Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

"Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor"


The purpose of this standard is to establish minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor intended to protect against gunfire. The scope of the standard is limited to ballistic resistance only; this standard does not address threats from knives and sharply pointed instruments, which are different types of threats and are addressed in the current version of NIJ Standard–0115 Stab Resistance of Personal Body Armor.

Standard Type(s)

An explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, system, or service: Examples of specifications include, but are not limited to, requirements for; physical, mechanical, or chemical properties, and safety, quality, or performance criteria. A specification identifies the test methods for determining whether each of the requirements is satisfied.

Test Method

A definitive procedure that produces a test result: Examples of test methods include, but are not limited to: identification, measurement, and evaluation of one or more qualities, characteristics, or properties. A precision and bias statement shall be reported at the end of a test method.

Personal Protective Equipment
Body Protection

All items of clothing and/or accessories (whether or not detachable) designed and manufactured to provide specific protection. This includes bullet-proof clothing, general protective clothing and full body ensembles that protect from cuts, radiation, temperature extremes, hot splashes from molten metals and other hot liquids, potential impacts from tools, machinery and materials and hazardous chemicals. Examples of body protection include laboratory coats, coveralls, vests, jackets, aprons, surgical gowns and full body suits

  • Physical protective clothing
  • Body Armor
  • Ballistic
  • Physical
SOC Codes
33-0000 Protective Service Occupations
  • 33-3000 Law Enforcement Workers
    • 33-3051 Officers, Police
Conformity Assessment Notes

Personal body armor that is independently tested to this standard by manufacturers, purchasers, or other parties will not be considered as NIJ compliant unless the body armor is submitted and tested through the NIJ CTP and found in compliance with this standard.

Body armor manufacturers and purchasers may use this standard to help to determine whether specific armor models meet the minimum performance standards and test methods identified in this document. However, NIJ strongly encourages body armor manufacturers to participate in the NIJ Voluntary Compliance Testing Program (CTP) and encourages purchasers to insist that the armor model(s) they purchase be tested by the NIJ CTP and be listed on the NIJ Compliant Products List. This will help to assure that the armor models will meet the minimum performance standards for use by the criminal justice community.

Additional References:

  • SAAMI Z299.1–1992, Voluntary Industry Standards for Pressure & Velocity of Rimfire Sporting Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers, 1992.
  • SAAMI Z299.3–1993, Voluntary Industry Standards for Pressure and Velocity of Centerfire Pistol and Revolver Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers, 1993.
  • SAAMI Z299.4–1992, Voluntary Industry Standards for Pressure & Velocity of Center fire Rifle Sporting Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers, 1992.
  • MIL-STD-662F, Department of Defense Test Method Standard, V50 Ballistic Test for Armor, 1997 or latest version.
  • MIL-STD-810F, Department of Defense Test Method Standard for Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests, 2000 or latest version.
  • TOP 2–2–710, Test Operations Procedure, Ballistic Tests of Armor Materials, 1984 or latest version.

Supersedes: NIJ 2005 Interim Requirements, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor (August 2005).  Also supersedes: NIJ Standard–0101.04 Rev. A, Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor (June 2001)

Testing Laboratories
National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) - Gaithersburgh, Maryland, 20899-2140

In 2006, the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Science and Technology requested the establishment of a NVLAP program to accredit laboratories that test ballistic- and stab-resistant personal body armor to support the voluntary minimum performance standards developed for NIJ by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES).

The U. S. DOJ has established a product certification program administered by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC). NLECTC reviews test reports from laboratories that have been designated by DOJ and lists products that meet DOJ standards. In order to be designated by the DOJ, a laboratory must be accredited by NVLAP and must sign a letter of agreement with the DOJ committing itself to abide by the certification program requirements.

While NVLAP may accredit any laboratory that meets NVLAP administrative and technical requirements, the DOJ has additional requirements. These requirements include: all laboratories performing additional compliance testing services for the Compliance Testing Program in accordance with NIJ Standards must be independent third-party laboratories owned, located, and which perform all testing to NIJ Standards within the United States. Additionally, all laboratories must be free of and demonstrate their freedom from any potential conflicts of interest with respect to other services they and/or their subsidiaries and affiliates may provide, particularly regarding services pertaining to consultation on the design and manufacturer of the types of products the laboratory will perform NIJ compliance testing services for.


Phone Number: (301) 975-4016


ISO 17025

Scope of Accreditation

NIJ Standard-0104.02 , NIJ Standard 0106.01 , NIJ Standard 0108.01 , NIJ Standard-0101.06 , NIJ Standard-0115.00 , NIJ CR-0116.00 , NIJ Standard-0116.00


Loading, please wait