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The NIJ ballistic resistance standard classifies body armor by these levels of ballistic performance.
Level IIA // Tested to stop 9mm and .40 S&W ammunition fired from short barrel handguns. No rifle ammunition protection.
Level II // Tested to stop 9mm and .357 Magnum ammunition fired from short barrel handguns. No rifle ammunition protection.
Level IIIA // Tested to stop .357 SIG and .44 Magnum ammunition fired from longer barrel handguns. No rifle ammunition protection.
Level III // Tested to stop 7.62mm FMJ lead core rifle ammunition.
Level IV // Tested to stop .30cal steel core armor piercing rifle ammunition.
Each NIJ performance level requires that the bullet does not penetrate completely through the armor and that it protects against blunt trauma.
[PHOTO :Urban Survival With Bulletproof Vests]