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Sniper-decoy

I saw an awesome pic on the Marine Corps site the other day that shows a grunt decoying a sniper by lifting his helmet above the rampart.

I've heard there is a single or a small team of snipers active in Marjah who are highly skilled and taking some serious shots at Marines and their coalition partners. We're talking armored vest seams and head shots.

One thing that's amazing to me is that the helmets are actually stopping the rounds. The Marine Corps Lightweight Helmet or LWH is only designed to resist 9mm rounds at zero-degree obliquity at 1400 fps with a backface deformation of no more than 25mm. The idea that some of these (I know of two Marines who've survived head shots in Marjah from this sniper team) helmets are stopping well-aimed sniper bullets is a credit to the construction of the Gentex-made helmets.

I understand that the Corps is looking into a new helmet, one that can stop a 7.62mm round. That mandate has thrown the material science on its head since a Large LWH weighs about 3.4 pounds and adding more Kevlar to increase ballistic strength will make the lid way too unweildy (especially if you're clipping on some NODs). Scuttlebutt is that companies vying for the gig are looking at carbon/alloy/Spectra blends that deliver high resistance with light weight -- kind of in the ballistic plate realm.

One thing's for sure, I wouldn't want to the that helmet pictured above no matter how well made...

-- Christian

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