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NIJ06 Body Armor: Ballistic Resistance, NIJ Standard 0101.06

What is the new body armor NIJ Standard 0101.06?

Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor NIJ Standard-0101.06 is an NIJ Standard that establishes minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor protecting the torso area. The standard is limited to ballistic resistance only and does not address resistance from knives or other sharply pointed objects.

This latest NIJ Standard 0101.06 supersedes the following:

  • NIJ Standard 0101.04 Rev. A, Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor (June 2001)
  • NIJ 2005 Interim Requirements, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor (August 2005)

3 reasons the new body armor NIJ Standard 0101.06 is important to you

  1. Increased Performance against today's threats in the law enforcement community
  2. Better Reliability for armor you can count on
  3. Improved Durability for armor that will stand the rigors of daily wear

10 ways NIJ Standard 0101.06 is different from previous body armor standards

  1. Five Classification Types
    • Type IIA
    • Type II
    • Type IIIA
    • Type III
    • Type IV
    • Plus: A special test class allows armor to be validated against threats that may not be covered by the 5 standard types
  2. Higher Velocities:
    • Increased test velocities for new armor testing of Types IIA, II and IIIA
    • Test velocities have been established for conditioned armor testing
    • Special-threat rounds to be tested at elevated velocities within the special test class
  3. Type IIIA Round Changes: Round changed from a 9mm FMJ RN to a .357FMJ FN
  4. Shot Placement
    • The new NIJ Standard 0101.06 modifies "shot-to-edge" spacing. New spacing allows shots within 2 inches of the edge of the vest for the .357mm SIG FMJ FN and 9mm FMJ RN threats
    • While maintaining a 2-inch shot-to-shot spacing, the new NIJ Standard 0101.06 changes the pattern of the fourth, fifth and sixth shot to be within a maximum of a 3.94-inch circle
  5. Size of Test Samples
    • Five standardized armor samples will now be accepted for testing to NIJ Standard-0101.06: smallest, small, medium, large and largest
    • Manufacturers must submit 2 different sizes for testing
    • The sizes selected determine the range of sizes that can be produced for that particular model:
      • One closely matching the smallest production size
      • One closely matching the largest production size
  6. Immersion Testing: The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 requires test panels to be fully immersed vertically in a water bath at 70°F for 30 minutes. (Prior standards only required a water spray test for 6 minutes)
  7. Environmental Conditioning (Tumbling) Test
    • Prior standards did not include environmental condition tests
    • The new standard requires panels to be tumbled for 72,000 cycles over a 10-day period at 149°F at 80% relative humidity prior to ballistic testing
    • The conditioned armor portion of the test protocol uses lower velocities, then the reference velocities used with the new armor portion of the test protocol
  8. Number of Samples Required: The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 standard requires 28 complete test samples, including front and back panel. (Prior standards required 6 complete test samples)
  9. Angle of Incidence: The new NIJ Standard-0101.06 standard requires that, for P-BFS testing, each test panel must be shot with one hit at 30° and another hit at 45° angles
  10. Hard Armor Plate Testing (III IV)
    • Prior standards did not require conditioning prior to testing
    • The new standard requires hard armor to be tested with:
      • Uniformed thermal exposure: 10 days of uniform thermal exposure at 149°F (65°C) and 80% relative humidity
      • Thermal cycling: 1 day of thermal exposure cycling from 5°F (-15°C) to 194°F (90°C) from 0% to 50% relative humidity
      • Mechanical durability test (armor drop test)
    • Each hard armor plate must be submerged in water and tested wet

Changes to projectiles, rounds, shots, panels and hard plates

Changes to the NIJ standard are in red

Changes to projectile and rounds

NIJ 0101.04 NIJ 0101.06 Change
IIA Ref. Velocity IIA Test Velocity  
9mm 1120 30 9mm 1225 30 +105
.40 cal. 1055 30 .40 cal. 1155 30 +100
II   II    
9mm 1205 30 9mm 1305 30 +100
.357 mag. 1430 30 .357 mag. No change No change
9mm 1430 30 .357 SIG 1470 30 Round
.44 mag. 1430 30 .44 mag. No change No change

Changes to shots and panels

  NIJ 0101.04 NIJ 0101.06
Panel Samples Required 6 (IIA-IIIA) 28 (IIA-IIIA) 
22 large and 
6 small
Panel Size One size required Two template sizes required
Shots Per Panel 6 6
Shot Spacing 2 min Shots 1-3, 2" min, new edge distance; 
Shots 4-6, 3.94 circle max spread
Angles 30° (shot 4 and 5) 30° and 45° (shot 4 or 5)
Edge 3 2 9mm and .357 SIG
Wet Testing 6 minute spray 30 minute full immersion
Ballistic Limit Testing 1st test round only 
(24 shots)
1st and 2nd test rounds 
Assigned rounds per level 
(120 shots each)
Backface Requirements 2 measured <44mm 3 measured <44mm 
Second measurement for all 
>40 mm 
One outlier permitted
Failure Mechanism Complete penetration 
(bullet or fragment)
Any part of projectile 
or vest imbedded in clay

Changes to hard armor plates

Level NIJ 0101.04 NIJ 0101.06 Comment
III 3 samples, 
6 shots per panel
9 samples, 
6 shots per panel, 
one spare
24 P-BFS shots and 
24 BL shots
IV 8 samples, 
1 shot per panel
7-37 samples, 
1-6 shots per panel, 
one spare
24 P-BFS shots and 
12 BL shots

Body armor standards FAQ

Why was the NIJ Standard-0101.06 (Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor July 2008) created?

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) revised the current standards (NIJ Standard-0101.04/2005 Interim Requirements) with three primary intents:

  1. To improve performance, so that all officers receive adequate protection
  2. To provide adequate protection against threats that are likely to be faced over the next decade
  3. To provide assurance that the armor will provide protection through the life of its warranty

When was NIJ Standard-0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor released?

July 2008.

What current NIJ Standard(s) does NIJ Standard-0101.06 supersede?

NIJ Standard-0101.06 supersedes the NIJ Standard-0101.04 Rev. A Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor (June 2001) and the NIJ 2005 Interim requirements compliant, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor (August 2005).

Does the new 0101.06 standard make previous body armor standards obsolete?

The new 0101.06 standard replaces previous body armor standards.

However, the new standard does not invalidate or render unsuitable any body armor model previously determined by NIJ to be compliant to either the NIJ Standard - 0101.04 Rev. A Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor (June 2001) or the NIJ 2005 Interim requirements compliant, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor (August 2005).

Will current models of body armor compliant under NIJ Standard 0101.04 Rev. A and 2005 Interim requirements be grandfathered into the new standard?

No. This is a completely new standard so only armor that has been tested and approved under NIJ Standard-0101.06 will be deemed compliant with the new standard.

How will the new NIJ 0101.06 standard impact the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Grant Program?

Only vest models that comply with the requirements of the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ) may be purchased with BVP Program funds.

Where can I obtain a hard copy of NIJ Standard-0101.06 Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor?

You can view or download body armor standards at, in the Body Armor section.

CHIEF's NIJ Standard-0101.06 Body Armor

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Call CHIEF today at (888) 588.8569 for NIJ Standard-0101.06 Body Armor.