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Member
Picture of craigcpa
posted
Greetings all. So we’ve had a few threads regarding body armour, suitability, legality, etc., but what I haven’t seen discussed is whether you include a helmet in your protection. So, for those who are in the know, or have them, what can you recommend - even if it’s “you don’t need/want it.”

And if you have no armour, currently, is the helmet the first piece to acquire?

Thanks for the conversation.


==========================================
Just my 2¢
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Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right ♫♫♫
 
Posts: 7637 | Location: Raleighwood | Registered: June 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bolt Thrower
Picture of Voshterkoff
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IMO, IFAK first, plate carrier second, helmet last. Protect center mass first. A helmet won’t protect your face anyways.
 
Posts: 8765 | Location: Woodinville, WA | Registered: March 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Glorious SPAM!
Picture of mbinky
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I don't own body armor or a helmet but I watched this a few days ago and found it interesting. IMO headgear is more for protecting against secondary fragments than direct fire. Personally I don't think I'd wear one in a civilian situation. They get very tiring after a while...

 
Posts: 9390 | Registered: June 13, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My first thought was- Ballistic Ball Cap. Sure enough it's already been done:

quote:
The BulletSafe Bulletproof Baseball Cap

https://bulletsafe.com/product...etproof-baseball-cap


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The butcher with the sharpest knife has the warmest heart.
 
Posts: 12444 | Location: Bottom of Lake Washington | Registered: March 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Telecom Ronin
Picture of dewhorse
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Helmets would not be first but are useful in other than spicey times. I bought fritz helmets for my family for tornado protection.

Most helmets are only lvl 2A? Certainly useful but I would stock up on fire extinguishers and rifle plates first.
 
Posts: 7595 | Location: WPA loving the weather..missing Texas | Registered: February 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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Be very careful If you decide to buy a ballistic helmet. There are a lot of stolen military helmets for sale out there. There are also a lot of Chinese-made helmets out there with dubious levels of protection and quality.

quote:
Originally posted by craigcpa:
And if you have no armour, currently, is the helmet the first piece to acquire?


Certainly not. It would be very, very low on the list of stuff to acquire, for either defensive use or general prep.

For a civilian, I don't see the need. At all. Hell, most cops don't need ballistic helmets.

quote:
Originally posted by mbinky:
IMO headgear is more for protecting against secondary fragments than direct fire.


Correct. Shrapnel/fragments, and impacts/bumps.
 
Posts: 25290 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
eh-TEE-oh-clez
Picture of Aeteocles
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I'm of the opinion that a ballistic helmet is unnecessary for anyone not working together with others on a team.

If you take a strike to the helmet where the ballistic material saves your life, you are likely going to be out of the fight for quite a while. If you are by yourself, that may mean game over.

That said, a non-ballistic "bump" helmet seems like a great idea. Just running around on rough terrain, moving around cover, and deflecting rock fragments seems like enough reason to wear one. If a helmet makes sense for rock climbers, search and rescue, skateboarders, and construction workers, it may make sense for the average firefight.

I know that wearing a helmet while climbing and snowboarding gives me a little bit of an edge in confidence. That may be the difference between diving for cover with enthusiasm, and taking it one step too slow. The same can be said with knee and elbow pads.

So, yeah, I've been looking at a Team Wendy Search and Rescue bump helmet along with a plate carrier and plates.
 
Posts: 11294 | Location: Orange County, California | Registered: May 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Helmets with a IIIA ballistic resistance rating are available from reputable manufacturers and dealers, and that rating will stop common handgun bullets. I have one from a previous life and if I had time to put it on in certain situations, I would. As pointed out, they are unlikely to protect the most vulnerable parts of our head, but if the they-don’t-provide-perfect-protection argument were the only reason for not wearing one, that would be true of any body armor. I have worn mine for hours at a time and was ready to give up my other armor, weapons, and all the rest long before the helmet became an onerous burden.

There are, however, other reasons why as a private individual they would be far down my list of things to consider getting. In addition to their not-inconsiderable expense for a good one, they do restrict situational awareness to a degree and can interfere with vigorous activity and assuming certain body positions. They provide a bit of extra protection, but is that reasonably likely enough to be necessary to justify their expense? That’s an individual decision, but if I didn’t already have one I wouldn’t buy one myself.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42232 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
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Correct me if wrong, but isn't shrapnel from above and sides still the main reason for a helmet?

If so, and for reasons already stated, I can't see much added value for civillian use.
 
Posts: 6477 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I engage in any risky activity (non motorized) that might increase the possibility of head injury, I wear a skateboard helmet.
It is light and strong. It does not restrict my vision and its wearable in hot weather. It accepts most protective eyewear, too. It is not by any means bullet resistant but will do a lot to protect you from other hazards. Like falling.
Wearing a true ballistic helmet for long periods, in hot weather or in vehicles is not fun.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 10633 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by apprentice:
Correct me if wrong, but isn't shrapnel from above and sides still the main reason for a helmet?


If you are referring to military helmets that will not stop direct fire military projectiles, then yes, by default they are intended primarily for protection against shrapnel, frag, and falling rocks and debris. A helmet that will stop direct handgun fire, though, could be relied upon for that purpose, and as I recall there have been incident(s) in which that has happened.

As always, though, the question is what are the trade-offs. It would be possible to design and build armor that was impervious to any threat, but would it be usable and affordable? Every decision we make involving self-defense involves compromises and the best we can do is minimize the compromises we must make as dictated by our resources and other considerations.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42232 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Don't forget your ballistic codpiece.
 
Posts: 15769 | Location: Lexington, KY | Registered: October 15, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Helmets are great if you are involved in riot control or expecting inbound artillery.

Otherwise, you mine as well buy a ballistic shield if you are going the helmet route.
 
Posts: 2835 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There's a couple different reasons for a civilian to have a helmet, so selecting a helmet to do only what you want it to do (or foregoing a helmet altogether and spending the $$$ elsewhere) is something worth considering. If you want a helmet that does one or all of these things at the same time, that's when your $$$ goes way up.

1) Impacts from non-firearms sources. This can be thrown water-bottles, rocks, and hitting your head on low-hanging surfaces. This is the least demanding level of hard-cased head wear (so even a bicycle helmet or skateboard helmet might suffice). If this is all you want, don't buy anything with "tactical" on it, save your money and buy a skateboard/bicycle helmet. Heck, even a construction worker safety hard-hat could work.

2) Ballistic protection from firearms. I understand that this is considered dubious use for a helmet, nevertheless, some military helmets are rated for limited pistol calibers. And if it will stop a 9mm, it will probably stop a hand-thrown rock.

3) Mounting NVGs.

I have an old Bundeswehr Gefechtshelm M92 helmet from the early 2000s. Probably only good for stopping shrapnel and fragments. But it did come with a very cool flecktarn cover. This helmet is a rather expensive example of something that fulfills only the first category: it will stop incidental impacts, but probably not firearms projectiles and does not mount NVGs.

I have an Ops Core Base bump helmet I bought for mounting a gopro for helicopter rides and for mounting NVGs in any other environment where ballistic protection from opfor wasn't a concern (e.g. observing animals a night, etc). It's very light, protects my head from incidental impact, is ventilated (so, not as hot as a ballistic helmet), and has a shroud for NVG/GoPro. This helmet is an example of combining 1) and 3) without 2). It is more expensive than a helmet that only does 1), but not as expensive as a helmet that does all 1)-3).

Finally have I have a Crye AirFrame, which is the primary home for my PVS-14s (though the Ops Core Base also has a built in shroud to mount an NVG arm if I need it). The Crye is both very light, and provides some ballistic protection from both some small arms, and non-small arms sources. The AirFrame is also very stable, which is important for NVG mounting, and it also supports the mounting of a ballast. Finally the AirFrame features a vent at the top that is very welcome when long-term wear is a necessity. The AirFrame is an example of a helmet that is can stop some small arms projectiles, incidental impacts, and also is designed to mount NVGs. It's also can be more than 3x the cost of a mid-grade or low-grade bump-helmet.

If I'm going to wear a plate carrier, the helmet is going on. PC means high threat environment. I kind of feel like it's half-assed to run around being able to take a .308 to your chest, but get taken out of the fight by a fast-balled rock-to-the-head.

There are different levels of civil disturbance and the chances of me, in my environment, going up against some sort of improvised force (e.g. ball bearings from a slingshot) is much more likely than facing a trained or at least decently-equipped firearms threat. Point being that, for me, the helmet actually comes before the PC in threat continuum--I would more likely need a helmet before I need a plate carrier.

I think one of the things that most under-rated about the helmet is that, depending on the helmet, it gives the image of a prepared individual. If wearing one contributes to the idea that someone should not mess with me and moves on to find easier prey, then I'm ok with that.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: LDD,
 
Posts: 17686 | Registered: August 12, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
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Excellent post, LDD. That’s how I feel about it. All these rioters are wearing helmets for the same reason. Only makes sense to have some basic impact protection for the head if you’re going to throw armor on. Otherwise some nitwit could bean you with a frozen water bottle and take your rifle and all your fancy gear while you’re laying there unconscious.
 
Posts: 11739 | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of craigcpa
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quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:
When I engage in any risky activity (non motorized) that might increase the possibility of head injury, I wear a skateboard helmet.
It is light and strong. It does not restrict my vision and its wearable in hot weather. It accepts most protective eyewear, too. It is not by any means bullet resistant but will do a lot to protect you from other hazards. Like falling.
Wearing a true ballistic helmet for long periods, in hot weather or in vehicles is not fun.


And LDD’s and this suggestion is the type I’m looking for.


==========================================
Just my 2¢
____________________________

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right ♫♫♫
 
Posts: 7637 | Location: Raleighwood | Registered: June 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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quote:
Originally posted by LDD:
1) Impacts from non-firearms sources. This can be thrown water-bottles, rocks, and hitting your head on low-hanging surfaces. This is the least demanding level of hard-cased head wear (so even a bicycle helmet or skateboard helmet might suffice). If this is all you want, don't buy anything with "tactical" on it, save your money and buy a skateboard/bicycle helmet. Heck, even a construction worker safety hard-hat could work.


Yep. Hard hats are the O.G. "civil disturbance helmets".

(Get you a M1A1 Carbine to go along with it. Big Grin)

 
Posts: 25290 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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craigcpa:
My helmet is the Pro-Tec Classic Skate. They also make a variety of other helmets, too.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 10633 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The older revisions, now galvion helmets can be acquired for a reasonable price and can take add on mounts and armor.

Pads and suspension are worth paying attention to. The old Fritz helmets had no pads, and a leather sweat band. The Army issued paratrooper pads to prevent concusions. I tested one the hard way at Benning and I've believed in pads ever since. The later helmets all have pads (team wendy and other vendors) and they are more comfortable. The pads will reduce the head trauma from a hit. The suspension is imprtant too. Id the helmet is sliding around your head it can make shooting a rifle more difficult. You'll see soldiers take the collar yokes out of their IOTVs because the yoke would force the helmet brim down low enough to make it difficult to focus on irons sights in the prone (where 2/3s of their qual course shots are taken. Good suspension keeps the helmet in the right spot. There are retrofit ratchet kits, but a good set of straps will do the job. The Revisions straps where decent. What ever you get, spend some time wearing it. If you find hotspots, spots where it's impacting blood flow or it causes numbness, fix them.

I like a helmet for areas that have multi story buildings. I grew up just outside NYC and listened to horror stories of "airmail", trash, bricks, etc. dropped on Cops and Fireman when they responded to calls in the projects. It would suck if someone dropped a brick on your head and stole your gear.

Don't buy Chinese armor products.
 
Posts: 4322 | Location: Where ever Uncle Sam Sends Me | Registered: March 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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Thanks, LDD; it’s always good to hear from someone who actually knows what he’s talking about.

quote:
Originally posted by LDD:
(e.g. ball bearings from a slingshot)


Which points out just one of the reasons for decent eye protection. Although we’re not talking about military combat in this thread, and I don’t recall the specifics, but I read that studies indicate that some huge percentage of military eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing proper eyepro. And in that vein, there is level IIIA protection available for the eyes and upper face. It’s a (very) thick transparent visor shield that attaches to a tactical helmet.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42232 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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