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Clarifying Threat Levels, Refining Ammunition Types, Adding Female Armor Testing: NIJ Revising Ballistic-Resistant Body Armor Standard

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2017
2 pages
This paper describes features of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) draft standard (0101.07) that will revise the existing standard (0101.06) for ballistic-resistant body armor.
Scheduled for release later in 2017, the draft standard's revisions will consist mainly of clarifications, many of which will impact only test labs and the Compliance Testing Program. Changes that impact law enforcement agencies and officers in the field are mainly in the areas of protection levels, types of ammunition used in testing, vocabulary refinements, and the testing of armor for females. The draft standard specifies a test protocol specific to female armor wearers that was developed over the past several years through several focus groups of female officers, resulting in input for devising new and appropriate test methods for armor tailored to female wearers. The draft standard also introduces into hard armor plate testing the use of 7.62 x 39 mild steel core (MSC) and high performance 5.56 mm ammunition or equivalent threat rounds. In addition, the draft standard revisits protection-level names of both hard armor plates and soft armor vests, so as to ensure clarity in nomenclature that instantly identifies the type of protection provided. In order to reduce confusion caused by the use of the same terms to mean different things or using different terms to describe the same thing, the draft standard introduces a truncated section of definitions and references the newly released ASTM E3005-15 Standard Terminology for Body Armor. The draft standard can be accessed online at JUSTNET, the website of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center

Date Published: August 1, 2017