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Caliber Armor Launches New AV2 Stand-Alone Body Armor Plate

Introducing the Caliber Armor AV2 Ballistic Insert

Caliber Armor, who was the first company to bring an advanced steel body armor plate with a true multi-curve achieved with one press announces a new alloy plate that achieves the coveted NIJ-RF2 stopping power rating.

The Future NIJ 0101.07 RF2 Testing Requirements Met

For years, the industry has been anticipating the new NIJ 0101.07 standard that finally attempts to bridge the gap between 0101.06 Level 3 and Level 4. In the current standard level 3 rating the test is six shots of 7.62 x 51mm M80 FMJ at 2,780 ft/s. From there the next level is 4, which is 30-06 M2 AP at 2880 ft/s. What about everything in-between? The body armor industry has largely adopted the term Level 3+ or Level 3++, which is up to the manufacturers interpretation but generally means that it will stop higher velocity 5.56mm rounds and AK 7.62x39mm steel core projectiles.

Multi-Curve Body Armor with Advanced Spall Coating

The AV2 body armor plate comes standard with advanced PolyShield Anti-Spall coating. With a competitive price point, only half inch thin and weighing in at just 7.2 lbs, the AV2 armor plate is a superior option for your bulletproof vest that will last a lifetime. No more replacing your team’s armor set ups every five years or spending extra funds on x-ray requirements during turnover. The AV2 plate will stop everything that you throw at it. See full multi hit body armor product specs HERE.

How do we keep up?

Different compositions of body armor stop projectiles in diverse ways. For example, ceramic strike face body armor works by breaking the projectile down as it passes through the ceramic which absorbs a great deal of the kinetic energy by breaking apart with the remainder being captured by the backer. This has long been successful but has limitations with multiple hits. Ballistic plastic, UHMWPE, works by slowing bullets as they travel into the plate. Energy from the projectile is transferred through millions of individual high tensile, high modulus fibers that have been compressed into a solid plate. These lightweight plates, like our are amazingly effective at stopping lead core ammunition but fall short when facing hardened tip or core projectiles. The price can make it unattainable for most departments and security firms while leaving users vulnerable to threats like M855, green tip, a common AR15 round. Last year we launched our level 3 Maritime, it is a neutrally buoyant armor plate that passes all RF1 threats. Our Maritime UHMWPE plate is a fantastic option if you want protection with a reduction in weight. The limitations are price and that the plate does not pass the RF2 M855 at 3,115 fps test.

Why did we choose steel alloy for our AV2 body armor plate? 

High hardness steel has been used in body armor since the 14th century. It protects our military in barricade and armored vehicle applications as well as being a successful stand-alone body armor plate option. Used with an advanced anti-spall and fragmentation coating our AR550 steel plate has long been the material that hits the sweet spot for stopping high velocity rounds while having pressing capabilities. This military grade, high hardness abrasive resistant (AR) steel has been our highest selling product. Its limitations have been one threat on the draft NIJ 0101.07 threat testing.

We knew we still wanted to use steel alloy. Contrary to what is all over the internet about steel being an inferior option for body armor vs ceramic armor, we see calls for this thin, strong, ergonomic body armor plate consistently raising over our ceramic and UHMWPE options. For example the Federal Bureau of Investigation just secured $7,000,000 of body armor that specified that they wanted a STEEL Plate with Spall Protection.

NIJ RF1 and RF2 Specs

The speed of the 5.56mm M193 BT in the proposed RF1 is giving the steel body armor industry some headaches. Most steel options have no problems with the higher level RF2 spec of M855 BT at 3115 ft/s. Frankly, we have not been able to make that round move fast enough to defeat our AR550 steel. The new RF1 spec is that a plate must stop the M193 BT at 3250 ft/s. This is the military spec for muzzle velocity when fired from a 20-inch standard issue barrel. This is an extremely fast speed for this projectile and most commonly available ammo will not even achieve this speed.

Research Three Years in the Making

We have tried several different thicknesses, varied materials, and heat-treating processes to evaluate if we can make an alloy product that can achieve this speed so that we can certify to the new spec. After three years of testing, we have found our solution, Caliber Armor AV2. Our objectives were to exceed the ballistic requirements of the draft RF1 and RF2 and to reduce weight. We have pushed the speed on all the requirements. We have also tested other special threats like the M855 A1, and 7.62x54mmR. We shaved off a pound from our AR550 and kept the thinness that creates an extremely ergonomic option for our customers.

American Made Quality

The Caliber Armor AV2 ballistic body armor plate is changing the way we think of steel armor. American made in Louisville Kentucky, Caliber Armor is the trusted name in quality, affordability, and reliable customer service. Let us help you find the best armor system for your application. We are here to help, before, during and after your purchase.

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NIJ Body Armor Ballistic Levels

NIJ Body Armor Ballistic Levels

NIJ Body Armor Ballistic Levels 

The National Institute of Justice NIJ body armor ballistic levels currently classify body armor into five different threat levels: Level IIA, Level II, Level IIIA, Level III and Level IV based on their ability to stop specified rounds at specified velocities. The NIJ’s current standard is 0101.06 with a pending update to 0101.07 slated to be finalized in sometime in the next year or two. 

Level IIA & II Body Armor vs Levels IIIA, III, III+ and Level IV 

Caliber Armor offers body armor at NIJ body armor ballistic levels of IIIA and above. We will go into detail on the specifics of Level IIIA, Level III, Level III+ and Level IV. Level IIA and Level II could be considered outdated soft armor ballistic levels that are sometimes still used to achieve a lighter thinner armor panel. We can achieve this level of weight and thinness with our CaliberX™ soft armor and still provide the higher level IIIA/HG2 protection.  

NIJ Body Armor Ballistic Level IIIA 

NIJ Level IIIA is designed to stop .357 Sig FMG FN bullets traveling at a velocity of ~1470 ft/s and .44 Magnum SJHP rounds at a velocity of ~1430 ft/s. The updates for 0101.07 HG2 include testing requirements for 9mm FMJ with a velocity of ~1470 ft/s and changed the .44 MAG test to a JHP (jacketed hollow point) with the same velocity requirements. Our CaliberX™ Soft Armor panels have been tested to meet both the .06 IIIA and .07 RF2 NIJ ballistic level requirements

NIJ Ballistic Level III & Level III+ Protection 

NIJ Body Armor Ballistic Level III rifle plates are designed to stop six spaced hits of 7.62x51mm NATO FMJ M80 at a velocity of ~2780 ft/s. Level III+ is a designation that the body armor industry has adopted to show the capabilities of armor beyond the NIJ Level III testing. This indicates that the plate can withstand higher velocity rifle rounds plus additional threats such as M855 and M193. The NIJ intends to address this gap between Ballistic Level III and Level IV in establishing the RF2 category of the 0101.07 standard.  


The Highest Rated Ballistic Level of Protection 

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. This test will remain the same for the 01010.07 standard. We offer one level IV body armor plate.