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M1917 test Doughboy Helmet

Article about: Greetings to all, I found this unusual “test helmet”. I'm quite sure this is a WWI M1917 Doughboy Helmet. The rivets are smaller and finer (looking at the outer rim) which holds the chin str

  1. #1

    Default M1917 test Doughboy Helmet

    Greetings to all,

    I found this unusual “test helmet”. I'm quite sure this is a WWI M1917 Doughboy Helmet. The rivets are smaller and finer (looking at the outer rim) which holds the chin strap swivel bail to the helmet which was actually riveted and not with a split pen of that to the English Brodie's and the lining is slightly different. This helmet was a “test shot” helmet which failed the specifications “speaking to the hole on the rim”. There was never as it seems to have had the wool dome pad as this is missing, the lining and chin strap is in perfect condition. From what I picked up is that a selected “lot Number” of helmet's were chosen and tested with a 1911 .45 hand gun at a range of 10 feet. If the bullet penetrated or dented the helmet deeper than 1 3/16 inch the whole lot No. was rejected. The “failed helmets” received a red strip running across the top of the helmet from edge to edge or better to say from ear to ear (my helmet actually has this stripe, can be seen on pics. It was at one point over painted, maybe for training purposes). These failed lot numbers were never issued into combat but were used for training purposes. There is a batch or heat No. on the inner rim it could have been a “Y” but the bullet hole cut most of it then U17. The leather chin strap which is attached the the dome shows 6 ¾ of size and in pencil as it seems 5 or 6 then 3172. The lining was some stampings on it, but is not readable. There is a white “P” on the inside near the dome. I don't know if this means something or if this is just co-incidental. I thought this one of interest as you don't get to see these every day.

    Regards
    Skip




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  2. #2

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    Interesting helmet, for sure. It was always my understanding that each Batch of helmets were tested with the 45 bullet method-not every helmet, of course. If the lid that was tested failed the test, then all of the helmets in that particular batch were Drilled with a hole in the rim and rejected. You refer to the hole in yours as the Bullet hole, which of course, it is actually a Drill hole. What a great piece to have in your collection, by any case! Thanks for sharing!
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  3. #3

    Default

    Greetings Wagriff,

    Thank you for your reply. Yes, I meant each Batch of helmets, I guess I didn't express myself well on this one. But your statement is interesting. I didn't consider that mine was a drill hole and not that of a bullet. Thank you for your info

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    You refer to the hole in yours as the Bullet hole, which of course, it is actually a Drill hole. What a great piece to have in your collection, by any case! Thanks for sharing!
    Yep, William is absolutely correct. This is a drill hole and it was made from the outside of the rim. Bullets tend not to make holes that are so circular because they ralely strike perfectly perpendicular to a surface.
    You can see that the hole is almost perfectly circular but for a deviation at the 11 O'clock position in the picture. This is caused by the cutting edge of the drill bit which stopped moving before it was extracted from the hole in cases when the making of the hole is not a precision process. This is one way to tell from which side the cut was made as twist drills routinely rotate clock-wise. Another is the excess material around the edge of the hole caused as the drill bit cuts from the other side, again a sign of rough or unfinished cutting. If the hole had been made by a projectile it would be deformed and as a projectile passes through a resistant material it causes deformation of the surface away from the direction of impact creating a raised suface or "bump". The profile of the helmet brim here is intact.
    In short, this helmet was not shot through but being one of the "failed" batch it has been indelibly and obviously marked in a way that leaves it useful as a training aid. The hole does look to be approx 10mm in diameter which would be a similar size to a .45" bullet.

    A very interesting specimen as William says and one that I don't recall ever seeing in the flesh. Thanks for showing.

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 08-05-2016 at 08:14 AM. Reason: typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #6
    ?

    Default

    Some helmets have also a red stripe.
    Your helmet is repainted and, if I'm correct, I can see a shadow of red stripe also on it?
    Piotrek
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  7. #7

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    Nice examples guys.............

  8. #8
    CBH
    CBH is online now
    ?

    Default

    Would these have been issued for noncombat use state side ?
    Yes you can see the stripe .
    Cheers Chris

  9. #9

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    Very interesting example, I had not seen one previously
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  10. #10

    Default

    Very nice, I did not know this!!

    Thanks

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