Can You Bulletproof Your Head?
August 3rd, 2020
4 minute read
We’ve all seen private security, law enforcement and the military wearing vests and plate carriers of various types while they go about their normal day, but one body part — a very important one, at that — is always left exposed: the head. (Unless, of course, we’re talking about SWAT helmets, etc.).
BulletSafe offers a very low-profile product designed to fill that gap in protection by offering a bulletproof baseball cap. Yes, you read that right. A baseball cap. The company bills it as “discreet protection for police and security guards … [offering] protection you can wear anytime, anywhere.” And it only costs $99.
One thing’s for certain: it’s definitely discreet. It looks like any other run-of-the-mill ballcap, but there’s Velcro on the inside that holds a small, curved plate of Level IIA armor (rated up to .45 ACP) across your forehead with bit of foam on the face of the plate to make it a bit more comfortable to the wearer.
Does It Work?
Okay, so we’ve established that it’s certainly feasible, but is it practical? That’s really what we want to know, and the only way to establish that is by shooting it!
My first test was three rounds of .22 LR. It stopped all three from penetrating, but the forehead contour of the plate caused the rounds to move around a good bit — especially if a shot hit near an edge.
For example, one of my edge shots was prevented from passing through, but it was deflected and exited the side of the hat. You’d probably have a headache and cut on your head, but not a hole in your head. The other two rounds stayed in the plate, but you’d definitely be feeling it, since the plate had begun to deform on that side.
Now for 9mm. It absorbed the first round with no problem, but by this point the plate was completely compromised and blown open. I put in two more rounds of 9mm and it did stop them, but the plate was compromised by this point. There’s no way it would have been possible to still wear it in that condition, even if it could still stop more rounds. Nonetheless, the hat performed as advertised (able to stop one round) — and way beyond.
The bulletproof baseball cap from BulletSafe withstood several rounds at close range without letting any of them break through. That’s exceptionally impressive.
This product is not designed to protect the wearer from half a dozen shots to the forehead at close range. It’s designed for more of a “one-and-done” situation. You’d be injured, for sure, but you would not have a bullet hole in your head.
Is It a Good Buy?
After all the testing, the final question to be answered is, “Is it practical?” In terms of the life-saving potential and the $99 price point, the answer is, unequivocally, yes. There are, of course, caveats to this.
Like all armor, this product is not without its considerations. First and foremost, it only protects the front third of your head. If you’re taking fire from the sides or behind, you’re out of luck. Next is the rating, which will only protect you from pistol calibers. Of course, something is better than nothing, but you have to keep the rating in mind.
Finally, you don’t see “normal” people wearing plate carriers around town just for the hell of it. Sure, this is discreet enough that you could wear it all the time, but do you really need to? I guess that’s up to you. If I were a plainclothes cop, private security guard or part of an armored car crew, this is definitely something I’d consider. And frankly, that’s for whom it was designed.
Basically, the point I’m trying to make is that this is a niche product, and it serves its niche market very well. Outside of that market, well, that’s your decision. I’m just here to make you aware of your options. And it is one heck of an option for not a lot of money.
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