Bullet Proof Blog — law enforcement

Bulletproof Helmet

Bulletproof Helmets - Everything You Need to Know

With a plethora of bulletproof helmet brands on the market competing to provide you with the best and most sturdy bulletproof helmet, picking the right bulletproof helmet may seem like a daunting task.

But since it involves the protection of the most vital body part, you need to make an informed purchase decision.

Research shows that the head involves only 9% of the body area exposed during combat but still receives over 20% of all the hits. 

So, if you want to buy a helmet that can efficiently tackle the bullets, you must know everything about bulletproof helmets – types of bulletproof helmets, their pros and cons, and a lot more.

Keep reading to explore lots of valuable information that’s coming your way.

What is a Bulletproof Helmet?

Simply put, a bulletproof helmet or a ballistic helmet is a type of helmet that protects your skull against shrapnel, bullets, glass, etc., during combat.

To be practical, there’s nothing that is truly “bulletproof,” or designed to protect you against each and every bullet that’s coming your way; the bulletproof helmet is bullet resistant.

Before you move on to purchase a new bulletproof helmet, it’s important to understand that none of the bulletproof armor is “100% impenetrable.”

So, don’t blindly go looking for bulletproof helmet with the expectation that it will protect you against all kinds of arms and ammunitions.

History of Bulletproof Helmets

Bulletproof helmets have evolved over the years. In the earlier days, soldiers wore protection made of cloth or leather to protect their body from weapons. With time, the equipment transformed to become a shield worn for the recognition of the unit amongst the military.

In 1960, DuPont developed a new material called Aramid, a heat-resistant, sturdy fiber with several useful properties. It was marketed under the name of Kevlar, and this name became synonymous to the word bulletproof.

The U.S. government replicated the manufacturing process of the M1 helmet liner to manufacture Kevlar helmets.

The first helmet to leverage Kevlar was the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT). The replacement of PASGT was the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH) designed and developed by the US Special Operations Command.

The U.S. Army adopted MICH in 2002 and renamed it as Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH).

Types of Bulletproof Helmets and their Usage

Here’s a quick table with the types of bulletproof helmets and their usage.

Type of Bulletproof Helmet

Material

Weight

Design

Uses

PASGT (Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops)

Aramid fiber with a phenolic resin system.

3.1 lbs. to 4.2 lbs. (1420g to 1910g)

Available in a range of colors and pattern for the U.S. Army, SWAT teams, Marine Corps MARPAT, UN Peacekeeping forces.

Protects wearer from shrapnel and ballistic projectiles.

MICH (Modular Integrated Communications)

Made of an advanced Kevlar material.

3.0 lbs. to 3.6 lbs. (1360g to 1630g)

Available in camouflage patterns of Cyre MultiCAM, USMC MARPAT, U.S. Army UCP. Also available in complete black for SWAT terms.

Protects wearer from handgun shots.

ECH (Enhanced Combat Helmet)

Made of Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight polyethylene which is stronger than Kevlar.

3.2 lbs. to 3.5 lbs.
(1474g to 1637g)

Colors and patterns are same as PASGT and MICH.

Provides enhanced protection from rifle rounds and fragmentation.  

Fast/High Cut/Maritime Cut/ATE

Advanced Kevlar material.

2.2 lbs. to 3.0 lbs.
(1143g to 1354g)

Available in colors such as foliage green, urban tan, MultiCAM, black, desert MARPAT, etc.

Designed for Maritime special operations.


What’s in Your Bulletproof Helmet?

The days of half retention systems and nylon webbing in bulletproof helmets are over. Most of the companies today are incorporating their patented padding and suspension systems to come up with the best ballistic helmets.

Some of the latest features that can be found in bulletproof helmets include:

  • Velcro attachments for the modularity of end users.
  • Proper padding to perfectly fit the human head.
  • Moisture-absorbing material to reduce bacterial growth.
  • Enhanced comfort and safety.
  • Retention system – 4-point-chin strap and dial adjustment at the back of the helmet.

How Effective are Bulletproof Helmets in Combat?

Bulletproof helmets are meant to protect the wearer against different combat-based threats such as fragments, gunshots, shrapnel, explosions, etc. However, a gunshot is not always from normal range during a combat.

Often, the reason behind a headshot is a sniper. And, there’s no helmet that can truly withstand a sniper shot.

However, in the case of short distance bomb explosions a bulletproof helmet saves the day by protecting your skull from getting crushed into pieces and your brain from getting damaged.

Moreover, if you’re in a vehicle that comes face to face with an IED, the ballistic helmet keeps your head in place while it gets banged against the vehicle during a collision or accident. As on date, the ACH is the most effective against fragmentation and firing from small arms.

Top-Selling Bulletproof Helmets on the Market

If you’re looking for the best bulletproof helmets on the market, you can check out our selection for some of the most compelling ballistic helmets.

Based on extensive market research and reviews from satisfied customers, here are two of the best-rated bullet proof helmets for you:

BulletBlocker NIJ IIA Bullet Proof Ballistic Metal Helmet

BulletBlocker NIJ IIA Bullet Proof Ballistic Metal Helmet

Notable features:

  • Tested to NIJ standards
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable head hardness and chin support
  • Universal size
  • Quick release mechanism

Learn more

BattleWare Technologies FSeven F7 Level III Helmet

 

BattleWare Technologies FSeven F7 Level III Helmet

Notable features:

  • Top tier ballistic helmet
  • Better comfort
  • Increase nape protection
  • Operator cut

Learn more

You can see more of our great selection of helmets here.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve read in the rest of the blog, the first and most important thing you need to remember is that no ballistic helmet is bulletproof. There’s a certain degree to which each type of helmet can protect the wearer against shrapnel, bomb explosions, AK47 gunshots, and more.

Bulletproof helmet brands are still working on the best possible solutions to enhance the protection power and come up with some solid bulletproof helmets. We hope you found this article helpful.

If you have any questions or points that you would like to add, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Complete Guide to Police Body Armor and Protective Gear

Complete Guide to Police Body Armor and Protective Gear

Policemen are deployed to all types of environments including possibly hostile ones, constantly putting their lives on the line. In such a dangerous lines of work, it is imperative to protect yourself in every way possible to ensure you return home to your family every night. This requires being prepared with the proper equipment and body armor so you can fulfill your duties safely and efficiently. There are many varieties of bullet proof vests and other protective gear that suit a large number of needs as well as budgets.

When selecting your equipment, it is important for you as an officer to understand the details of what you bring with you into the field. Not all police departments have the resources or availability for the gear that would best suit you and your personal safety is too important to settle for less. For your protective gear specifically, it is imperative to know what exactly you will be protected against and to what level of effectiveness they possess. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider your next investment.

Assessing Your Risk Potential

Based on the area of your PD's jurisdiction and the type of people you come into contact with on a daily basis, the first thing is to assess the possible threats that you could face. Aside from specialized gear for very specific situations, your day to day gear should be enough to protect you from any potential threat that you could face, but also not be detrimental to your mobility or cause you to unnecessarily go over your budget. 

What Protection Level Do You Need

After determining what possible threats you may face, you can properly assess any equipment you come across and determine whether or not it will be a worthwhile investment. When looking at protective vests there are a number of factors to consider. Primarily the first thing you will look for is the vest’s protection level. These levels are set by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and range from Level I, which protects the wearer from the most basic of small caliber rounds, through levels III and IV, the highest levels of protection short of specialized armor which protects from high caliber rounds and armor piercing rounds.

Generally Level I is not considered as fulfilling NIJ standards and is not very effective in most expected situations. Levels II through IIIA are designed to be effective against small caliber rounds, the higher levels being more effective at higher velocities and at closer range. Vests of these levels are typically composed of soft armor plate consisting of kevlar or other soft materials. Vests at Levels III and IV are additionally effective against larger rounds from firearms such as assault rifles or marksman rifles. They can be composed of either soft or hard armor plates. For more detailed information on NIJ’s standards and what types of rounds at what velocities each level is effective against, you can read our more in depth article here or visit the NIJ’s Website here.

You will also want to consider whether you need a body vest or plate carrier. They both have distinctive advantages that you should look for. Depending on the situations you are involved in, law enforcement usually use body vests which are easier to move in, fit under uniforms with minimal issue but also do not provide as much protection as larger vests. Plate carriers have slots for various plates allowing you to change your level of protection when necessary. They can be more bulky and more difficult to move in sometimes, but overall they provide more complete protection and allow for various attachments and other features. 

Other Features To Look For

Based on the level of protection that you decide is adequate, the other criteria for the gear you need will start to fall into place. You will want to look for a number of features in vests that will become extremely helpful in performing your daily duties. The most important of these features is comfort. Do not use a vest that is not comfortable as you will be wearing it for a majority of if not for the entire day. It also needs to allow you to utilize your entire range of motion and also not be overly heavy for instances where you are required to run, move over obstacles, or engage in close quarters combat.

Other features which are not as vital but can prove useful can also become deciding factors in that particular vest that you’ve been eyeing. Adjustable fits are always welcome as the other gear you carry or whatever else you may be wearing can change. Most vests come with MOLLE systems, a series of velcro straps, that allow you to attach a wide variety of other gear that you need to carry such as first aid materials, firearm or ammo pouches, and other specialized gear. One particular feature that is often overlooked is the quick release system, which allows you to quickly remove the vest in an emergency situation. In the event your vest gets caught on something potentially dangerous such as a moving car, which will hopefully never happen in your career, the quick release system can become the difference between life and death.

The Bottom Line

The last influencing factor in your gear of choice is usually budget. If you've found a vest at the right protection level and has most if not all of the features that you're looking for, the price will usually be worth the investment. There is nothing worth more than your life and the ability to return home at the end of your shift. Whether you're looking for a concealed vest or a plate carrier, you can try communicating with your police department and seeing if they have gear that you may be looking for or if there are any programs available to help you procure the gear you need.