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Body Armor Update

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2001
3 pages
This article reviews the characteristics of current models of body armor.
The specific vests described are manufactured by the following companies: American Body Armor, U.S. Armor Corporation, Force One, Protective Armor Corporation of America, and Second Chance. Overall, vests fit better than ever before. While being lighter in weight and more flexible, current models of body armor are also thinner and offer enhanced ballistic capability. The number of companies offering quality armor has increased considerably, and each offers features that will appeal to a wide variety of officers and agencies. A resource for any agency to pursue is the body armor tests conducted by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). These tests, which include a set of standards that must be passed, have been ongoing since March 1972. Since that time, 2,600 models of armor have been tested, resulting in four revisions of the standards. The last revision was in 1987. The current revision was released in September 2000. Between October 2000 and October 2001, NIJ will maintain two standards, the .03 and the .04, and will continue to test to both standards for compliance. Armor that passes the .03 standard may not pass the .04 standard. After October 2001, testing will be restricted to the .04 standard. New from the NIJ is its first standard for the stab resistance of body armor, again dated September 2000. The online addresses of the companies profiled in this article are provided.

Date Published: February 1, 2001