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The difference between NIJ standard 0101.04 vs 0101.06

NIJ standard 0101.06 is the newest bulletproof vest standard that sets minimum resistance requirements as well as test methods to be followed for bullet proof vests and ballistic plates. The standard is only for bullet proof vests and ballistic plates, and does not deal with edged blades or other pointed instruments, which is NIJ standard 0115.00, which is the test standard for this.

NIJ standard 0101.06 replaces the following standards:

  • NIJ standard 0101.04 (2001)
  • NIJ 2005 Interim Requirements (2005). 
"NIJ 2005 was made in order to make sure that the non-slip material Zylon was never used in the manufacturing of .04 certified bullet proof vests. Zylon was a ballistic material that after some time lost its bullet proof durability, where several US police officers lost their lives with Zylon in their bullet proof vest."


NIJ Standard 0101.06 offers more protection

  • Increased resistance against today's threats, which means increased security for you as your bullet proof vest is made against the latest ballistic threats. 
  • Greater demands have been made for ballistic test of the bullet proof vests, which gives you a stronger bulletproof vest 
  • The durability of the body armor has been improved so that a bulletproof vest is stronger for everyday use. 

Areas on which NIJ 0101.06 is different than the previous bulletproof standards will be reviewed in the following text:

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  • For NIJ IIIA the 9 mm FMJ RN has been replaced with a .357 SIG FMJ FN. 
  • Furthermore, you can test against special threats that aren’t covered by above standards. This also applies to hard armor in NIJ III and NIJ IV.
  • NIJ level I have been eliminated and no longer exist. In addition, NIJ level 1 is so low a level of protection that it can only be used for hardball.

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The above points are essential for your safety. Previously, the shots were spread out on the panel according to NIJ standard 0101.04. For Nij standard 0101.06, 3th, 4th and 6th shot must be placed in a circle of 3.94 inches. This ensures that the bulletproof vest can withstand multiple bullet impacts in the same area, and still offers a BFS below 44 mm.


Additionally, the "shot to edge" has been modified so that the 9mm FMJ RN and .357 SIG FMJ are placed 2 inches from the edge. This means that bullets close to the edge are required to be stopped.


For NIJ standard 0101.04 body armor, it has been allowed that a shot hit 2 inches from the edge could push the material aside and do lethal damage. This is not allowed for .06 certified bulletproof vests.


The size of the bullet proof inserts that are tested

The bullet proof inserts that are to be tested according to NIJ standard 0101.06 need to be in the sizes: smallest, small, medium, large and largest.


Typically, the smallest and largest panel is chosen as it will have impact on what models the factory can manufacture as a certified bullet proof vest.


The bullet proof vest also needs to be tested under specific conditions, including dropping into a water bath of approx. 21 degrees for 30 minutes. The former NIJ standard 0101.04 only required a water spray test for 6 minutes, which necessarily didn’t make the body armor waterproof.


In addition, the test inserts also needs to be tumbled for 10 days with 72000 cycles. The temperature need to be 65 Celsius and have a humidity of 80% before testing the ballistic resistance, which has a slightly lower velocity than the above bulletproof test.

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NIJ standard 0101.06 focuses a lot more on safety and everyday use than the former NIJ standard 0101.04. It is always recommended that you check if the bulletproof vest has been tested according to the NIJ 0101.06 standard as this is safer than older NIJ standards. 

Last but not least, the price for the NIJ 0101.06 will be significantly greater. NIJ 0101.04 costs approx. 2500-3300 dollars, of which the NIJ Standard 0101.06 test alone costs 18600 US dollars. In addition, 28 complete sets of bullet proof inserts must also be provided for the test, which means that the price goes well over 20.000 USD. 

The NIJ 0101.06 certificate is expensive, but it also ensures the user of a 0101.06 certified bullet proof vest won’t fail. You can read more about NIJ standard 0101.06 here.