Helmet Construction Guidelines

From the Society Marshal’s Handbook (Revision Date 2 November 2008)

  1. Helms shall be constructed from steel which has a thickness of no less than .0625 inch (1/16 inch or 1.6mm), or of equivalent material. Alternative materials, such as stainless steel, brass, bronze, or like materials, are permissible as long as the material is structurally equivalent to 0.0625-inch-thick steel. The mass of the helm is an important part of the protection. As such, no titanium, fiberglass, aluminum, or other ultra-light materials may be used. If a spun-metal top is to be used in the construction of the helm, it shall be a minimum of 0.0747 inch (14-gauge) steel. The process of spinning the top thins the metal, thereby requiring a heavier gauge.
  2. All joints or seams shall be constructed in one or a combination of the following ways, with all welds sound and rivets secure: 
    a. Welded on the inside and outside. 
    b. Welded with a single bead that extends through both surfaces. 
    c. Lap joints welded or brazed at the edges of both pieces.
    d. Helms will be riveted with iron or steel rivets no more than 2½ inches (63.5 mm) apart, or with equivalent riveting techniques. Screw- and pop-type rivets, along with other lightweight rivets, are not to be used.
  3. Face guards shall prevent a 1-inch (25.4mm) diameter dowel from entering into any of the face guard openings.
  4. The face guard shall extend at least 1 inch (25.4mm) below the bottom of the chin and jaw line when the head is held erect.
  5. Bars used in the face guard shall be steel of not less than 3/16 inch (4.8mm) in diameter, or equivalent. If the span between crossbars is less than 2 inches (50.8mm), 1/ 8-inch (3.18mm) diameter bars may be used.
  6. All movable visors shall be attached and secured in such a way that there is minimal chance that they will become detached or come open in normal combat use.
  7. There shall be NO major internal projections; minor projections of necessary structural components shall be padded. All metal shall be free of sharp edges. Face guard bars or mesh should not attach to the interior of the helm, unless of structurally superior design and workmanship.
  8. All parts of the helm that might cause injurious contact with the wearer’s head shall be padded with a minimum of ½ inch (12.7mm) of closed-cell foam or equivalent padding, or shall be suspended in such a way as to prevent contact with the wearer during combat. Similarly, parts of the inside of the helm that might come in contact with the wearer’s neck or body should be padded
  9. All helms shall be equipped with a chinstrap or equivalent means to prevent the helm from being dislodged or metal contacting the wearer’s face during combat. An equivalent might be, for example, a bevoir or a chin-cup suspension system. A “snug fit” is NOT an equivalent. The chinstrap shall be at a minimum a ½ inch (12.7mm) in width and shall not be placed in the helm in a manner that could strangle the wearer.

Eye Wear: The lenses of all eyewear shall be constructed of shatterproof industrial safety glass or plastic. Ordinary glass lenses are prohibited. The wearing of contact lenses or “sports glasses” is strongly recommended.