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Head Shot

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Army photo

Specialist Tom Albers was wearing this helmet when it stopped an AK-47 round in Afghanistan, the Army says.

The Army has issued some 1.2 million of its Advanced Combat Helmets to troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of them stopped an AK-47 round and likely saved the life of an Iowa National Guard member. “It was able to stop and not allow the bullet to go ahead and penetrate his head at all,” said Command Sergeant Major Emmett Maunakea, who helps outfit troops from Fort Belvoir, Va., as the senior enlisted official at Program Executive Officer Soldier.

Tom Albers, of Alton, Iowa, was on patrol in Afghanistan 19 months ago when something hit his helmet and knocked him to the ground. “I asked him what had happened because he was coherent,” fellow guardsman Adam Riediger told the Le Mars Daily Sentinel. “He said ‘I think I got shot.’”

The Army, after analyzing how the helmet performed, returned it to Albers earlier this month. “The last time I remember seeing the helmet,” Albers told the newspaper, “I was sitting in a helicopter looking at the inside and seeing the pads (inside the helmet) all tore up.”

“I told him,” Riediger said, with just a bit of understatement, “he was one lucky soldier.”

8 comments
Nudelmann
Nudelmann

Damn lucky indeed because if that round was fired any closer he would have been long dead. The outdated, decade old MICH (reclassified as ACH to make it sound new and shiny) helmets won't stop an AK round if it was fired up and close. The Army even admits the AK was fired at a distance and the AK, like most assault rifles, have incredibly short ranges (300m). This is why the SVD fires the far more capable 7.62x54 round at effective ranges of 800m.

KhanneaSuntzu
KhanneaSuntzu

It won't save the US from imperial overextension. Eventually all the occupational stormtroopers and legionairs must scramble to get home when the empire collapses. Won't be long.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

We don't know what AK-47 round the Afghan gentleman used to shoot at Mr. Albers. The AK-47 was designed over sixty years ago as an assault weapon, bur recently its 7.62x39mm cartridges have been modified to improve body armor penetration. The standard AK-47  fires the 7.62×39mm cartridge with a muzzle velocity of 715 m/s. Projectile weight is normally 8 g (123 grain).

The 7N6 bullet has a 1.43 g (22.1 gr) steel rod penetrator. Since 1987 this penetrator is hardened to 60 HRC.

The 7N10 "improved penetration" cartridge was introduced in 1992. The size of the steel penetrator was increased to 1.76 g (27.2 gr) and the lead plug in front of it was discarded.

The 7N22 armour-piercing bullet, introduced in 1998, has a 1.75 g (27.0 gr) sharp-pointed steel penetrator and retains the soft lead plug in the nose for jacket discarding.

The recent 7N24 "super-armor-piercing" cartridge has a penetrator made of tungsten carbide. The 7N24 round is loaded with a a 4.15 g (64.0 gr) projectile containing a 2.1 g (32.4 gr) penetrator which is fired with a muzzle velocity of 840 m/s (2,756 ft/s) yielding 1,464 J (1,080 ft·lbf) muzzle energy.

AaronKempf
AaronKempf

@KhanneaSuntzu  wow you're a friggin moron, we're not imperialist, you pigs kill people for going to school? go to hell !

BuzzBayless
BuzzBayless

@Don_Bacon None of the rounds you listed above are AK 47 rounds, they are also not 7.62x39. They are various types of AK 74 ammo and are 5.45x39. (Nice Wikipedia copy/paste...) Wrong caliber, Don.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

@BuzzBayless@Don_BaconRight, you're correct.  I should have made that clear, that we really don't know if the round came from an AK-47 or from the improved AK-74, an updated AK-47 at 5.45x39, which the Soviets introduced to Afghanistan. The improved rounds I listed are used by the latter. 

But that doesn't change my main point. We don't know which round it was or what weapon fired it, and there are several possibilities.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

@BuzzBayless@Don_BaconI guess helmets are better, but I can't tell from this example really w/o knowing the round and range.

Getting back to the weapon I think we (I) should be calling them "Kalashnikovs" and not AK-47's. Then you wouldn't go ballistic. :-)

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