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What Will Level 4 Body Armor Stop?

What Will Level 4 Body Armor Stop?

With everything going on in the world today, it's no surprise that body armor sales have been going through the roof. But one kind of body armor, in particular, has been selling out more than any other body armor; Level IV plates. 

Level IV body armor plates are highly desirable based on their stopping power. However many people opt for Level 4 plates without truly knowing what ballistic threats the plates actually stop.

There is also one major drawback to Level IV body armor plates that I'll get to in a bit. But first, let's go over what level 4 body armor will stop.

Level IV is the rating put forth by The NIJ (National Institute of Justice). NIJ Body Armor Ballistic Level IV are the highest rated hard armor plates under the NIJ standards. They are designed to take one hit from an Armor Piercing 30.06 traveling at a velocity of 2880 ft/s. NOTE: This test will remain the same for the 01010.07 standard. 

For reference, NIJ Level III plates are designed to stop six spaced hits of 7.62x51mm NATO FMJ M80 at a velocity of ~2780 ft/s. You may also see certain plates rated at Level III+ which is a rating that the body armor industry has adopted to show the capabilities of body armor beyond the NIJ Level III testing.

Level III+ indicates that the plate can withstand higher velocity rifle rounds plus additional threats such as M855 and M193. NOTE: The NIJ intends to address this gap between Level III and Level IV plates by establishing a new rating called RF2 as part of the 0101.07 standard.  

Despite their superior stopping power, the one major drawback of Level 4 plates are their weight. Level IV body armor plates can weigh up to 2 lbs. more than Level III plates of the same size. This is something to consider when purchasing Level 4 body armor; especially if you'll be wearing the plates for any extended period of time.

The increased level of protection Level 4 body armor affords also comes at a steeper price. One can expect to pay anywhere from $100-$200 more per plate when compared to Level 3 body armor plates. This is something else to carefully consider when deciding which body armor plates to purchase for your kit: Level 3 or Level 4.

To learn more about one of the lightest and best Level 4 body armor plates available today, click here:

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