POLICE Magazine

AUG 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1150736

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Page 65 of 68

formation. "Backface" is measured by mounting the armor on specially treated clay and shooting it to see how deep an im- pression the impact makes in the clay. Interestingly, with the new standard, the NIJ is increasing the amount of backface deformation it will allow before fail- ing hard armor. Backface deformation is a way of measuring how much trauma the wearer of the armor will experience, so the increase could have medical effect, even though it is only a small difference. So why would the NIJ increase the backface tolerance it al- lows on NIJ certified hard armor? Experts believe the answer is that the agency hopes the change in the standard will lead to lighter armor and more officers wearing hard plates when facing rifle threats. Perhaps the biggest change in the new standard is the estab- lishment of three levels of hard armor. Under the current stan- dard, the NIJ only recognized two levels of hard armor, Level III certified to defeat 7.62×51mm NATO M80 ball ammo and Lev- el IV certified to defeat .30-06 Springfield M2 armor-piercing bullets. A lot of hard armor manufacturers also produced an intermediate plate they called III-plus that was independently tested against SS109/M855 5.56mm steel core ammo know col- loquially as "Green Tips." e proposed 07 standard would eliminate any need for manufacturers to create intermediate categories of plates be- cause the standard does it for them. Under the proposed stan- dard, hard armor plates will be categorized as: RF1: Tested against 7.62 x 51mm M80 Ball NATO FMJ, 7.62 x 39mm surrogate test round, and 5.56mm M193 BT. is is equivalent to current NIJ Level III. RF2: Tested against all of RF1 test rounds plus 5.56mm M855 BT (Green Tip) RF3: Tested against .30-06 M2 armor-piercing FMJ. is is equivalent to current NIJ Level IV. As with so armor, experts believe the new NIJ terminology for hard armor will be good for law enforcement customers, as it will make the protective capabilities of the armor easier to understand. Unfortunately, there could also be a downside to the new standard for hard armor customers. A new testing procedure for hard armor requires manufacturers to submit more prod- uct. is could raise the price of hard armor. Deciding what plates to purchase and use is not easy, but it helps to look at the available options. It comes down to the level of threat you need protection from and the material that will best satisfy your operational and cost considerations. Try fo- cusing on the trade-offs between protection level and comfort, mobility, and wearability to make your decision. n The World's Only Magnetized Level 3+ Upgradeable Shield System Shields Interlock and will convert to a backboard/litter. Ideal for downed officer rescue and canine insertion 5610 Scotts Valley Drive, Suite B332 // Scotts Valley, California 95066 831.430.9899 // armoredmobiIity.com Meets NIJ Standard 0108.01 Level III ballistic resistance standards. "Ballistic Cover" on any steel surface (including chain link fence) Instantly Upgradeable up to Level IV. Lightweight MAS 3815 weighs approx. 16lbs. B A L L I S T IC PR O T E C T IO N | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | 13

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