Shooting a WWII Soviet Steel Helmet with a SKS and a Mosin–Nagant

    Readers of TFB wanted to see how well a Soviet WWII-era helmet would fare against weapons from around that time. They produced a video showing a soviet helmet shot at by an SKS and a Mosin-Nagant. The video is embedded below …

    They concluded the helmets were worthless in WWII. I disagree with this assessment. They shot the helmet at point-blank range. At that kind of range a bayonet would not have only a couple of second behind, not long enough for the man wearing the helmet to recover his senses after that kind of shock to the head. I don’t think Soviet equipment designers were trying to prevent point-blank head shots.

    The helmet did fare quite well against a point blank 7.62x39mm round. I decided to work out at what range the 7.62x54mm Russian has the same power as the 7.62x39mm does at the muzzle. I was lazy and the ballistic calculator I was using did not have a 7.62x54mm Russian programed in, so I opted to compared it with the .30-06 which is slightly more powerful than the 7.62mm Russian, but closer to the 8mm Mauser that the Soviets faced in WWII. The ballistic table I generated is below.

    7.62x39 vs 30-06


    The helmet would protect against any .30-06 bullet fired from further than 250 yards. I think this is pretty reasonable for a pre-kevlar steel helmet.

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!