The Difference between Protection Levels | NIJ Level 2, 3A, 3, & 3+

The Difference between Protection Levels | NIJ Level 2, 3A, 3, & 3+

 

When it comes to bulletproof armor, the first step is to define what ‘bulletproof’ actually means. The term bulletproof is a blanket term that means an objects is impenetrable by bullets. The truth of the matter is, not all armor is made equal. The size and force of the projectile can penetrate different levels of armor.

What Level of Armor Is Needed? 

 

How Are Armor Levels Determined?

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the government entity that oversees standards and regulations regarding bulletproof products. The NIJ has created a protection level standard that all armor companies abide by so the same level of protection can be expected across the board.

 

---------------------------------------------------------

NIJ Level 2 (Level ii)

 

Level 2 is the lowest armor level Hardwire offers. Level 2 body armor protects against 9mm and .357 Magnum ammunition fired from short barrel handguns. This protection level is often purchased by law enforcement. Level 2 protects up to the standard police issue handgun. 

Level 2 Products:
  1. LEVEL 2 SOFT BODY ARMOR: Hardwire carries Level 2 armor within the soft armor line: Soft Armor (.51 LBS/FT2)
    You can request a quote for Hardwire soft armor through your local Safariland dealer: Find a Dealer HERE! 
---------------------------------------------------------

NIJ Level 3A (Level iiia)

 

Level 3A is the most purchased level of armor here at Hardwire. Level 3A body armor stops .357 SIG and .44 Magnum ammunition fired from long barrel handguns. Most gun violence happens within this protection range.

Level 3A Products:
  1. BAG INSERTS 
    A. Hard Bag Inserts (10"x13")
    B. Soft Bag Inserts (10"x13")
    C. Soft Bag Inserts (11"x17")
  2. CLIPBOARDS 
  3. SOFT ARMOR (.68 LBS/FT2)
    You can request a quote for Hardwire soft armor through your local Safariland dealer: Find a Dealer HERE! 
  4. TEST TARGETS 
  5. TACTICAL SHIELDS 
    A. Notched
    B. Window
    C. Standard
  6. EMERGENCY RESPONSE SHIELDS (ERS)
    A. Dyneema
    B. Steel 

---------------------------------------------------------

NIJ Level 3 (Level iii)

 

Level 3 protection requires Hard Plates for assault rifle defense. Hardwire has a wide variety of hard plates ranging from Level 3 to Level 3+. Our NIJ Certified Level 3 plates are tested to stop 7.62mm FMJ lead core rifle ammunition. 
Level 3 Products:
  1. Standard Multi Curve Plate
  2. Lightweight Single Curve Plate
  3. Lightweight Multi Curve Plate
  4. The New Flat Plate 
  5. Lightweight Multi Curve Plate | SAPI Cut 
    (Available in small and 10x12" Rectangle)
  6. Test Targets
  7. TACTICAL SHIELDS
    A. Notched
    B. Window
    C. Standard
  8. EMERGENCY RESPONSE SHIELDS (ERS)
    A. Dyneema
    B. Steel 
---------------------------------------------------------

NIJ Level 3+ (Level iii+)

 

Level 3+ body armor is not technically a NIJ standardized level and can have a varying definition with each manufacturer. The NIJ does not recognize Level 3+ and does not certify and test for it. No industry standard has been set for Level 3+, however, most manufacturers label with Level 3+ to signify that the armor complies with NIJ Level 3 standards and also stops the M855 “green tip” projectile.

 What Armor Stops Green Tips?

At Hardwire, we use the Level 3+ label on one of our hard plate model: the Level 3+ Multi Curve Plate, to signify that it protects against M855 Green Tip Armor Piercing Rounds at 3250 +50fps. Our Level 3+ is a certified NIJ Level 3 plate and meets NIJ Level 3+. See the full list of specs for the M855 round on our Level 3+ Multi Curve plate on page 2 of this product’s Ballistic Resistance Test Report.  To learn more about NIJ Certification v.s. Compliance, read our article breaking it down!

Level 3+ Products:
  1. Level 3+ Multi Curve Plate

---------------------------------------------------------

 Available for purchase on our website:

 Bulletproof ClipboardsEmergency Response Shields

Bulletproof bag insertsTactical Shields

Hard Plates

 

 RELATED ARTICLES: