Understand NIJ IIIA Standard

 NIJ administers a program to test commercially available armor for compliance with the standards to determine whether the vests meet NIJ's minimum performance standards. The NIJ ballistic resistance standard classifies body armor by levels of  ballistic performance.

  1. ARMOR TYPE
  1. WEAPON
  1. TEST ROAD
  1. TEST BULLET
  1. BULLET MASS
  1. CONDITIONED AROMOR TEST VELOCITY
  1. NEW ARMOR TEST VELOCITY
HITS PER PANEL AT 0 ANGLE MAXIMUM BFS DEPTH
  1. HITS PER PANEL AT 30 OR 45 ANGLE
  1. SHOTS PER PANEL
  1. PANEL SIZE
  1. PANEL CONDITION
  1. PANNELS REQUIRED
  1. SHOTS REQUIRED
  1. TOTAL SHOTS REQUIRED
IIA LINK 1 9MM
FMJ RN
8.0g
(124 gr)
355 m/s
(1165 ft/s)
373 m/s
(1225 ft/s)
4 44mm
(1.73 in)
2 6 LARGE
SMALL
NEW 4
2
4
2
24
12
24
12
144
LINK 2 0.40 S&W
FMJ
11.7g
(180 gr)
325 m/s
(1065 ft/s)
352 m/s
(1155 ft/s)
4 44mm
(1.73 in)
2 6 LARGE
SMALL
NEW 4
2
4
2
24
12
24
12
II LINK 1 9MM
FMJ RN
8.0g
(124 gr)
379 m/s
(1245 ft/s)
398 m/s
(1305 ft/s)
4 44mm
(1.73 in)
2 6 LARGE
SMALL
NEW 4
2
4
2
24
12
24
12
144
LINK 2 0.357 Magnum
JSP
10.2g
(158gr)
408 m/s
(1340 ft/s)
436 m/s
(1430 ft/s)
4 44mm
(1.73 in)
2 6 LARGE
SMALL
NEW 4
2
4
2
24
12
24
12
IIIA LINK 1 0.357 SIG
FMJ FN
8.1g
(125gr)
430 m/s
(1410 ft/s)
448 m/s
(1470 ft/s)
4 44mm
(1.73 in)
2 6 LARGE
SMALL
NEW 4
2
4
2
24
12
24
12
144
LINK 2 0.44 Magnum
SJHP
15.6g
(240gr)
408 m/s
(1340 ft/s)
436 m/s
(1430 ft/s)
4 44mm
(1.73 in)
2 6 LARGE
SMALL
NEW 4
2
4
2
24
12
24
12
III LINK 1 7.62 mm
NATO FMJ
9.6g
(147gr)
847 m/s
(2780 ft/s)
- 6 44mm
(1.73 in)
0 6 ALL CONDITIONED 4 24 24
IV LINK 1 0.30 Caliber
M2 AP
10.8g
(166gr)
878 m/s
(2880 ft/s)
- 1 to 6 44mm
(1.73 in)
0 1 to 6 ALL CONDITIONED 4 to 24 24 24
SPECIAL   - Each test threat to be specified by armor manufacturer or procuring organization   Armor performance and shot requirements shall depend on armor type.

 

The lab needs two samples for the NIJ-STD-0108.01 Level IIIA ballistic resistance (V0) testing.
The samples has to be tested in accordance with NIJ-STD-0108.01 Level IIIA in an indoor range with the muzzle of the test barrel mounted 15 feet away from the target and positioned to produce 0-degree obliquity impacts. Four infrared light screens, in conjunction with time-based frequency counters, are positioned such that projectile velocity was measured 8.25 feet from the target. Penetrations are
determined by examination of a piece of .020 inch 2024-T3 aluminum mounted 6 inches behind and parallel to the test sample. 

Type III-A Test Weapons and Ammunition

.44 Magnum
The test weapon may be a 44 Magnum handgun or test barrel. The use of a handgun with a 14 to 16 cm (5.5 to 6.25 in) barrel is suggested. Test bullets shall be 44 Magnum, lead semiwadcutter with gas checks, nominal masses of 15.55 g (240 gr), and measured velocities of 426 – 15 m (1400 – 50 ft) per second.

Submachine Gun (SMG) 9 mm
The test weapon may be a 9 mm SMG or test barrel. The use of a test barrel with a 24 to 26 cm (9.5 to 10.25 in) barrel is suggested. Test bullets shall be 9 mm full metal jacketed, with nominal messes of 8.0 g (124 gr) and measured velocities of 426 – 15 m (1400 – 50 ft) per second.

Results for all testing results of Martin Shield Backpacks are summarized in the following table. Test sample satisfied the ballistic requirements given.

Test Sample Ballistic Threat Results
OBL
No.:
S/N.: Weight
(lbs.)
Projectile Shots Velocity (fps) Penetrations Pass/Fail
Min. Max.
19006 2 3.69 .44 Mag SWCGC 5 1415 1500 0 Pass
19007 2 3.69 9mm FMJ 5 1361 1425 0 Pass