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Old 12-04-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
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Effectiveness of steel helmet...

I'm curious if anyone has a link to an article or test where the old Vietnam-era steel USGI helmets were evaluated against various projectiles. I'm guessing they're next to ineffective against centerfire rifle rounds at any reasonable range (<400yds?) but would they stop a common pistol round (9mm/.45/.38 )? Looking for hard data here. This is just a shear curiousity question, as I have an old steel helmet laying around that was part of a costume, and was thinking about answering it for myself. Before I blast a perfectly good helmet to satisfy my curiousity, I figured I'd check here first. Mods, feel free to move this post if there is a more appropriate forum, thanks.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:16 PM   #2
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We were taught in Basic in the 70s that the "steel pot" only offered protection from low velocity shell fragments and were not effective against small arms fire. I chose to take the drill sgts word for it and not test it myself.
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:53 PM   #3
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They do make good buckets though. I have one in my stash. One can cook, dig, use as a sink, a stool, a seat, and pretty much anything else you can think of in a pinch.

They just don't make good bullet stoppers which is about the only thing the kevlar is good for.

I wouldn't know first hand but my GF is prior Army MP. She would know.

jolly
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Old 12-06-2006, 07:58 AM   #4
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I found this article done by the Phillippine military:
http://www.philippinemarinecorps.mil.ph/c6_helmet.html

They tested the M1 steel pot againt an UZI 9mm and the helmet was pentrated at a range of 10'
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Old 12-06-2006, 01:48 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jollynator
They do make good buckets though. I have one in my stash. One can cook, dig, use as a sink, a stool, a seat, and pretty much anything else you can think of in a pinch.

They just don't make good bullet stoppers which is about the only thing the kevlar is good for.

I wouldn't know first hand but my GF is prior Army MP. She would know.

jolly
+1.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:50 AM   #6
 
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How's this?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg UN Helmet.jpg (74.5 KB, 1884 views)
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:39 AM   #7
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I glad you painted the helmet UN Blue before filling it full of holes.
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:14 AM   #8
 
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Cannot take credit--it is just a picture floating around on the 'net.

Standard disclaimer: Picture is a demonstration of helmet effectiveness; posting this picture in no way is an endorsement of the use of violence against our blue-hat allies unless they deserve it.
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:56 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
Cannot take credit--it is just a picture floating around on the 'net.

Standard disclaimer: Picture is a demonstration of helmet effectiveness; posting this picture in no way is an endorsement of the use of violence against our blue-hat allies unless they deserve it.
Love the caveat!
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:22 AM   #10
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Gotta love an old steel pot...so "good" that it protected noggins from WWII to Korea, Vietnam...heck, I was issued one until I got my first PAGST in 1988!
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:07 PM   #11
 
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Frags.Only!

Had a ww2 vintage item from a family wac who gaveit to me .First thing i did was to test it with the only firearm i had,a22lr model 514
boys model. At approximately 10 ft if mem serves i was 7yrs of age
at 0% I believe it penetrated or nearly did ,at any angle whatever it only dented and smeared the helmet,but that didnt involve the liner at all which i did not test.But even with a liner i would definetly not want a friend in one complete with liners and steel
pot if shot at even with.22lrsolid/ .22 mag solid/soft point,frags only!! If youre really on a budget ive seen Israeli kev;lar helmets for sale through SARCO I believe for cheap,dont know the advertised protection levels and will get blasted for not saying buy USGI but for those of us with prcieved need and LITTLE$ It may be the ticket.Id bet it would stop the 9mm if in good shape well taken care of.Off post but Ive seen surplus kevlar brit and german sofft kevlar w/o inserts succesfully stop 9mm FMJ in informal testing but that would indeed be last ditch as would the Israeli helmet w/o specs and some testing.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:58 PM   #12
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I seem to recall from somewhere that military helmets were primarily intended to protect people from overhead explosions and shrapnel of various kinds, not really from bullets.
Somewhere in my video collection I have a WW2 era film of the military testing various different U.S. arms against captured German trucks and helmets. Even the .45ACP at close enough range would penetrate a German helmet, and farther away would turn the kraut's skull into a bell clapper. The Garand and M-1 Carbine both did even better. The German helmet was a very well made helmet in it's day, too.
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:44 AM   #13
 
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German steel pot and .45 auto

I RECALL THEOPPOSITE ON THE .45 AUTO AND GERMAN STEEL POT!This was a ww2 film demonstrating the power of the .45 and it appeared to be about 15-25 yards away w/o penetration at all.
It sure cauised the steel pot on the mannequin to jump back but like the .22 it just kinda smeared off the sides.Which frankly suprised me I would have expectd at least One side being penetrated
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:19 AM   #14
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grndpndr, I think we've seen different films ... They were quite a bit closer to the helmet in the film I saw than 25 yards, though!
In any case, the German helmet did prove to be one of the best helmets of it's day. They were apparantly very well made.
If a bullet "smeared" off the side, though, IMHO that indicates an off center strike. A cheap helmet might still allow penetration, causing a longish ragged hole.
In any case, If I was in a situation to fire at a guy with a helmet that was 25 yards away, I wouldn't aim for the helmet, but at the center of body mass.

I have to wonder how well the typical American G.I. helmet would have stood up to thae test, being shot with .30-'06, .30 Carbine, .45ACP....????
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Old 12-27-2006, 03:01 PM   #15
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I have nothing in writing about the steel helmets but you can check out. theboxoftruth if you want to see pictures of a modern kevlar helmet being tested.
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:19 AM   #16
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German Pot

Shot at a German helmet at 25-30 feet with a .22 and it only put a small dent in it. It was an original my dad sent back when he was over there and I wish I still had it. Had the crest on it and all. I was around 13 when I did it.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:43 PM   #17
 
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I c0uld very well be wrong about the films range it was close however but I still sure dont recall any penetration although in dont recall closeups either,substantial whiplash of the helmet/head
but no apparent penetration.Curiose as to the wieght of the german versus US steel pots and the effectiveness of the' ballistic'
fiberglass liner intended for frags or projectiles and (why not)a similar german liner.Id like just to compare the web lining to see if they were designed for protection against blast as well as projectiles fragmentation or in other words preventing the hard helmet from contacting the skull during a blast wave etc.Thats also a good indication of helmet effectiveness even against projectiles that dont penetrate but shove the helmet w/high enough velocity against the skull to produce concussions /death.
Ive even heard with all the modern tech nologie some of the earlier marine kevlar pots were deficient in the webbing protection area in that a blast would allow the hard pot to slide around the head impacting the head hard enough to cause brain damage and the fix was some lousy 40-60$ retrofit that Cher and a nonprofit group retrofitted thousands mainly at her expense which isnt to flattering for our supply situation and says alot for her despite my previous liberal no give a shit about the troops welfare i believed but was clearly wrong about her concerns politics aside she likely saved lives.And Im no big fan of these holly wood types who knock everything about US except the freedom and the system that allows them the freedom to earn that cash and freedom of speech to run thier silly ass mouths!
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Old 01-05-2007, 07:47 AM   #18
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grndpndr, see this thread for more info about Cher and the helmet pads:

http://battlerifles.ambackforum.com/...7454&highlight
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:06 AM   #19
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GI Helmet

I well remember a little demonstration at Ft. Leonard Wood in 1959. The rifle instructor set up a steel helmet out about 50 yards in front. In front of that he put a cement block, and in front of that he put a dried -out old tree stump, about 8" in diameter. One shot with ball .30-06 from his M1 went through the tree stump, shattered the cement block, and completely went through both sides of the steel pot.

"Don't count on your pot saving your gourd from rifle fire," he advised us, "they are mainly for protection from air bursts."

Always remembered that little M1 performance.
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