The Safariland Group Blog

How To Check Your Shield's Performance

January 14, 2009 at 18:36

Tactical Shield Evaluation You should evaluate your shield's performance prior to use, even if your agency purchased it for you.

Performance refers to a shield’s ability to stop NIJ standard* rounds/velocities, as well as rounds/velocities beyond the standard’s requirements (special threats). You should always request a copy of the manufacturer’s shield test results. I also run through this mental checklist:

  • Do I know if my shield was tested against NIJ standard* rounds/velocities?
  • Do I know if it was tested against special threats which are of concern in my region?
  • Where on the shield were these rounds shot (body, viewport, light/handle system)?
  • Was the viewport of my shield tested? And does it provide the same level of protection as the body of my shield?

Of course these are not all of the questions you should consider, but they are certainly a start to gaining the confidence you need and should have in the ballistic shield you are using. This is my first of a series of posts on shields. Next week, we will expand upon the various levels of protection. If you can’t wait till then, drop me an email at

*The NIJ standard for testing ballistic shields is NIJ Standard-0108.01. This is a testing only standard and test protocols may vary depending on the approved NIJ lab in which the shield was tested.

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