Steel Pot, Protective Value


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Mauserguy
December 21, 2005, 11:12 PM
As part of my post Katrina preparations, I am putting together a survival kit. This includes food, manuals, etc. In my closet, I found an old East German helmet which I had purchased years ago to match my East German paintball outfit. At any rate, it got me to wondering just how protective it would be.

Will a steel pot helmet stop a bullet or only shrapnel? Are they any good?
Mauserguy



Hey, the helmet looks good on me.

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DMK
December 21, 2005, 11:26 PM
It's sloped pretty steeply. I'd say there's a good chance it would deflect a bullet fired straight on. Wouldn't want to test that theory though.

Nice SKS!

Sam
December 21, 2005, 11:32 PM
It might stop or deflect a pistol rounds but nothing worthy of the name rifle is going to be stopped.
They are better than nothing but not a lot.
Best use I ever found for one was soaking my feet.

Sam

armoredman
December 21, 2005, 11:36 PM
Keeps the rain and shrapnel off, anything else is luck and chance, but it beats a newspaper held over your head. A poor chance is better than none.

Lupinus
December 21, 2005, 11:56 PM
shrapnel problably, maybe pistol. But it would have a lot to do with jsut what angle it was hit at. You are better off getting yourself a modern one. Still not a sure thing but much better.

AZRickD
December 22, 2005, 12:00 AM
You'd be better off with a motorcycle helmet.

Rick

Cosmoline
December 22, 2005, 12:04 AM
Probably more useful as a wok.

Preacherman
December 22, 2005, 12:05 AM
Dang - Cosmo beat me to it... :D

Lucky
December 22, 2005, 12:09 AM
On another site I saw ppl discussing it, and the protective value depends a lot on range, and some helmets were made out of more expensive alloys than others.

As for glancing shots, eh, when you hit the side of an empty pop can with a pellet gun, even at extreme angles, and with rounded pellets, they still dig in and plough a nice trough. So I'd have to agree that rifles would pass through it at all ranges.

But it would keep the sun and water off, and burrowing insects, and most importantly of all it would boil water if held over a flame. Not much else in the world can do that, 'cept for Don Quixote's headwear.

Walter
December 22, 2005, 12:24 AM
Unless it's a helluva lot better than a U.S. Vietnam era steel pot, the answer is
'neither'. The helmet I wore on an early March night in 1969 was penetrated by shrapnel fragments first by a "chi-com" grenade, and later that night by fragments from an RPG that detonated a few feet behind me.
I have no doubt that the helmet slowed the shrapnel enough to keep it from penetrating my skull, but the fact is it went through the steel pot.
I think a kevlar helmet might be a better choice.

Walter

HighVelocity
December 22, 2005, 12:26 AM
I've always been a Lobster Pot man myself. :p

http://www.hemswell-antiques.com/images/783_DSC00971.JPG

Mauserguy
December 22, 2005, 01:04 AM
Wow, where can I get a Lobster Pot? I have recently read that the army is going to switch it's helmet design, so the market may become flooded with kevlar units soon. I don't know how true it is, but I am rather fond of the look of the communist hat, so I will definately keep it.

Walter, that's quite a story you have to tell. I'm glad your pot worked well enough for you to be with us today.
Mauserguy

LAK
December 22, 2005, 04:44 AM
What Lucky said.

Depends on alot. But better than nothing.

----------------------------
http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

strambo
December 22, 2005, 05:17 AM
I don't know if it would be better than nothing. It restricts peripheral vision, hearing, is heavy/uncomfortable and offers minimal protection. I have an RBR F6 combat helmet...but I never thought of wearing it in a civilian SHTF capacity...I guess it would be good. It will stop pistol rounds (level IIIA) and shrapnel and has minimal impact on hearing and peripheral vision.

I would think for the size and weight there would be a lot better choices of objects to put in a survival kit instead. Even if only more H2O or food.

SomeKid
December 22, 2005, 09:50 AM
You can buy the kind of helmets SWAT teams do their raids with, last I checked, they go as high as either II or IIIA for general head part, and the face masks are rated to IIA, I think.


Edit:
In fact, here it is. http://www.galls.com/style.html?assort=general_catalog&style=TE042

Biker
December 22, 2005, 09:55 AM
Cover it in tin foil like I did mine and it serves a dual purpose.:neener:
Biker

MudPuppy
December 22, 2005, 01:45 PM
I wouldn't bother with it.

A kevlar type headgear would be worth considering.

yonderway
December 22, 2005, 02:11 PM
I picked up a used USGI PASGT helmet at a gun show, with a woodland camo cover, for about $40 a few months ago. With the MICH helmet being used more and more often, or upgrades to the more heavily armored PASGT helmets getting around, the standard PASGT is going to become more available.

There are also German and British kevlar helmets out there in the milsurp industry to be had for under $100.

Lucky
December 23, 2005, 03:27 AM
maybe you could heat rocks in a fire, and drop them into the helmet full of water, to boil it. But it would not be easy.

Thin Black Line
December 23, 2005, 09:02 AM
I've always been a Lobster Pot man myself. :p

http://www.hemswell-antiques.com/images/783_DSC00971.JPG

There should be a modern kevlar version with IIIA face shield for the
humvee gunners......

DSS
December 23, 2005, 09:42 AM
I got a ricochet 30 cal in the head once with a modern kevlar helmet on. I'm not sure exactly where it hit but the left ear piece was blown to splinters and my ear was cut. That's all I got thankfully! It was two bullets coming off the ground and one got me in the body armor on my left chest and that other one went up in the side of my helmet somehow. I walked away. Well got carried away but only because I was trying to go after the one who had the "accidental discharge" . My weapon was open and cleared as I had ordered the rest of the line fortunantly for him.

We wore steel pots in the Navy the whole time I was in. I can't say I ever saw one take a bullet but I do know when you are hauling butt down a passageway in the dark to a fire and you thump your head on a Water tight door frame they do work! Done that a few times.

One time here me and my son had to go out to the barn when we saw a tornado coming. We had hail stones the size of soft balls and so I told him to grab his helmet. It was a ww2 army steel pot. I had my kevlar on. We ran out and turned all the horses loose and then took cover under the house. When it just barely missed us we came out to more hail but there was lightening all over too. I quickly thought about it then told him to throw me his helmet and I gave him mine. Steel helmets and lightening are a bad thing.
I have seen a man killed from that. Another man I know got killed just from the steel button on his navy ball cap providing an exit for the electricity from a lightening strike.

Be careful in bad weather with steel on your head!

slopemeno
December 23, 2005, 07:29 PM
IIRC, the old Pistolero magazine (remember Fat Phil?)shot a few steel pots, and without the liner a .32 acp penetrated it.

jaysouth
December 23, 2005, 09:56 PM
Steel helmets have a nice ring to them when hit with a bullet.

With the wrong camo or paint job, they make good targets.

I can't imagine a civil breakdown scenario that would mandate a helmet. Might be nice low intensity military operations, if you can honestly see yourself involved. If you do forsee this, call me so I can go the other direction.

EddieCoyle
December 23, 2005, 10:04 PM
If the SHTF, put it on, then follow LeBeau and Hogan out of the camp through the phony tree stump.

jefnvk
December 23, 2005, 10:04 PM
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=109994 $29.97 for British Kevlar helmets

Also got German ones for $99 and American ones for $119

armoredman
December 23, 2005, 10:22 PM
I'll have to see about getting one of those Brits.

BigFatKen
December 23, 2005, 10:52 PM
I was sliding downhill in a rock slide one time in RVN. I must have been knocked out. As I came to, I saw that I was looking at my 4.9 pound helmet. It had a big dent in it. I thought "I'd better put that on". It saved my life.

Lucky
December 23, 2005, 10:58 PM
As I understand it the British and Israeli helmets are similar, look similar, and are both weak ballistically too. IIRC the Germans are or did or will switch helmets, so theirs might be better quality, while the PASGT can at least take a .45 at conversation distances.

PASGT helmets on Ebay for good prices iirc.

Red Dragon
December 23, 2005, 11:17 PM
Steel pots don't provide much protection from bullets. Several years back, Nightcrawler and I went shooting and decided to set his steel pot on a target post and take a couple of shots at it. The bullets ripped through the helmet like a BB through an aluminium can. Left a hell of an exit hole too. Lots of sharp edges.

Sir Aardvark
December 24, 2005, 02:12 AM
It'd be better than nothing, but in any case, good luck!

loose cannon
December 24, 2005, 02:58 AM
i think id go for the kev pasgt lid.i do like the lobster pot rig though,is it japanese????

c_yeager
December 29, 2005, 02:24 PM
I think that for general emergency use you would be far better off with a sports-oriented helmet. You are a lot more likely to bang your head on debris and overhanging objects than you are to catch a bullet. An actual modern helmet would also fit a lot better, it would not restrict your vision, and it would be a heck of a lot lighter. When it comes down to it they probably would be about equal when it comes to stopping a bullet as both of them would be readily perferated by virtually anything fired at you from a reasonable distance.

To give some perspective I recall that one of the tests for our newer .223 round is that it be able to punch through *both* sides of a current issue kevlar helmet at 600 yards. I bet you could make swiss cheese out of that thing with a pistol at 20 yards.

Moples
December 29, 2005, 03:09 PM
Cool lobstertail helm. I wasn't too sure where it came from either, but I've heard of the term Zischagge, so I looked it up. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ufarm/hod_14.25.611.htm

odysseus
December 29, 2005, 03:33 PM
To give some perspective I recall that one of the tests for our newer .223 round is that it be able to punch through *both* sides of a current issue kevlar helmet at 600 yards. I bet you could make swiss cheese out of that thing with a pistol at 20 yards.

That's interesting, so what good is the current kevlar helmets to soldiers then since most anything shot at them will be from a rifle? Just good for explosive frag hits?

LEO uses them too, but I guess it's for something better than nothing at all.

jefnvk
December 29, 2005, 05:04 PM
That's interesting, so what good is the current kevlar helmets to soldiers then since most anything shot at them will be from a rifle? Just good for explosive frag hits?

LEO uses them too, but I guess it's for something better than nothing at all.

My guess would be debris/frag. I think there would be quite a bit of flying objects in a combat zone, and getting knocked out by a flying rock is not somethign I am looking forward to.

jobu07
December 29, 2005, 05:22 PM
I bet they'd stop a ricochette halfway decently too.

Roadkill
December 29, 2005, 05:23 PM
One saved my butt. We got mortared in a firebase (Dautieng), I ran around a bunker to get inside, someone had left a 2x4 sticking out off the bunker top, I hit it wide open across my forehead. A mortar hit on the other side of the bunker right when I hit the 2x4, my feet went straight up in the air, I landed on my back, knocked the breath out of me, had no doubt I'd been hit. The front edge of the helmet broke the bridge of my nose and gave me a black eye. My tank commander threw one at a NVA but missed him.


rk

scotjute
December 30, 2005, 10:12 AM
I've got a Swede steel helmet bought from a surplus place. Its hard to imagine actually wearing it while moving across country or some-such. How "comfortable" would these things be after wearing them on all day on a cross-country trek? Seems like your head would get mighty hot in hot Texas sun with that thing on.

Manedwolf
December 30, 2005, 10:50 AM
I picked up a used USGI PASGT helmet at a gun show, with a woodland camo cover, for about $40 a few months ago. With the MICH helmet being used more and more often, or upgrades to the more heavily armored PASGT helmets getting around, the standard PASGT is going to become more available.

There are also German and British kevlar helmets out there in the milsurp industry to be had for under $100.

I've been leery of buying anything used that could have come back from Iraq, especially if it's cheap. A local surplus store I buy a lot from rejected a palette of BDUs and helmets recently. Because the owner had been over there in '91, he had a habit of pointing an old CD Geiger counter at things he was thinking of buying.

These were hot. Unhealthily so. Contaminated with DU dust, apparently. :scrutiny:

Manedwolf
December 30, 2005, 10:52 AM
I think that for general emergency use you would be far better off with a sports-oriented helmet. You are a lot more likely to bang your head on debris and overhanging objects than you are to catch a bullet. An actual modern helmet would also fit a lot better, it would not restrict your vision, and it would be a heck of a lot lighter. When it comes down to it they probably would be about equal when it comes to stopping a bullet as both of them would be readily perferated by virtually anything fired at you from a reasonable distance.

To give some perspective I recall that one of the tests for our newer .223 round is that it be able to punch through *both* sides of a current issue kevlar helmet at 600 yards. I bet you could make swiss cheese out of that thing with a pistol at 20 yards.

I'd say something with a flip-down face shield, if you're talking about things like hurricanes. If you have to move around in an area where a window might turn into flying glass shards unexpectedly, it's better not to catch them with your face and eyes.

armoredman
December 30, 2005, 11:16 AM
I've been leery of buying anything used that could have come back from Iraq, especially if it's cheap. A local surplus store I buy a lot from rejected a palette of BDUs and helmets recently. Because the owner had been over there in '91, he had a habit of pointing an old CD Geiger counter at things he was thinking of buying.

These were hot. Unhealthily so. Contaminated with DU dust, apparently. :scrutiny:
Interesting - has anyone else heard of this? Since those of us who buy cheaply, (read, poor), get surplus, what is the easy way to check for stuff like this, or how much should we worry, if at all?

c_yeager
December 30, 2005, 12:54 PM
I'd say something with a flip-down face shield, if you're talking about things like hurricanes. If you have to move around in an area where a window might turn into flying glass shards unexpectedly, it's better not to catch them with your face and eyes.

You know, a modular (flip-up) motorcycle helmet would be perfect for that particular application.

History Nut
December 30, 2005, 04:29 PM
You know, a modular (flip-up) motorcycle helmet would be perfect for that particular application.

I agree. Also consider surplus firefighter helmets with face shield. If you add the nomex brush hood that protects the nape of the neck, you could prevent quite a few minor injuries. No protection worth mentioning from bullets, but will help against wind-blown debris or thrown rocks and bottles. They also work well when walking into low beams in the dark (ask me how I know!). Due to the compression of the spine, one is dazed for a few seconds but not having a large head laceration bleeding profusely made the helmet worth the 'discomfort' of wearing it!

Gifted
December 30, 2005, 09:44 PM
The helmet I wore on an early March night in 1969 was penetrated by shrapnel fragments first by a "chi-com" grenade, and later that night by fragments from an RPG that detonated a few feet behind me.
I have no doubt that the helmet slowed the shrapnel enough to keep it from penetrating my skull, but the fact is it went through the steel pot. if we're talkign about the same helmet, that might be why later they made kevlar linings. Blew my mind when I got a steel pot at Holloman. AMXS might still have it. I was told it was still good, and some people said that some guys preferred the older steel helmet. About the only benefit I could think of is that it would easily second as a cooking pot, if properly cared for. The lining would keep the inside clean, you just have to get the paint out of the inside.

I was also told that in a real life situation, I should leave the chin strap unhooked, as a close grenade hit would send the helmet flying, and my head with it. Still don't know what to think of that.

AFhack
December 30, 2005, 09:49 PM
Gifted: I can guarantee you AMXS at Holloman doesn't have it anymore - we had to turn in all the remaining steel ones last year :(

yonderway
December 31, 2005, 12:07 AM
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=109994 $29.97 for British Kevlar helmets

That is a phenomenal price for kevlar. The british helmet looks to have a better suspension than the US PASGT, and probably better mobility (try shooting from prone in a PASGT with level III gear on sometime and you'll know what I'm talking about)

yonderway
December 31, 2005, 12:09 AM
One saved my butt. We got mortared in a firebase (Dautieng), I ran around a bunker to get inside, someone had left a 2x4 sticking out off the bunker top, I hit it wide open across my forehead. A mortar hit on the other side of the bunker right when I hit the 2x4, my feet went straight up in the air, I landed on my back, knocked the breath out of me, had no doubt I'd been hit. The front edge of the helmet broke the bridge of my nose and gave me a black eye. My tank commander threw one at a NVA but missed him.


:eek: :D

I almost shot H2O out my nose. Almost.

Trebor
December 31, 2005, 01:57 AM
To give some perspective I recall that one of the tests for our newer .223 round is that it be able to punch through *both* sides of a current issue kevlar helmet at 600 yards. I bet you could make swiss cheese out of that thing with a pistol at 20 yards.

I know the requirement for the 62 gr 5.56 round was that it be able to penetrate a STEEL helment at 600 yards. I have not heard of any requirement that 5.56 pass through a Kevlar helment.

Rob62
December 31, 2005, 09:54 AM
Back when I was in the Army I did some testing on both the USGI Kevlar helmet and the older issue Steel Pot with helmet liner and camo cover

I worked on a US weapons range and had a lot of flexibility on what I did - one of the best jobs of my entire life. Shooting guns and blowing stuff up on Uncle Sugar's dime :neener:

Anyway the tests consisted of shooting both helmets with various small arms and at distances from 25 to 50 meters.

The end results were almost everything went through the steel pot. Cartridges used were 9mm, .45ACP, 5.56 both the 55 and 62 grain bullets, 7.62mm NATO and 7.63x39.

Test conditions. Helmets were placed on posts and hung free. This allowed them to move around when hit. It would have been better if we could have fixed them in place so that they would not move easily but that was not an option. Weather warm and clear. All shots were designed to be perpendicular to a side or front/rear of the helmet.

At 25 meters everything penetrated the steel pot! The Kevlar helmet was penetrated by everything but the .45ACP. The 45 bullet did crack the shell and the bullet was sticking in the Kevlar pocking into the inside. (Another 200FPS MV and I bet it would have gone all the way through:D )

At 50 meters the 45 ACP glanced off of the side of the steel pot. Not sure but suspect it was due to the angle of the shot. It sure made a good dent though. 9mm went through and all other cartridges went through.
The Kevlar was not shot with the 45 at this range due to what happened at 25M. All other cartridges went through.

Last test was at about 75 meters. Helmets were pretty shot up by now. No pistol ammo was shot at any helmets. All rifle cartridges penetrated the Steel Pot minus the 7.62x39 - again I think it was the angle of hit that did not allow penetration. Kevlar Helmet - the 7.62x39 "barely" penetrated the helmet. The bullet was sticking out on the inside. Both other rifle cartridges penetrated the helmet.

The SS109 was the most impressive. We not only shot it into the helmets but into a variety of other media as well. It did a great job of penetrating everything we shot it at. Primarily cinder blocks, sand/dirt filled ammo cans, and assorted plate steel.

I never wrote these tests down so am going off of memory of what happened quite a while ago.

If someone is serious about protecting their noggin' I can highly recommend the "Pro Tech" style helmets. They are not designed for ballistic protection. Only to protect the brain safe from lumps and bumps. The even come in TactiCool colors such as ninja black. If I long ago sold my helmets and if a SHTF scenario ever occurs I'm not too worried about not having one. Helmets like the steel pot or Kevlar have to many negatives going for them IMO. The main one being they are uncomfortable as hell and I'm just plain tired of wearing 'em.

HTH,

Rob

Mauserguy
December 31, 2005, 06:09 PM
Wow. There are some interesting stories out there. I guess that I will relegate the steel pot to a curiosity, a historical novelty, but if the black helicopters begin shooting HP, I will break it out for good measure. Interesting...
Mauserguy

Gifted
January 1, 2006, 07:56 PM
Gifted: I can guarantee you AMXS at Holloman doesn't have it anymore - we had to turn in all the remaining steel ones last year I think I turned mine in April of 05. No one told me I had to change it out, I even used it in the ORI. I got rid of it when I seperated.

AFhack
January 1, 2006, 08:09 PM
I think I turned mine in April of 05. No one told me I had to change it out, I even used it in the ORI. I got rid of it when I seperated.

That would about fit - I think we turned in the last ones we could dig up in June or July. Some people didn't want to give them up. We've even got one Chief hanging on to an old green MOPP suit to this day (even though we've been ordered to turn all those in too!).

I'm pretty sure he won't turn in that suit until the group CC personally orders him to do it

NMshooter
January 1, 2006, 08:20 PM
Everyone looked at me funny when I turned up in Dhahran with one (with the woodland camo cover no less!) back in '96.

Most of them had PASGT vests too.

Steel pot is very heavy, and gets hot in the sun.

Wore it anyway, I was more worried about fragments than bullets.

The_Antibubba
January 2, 2006, 01:46 AM
I've got one of the SG Brits. The suspension was much more comfortable than the PASGT.

Lucky, what did you mean when you said the the British Kevlar helmet was ballistically weaker than the PASGT? How much so?

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