View Full Version : Ballistic protection of steel surplus helmets

September 14, 2005, 11:54 AM
Kevlar helmets and new generation military helmets are very expensive and really not incredibly practical for civilians and would really be useful only in an EOTW situation / home invasion scenario.

As such, it's difficult to justify spending significant funds on one. However, it would be nice to have something to cover the CPU in an emergency.

Any input on what ballistic protections steel surplus helmets offer. There are many old US, Russian, German, etc. on the market for under $30.

September 14, 2005, 12:21 PM
The were meant to protect against shrapnel / shell fragments, not bullets. Perhaps they would deflect a hadgun round but any real rifle round will go right through. Still, if I were defending my property after a hurricane it would be better than nothing and would certainly help against thrown rocks or bottles.

Jim Watson
September 14, 2005, 12:36 PM
One of the criteria for the .223 was for it to penetrate the old steel GI pot at 300 yards. A surplus helmet is not going to keep rifle bullets out of your head unless nearly spent or at a glancing angle. But is will help guard against the other risks Musketeer mentions, and might give a looter the idea you were otherwise prepared to deal with him.

September 14, 2005, 12:37 PM
I just went to ebay and there are alot of used kevlar helmets for sale. Some of them are around $20.00.

September 14, 2005, 12:39 PM
Am I correct by stating that the replacement helmets offer no better ballistic protection, but are merely lighter in weight and maybe better designed with more features? But if one were primarily concerned with a NOLA situation steel and kevlar are equally useful (or useless as one might surmise)? I thought I had read that, in addition to reducing concussion, shrapnel, debris, etc. that steel and kevlar will reliably stop up to a 9mm but NOT a rifle. Correct or incorrect?

Really, Kevlar helmets for $20! I wonder if they were stolen from the military (as some vests were stolen and sold on ebay in the past and the ring was busted and the buyers had to return the items).

Just looked and these appear to be "Replicas" of the ones issued to the US GIs. Looks like the "real" ones start around $100 plus shipping.

September 15, 2005, 11:03 AM
Since posting this I spoke to a veteran and he said the steel helmets are not designed to stop pistol rounds. They clearly won't stop rifle rounds, but no head gear really does.

Can anyone "verify" that the steel helmets won't stop common pistol calibers?

September 15, 2005, 01:10 PM
Since the steel helmets don't cost that much, you could always "verify" if it could stop a pistol round yourself. ;) Might be kind of fun too.

September 20, 2005, 10:37 AM
I have never tested a steel helmet but its protection levels are purely a matter of circumstance. A hit from a .45 at close range would surely punch through it. From a distance or a lighter round it may not. Point being, there is no defined ballistic level of the helmets. If you are just looking for impact protection get a PASGT replica or a pro-tec type special forces helmet. I would not trust a steel pot to protect me from anything fired from a gun