(This will mostly be a verbatim copy of my previous twitter thread)
In the “before times”, if someone was looking for a helmet, I’d recommend an ACH for $100 or so. Unfortunately the price has risen with everything else. But that doesn’t mean the ACH can’t be a reasonable, cost effective option, especially after a few upgrades.
With a little bit of work and shopping around, you can easily get a workable ballistic helmet for the price of a new bump helmet.
Team Wendy CAM FIT
Usually running around $110, this replacement chinstrap uses a ratcheting cam in the rear to tighten down the side liner of the helmet, giving a much more comfortable fit than the USGI chinstrap provides. Available in both left and right eye dominant models and a variety of colours.
Oregon Aero BLU Helmet Pads
As far as ACH pads go, these are a little bit unknown. These pads are downright comfortable. If the MSA pads hurt or cause headaches, these are a must. Unfortunately, they can be a bit hard to track down. Contacting Oregon Aero directly should yield the best results.
Norotos Universal Shroud
Usually had on eBay for around $50, this might vision shroud is compatible with both one and three hole helmets. The gasket running around the edge helps to keep the shroud steady and is one less item that can cause your night vision to wobble.
Ops-Core ACH-ARC Rails
Although not strictly necessary, rails definitely open up your options when attaching a helmet mounted light or respirator. Surplus rails and workable airsoft clones can be had around the $50 mark.
Surefire HL-1 Helmet Light
Mountable to both the ear cups and an accessory rail, the surefire helmet light comes with white, red and IR lighting. Can be found as surplus in the $100 area.
Norotos Rhino 2 NOD mount
The go-to surplus night vision mounting solution.
Can be more costly now, even used, but it still a very solid and durable mounting solution for night vision devices. If you’re looking for a dovetail adapter, various companies sell adapters.
You won’t be able to attach your ear pro directly to the helmet, but this may be a more versatile option. Neckband Sordins can be had for cheap, and even COMTACs will fit under a properly sized ACH shell.
If you really want a high cut helmet, feel free to cut the ears off and reepoxy the edges. It’s definitely something you can do, although it can structurally weaken the helmet if done incorrectly.
The entire point of this post isn’t to say that you shouldn’t buy a nice OpsCore or Team Tendy tactical helmet. It’s only to say that you can get a reasonable and even comfortable ballistic helmet for the price of what some bump helmets cost. Consider it before you buy.
About The Author
Enhanced interrogation enthusiast, prior service army hooligan, "licensed medical provider" and radio autist.
Far from an expert.