AR500 Armor, the company mostly known for making steel body armor and targets, is entering the helmet market. Being specialized in manufacturing products from high strength steel alloys, they have designed a steel ballistic helmet called Militia Helmet. This is a rather unique product on the market dominated by helmets made of composite materials.
Although steel has been the primary material for making helmets throughout most of the 20th century, at some point, pretty much in every major army or LE agency it was replaced with different types of composites primarily due to weight savings at a given protection level. That being said, it is indeed unusual to see a newly designed steel helmet that provides good ballistic protection at a reasonable weight. Well, modern technologies and materials now allow that.
Weighing in at 3 lbs (including the inner padding), the Militia helmet is compliant to ACH Gen II or European VPAM-3 protection levels. Generally speaking, that means it will stop most of the common handgun bullets probably with the exception of the magnum revolver cartridges. It is also advertised to have an “excellent blunt force and impact performance“. The company plans to later introduce a number of accessories and armor upgrades for this basic helmet that will allow you to increase the protection level to withstand impacts of rifle bullets.
According to AR500 Armor, one of the advantages of the steel helmet compared to its polymer counterparts is that it basically doesn’t have a shelf life. So in the long run, it will save you money because you won’t need to get a new helmet every 5-10 years. The company also notes that unlike the aramid and polyethylene helmets, the Militia helmet provides the same level of protection all around its surface including the rim.
Here is a video published by AR500 Armor telling about the Militia helmet and demonstrating how it performs against a .45 ACP round fired from a 1911.
The AR500 Armor Militia Helmet is available for preorder at an MSRP of $298.99 (currently discounted to $249) for the version with base padding and if you select the optional 4D mesh padding, the price will be increased by $50. The estimated start of shipping is early 2020.
Images from www.ar500armor.com
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.