would probably have been easier than posting it here.

I typed into Google "bullet proof vest levels". The fourth link odwn was wikipedia. On the page it says what the levels are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_vest

I don't want to sound rude, but it took me less time to find it on Google than it did for you to make the thread...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
oh i did google it, but wikipedia is made up of user entries, there could be certain things there that are not entirely accurate.

I was hoping for something LE related. Department standards, or something extremely easy to read. NIJ tables are good, but non-gun people are not gonna understand them.

edit:
Found the NIJ standards on: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/223054.pdf


Even found a pic of certain calibers that's easy to understand:




Hoping to find some sort of LE link that explains it in simple terms.
 

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Sorry, I guess I missunderstood your initial question. If you're not looking for NIJ tables what are you looking for? I still don't quite get it.

You mentioned department standards, but even if a department has standards for vest levels, it's not going to go into detail about the difference of the levels...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, I guess I missunderstood your initial question. If you're not looking for NIJ tables what are you looking for? I still don't quite get it.

You mentioned department standards, but even if a department has standards for vest levels, it's not going to go into detail about the difference of the levels...
You're right, my first post needs more detail.

I was wondering if different LE departments have requirements for vests. I dont know if they use NIJ or not.

But say for example, if they use IIIA as a minimum or level II. And/or what calibers should they stop. Hopefully a link to department's requirements for vests, one that says (they should made out of XXX material, be able to withstand up to XX caliber, etc.. etc..)

I was reading on the newspapers today that local LE bought 10k vests that are supposed to be IIIA, according to NIJ a IIIA vest should be able to stop up to 44 magnum.

BUT, they did a test on them (the ones they bought) and 9mm wolf ammo went through them, the company explained that criminals down here use "banned bullets that use steel elements", and that these banned bullets are able to pierce through IIIA vests. They also argued that 9mm wolf uses "steel elements" and that's why it pierced the IIIA vests, according to them 9mm NATO rounds dont penetrate the new vests.

I've never heard of wolf ammo having amazing piercing capabilities. or bullets with "steel components" that make them able to pierce through vests.
 

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Yes, different departments have different requirements. The one standard requirement that you currently see is that the armor has been NIJ tested and certified. There is no federal or state mandate that an agency purchase a vest that has been NIJ tested and certified but it is just a fact that no agency is going to pruchase one that has not. Oops, I take that back, in order for an agency to receiving matching grant funds under the BVP, the purchased vest must come from an approved list which is the NIJ list. An agency could purchased vests not NIJ certified, but they would not receive grant funds.

There are two current NIJ standards, the 0101.05 interim and the 0101.06 with the .06 being the most recent. NIJ has protocol rounds that they use for testing. An example would be the 9mm round used in the .05 standard is a 124g fmj that has a street velocity of approx 1050 fps. All vests tested will be required to defeat that round with a back face deformation in the clay backing of no more than 44mm. In contrast a vest that successfully defeats that round may not defeat a Winchester Ranger SXT 127 g +P+ round. Most armor companies will build all of their packages to meet NIJ standards and some will be built to defeat all of the protocol rounds as well as "Special Threat" rounds as described above.

Wolf ammo I have not seen as being a difficult round to stop. Aguilla on the other hand has at times proved difficult because of its erratic velocity spreads, sometime as much as 200fps from one box. The 5.7x28 is not a NIJ protocol round, but manufactures do testing with those rounds and do build packages that successfully defeat it.

Steel core ammo does present a challenge to some vests, again, depending on the materials used in the construction of the vest package. Variables that play a role include the denier (thickness) of the individual threads, woven materials such as kevlar, twaron, artec versus unidirectional materials that have been layered up at 90 degree angles to each other then laminated versus a woven laminate. A multitude of different materials are used by various manufacturers...kevlar, twaron, dyneema, spectra, spectrashield, goldflex, goldshield, etc.

If you have a link to that newspaper article I would be curious to read it.

You're right, my first post needs more detail.

I was wondering if different LE departments have requirements for vests. I dont know if they use NIJ or not.

But say for example, if they use IIIA as a minimum or level II. And/or what calibers should they stop. Hopefully a link to department's requirements for vests, one that says (they should made out of XXX material, be able to withstand up to XX caliber, etc.. etc..)

I was reading on the newspapers today that local LE bought 10k vests that are supposed to be IIIA, according to NIJ a IIIA vest should be able to stop up to 44 magnum.

BUT, they did a test on them (the ones they bought) and 9mm wolf ammo went through them, the company explained that criminals down here use "banned bullets that use steel elements", and that these banned bullets are able to pierce through IIIA vests. They also argued that 9mm wolf uses "steel elements" and that's why it pierced the IIIA vests, according to them 9mm NATO rounds dont penetrate the new vests.

I've never heard of wolf ammo having amazing piercing capabilities. or bullets with "steel components" that make them able to pierce through vests.
 

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From my understanding, the new NIJ 06 standards are considerably higher than the previous ones. From what limited information I have read, a level IIIa vest that is NIJ 06 compliant will stop an FN 5.7 round.

I know that older level IIIa vests will not stop that round. (this is from shooting a 5.7 SS197 bullet, bought at Cabelas, into an older IIIa vest I own, draped over modeling clay, no trauma plate)

And, please, before the barrage of "Ooohhh, well, any rifle round will go through a vest and you should be more concerned for yada yada yada..."

The FN 5.7 commercially avaiable ammo goes through older vests, including IIIa, and appears to not be able to penetrate the NIJ 06 IIIa vests...that's a big deal to me.

The problem is availability....near me, there's no dealers that I've found who have demo models. You have to special order everything & there's only a handful of mfgs. making these new vests (Safariland & Point Blank come to mind)

anyway...just my .02$ worth
 

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You're right, my first post needs more detail.

I was wondering if different LE departments have requirements for vests. I dont know if they use NIJ or not.

But say for example, if they use IIIA as a minimum or level II. And/or what calibers should they stop. Hopefully a link to department's requirements for vests, one that says (they should made out of XXX material, be able to withstand up to XX caliber, etc.. etc..)
A question from a civilian here, would a PD publish such info on a public site?

True, most criminals wouldn't go searching municipal web sites or PD sites, but you may find some type doing that. Almost like a PD publishing radio frequencies and specs for their radios.

Yes, an observant type could possibly find the info by looking at bid specs and other public documents, but some stuff shouldn't be public.
 

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From my understanding, the new NIJ 06 standards are considerably higher than the previous ones. From what limited information I have read, a level IIIa vest that is NIJ 06 compliant will stop an FN 5.7 round.

I know that older level IIIa vests will not stop that round. (this is from shooting a 5.7 SS197 bullet, bought at Cabelas, into an older IIIa vest I own, draped over modeling clay, no trauma plate)

And, please, before the barrage of "Ooohhh, well, any rifle round will go through a vest and you should be more concerned for yada yada yada..."

The FN 5.7 commercially avaiable ammo goes through older vests, including IIIa, and appears to not be able to penetrate the NIJ 06 IIIa vests...that's a big deal to me.

The problem is availability....near me, there's no dealers that I've found who have demo models. You have to special order everything & there's only a handful of mfgs. making these new vests (Safariland & Point Blank come to mind)

anyway...just my .02$ worth
There are still a number of factors that come into play regarding the vests that you mention above. In the early days of soft concealable armor, most vests were made of 100% Dupont Kevlar. Since then, vests are made of a variety of different materials to include Kevlar, Twaron, Artec, Spectra, Spectra Shield, Dyneema, Felt Core, Gold Flex, Goldshield, etc. More often than not, the vest is made out of a hybrid of the above materials.

Under the old standard (NIJ .05) our company manufactured several different IIIA and two different level II packages that reliably defeated the 5.7 rounds in the SS195 and SS197 configurations. We also defeated these rounds against a level II package that is NIJ .06 certified.

It was my experience with both the previous standard and the new standard, that armor made with a woven material such as Kevlar, Twaron or Artec on the threatside, and then backed with unidirectional laminated material such as dyneema on the bodyside to reduce trauma, perform the best against the 5.7x28 threat.

When shopping for armor ask to see a list of "Special Threat Testing" rounds. There are both NIJ .05 and .06 certified vests that will defeat these rounds and there are .05 and .06 vests that will not successfully defeat these rounds.

Reference to the vest that you shot and had the penetration, find out what materials were in the armor, I am thinking largely goldflex or something similar. If it was constructed of kevlar or twaron other factors come into play such as the particular denier (threat thickness) the material. There are several different deniers. The age of the vest and the manner for which it was cared is a variable. I always remind people, treat your armor the same way you treat your duty pistol/rifle. It is a life-saving piece of equipment.

Also, you say that the vest was "draped" over the clay. When we shoot against clay the vest is strapped against the box as it would be a human torso and yes, this can make a performance difference.

Attached is a link to the NIJ site that lists the manufacturers that have armor certified under the new NIJ 0101.06 standard.

http://www.justnet.org/Pages/06_CPL.aspx

Sorry for the extended post, just wanting to help where I can.
 

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Yes, interesting to say the least. They list an Interceptor IOTV, there are only a couple of companies authorized by the military to Manufacture the IOTV and this is not one of them. Further, the IOTV cannot be sold by those companies to the general public, that is part of the contract agreement. The manufacturer therefor changes the ballistic package from a mil-spec package to an NIJ package and changes the cut or shape of the ballistics. Then change the name to something like, International Interceptor, etc. They are therefor, selling either a copy and somethingt that they are perping as "mil-spec" or they are selling a used vest that someone "lost" after their tour in the sandbox. At that price, I suspect it's authenticity or its origin.
 
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