Level 4 Body Armor

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It’s not often that you need protection from sniper fire and anti-material rifles. But, when you do, you will want to have an NIJ Level IV plate protecting your vital organs. These plates are made from novel ceramics and have some serious stopping power, with the ability to stop a .30cal round with no injury to the person wearing the plate. While there are other, somewhat obsolete, types of materials used to create Level IV armor plates, three types are currently in widespread use:
  • Aluminum Oxide – Al2O3 (Alumina)
  • Boron Carbide – B4C (Tetrabor)
  • Silicon Carbide – SiC (Carborundum)
These materials may be similar when it comes to protection, but vary greatly when it comes to things like weight and price. Both because it is more difficult to make, and due to the lower weight, Boron Carbide and Silicon Carbide armor plates go for a much higher price than Alumina. But, for many missions, the ~20% reduction in weight will be well worth the price. All three types are available for sale, and it will be up to the user to determine if they will need to buy something used for quick missions but has the extra baggage or something lighter on the knees but heavier on the wallet. For militaries around the world, these plates are used for troops that accompany armored divisions or hold key locations that might get under sniper fire. Because the type of rounds that will be stopped by the Level IV can easily pass through walls, they should be worn inside for these situations as well.

What Is Level 4 Body Armor?

This designation refers to the United States National Institute of Justice’s highest level of ballistic protection. Even though nothing states how this armor should look, currently there are no better options than ceramic and aluminum hard plates that can be inserted into a plate carrier. These armored plates work is a similar way as NIJ Level III, where layers of ballistic material are pressed together to form a solid block. Unlike something like steel, these blocks have both appropriate hardness and shock absorption.  Because they are made from long molecular strands of hexagonal crystals, with a single molecule usually running the entire length of the plate, they will spread any impact to the entire plate. Even for alumina, which doesn’t have this hexagonal crystal, the molecules are set in a crisscross pattern, furthering the distribution of force. The lack of a proper crystal does mean that Al2O3 armor will be thicker and heavier, but it will offer the same level of protection. Alumina is also much cheaper to make, making relatively affordable pieces of body armor.

What Will Level 4 Body Armor Stop?

Under the designation NIJ Level IV, the combat armor is tested to withstand at least a single shot from a .30 M2 Armor Piercing round. To dissipate that kind of kinetic power, it needs to be slightly tougher and more brittle when it comes to Carbide types. But, it is a misconception that Level IV armor wouldn’t stop regular anti-personnel rounds. It may, on average, take fewer shots before losing integrity, but you shouldn’t plan on getting hit by consecutive shots from a rifle regardless. Types of rounds that would need an NIJ Level IV are:
  • .30-06 Springfield
  • 7.62x51mm NATO
  • 5.7x28mm Herstal
  • .338 Lapua Magnum
All of the smaller and slower rounds are also impossible to penetrate a structurally sound Level IV Armor, with handgun rounds being virtually unnoticeable for the wearer. You may also notice that these rounds range in weight quite a bit, with the lightest being 31 grain and the AP485 coming to a whopping 248 grain. This is because for Level IV it is not the size of the bullet that counts as much as the velocity. The .30-06 can go up to 2880 fps (~877 m/s) which is enough to break through an inch of steel without even bending the core of the bullet. But, it will be stopped by a chest plate.

Do You Need Tactical Level IV Body Armor?

If you are in such an industry where you might need a Level IV plate you would probably know about it. This is a very advanced level of ballistic protection and you won’t find a lot of rifles laying around that would need them. Generally, even the distribution of AP rounds domestically is very limited, and they are not something an average criminal would even see, let alone carry. If you are a part of a private security company (not army) and have missions including following armored vehicles or guarding urban bases, you might want to have a couple of these in stock. But, for regular use, it is a bit too much both weight wise and price-wise.
F.A.Q

What is level 4 body armor?

NIJ Level IV refers to the highest grade of personal hard plate armor. This armor is designed to withstand high-caliber AP round like the .30 M2AP.

How strong is Level 4 body armor?

Very. It will absorb at least a single shot from some of the most powerful anti-personnel rifles, including the Soviet B32 7,62×54 API and even 30-06 Armor Piercing rounds.

How much does Level 4 body armor weigh?

Depending on the size of the plate, NIJ Level IV can weigh less 5lbs for the smallest (and most expensive) Boron Carbide plates, SiC in mid-range, and over 10lbs for the largest Al₂O₃ plates.

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How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.5'
5.6' - 5.9'
6.0' - 6.5'
6.6' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-49 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-44 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.5'
5.6' - 5.9'
6.0' - 6.5'
6.6' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Take the measure of your head as shown on the picture. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: head size should be in the range: 20-25 inches
No suitable size found
Size
M
L
XL
Head circumference, inches
20-21.84
21.85-22.99
23-25
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
Plate Size
S
M
L
XL
Plate Size (Inches)
8.7" х 11.7"
9.5" х 12.5"
10.3" х 13.2"
11" х 14"
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 39
39 - 42
43 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure the length of your foot. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: foot size should be in the range: 10.1-12.2 inches
No suitable size found
Boot size, US
8.5
9.5
10.5
11.5
12
13
14
15
16
Foot length, inches
10.1
10.4
10.6
10.9
11.2
11.4
11.7
12
12.2
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.3'
5.4' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
5.9' - 6.2'
6.3' - 6.6'
6.7' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 40
41 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 50
51 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
40 - 42
43 - 45
46 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5-7 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 33-53 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 28-48 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
3XL
Height (Foot)
5.0' - 5.3'
5.4' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
5.9' - 6.2'
6.3' - 6.6'
6.7' - 7.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
33 - 37
38 - 40
41 - 43
44 - 46
47 - 50
51 - 53
WAIST (INCHES)
28" 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
40 - 42
43 - 45
46 - 48
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 4.8-5.8 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 30-45 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 23-37 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
Height (Foot)
4.8' - 5.0'
5.1' - 5.2'
5.3' - 5.4'
5.5' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
CHEST (INCHES)
30 - 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
39 - 42
42 - 45
WAIST (INCHES)
23 25
26 - 28
29 - 31
32 - 33
34 - 37
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 4.8-5.8 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 30-45 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 23-37 inches
No suitable size found
BODY ARMOR SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
CUMMERBAND SIZE
S
M
L
XL
2XL
Height (Foot)
4.8' - 5.0'
5.1' - 5.2'
5.3' - 5.4'
5.5' - 5.6'
5.7' - 5.8'
CHEST (INCHES)
30 - 32
33 - 35
36 - 39
39 - 42
42 - 45
WAIST (INCHES)
23 25
26 - 28
29 - 31
32 - 33
34 - 37
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5.2-6.3 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 31.5-52.8 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 26.8-47.2 inches
No suitable size found
Apparel SIZE
2XS/S
XS/S
S/S
S/L
M/S
M/L
L/S
L/L
XL/S
XL/L
2XL/S
2XL/L
3XL/L
Height (Foot)
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.2' - 5.7'
5.8' - 6.3'
5.8' - 6.3'
CHEST (INCHES)
31.5 - 33.4
33.5 - 34.9
35 - 37
35 - 37
37.1 - 40.5
37.1 - 40.5
40.6 - 43.6
40.6 - 43.6
43.7 - 46.8
43.7 - 46.8
46.9 - 49.5
46.9 - 49.5
49.6 - 52.8
WAIST (INCHES)
26.8 - 28.5
28.6 - 30.0
30.1 - 31.5
30.1 - 31.5
31.6 - 34.9
31.6 - 34.9
35 - 38
35 - 38
38.1 - 41.1
38.1 - 41.1
41.2 - 44.4
41.2 - 44.4
44.5 - 47.2
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your height, waistline and chest circumferences. Enter your values to calculate your optimal size.
Invalid value: height size should be in the range: 5.2-6 foots
Invalid value: chest size should be in the range: 31.1-40.2 inches
Invalid value: waist size should be in the range: 22.8-31.9 inches
No suitable size found
Apparel SIZE
2XS/S
XS/S
S/S
S/L
M/S
M/L
L/S
L/L
XL/S
XL/L
Height (Foot)
5.2' - 5.6'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
5.2' - 5.6'
5.7' - 6.0'
CHEST (INCHES)
31.1 - 32.4
32.5 - 33.9
34 - 35.6
34 - 35.6
35.7 - 37.2
35.7 - 37.2
37.3 - 38.8
37.3 - 38.8
38.9 - 40.2
38.9 - 40.2
WAIST (INCHES)
22.8 - 24.2
24.3 - 25.8
25.9 - 27.4
25.9 - 27.4
27.5 - 28.9
27.5 - 28.9
29 - 30.5
29 - 30.5
30.6 - 31.9
30.6 - 31.9
How to find your perfect fit?
Measure your laptop to make sure it fits to the case.
Invalid value: length size should be in the range: 13-15 foots
Invalid value: width size should be in the range: 9-11 inches
Invalid value: thickness size should be in the range: 0.6-1 inches
No suitable size found
Laptop Case
13"
15"
17"
Length (Inches)
13
14
15
Width (INCHES)
9
10
11
Thickness (INCHES)
0.6
0.9
1.0