Ballistic helmets? (Read 839 times)

eyeeatingfish

Ballistic helmets?
« on: July 01, 2022, 09:55:03 PM »
What do you guys think about ballistic helmets? I have a plate carrier with steel plates and in total it was about $400, maybe $500 with accessories added so I wonder about a helmet but they aren't cheap.

The cheapest ballistic helmets seem to start about $300 then go all the way over $1,000 for the nice ones. Some cover a bit of the ears, some don't. Then there is weight too.
The worst part is they all seem to have a 5 year shelf life.

AR500.com was working on a steel ballistic helmet for about $300 with a long (20 year?) shelf life, comparable weight, and actually much smaller than your regular helmets. It is delayed though with an unknown delivery date.
https://www.ar500armor.com/militia-helmet-update

aletheuo137

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2022, 10:41:58 AM »
"The worst part is they all seem to have a 5 year shelf life."

That seems to be an OSHA standard on most equipment. But, funny equipment still works and functions.

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Flapp_Jackson

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2022, 02:05:01 PM »
"The worst part is they all seem to have a 5 year shelf life."

That seems to be an OSHA standard on most equipment. But, funny equipment still works and functions.

Some sellers offer a 5 yr, 10 yr, or lifetime warranty "against (manufacturing) defects".  Others warrant PERFORMANCE for a specific period.

Better to get one with a performance warranty as they do degrade over time.

For example:

"Here at Hard Head Veterans, we use fibers that do have some of the longest data trails and is why we can warranty our shell performance up to 10 years. "
https://www.hardheadveterans.com/blogs/reviews/ballistic-helmet-warranties-explained

The 3 things to consider are cost, comfort and performance.  Not all ballistic helmets are rated for the same protection levels.  Warranty type & length should be included in cost analysis, since replacing a helmet more often will increase the cost over time.

Of course, as manufacturing and materials change with new technologies, you might want to pay less for a 5 year warranted helmet so you can upgrade to something newer.

Even if a helmet has exceeded its warranted ballistic performance, it's still perfectly fine for impact protection.
Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.  -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I need some new conspiracy theories. All my old ones turned out to be true.

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QUIETShooter

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2022, 04:04:16 PM »
I'm thinking of using one of those Martha Stewart Crockpots, the 8 quart would fit my head.

On second thought might as well buy the real deal.  Her crockpots are expensive.
Sometimes you gotta know when to save your bullets.

Flapp_Jackson

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2022, 04:08:20 PM »
I'm thinking of using one of those Martha Stewart Crockpots, the 8 quart would fit my head.

On second thought might as well buy the real deal.  Her crockpots are expensive.

I figure you're safe with all the layers upon layers of tin foil you have.

 :thumbsup: :geekdanc:
Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.  -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I need some new conspiracy theories. All my old ones turned out to be true.

Hamburger Helper only works if the hamburger really wants to be helped.

aletheuo137

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 04:39:21 PM »
 

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WTF?Shane

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2022, 05:48:43 PM »
Have you ever looked at the stuff around a steel target after shooting it?

nickelzismoney

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2022, 06:14:29 PM »
"The worst part is they all seem to have a 5 year shelf life."

That seems to be an OSHA standard on most equipment. But, funny equipment still works and functions.

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk

The “shelf life” is usually just what the manufacturer covers under warranty period. It’ll generally last much longer depending on intensity of usage and if it’s stored in ideal conditions. Pretty much just a regulatory piece of information the manufacturer must legally include somewhere
“No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall… you are never out of the fight.” - Marcus Luttrel

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

nickelzismoney

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2022, 06:20:00 PM »
What do you guys think about ballistic helmets? I have a plate carrier with steel plates and in total it was about $400, maybe $500 with accessories added so I wonder about a helmet but they aren't cheap.

The cheapest ballistic helmets seem to start about $300 then go all the way over $1,000 for the nice ones. Some cover a bit of the ears, some don't. Then there is weight too.
The worst part is they all seem to have a 5 year shelf life.

AR500.com was working on a steel ballistic helmet for about $300 with a long (20 year?) shelf life, comparable weight, and actually much smaller than your regular helmets. It is delayed though with an unknown delivery date.
https://www.ar500armor.com/militia-helmet-update



Avoid steel armor and plates at all costs if what you’ll be having them for is potentially needing them one day. Go ceramic/ poly, hybrid. There’s a reason why steel helmets stopped being issued new in WWII, Vietnam, and Korea.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2022, 06:28:09 PM by nickelzismoney »
“No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall… you are never out of the fight.” - Marcus Luttrel

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

hvybarrels

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2022, 02:22:59 PM »
Avoid steel armor and plates at all costs if what you’ll be having them for is potentially needing the, one day. Go ceramic/ poly or ceramic

Yeah I second that. The weight is awful. Get something that's easy to put on when you walk out the door.
"Dark humor is like food. Not everyone gets it."
-Joseph Stalin

eyeeatingfish

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2022, 09:55:57 PM »
Have you ever looked at the stuff around a steel target after shooting it?

Pretty sure getting shot in the head is still worse than the spalling hitting you

eyeeatingfish

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2022, 09:58:16 PM »
The “shelf life” is usually just what the manufacturer covers under warranty period. It’ll generally last much longer depending on intensity of usage and if it’s stored in ideal conditions. Pretty much just a regulatory piece of information the manufacturer must legally include somewhere

There are a few youtube videos where a guy gets shot with an old vest on as a "test" and the bullet goes right through.

Of course storage conditions matter. Body armor kept dry and out of sunlight probably going to last longer than something stored in the sun/wet/hot etc.

nickelzismoney

Re: Ballistic helmets
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2022, 06:04:21 PM »
What do you guys think about ballistic helmets? I have a plate carrier with steel plates and in total it was about $400, maybe $500 with accessories added so I wonder about a helmet but they aren't cheap.

The cheapest ballistic helmets seem to start about $300 then go all the way over $1,000 for the nice ones. Some cover a bit of the ears, some don't. Then there is weight too.
The worst part is they all seem to have a 5 year shelf life.

AR500.com was working on a steel ballistic helmet for about $300 with a long (20 year?) shelf life, comparable weight, and actually much smaller than your regular helmets. It is delayed though with an unknown delivery date.
https://www.ar500armor.com/militia-helmet-update

What a rabbit hole this is.

Steel plates are bad (IMO). They can generally take more hits, but the spawl is often detrimental, even with an “anti-spawl” coating which doesn’t do much aside from add a little resistance to the plate. What lessens spawl is the curvature and hardness of the plate, to absorb or deflect some of the impact. Inherently, steel will spawl more than ceramic / poly / hybrid. Some plates may be heavier, some may be lighter; totally depends on the materials, thickness, and NIJ rating because generally speaking, higher level plates are heavier or thicker. Not always the case. (Ex: DFNDR Armor vs. RMA Armament) You get what you pay for. If you ever intend to actually use the plates for anything besides donning at the range, I would STRONGLY suggest you change your plates to another material. I digress.

As well as helmets, if it’s ~$300, it is either a cheap knock-off, a bump helmet (not ballistic - often used for climbing/ rescue operations), or you found someone who needs the money. Keep in mind that ballistic helmets are to mitigate damage/ impact/ back face deformation from pistol caliber rounds or defeat them, not rifle rounds. Again, not always the case (rating vs actual NIJ testing). Do not buy non-NIJ certified armor or helmets if you are serious about having them for protection, because testing is not the same as having official certification.

The style or “cut” of the helmet is dependent upon usage (as in high cuts with comms/ headsets/ and other equipment on the head. Most USGI helmets are “mid cut” unless Unit SOP require issue of something else

It is essential that NIJ-certification be had by a company for any kind of serious threat elimination. I’m not *the* expert, but my background in the infantry/ combat arms and training experiences give me some amount of credibility; take this how you will.

As for companies, stay away from anything made out of America or “assembled with American materials”… HHV is one that claims their Kevlar is American, but the helmets are made in China (except newer Gen helmets specifically made in Texas). Very good brands to consider are Team Wendy; Armour Source, LLC (USMIL contracts); Gentex; Avon, etc. You truly do get what you pay for. And never, NEVER expect to be able to reuse plates after multiple hits regardless of materials. Some may last longer, some may not.

Lastly, the 5 year “warranty” or “shelf life” is simply the legally required verbiage that the US Govt mandates companies add in their products’ info because nothing can be guaranteed for certain. If armor is damaged from ballistics usage before the warranty period ends, it is generally replaced by the company (often only with an accompanying police report). However it is definitely advisable to search for armor with a longer warranty period as Flapp mentioned. Many excellent companies warranty their armor at ~10 years. DO NOT skip out on quality due to price unless you’re only testing/ trying armors. That is a big no-no for those who are serious about armor. BUY ONCE, CRY ONCE. But if you’re just looking, this is all suggestive. Take it from someone who has years of experience wearing and training in armor and plate carriers professionally. This is purely friendly and constructive advice. Get whatever armor you can afford, that is designed to be used the Way you need or intend to us it. There’s a major reason why steel armor is not used as issued armor whether in training, combat, or in the field. Never wanna a fellow person screwed over by bad composition, marketing, or misinformation.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2022, 06:26:48 PM by nickelzismoney »
“No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall… you are never out of the fight.” - Marcus Luttrel

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

nickelzismoney

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2022, 06:22:17 PM »
Pretty sure getting shot in the head is still worse than the spalling hitting you

Actually not really. Spawling usually hits the neck/ inner arms/ groin. All those are sensitive areas with major arteries. If a helmet is worth it’s salt, it will stop (designed to slow via layers then causing round to stop or deflect) the round but only up to a certain threat level. Also depends on hit angle, caliber, and properties of the round that hits it.
“No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall… you are never out of the fight.” - Marcus Luttrel

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

zippz

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2022, 07:33:52 PM »
Never considered warrantees on helmets.  I'm not sure if it's actually an indicator of longevity or liability or business practices.  I'm guessing the latter two.

The biggest difference with higher prices helmets is weight reduction.  A pound off your head is significant.  Better retention systems and padding also make a big difference with comfort and avoiding headaches and neck cramps.  It's worth it if you use it all day frequently.  If it's just a few hours occasionally, then cheaper options are fine.  Good rail systems help with mounting NVGs and lights.  Ops core rails are the standard.

I've been pondering what purpose ballistic helmets have for civilian/donestic use as they provide very minimal coverage to the front and side, and bullets hitting those covered areas of the skull have a good chance of deflection anyways.  Most of the protection is at the top and back which make sense for shrapnel protection. 

A bump helmet might be a better option for domestic use as it's cheaper, lighter,  better ventilated, and protects you from thrown objects and impacts.

I got the ops core ballistic and bump helmet.  The ballistic one is great with lighter weight, good padding and retention, and standard rails. But it's very expensive - got it with a mil discount.  The bump helmet is good but there may be better options.  The NVG mount is plastic and built in, so cannot be replaced if worn out.  And the cheapo pads suck, but are usable and well ventilated.  I tend to use the bump helmet a lot for shooting w GoPro's, nvgs, and use as a safety helmet.  Using it keeps you cooler in the sun better than a regular hat.
Join the Hawaii Firearms Coalition at www.hifico.org.  Hawaii's new non-profit gun rights organization focused on lobbying and grassroots activism.

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Flapp_Jackson

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2022, 09:20:51 PM »
Never considered warrantees on helmets.  I'm not sure if it's actually an indicator of longevity or liability or business practices.  I'm guessing the latter two.

The biggest difference with higher prices helmets is weight reduction.  A pound off your head is significant.  Better retention systems and padding also make a big difference with comfort and avoiding headaches and neck cramps.  It's worth it if you use it all day frequently.  If it's just a few hours occasionally, then cheaper options are fine.  Good rail systems help with mounting NVGs and lights.  Ops core rails are the standard.

I've been pondering what purpose ballistic helmets have for civilian/donestic use as they provide very minimal coverage to the front and side, and bullets hitting those covered areas of the skull have a good chance of deflection anyways.  Most of the protection is at the top and back which make sense for shrapnel protection. 

A bump helmet might be a better option for domestic use as it's cheaper, lighter,  better ventilated, and protects you from thrown objects and impacts.

I got the ops core ballistic and bump helmet.  The ballistic one is great with lighter weight, good padding and retention, and standard rails. But it's very expensive - got it with a mil discount.  The bump helmet is good but there may be better options.  The NVG mount is plastic and built in, so cannot be replaced if worn out.  And the cheapo pads suck, but are usable and well ventilated.  I tend to use the bump helmet a lot for shooting w GoPro's, nvgs, and use as a safety helmet.  Using it keeps you cooler in the sun better than a regular hat.

Excellent points.

I have the cheapest helmet I could find.  It's mainly for raising and lowering through a window to use as a decoy!

Works in all the movies!   :geekdanc: :thumbsup:
Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.  -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I need some new conspiracy theories. All my old ones turned out to be true.

Hamburger Helper only works if the hamburger really wants to be helped.

eyeeatingfish

Re: Ballistic helmets
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2022, 10:47:31 PM »
What a rabbit hole this is.

Steel plates are bad (IMO). They can generally take more hits, but the spawl is often detrimental, even with an “anti-spawl” coating which doesn’t do much aside from add a little resistance to the plate. What lessens spawl is the curvature and hardness of the plate, to absorb or deflect some of the impact. Inherently, steel will spawl more than ceramic / poly / hybrid. Some plates may be heavier, some may be lighter; totally depends on the materials, thickness, and NIJ rating because generally speaking, higher level plates are heavier or thicker. Not always the case. (Ex: DFNDR Armor vs. RMA Armament) You get what you pay for. If you ever intend to actually use the plates for anything besides donning at the range, I would STRONGLY suggest you change your plates to another material. I digress.

As well as helmets, if it’s ~$300, it is either a cheap knock-off, a bump helmet (not ballistic - often used for climbing/ rescue operations), or you found someone who needs the money. Keep in mind that ballistic helmets are to mitigate damage/ impact/ back face deformation from pistol caliber rounds or defeat them, not rifle rounds. Again, not always the case (rating vs actual NIJ testing). Do not buy non-NIJ certified armor or helmets if you are serious about having them for protection, because testing is not the same as having official certification.

The style or “cut” of the helmet is dependent upon usage (as in high cuts with comms/ headsets/ and other equipment on the head. Most USGI helmets are “mid cut” unless Unit SOP require issue of something else

It is essential that NIJ-certification be had by a company for any kind of serious threat elimination. I’m not *the* expert, but my background in the infantry/ combat arms and training experiences give me some amount of credibility; take this how you will.

As for companies, stay away from anything made out of America or “assembled with American materials”… HHV is one that claims their Kevlar is American, but the helmets are made in China (except newer Gen helmets specifically made in Texas). Very good brands to consider are Team Wendy; Armour Source, LLC (USMIL contracts); Gentex; Avon, etc. You truly do get what you pay for. And never, NEVER expect to be able to reuse plates after multiple hits regardless of materials. Some may last longer, some may not.

Lastly, the 5 year “warranty” or “shelf life” is simply the legally required verbiage that the US Govt mandates companies add in their products’ info because nothing can be guaranteed for certain. If armor is damaged from ballistics usage before the warranty period ends, it is generally replaced by the company (often only with an accompanying police report). However it is definitely advisable to search for armor with a longer warranty period as Flapp mentioned. Many excellent companies warranty their armor at ~10 years. DO NOT skip out on quality due to price unless you’re only testing/ trying armors. That is a big no-no for those who are serious about armor. BUY ONCE, CRY ONCE. But if you’re just looking, this is all suggestive. Take it from someone who has years of experience wearing and training in armor and plate carriers professionally. This is purely friendly and constructive advice. Get whatever armor you can afford, that is designed to be used the Way you need or intend to us it. There’s a major reason why steel armor is not used as issued armor whether in training, combat, or in the field. Never wanna a fellow person screwed over by bad composition, marketing, or misinformation.

I have seen a number of videos of them shooting at steel armor with the spalling protection coating and they seem to do quite well. They start to fail after a bunch of hits at which point they start to delaminate and then will throw spalling but again if you are getting hit 30 times in the chest the spalling is probably not your primary risk. To me the weight is the real downside, plates, the carrier, and accessories have that thing probably weighing 25 pounds. If I had to go hiking with that I would definitely invest in the lighter weight stuff.

I will keep an eye out on the manufacture details of helmets if I ever get one. Definitely not buying one made in China.
Was looking at this one. Not set on ar500.com or anything just found it and it seemed affordable. Doesn't say where it is made though which makes me worry
https://www.ar500armor.com/protector-helmet.html

changemyoil66

Re: Ballistic helmets
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2022, 02:10:55 PM »
I have seen a number of videos of them shooting at steel armor with the spalling protection coating and they seem to do quite well. They start to fail after a bunch of hits at which point they start to delaminate and then will throw spalling but again if you are getting hit 30 times in the chest the spalling is probably not your primary risk. To me the weight is the real downside, plates, the carrier, and accessories have that thing probably weighing 25 pounds. If I had to go hiking with that I would definitely invest in the lighter weight stuff.

I will keep an eye out on the manufacture details of helmets if I ever get one. Definitely not buying one made in China.
Was looking at this one. Not set on ar500.com or anything just found it and it seemed affordable. Doesn't say where it is made though which makes me worry
https://www.ar500armor.com/protector-helmet.html

If steel is what you can afford, then it's better than nothing.  But if you can afford ceramics or like, then upgrade.  Yes, all steel now comes with the coating, but this coating can still fail, which I've seen after only 1 round hitting (if you're unlucky.). I have yet to see ceramic or like failing in the same way. 

A pro of steel is that it is much slimmer than ceramic, which I noticed right off the bat after I made the change. But no biggie. My issue with steel is that they are limited to what they can stop compared to ceramics. I've seen multiple videos of your regular XM193 penetrating AR500 steel that claimed it was rated for that caliber. At the same test, it stopped 7.62 all day no problem. So anything over 3000 fsp is where the issue is.

AR500 Armor system was 1 company that failed and even Spartan Armor Systems AR500 steel (which I had) failed against XM193.  Both state it can stop 223/556. This was about 4 years ago, so IDK if they have since came out with a better steel.  I have seen no vids of ceramics failing what they state that they should stop.

zippz

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2022, 02:51:54 PM »
Problem with ceramics, including plates, is they can crack if you drop them.  And those cracks may be hidden by the coatings.
Join the Hawaii Firearms Coalition at www.hifico.org.  Hawaii's new non-profit gun rights organization focused on lobbying and grassroots activism.

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changemyoil66

Re: Ballistic helmets?
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2022, 04:41:02 PM »
Problem with ceramics, including plates, is they can crack if you drop them.  And those cracks may be hidden by the coatings.
Polyirethane is the way to go. Smash with hammer and still g2g. But u gonna pay $ for em. Shot stop has vids of this.

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