Here at HighCom Armor, we take quality very seriously during the life cycle of the product. We know that choosing body armor for your organization is not something to be taken lightly. It may literally be a life or death decision and should be made after considerable research. Therefore, we work tirelessly to maintain our ISO 9001:2015, BA 9000:2016 internal quality procedures. While it is not mandatory for any manufacturer to participate in the NIJ CTP or have an Internal Quality Management System in place; we believe this sets us apart from most manufacturers in the industry. You can rest assured when making a purchase of an NIJ CPL (Compliant Product Listed) model that the manufacturer has undergone a very rigorous test protocol to achieve this distinguished mark.
While organizations have many options in the marketplace, here are three reasons you should choose NIJ 0101.06 compliant models.
1. NIJ 0101.06 COMPLIANT TESTING PROGRAM HAS WORLDWIDE RECOGNITION
The NIJ 0101.06 standard is currently the most rigorous body armor testing standard that has worldwide recognition. NIJ throughout the years has established several testing protocols and standards dating back to the early 1970s. The NIJ 0101.06 standard covers personnel soft body armor as well as hard rifle armor. Per the Homeland Security Act of 2002 ongoing funding allows NIJ to establish and maintain the program to certify and validate with the mark that will be recognized by law enforcement and US Government agencies.
To participate in the NIJ CTP (Compliant Testing Program) applicants must submit through the TIMS (Testing Information Management System). This is where the applicant uploads all the details of the armor models being submitted of how and what is being built. This includes all specifications of the raw materials and whom the suppliers are for those materials along with their technical details. The BACTP (Body Armor Compliance Testing Program) personnel thoroughly examine the applicants build. After testing is completed a shot sample and the spare samples are sent back to the NIJ BACTP for detailed examination, where they are placed in a retained storage indefinitely.
The NIJ is also looking to see if the construction matches the TIMS application technical details of the build precisely to the samples submitted to testing. Once the model has gone through this process the BACTP will issue the applicant a “Notice of Compliance for NIJ 0101.06. It will also then be placed on the CPL website under the applicants business name and address. The applicant must adhere to the agreed FIT Audit schedule that is laid out by BACTP for the life cycle of the model. The FIT is a follow-up testing by a contracted independent auditor chosen by the BACTP. This allows an independently chosen BACTP auditor to randomly pull “in production” samples that will be sent to the independent ballistic test lab for follow up testing. This process helps give the end user peace of mind that they are wearing the most effective and tested armor available.
2. NIJ 0101.06 IS THE MOST RIGOROUS BODY ARMOR TESTING STANDARD
Where the rigorous part of the NIJ 0101.06 test protocol comes in, is the conditioned and environmental portion of the NIJ 0101.06 standard. Both soft and hard armor will be subjected to a 10-day conditioning cycle and a thermal cycle. For the 10 days, soft armor cycle, the armors are tumbled while be subjected to heat and humidity. The hard armor samples will only be subjected to the heat and humidity during this process. The Hard armor sample is also subjected to the impact testing on the “Strike Face” of the armor. After all the conditioning and impact testing of the armors, before ballistic testing, all armors are submerged in water for up to 30 minutes before it is shot. This ensures that all the materials are protected from moisture and that it does not degrade the materials. Soft armor models have 324 rounds tested against it during the test protocol. The hard armor level III has 48 shots and the Level IV has 36 shots. All compliant models should have an official NIJ CTR available for the end user to review along with a notice of compliance letter.
3. NEW NIJ MARK ON LABELS IS TRADEMARKED
The BACTP has issued a trademarked logo to all compliant models for applicants that must be present on any compliant model built on March 1st of 2017 and after. There shall be no more language or wording stating “Complaint” of any kind on a compliant label. A sample of the mark and what a label should contain can be found in NIJ CTP Product Conformity Assessment System – Ballistic Body Armor Scheme. What an end-user should be aware of is when a supplier only shows one report from a lab with a single test or series of tests. The end user should request a copy of the Compliance letter issued by the NIJ along with the full NIJ compliance testing report which consists of 5-12 pages of ballistic data including v0 and v50 ranges as well as the status of conditioning protocols, weights, and thicknesses.
All letters and test results of compliant models are issued from the Department of Justice NIJ and not any lab. In addition, you can find any compliant models listed on the CPL at www.justnet.org. End-users should beware of non-compliant armor that uses the NIJ standard or name and say things like; “according to”, “meets”, “adheres with”, ”tested to”, or any language where it appears to be a product built to the same standard. In an effort to help this effort BACTP has launched the new trademarked NIJ Mark logo so that it will help the end-user know they are purchasing with confident a compliant certified model.
Below are the models that HighCom currently has listed as NIJ 0101.06 on the CPL:
|Level III Plates||Level IV Plates||Soft Armor|
|Guardian 3s9™||Trooper 3a300™|