7.92x57 rifle round vs. an M1942 Stahlhelm?

…like it says in the title, could a WWII-era 7.92xm57 mm “ball” bullet penetrate anM1942 Stahlhelm, at a nominal range? When fired from an FG42, specifically, if it makes a difference.

I’m running short of ballistics gel…and rifles…and helmets…at the moment, so I can’t test this out for myself, I’m sorry to say. Can anyone with some more expertise help me out?

Helmets of that era were good for stopping glancing blows from most rounds, and were good at stopping shrapnel, but they weren’t designed to stop a direct shot from a rifle round. They just weren’t anywhere near heavy enough to do that.

Given that the 8mm Mauser round could penetrate a couple feet of wood at 100 meters, I doubt the helmet stands a chance. WWII helmets were for protection from shell fragments; there was no expectation that they would stand up to a hit from a rifle round. Heck, the 5.56 round that NATO uses now will penetrate a steel helmet at 600 meters.

Just pointing out, in case it’s not clear, that a helmet that stopped shrapnel only was still pretty valuable. More soldiers were wounded by shrapnel than by bullets in WWII.

I have read that the M-18 Hellcat, a ww2 era American tank destroyer, had armor so thin that in some places it could be penetrated by 8mm fire at close range.

Same with some Japanese tanks. Armour so thin that they weren’t completely bullet proof.

Though with the M-18 there was at least the excuse that it was supposed to be a very high speed highly mobile tank destroyer. The Japanese tanks were just underarmoured.

Well, Tank destroyers in general don’t carry much armor, or sometimes any. And the Japanese tanks were designed to be extremely light, given the varied and rough environments they had to fight in. I tend to think that being penetrated by rifle fire is a bit much, but…

Would a modern Kevlar helmet stop one of those bullets? IIRC the helmet currently used by the US armed forces won’t stand up to a direct hit from a 7.62x39 (AK-47, etc.) round. I’m no ballistics expert, but 8x57 sounds more powerful than 7.62x39 to me.

The 8x57 does have more energy coming out the muzzle than the 7.62x39. I wouldn’t expect a Kevlar helmet to stop a direct hit.

This is getting offtopic, but that’s a bit of a generalization - Elefant for example had heavier armor than most WWII tanks. Soviets also had a number of well-armored tank destroyers.