Body Armor Selection Guide

The biggest deciding factors when choosing a vest should be threat level and weight. Our vests are categorized and priced ccording to these two factors as well as the materials being used. The following information is intended to assist in educating our customers so they can choose the perfect vest for their personal comfort, peace of mind, and protection level.

Which threat level should I choose?

Traditionally, the threat level you choose should reflect the weapon you are carrying since there is a high chance of being shot in a confrontation by your own weapon. Additionally, consider which rounds are popular in your field. Threat Level II is certified to resist 9mm and .357 FMJ rounds. Threat Level IIIA is certified to resist .357 SIG and .44 Magnum.

Secondary Considerations

Comfort: The next biggest deciding factor should be personal comfort level. Often, comfort level is a direct result of the feel of each vest. Second Chance vests are made for a range of comfort preferences from basic and dependable to lightweight and breathable. Ultimately, each person should find the vest that has the capabilities to perform in their field of work.

Weight: When comparing the weight of each ballistic package, remember the unit of measurement is lbs/ft2.

Trauma: Trauma is the measurement of the indentation the blunt force of a bullet will cause the on human body. All of our vests are certified under NIJ 06 for a trauma indentation of 44mm or less. 44mm has been determined to be the maximum indentation the human body can withstand without having the potential for internal damage. The way you can tell which vest has the best trauma protection is by looking at the V50 results; the higher the V50, the better the trauma protection. For trauma protection against fragmentation or spike threats, consider our Multi-Threat or Prism series.

V 50: The test results for each ballistic package have been included with each product line. The V50 number indicates the velocity at which a bullet is traveling where the vest will stop the round 50% of the time. V50 1 shows the average fps of the vest against 9mm (Threat II) or .357 SIG (Threat IIIA) whereas the V50 2 indicates the average fps of the vest against .357 FMJ (Threat II) or .44 Magnum (Threat IIIA).

Making an educated decision is key to selecting the perfect vest that might save your life. For additional information call Customer Service at (800) 347-1200.

The NIJ .06 Standard

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) 0101.06 Standard is the latest compliance standard in regards to modern body armor and supersedes the 2005 Interim Requirement Standard (August 2005) and 0101.04 Rev. A Standard (June 2001).