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Highcom Armor Test Videos, NIJ Compliance and In House Ballistics Lab

Highcom Armor is our best selling and most popular brand, we are one of their largest civilian focused domestic dealers. However, we do understand that Highcom is not as well known as other major brands. We see the ability to help ordinary Americans access high quality armor to protect themselves and their families as an immense privilege. Trust is an incredibly important aspect of body armor, so we wanted to shed some light on the history of Highcom Armor, provide insight into their in house ballistics testing lab, their 17 NIJ certified models and provide some videos of Highcom's plates being tested.


Highcom is one of the largest domestic manufacturers and one of only a handful of US armor companies who fully manufacture their plates in house and heat press their own backers.

They are also one of the only companies with their own In House Ballistic Testing Laboratory (See Here), which allows them to perform ballistic tests on every single batch of armor before being shipped to end users.

This is essentially a copy of a full NIJ accredited lab within their manufacturing facility. Most other companies either forgo a shoot test with every single batch, or they must send it off to a third party lab for testing. This allows Highcom to perform tests on every batch of manufactured plates in house, in addition to having their plates tested by third party labs.

This adds an extra layer of security and is one of the reasons why Highcom has never failed a single NIJ follow up inspection/ test on any of their ceramic hard armor systems.


Highcom does rigorous testing to ensure that all of their plates have proper safety margins built in and do not simply meet the bare minimum for testing purposes. Highcom ensures that their plates exceed standards by a wide margin. For example Highcom 3S9M Level 3 plates are rated to stop armor piercing rounds up to 7.62x54R B32 API or 7.62x51mm M61 AP, this is typically a level 4 threat. Highcom 4SAS7s are capable of stopping 6-10 shots of M855A1, and is capable of stopping magnum calibers such as .450 Marlin.

Additionally, Highcom also tests many of their armor to be in compliance with additional government requirements, such as DEA Special Threat Testing or FBI Special Threat testing.


See their in house ballistic lab here: HighComs In House Ballistics Lab | HighCom Armor


Highcom was established in 1997 and has been making armor fully in house for over 25 years, they were one of the first US manufacturers to sell ceramic level 4s to civilians.

There are only a handful of true manufacturers of ceramic hard armor in the US. Building and running even a basic armor manufacturing facility is incredibly expensive. The heat presses and autoclaves used in the manufacturing process of Highcom plates cost Millions of dollars each. Highcom has multiple heat presses and multiple autoclaves. Because of the cost prohibitive nature of manufacturing plates yourself, most armor brands in the US mark up and relabel/ rebrand plates imported from China or made by actual manufacturers.


Highcom has one of the largest armor manufacturing facilities in the US and they are a major government/ military supplier. Highcom has one of the largest NIJ certified product lists in the US with 17 current NIJ certified models. In addition to the rigorous testing requirements and follow up inspection schedule from the NIJ, Highcom also undergoes inspections from the various government agencies their make armor for, and military FAT ballistics testing.

Highcom is simply not as well known due to the fact that they are primarily a government/ military supplier (like most major defense companies). Major defense companies typically do not promote themselves as heavily in civilian channels.


We understand many of our customers find it is important to be able to see the performance of armor through video tests. The following are video clips we have compiled of Highcom armor in action. Please note we do not have any affiliation with these channels.


There is no substitute for having NIJ certified product lines, military/ government follow up testing and official NIJ testing. Youtube tests are unofficial tests that offer some insight into a plates performance. Major armor manufacturers such as Highcom with objective proven performance and quality (Long company history, NIJ certification, government contracts and no NIJ FIT failures) often do not find it necessary to prove the performance of their products through unofficial tests on Youtube.


For the record, personally we are not a huge fan of Youtube testing due to its unofficial nature. We find there are many brands who heavily promote on Youtube because it is cheaper than properly certifying their products. NIJ Certification requires up to 40 plates to be tested, with additional mandatory testing every 1-2 years. The NIJ also requires environmental testing (hot/ cold) and water submersion. Highcom tests all of their products to this standard.


*Please Note the 4SAS7 Level 4 and the 4S17M Level 4 have identical ballistic performance*

The following 4SAS7 tests demonstrate the performance of both plates


Highcom 4SAS7 (Level 4) vs. Sledgehammer and 225gr .358 Winchester


Highcom 4SAS7 (Level 4) vs. 5.56 M193 (3x), 7.62x39 (5x), .40 S&W (5x)


Highcom 4SAS7 (Level 4) vs. 7.62x51mm M61 AP (Previously shot with .358 Win/ .450 Marlin)


*Please Note the 4SAS7 Level 4 and the 4S17M Level 4 have identical ballistic performance*

The 4SAS7 above tests demonstrate the performance of both plates


Highcom 3S9 (Level 3++) vs. 8mm Mauser


Highcom 3S9 (Level 3++) vs. M855A1


Highcom 3S9 (Level 3++) vs .450 Marlin


Highcom 3S9 vs. 7.62x54R LPS (3x), 7.62x51mm M80 (3x)


Highcom RSTP (Level 3+) vs. 5.45x39 Steel Core (3x), 7.62x39 Steel Core (3x)


Highcom Armor In House Ballistic Lab/ R&D Center


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