DIY Kevlar Ballistic Mask

Because getting shot in the bare face would suck:

Redneck Science (my favorite) – Testing the mask:

Check out the full process over at The Poct Apoc blog.

Actually the force behind most of the rounds would likely severely injure or kill you anyway.  That said, if I was on a deadly (presumably Japanese) gameshow or something and someone had to shoot me in the face, i’d take my chances with the mask.

I love how the base of the ballistic mask is an ebay purchased vintage street hockey Jason style mask. haha

I’ve never heard what the author said about Aluminum doing a good job of slowing bullets down.  It’s an awfully soft metal… could be true though, what do I know?

LOL the end of the article where he goes to the grocery store at the end to weigh the mask and buy a watermelon.  Priceless…

Hat tip: Matt S.

42 COMMENTS

JUMP DOWN ↓ TO ADD ANOTHER

bbmg June 5, 2012 at 01:37 am

“(presumably Japanese)”

:D :D :D

“I’ve never heard what the author said about Aluminum doing a good job of slowing bullets down. It’s an awfully soft metal… could be true though, what do I know?”

It does… if there’s enough of it. After all, the M113 APC had aluminium armour that could stop small arms fire, but there was around an inch thickness of it.

Of course you can get proper ballistic face masks: http://www.bluedefense.com/ballistic-face-masks/ but even these are useless against steel cored bullets.

Reply

ENDO-Mike June 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

Holy, those masks you linked look badass. I still would rather avoid getting shot with that too though.

Reply

hydepark June 5, 2012 at 02:13 am

Good find. I think with a little more tweaking this thing could be good to go for maybe up to .45 and 40. If you’ll notice he has the kevlar “piecemeal” and I think if you left a single layer intact it would have been better. Maybe it wouldn’t look as good but that’s not the point. Also, I think a layer on the inside of the mask itself would be a good idea. Also, padding around the inside rim (like forehead and cheek areas) and you’re good to go. Sweet paint job too.

Hey Mike, we should have a competition here at the blog to see who can come up with a better design. Maybe the winner could get one of your awesome new hats or something? I mean, c’mon when you’ve got a tactical ballistic face mask you’ve gotta have the proper gear to go with it, right? I’d be willing to spend a little time and money doing some tactical arts and crafts. Just a thought.

Reply

ENDO-Mike June 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

I like the idea of contests where people do stuff… but I’m hesitant to start one that complicated because there would likely only be a couple people that entered. Although maybe i’m wrong in assuming people are as lazy as I am haha… i’ll give it some thought.

Reply

hydepark June 6, 2012 at 02:44 am

True enough. Plus there’s always the asshole who’s like “I’m gonna sue ENDO Mike cause he made me do stuff with guns and bullets.” Those guys suck! Seriously though, I think we should come up with some kinda tactical arts and crafts project and maybe auction them off for a good cause or something. It’s about damn time we give back to this blog.

Reply

ENDO-Mike June 8, 2012 at 03:32 am

I appreciate the sentiment hydepark! You guys don’t owe me anything though, i’m just happy people enjoy the blog enough to visit it daily and even participate in the discussion. The charity idea sounds cool… I just don’t know if ballistic facemasks are the right type of contest.

Reply

Jeep June 5, 2012 at 02:57 am

Looks like the guys is planning to shoot his own introduction of Lethal Weapon 4, when the guy with the flame-thrower and the body armor wanders around, insensitive to bullets shot at him…

Reply

Mr_Rich June 5, 2012 at 05:04 am

I used to work at Reynolds Metals and we made a lot of aluminum armor plate for M-113, Bradly’s and other AFVs. Before a lot could be shipped samples from it had to go to Aberdeen for ballistics testing. We had a couple of returned display samples and a two inch plate would stop a 30 caliber bullet, a 50BMG would be poking out of the back side of the plate and a 20mm left a big hole completely through the plate.

I would think the thickness of aluminum on this mask would be insufficient to provide any real protection.

Reply

ENDO-Mike June 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

2 inches I can believe!

Reply

dave w June 5, 2012 at 11:21 pm

^ thats what she said :)

Reply

Bear June 5, 2012 at 06:12 am

I like how this guy gets so many things wrong on camera that he has to keep posting corrections on the side of the screen.

Reply

Bear June 5, 2012 at 06:17 am

Oh that and his cousin is going to screw his arm shooting like that.

Reply

JC June 5, 2012 at 08:28 am
overkill556x45 June 5, 2012 at 08:52 am

I’m thinking getting shot in the face, mask or not, would result in taking a long nap. To get a meaningful amount of armor on your face, the mask would have to weigh several pounds (like my old K-pot). The idea of using a metal outer shield was good, but, as was mentioned before, the kevlar needs to be in a bigger sheet to be more effective. Small strips pull away more readily than larger sheets.

I bought one of those cheap-o German flak vests a long time ago for like $35 and just for shits a friend and I wrapped it around a tree and shot it. We used 22lr, 9mm ball, and 12ga buckshot from 10ft and nothing got through, but the impact was such that it removed bark from the tree.

I think the best advice is still to just not get shot.

Reply

Jeep June 5, 2012 at 09:14 am

I guess that you probably should make it with more angles, more sharp edges, in order to deflect as much as possible the bullets. This one is too flat, and you get the energy 100% in your jaw, or your cheekbone.

Reply

Al T. June 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

Guy needs to learn how to shoot. Marksmanship fail.

Reply

The Post Apoc June 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Working on it as often as I can :P

Reply

RWC June 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

+1 for humility :-)

Reply

RWC June 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

“if I was on a deadly (presumably Japanese) gameshow”

Catering provided by Mao Sugiyama. :-P

Reply

ENDO-Mike June 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

PLAGHHHhahhahaha gross… I just googled him.

Reply

Curtis June 5, 2012 at 11:37 am

They used something similar in The Devils Rejects, but steel. I wonder if you could design it so the weight of a more robust mask would be supported by the wearer’s shoulders. Maybe instead of eye holes, use a camera and a HUD inside the mask.

Reply

ENDO-Mike June 5, 2012 at 11:38 am

You just took it to the next level Curtis! I like how you think.

Reply

BBJones June 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

someone teach the fat kid with an AK how to shoot properly. Square up!

Reply

The Post Apoc June 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Jessie is 11, and only recently started shooting with us – we’re doing our best to teach him correctly, but he’s got a lot of bad habits to break – first and foremost the fact that he’s left handed.

Reply

jebus April 27, 2015 at 01:58 pm

What’s wrong with being left handed especially on an ak. Charging handles on the right. They make ambidextrous safety levers. If you’re right handed you have to reach over the weapon to charge it.

Not saying he doesn’t have bad shooting habits. But maybe the person teaching him shouldn’t be someone who believes silly shit like being left handed is a handicap. When you button hook left who’s going to clear your right for you? The left handed guy second in the stack

Reply

Dom P. June 5, 2012 at 08:15 pm

There is no need to be calling people fat. I don’t see you taking hours out of your day to create a video to entertain people.

Reply

RWC June 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

This would give you a +3 DR in Fallout 3.

Real world, not so much. I especially like the first shot where it would glance off and end up in the users throat.

Reply

The Post Apoc June 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

an armored neck piece was one of the ideas we were mulling over for Mark II.

Reply

Bull June 5, 2012 at 01:58 pm

the post apoc man : you should watch mythbusters s06e18 for some ideas.

Reply

The Post Apoc June 5, 2012 at 07:35 pm

Will do, Bull. Thanks!

Reply

The Post Apoc June 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Hey guys,
This is Eric, the guy that built the mask and tested it in the video. I appreciate all your advice and critiques, as well as the youtube views. Mike, thanks for posting this on your blog. We’re actually going to try and build a second mask and learn from our mistakes. If anyone has any advice for the Mark II, please email me and let me know, or comment at the article at my site. So far, I’m thinking that I need more layers of kevlar, I need to leave the kevlar in whole sheets instead of cutting it up, and I need more padding on the inside of the mask. I’m also considering putting a much thicker, single layer of aluminum, possibly steel (depending on the weight), and covering that layer with more kevlar – so, in effect, the metal layer would be sandwiched in between two thicker layers of kevlar.

Thanks again!

-Eric

Reply

matt June 5, 2012 at 08:53 pm

i’d love to see someone actually test this by wearing it, like they did with the early bulletproof vests in the 1930s. and why is there even metal involved, does it actually do anything? all the ballistic masks i thought i’ve seen have been comprised of only fabric.

Reply

bbmg June 6, 2012 at 12:33 am

Definitely a brave effort but misguided in my view, and it also leaves the eyes completely unprotected.

I would go for lexan sheet, 1/2″ is enough to stop a 22 rimfire head on. If you shape it like a wedge it will greatly increase the level of projectile resistance in the same way that sloped armour on a tank does.

Here’s a quick MS paint rendering: http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/files/faceshield_282.png

To protect from spalling and increase strength, you could layer kevlar sheet and later padding on the inner face, leaving small cutouts for the eyes.

Reply

ENDO-Mike June 8, 2012 at 03:33 am

Hey Eric. You’re welcome! Awesome work on the mask. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the 2nd mask. Make sure to email me when the post is up.

Reply

Gr-lll June 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

If he used high-end ceramic like the kind found in rifle plates instead of aluminum, it might provide worthwhile protection. I like the idea of making the face at least blast resistant, considering how expensive it is to fix eyes, teeth, brains etc as opposed to arms and legs.

It’s tempting to wish we could make our soldiers bulletproof, but mobility is very important. People can see armor and wounds on TV, what they can’t see is how fast a person is able to maneuver in middle eastern heat.

Reply

matt June 5, 2012 at 08:57 pm

rifle plates are heavy, aprox. 7.5 lbs each for my old SAPI 10×12 plates, are prone to cracking if dropped, and need to be encapsulated in kevlar (or something similar). the only way to inspect them for damage is with a xray machine which most people don’t have access too. the plates are curved by overlaying many tiles small tiles (aprox 2″ square on my SAPI plates from the xray I took), and it would be very difficult to make something from ceramic conform to the face.

Reply

matt June 5, 2012 at 08:59 pm

and if you take a rifle round to the face, I would assume the 2600 ft/lbs from a 308 will still cause serious damage to your neck.

Reply

bbmg June 6, 2012 at 12:46 am

A mask strong enough to stop a 308 reliably will likely be so heavy it will break your neck if you try to look at your toes.

Reply

DeskJockey June 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

If you can get it to a point where it can cushion the impact so that it doesn’t knock your head around you’ll be on to something. Otherwise the wearer will still get knocked out even if it doesn’t impact, or it will give them whiplash.

I’d think something more like a hood that is supported by the shoulders to distribute the weight might be more effective.

Reply

Jon August 8, 2013 at 01:56 am

Pretty cool. I would have reinforced the mouth/nose holes, though. I also would have put another layer of kevlar on top of the aluminum, and painted on top of that.

Reply

mike July 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm

@post Apoc :
instead of Aluminum, have you considered using titanium? I checked on line and you can get scrap pieces already cut pretty cheap. Also, if you go with the aluminum, is it possible to run a TIG torch to smooth it out more? Seems like the scale idea is more fictional then functional. I could be wrong but I would like to see it tested.

Reply

Eberhardt Huhn January 28, 2015 at 07:43 pm

Gr-lll said:
“If he used high-end ceramic like the kind found in rifle plates instead of aluminum, it might provide worthwhile protection.”

This is true – the ceramic would absorb a large portion of the impact by fracturing. The main problem is that after a few successive hits, the wearer would need another mask because each fracture causes less impact absorption, and they also become weak points in the armor.

The armor could have an interior scaffolding that is made of a rubberized/soft material. On top of it, the ceramic would have to be made in separate overlapping plates (9 to 12 for each layer). The outermost layer would be the kevlar “skin.”

Of course, all of that, plus eye protection has been covered by the ballistic face shield (bottom photo at http://www.bulletproofme.com/Photos/Kevlar_Helmets_NEW_PHOTOS.shtml#Faceshields ). The only problen is the weight of the ballistic glass.

Reply

LEAVE A COMMENT:

Previous post:

Next post: