NIJ Standards

NIJ Standards

Ballistic Protection Table

NIJ standard is the only nationally accepted standard for the body armor worn by law enforcement and corrections officers. NIJ also administers a program to test commercially available armor for compliance with the standards to determine whether the vests meet NIJ’s minimum performance standards.

Armor Level (lowest to highest)

Type I:

  • 0.22 LR
  • 0.380 ACP

This armor would protect against 2.6 g (40 gr) .22 Long Rifle Lead Round Nose (LR LRN) bullets at a velocity of 329 m/s (1080 ft/s ± 30 ft/s) and 6.2 g (95 gr) .380 ACPFull Metal Jacketed Round Nose (FMJ RN) bullets at a velocity of 322 m/s (1055 ft/s ± 30 ft/s). It is no longer part of the standard.

Type IIA:

  • 9 mm FMJ RN slow velocity
  • 0.22 LR
  • 0.25 ACP / 6.35mm Browning
  • 0.32 ACP/ 7.65mm Browning
  • 0.38 ACP
  • 0.40 S&W FMJ
  • 0.45 ACP
  • 12 ga. 00 Buck (shotgun)

This armor protects against 9 mm FMJ RN (Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose) bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) at a reference velocity of 355 ± 9.1 m/s (1165 ± 30 ft/s) and .40 S&W FMJ (Full Metal Jacketed) bullets, with nominal masses of 11.7 g (180 gr) at a reference velocity of 325± 9.1 m/s (1065 ± 30 ft/s).

It also provides protection against 12 gauge shotgun buckshot (9 pellets) and birdshot.

Type II:

  • Typical 9 mm FMJ RN
  • 0.357 Magnum JSP

This armour protects against 9 mm FMJ RN (Full Metal Jacketed Round Nose) bullets, with nominal masses of 8.0 g (124 gr) at a reference velocity of 379 ± 9.1 m/s (1245 ± 30 ft/s) and .357 Magnum JSP (Jacketed Soft Point) bullets, with nominal masses of 10.2 g (158 gr) at a reference velocity of 408 ± 9.1 m/s (1340 ± 30 ft/s).

It also provides protection against threats mentioned in [Type IIA].

Type IIIA:

  • 0.357 SIG FMJ FN
  • 0.44 Magnum SJHP
  • 12 ga. rifled slug (shotgun)

Against most handgun threats:

This armor protects against .357 SIG FMJ FN (Full Metal Jacketed Flat Nose) bullets, with nominal masses of 8.1 g (125 gr) at a reference velocity of 430 ± 9.1 m/s (1410 ± 30 ft/s) and .44 Magnum SJHP (Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point) bullets, with nominal masses of 15.6 g (240 gr) at a reference velocity of 408 ± 9.1 m/s (1340 ± 30 ft/s).

It also provides protection against 12 gauge rifled slug, as well as the threats mentioned in [Types IIA, and II].

Type III: (Rifles)

  • 7.62 mm FMJ
  • 0.30 carbine
  • 0.223 Remington / 5.56 mm FMJ
  • Grenade shrapnel

Against high-powered rifles:

This armor protects against 7.62 mm FMJ (Full Metal Jacketed) bullets (U.S. Military designation M80), with nominal masses of 9.6 g (148 gr) at a reference velocity of 847 ± 9.1 m/s (2780 ± 30ft/s).

It also provides protection against threats such as 5.56 mm FMJ, .223 Remington,30 carbine FMJ and grenade shrapnel, as well as the threats mentioned in [Types IIA, II, and IIIA].

Type IV: (Armor Piercing Rifle)

  • 0.30 caliber AP

Against armor piercing rifles:

This armor protects against.30 caliber AP (armor piercing) bullets (U.S. Military designation M2 AP), with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr) at a reference velocity of 878 ± 9.1 m/s (2880 ± 30 ft/s). It also provides at least single hit protection against the threats mentioned in [Types IIA, II, IIIA, and III].