Why Choose NIJ Certified Hard Armor Plates?

Ace Link Armor

Body armor is a tool that can save your life and Armor Plates are no different in this matter. When used alone or with a bulletproof vest, it’s employed in the most dangerous situations, and if it fails, you could die. Now, how can you be certain that the bulletproof vest, or armor plates you have bought will actually work?
You can’t shoot the armor to test it because it would obviously become useless afterward. How can you ensure that the manufacturer made every other armor plate to the same standards? How can you know what the limits of your body armor are, and what calibers it can stop? 

The answer is that you can’t. You need lab test data or certification.

The National Institute of Justice is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice. They set and regulate ballistic standards. In this post, we are going to dive into the details of the importance of choosing NIJ Certified Hard Armor Plates. 

NIJ Armor Plate Standardized Testing & Evaluation: 

NIJ Certified Armor Plates undergo a Standardized testing procedure. That ensures the performance of these plates, and more importantly, establishes their limits. 

The detailed testing procedure employed by the NIJ has several steps. First, inspectors check the armor plates or panels to ensure they meet quality and manufacturing standards. Then, they select samples for testing. They test one sample in its brand-new condition, while they store another in specific environmental conditions. The goal for that is to subject it to wear and tear, and then test it in a conditioned state.

The armor plates are shot at by certain calibers, according to the certification level chosen for testing by the manufacturer. They have to survive up to 6 shots without exceeding a specified amount of backface deformation, depending on the materials used for manufacturing. 

After the initial testing phase, if a product passes, the NIJ doesn’t just issue an immediate certification. Rather, it extends a Compliance Letter to the manufacturer. This letter is a testament to the fact that the submitted samples of the product have met the NIJ’s stringent requirements.

But that’s not the end of the journey. After the manufacturer receives the Compliance Letter, the NIJ lists its armor product on the Compliance List. This list provides law enforcement agencies and individuals a trusted reference point for armor products tested and verified as compliant with NIJ standards.

It’s important to understand that this process is lengthy and demanding. For a manufacturer to navigate it successfully, they need to ensure their quality control system is impeccable. This isn’t a one-time assessment but a continuous commitment. To maintain their place on the NIJ Compliance List and the trust that comes with it, manufacturers must consistently uphold the highest standards of quality in every batch of armor they produce. The reputation of the NIJ and, more importantly, the safety of those who wear the armor, depends on this relentless pursuit of excellence.

Hard Armor Reliability:

As a tool designed to protect your life, above all, body armor needs to be reliable above everything else. Every day, police officers, soldiers, and civilians all over the US rely on body armor for personal protection, and they can confidently trust the guarantee that an NIJ Certification provides.

If you choose hard armor plates that are NIJ Certified, you don’t have to worry whether it will work or not when you need it the most. You don’t have to do any guesswork regarding the protective capabilities of your armor. 

So, if you value reliability, you need to choose NIJ-Certified Hard Armor Plates, from a reputable manufacturer like Ace Link Armor. 

Consistency in Performance: 

Another reason to choose NIJ-certified hard armor plates is consistency. Since all these plates are subjected to the same level of testing, they offer consistent performance and protection. For instance, two armor plates rated at the same NIJ Protection level will offer consistent protection even if made by different manufacturers. 

Informative Armor Plate Ratings: 

The NIJ specifies multiple levels of protection based on the protective limits of body armor. Each level stops certain calibers, and bullets depending on the bullet’s mass, speed, and size. Any armor plate that is NIJ-Certified has to fall into one of these levels, and it is tested accordingly. Ace Link Armor offers variety of hard armor plates in all levels of protection.

Though there are 5 NIJ Protection levels according to the NIJ Standard-0101.06, Hard Armor plates are available in three levels:

  • NIJ Level IIIA – Stops handgun threats up to a .44 Magnum 
  • NIJ Level III – Stops rifle threats up to .308 Winchester, including most popular intermediate rifle rounds like 5.56x45mm AR-15 rounds, and 7.62x39mm or 5.45×39 mm AK rounds.
  • NIJ Level IV – Stops Armor Piercing rounds up to 30.06, including smaller AP rounds like the 5.56 Green Tip rounds, and AP 7.62x51mm Nato rounds. 

Though there aren’t any legal restrictions that mandate the use of only NIJ-Certified hard armor plates, most organizations, like police departments, and other law enforcement agencies have rules that only allow the use of NIJ Certified Armor. 

NIJ does that for multiple reasons. Firstly, NIJ Armor must be trusted to perform as advertised on the battlefield. Its performance is consistent across different manufacturers. Lastly, insurance companies or individuals involved in high-risk professions may also have requirements regarding the use of NIJ-certified armor. As a risk Mitigation measure, they may offer reduced premiums or other incentives to policyholders who use armor that meets specific safety standards, including NIJ certification.

So, if you work in law enforcement or any other similar job, NIJ-certified armor plates will help you comply with the regulations, and the conditions of most insurance providers as well. 

Consumer Confidence: 

Body armor doesn’t only protect you, but it also gives you and your family some much-needed peace of mind.

It ensures that you are protected should the worst occur, however, this confidence only comes with a product that is guaranteed to work. This is another main reason why you should always prefer NIJ-certified hard armor plates. 

Knowing that a prominent agency has extensively tested these armor plates can boost your confidence and make you more trusting of their protective capabilities.

Research & Development Encouragement: 

Another major advantage of NIJ Standards is that it promotes the research and development of body armor. Many body armor manufacturers makes NIJ-certified plates, however, they aren’t the same. Some Armor plates and panels are clearly better than others. They can be lighter, more flexible, and have better multiple-hit capabilities among other advantages. 

This market competition encourages manufacturers to pour a lot more effort and resources so that they can make the best possible NIJ Certified plate for a certain protection level. 

For Instance, for a long time, Level III Plates were only made from steel or ceramics, however, the competitive market led to the development of PE Level III Plates, which are significantly lighter. 

NIJ Certified Level 3++


 ✔ Advanced Level 3++ Protection

  • Swimmers Cut 10×12 Armor Plate: This isn’t just any armor plate. Offering superior ballistic protection, our plate not only meets but surpasses Level 3 standards.
  • Defense Against a Range of Threats: Prepared to protect you against 6 specific rifle-caliber shots including:
    • 7.62x51mm M80 ball
    • 7.62 x 39mm M67,
    • 7.62 x 39mm MSC,
    • 5.56 × 45mm SS109 / M855,
    • 5.56 x 45mm M193, and other high-velocity projectiles.

 ✔ Superior Ballistic Performance

  • Lightweight – only 4.6 lbs and 1.2″ thin
  • Our armor plate proudly upholds the benchmarks set by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) – NIJ 0101.06. This means that it has been tested and proven to provide a specified level of protection against various ballistic threats at determined velocities.

✔ NIJ Certified Assurance

  • Quality and Durability: Constructed with top-of-the-line materials, our Level 3++ NIJ CERTIFIED 10×12 Armor Plates promise robustness and resilience. Their construction is designed for long-lasting performance in the most challenging conditions, making them an indispensable tool for dedicated professionals.



Choosing NIJ-certified hard armor plates ensures that you’re selecting a product that’s been rigorously tested and proven to provide ballistic protection. Especially for those in high-risk professions, trusting your protective equipment is paramount. NIJ certification provides that peace of mind. You should always choose Armor Plates that are NIJ Certified.