Body Armor: Levels III and IV

Posted by George Holt on

Levels III and IV not only stop various rifle rounds but also all handgun round. Some Level III and IV armor plates can also take multiple hits before failing. 

Type III (Rifles). This armor protects against 7.62mm full metal jacketed (FMJ) bullets (U.S. military designation M80), with nominal masses of 9.6 g (148 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 838 m/s (2750 ft/s) or less. It also provides protection against Type I through III-A threats. Type III body armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection, such as barricade confrontations involving sporting rifles.

Type IV (Armor Piercing Rifle). This armor protects against .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) bullets (U.S. military designation M2 AP), with nominal masses of 10.8 g (166 gr), impacting at a minimum velocity of 869 m/s (2850 ft/s) or less. It also provides at least single-hit protection against the Type I through III threats. Type IV body armor provides the highest level of protection currently available. Because this armor is intended to resist "armor piercing" bullets, it often uses ceramic materials. Such materials are brittle in nature and may provide only single-shot protection, since the ceramic tends to break up when struck. As with Type III armor, Type IV armor is clearly intended only for tactical situations when the threat warrants such protection.

Bulletproof and bullet resistant vests NIJ Flexible Level III & IV High Power Rifle Body Armor, are subject to the export licensing authority of the U.S. Department of State, Office of Defense Trade Controls.

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