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View Full Version : Ballistic protection of Steel Pot?


vincep
June 30, 2004, 23:20
Do the old steel pots offer any ballistic protection? If so how much?

usmc326
June 30, 2004, 23:40
They protect against smaller & slower velocity(distance from explosion) pieces of shrapnel.

They'll usually stop bullets that have about expended their energy, i.e. a .45ACP at 150+ yds. Other than that, aside from the rare odd bullet that enters the steel pot and follows the curvature of the liner, just about any bullet will at least enter one side. I rarely saw one that exited the helmet, not that it mattered to the owner.

The steel pot was good for washing up, cooking in the field, or low velocity protection. We'd wear them at the beginning of an operation, but if our only contact was small arms vs. incoming we'd normally opt for a bush hat, especially when it was hot(to avoid heat stroke from that metal oven).

We had more casualties from guys having their flak jackets unzipped/open then from not wearing helmets.

JoeLad
July 01, 2004, 22:29
I was never shot in the head with a steel pot on, but it did suffer from several shrapnel hits. Our Lt. wanted our chin straps buckled under our chins, but our Plt. Sgt. was a Vietnam vet who told the El-Tee if we happend to get shot in the head with the pot on we'd die of a broken neck if not from a bullet.

Personally I wouldn't trust a steel pot for protection against handgun rounds much less rifle fire. Kevlar, now that's a whole different animal.

JoeLad:D

fire for effect
July 05, 2004, 22:26
Originally, the steel helmet came about in WWI, as protection from artilery air bursts.

Blood of Tyrants
July 07, 2004, 12:59
Originally posted by fire for effect
Originally, the steel helmet came about in WWI, as protection from artilery air bursts.

You sure about that? I saw on the History Channel where air burst proximity fuses were not developed until late WWII.

gman552
July 07, 2004, 16:58
Time fuses (either mechanical or powder) for air bursts have existed since at least the Napoleonic Wars (late 1700's - early 1800's).

"Shrapnel shells" were developed by Henry Shrapnel in the 1780's:

http://riv.co.nz/rnza/hist/shrap

[Edited to make the link live]

Opie
July 07, 2004, 17:52
A kevlar will stop a 9mm ball round at 3 meters, but at 200 meters 7.62X39 will go thru front and back with out a problem.

Atarget
July 07, 2004, 20:35
I have no experence with the steel helmets,but I have as part of my job to test the kevlar helmets.Today's kevler helmets are certified to both the NIJ level 3A and NATO's STANAG certification protocol.What that means is the helmet is shot with a 9mm FMJ at 1430 FPS,a 44 Mag JHP at the same velosity or a 17 Gr. FSP (flat steel projectile). The helmet is tested soaking wet and shot in each quadrent (front,back,left/right ear).Nothing can penetrate the inner shell.Something more to think about........

Nobby
July 09, 2004, 05:04
The story I heard about the reasons for the issuing of helmets was that it came about as a result of the large number of head wounds due to the trench warfare of World War I, not sure if its true but it does make some sense and helmets, at least functional ones (I think the ornate French cavalry helmets or a pickelhaub were more decorative than functional), don't seem to have appeared much until WWI got going. Also, IIRC, didn't we use the same helmet the British did during WWI? I thought the 'steel pot', as in what we used for most of WW2, Korea, and Vietnam, didn't come along until the early '40s.

fire for effect
July 09, 2004, 06:19
Originally posted by Blood of Tyrants


You sure about that? I saw on the History Channel where air burst proximity fuses were not developed until late WWII.

Very sure. You are correct in that the proximity fuse came about in WWII. Prior to that the shell had a time delay set by the loaders. The soldiers were safe from direct fire in their trenches, but were still vulnerable to air bursts from time delay shells. Time delay shells have been around along time. Remember 'Rockets Red Glare, the Bombs bursting in air"?? The bombs were cannon shells who's time delay fuze had expired setting off the bursting charge.