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NIJ (National Institute of Justice) Standard for Ballistic Resistant Protective Materials

NCJ Number
Date Published
17 pages
This document describes the equipment standard developed by the Law Enforcement Standards Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards to establish minimum performance requirements and test methods for ballistic-resistant protective materials.
This standard supersedes NILECJ-STD-0103.00, Portable Ballistic Shields, dated May 1974. It expands the applicability of the standard to all materials used to provide ballistic protection against gunfire, including portable ballistic shields. In addition, this standard establishes threat-level classifications that are consistent with other NIJ standards for ballistic protection. The standard applies to all ballistic-resistant materials (armor) intended to provide protection against gunfire except police body armor and ballistic helmets. These include materials used to fabricate portable ballistic shields, such as police officers' ballistic clipboards; materials used to provide ballistic protection for fixed structures, such as critical control rooms or guard stations; and materials used to fabricate armor, such as metals, ceramics, transparent glazing, fabric, or fabric-reinforced plastics. The document notes that because of the wide variety of cartridges available in a given caliber and because of the existence of hand loads, armors that will defeat a standard test round may not defeat other loadings in the same caliber. For example, an armor that prevents penetration by a .357-magnum test round at a particular velocity may or may not defeat a .357-magnum round with a higher velocity. Similarly, for identical striking velocities, nondeforming or armor-piercing rounds pose a significantly greater penetration threat than an equivalent lead core round of the same caliber. The test ammunitions specified in this standard represent common threats to the law enforcement community. The document lists the five classifications of ballistic-resistant materials by level of performance, definitions of test components, the requirements of each test specimen, and test methods. An appendix contains two references, two figures, and a test summary. (Author abstract modified)