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Old November 26th, 2009, 16:23   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: GTA
ZSh-1 Russian Helmet Replica Review

------------------------------------------------------- History -------------------------------------------------------

The ZSh-1 is a helmet used by MVD units in Russia's Army. While some of you may think it looks like the Maska 1sch, this helmet is entirely different. It is made up of layers of Kevlar, which in turn, make this helmet lightweight, unlike the Maska or the Sphera helmets.

Taken directly from Spetsnaz Wiki

"It was developed in the mid 1990's using the basic form of combat pilots' helmets. What resulted as a tight fitting helmet of composite materials weighing in at 1.4kg.

The back and sides of the helmet differ from most Russian crash helmets in that they conform to the profile of the head with minimal spacing. This reduces the risk of fragments getting under the shell, but it also decreases the hearing of the user. Because of this and the helmet's lackluster ergonomic characteristics, it is not particularly liked by those who use it. As a result, Classcom did not use the design in any of their future projects.

Besides the standard configuration, Classcom offers a number of options including the installation of radio communications, a bulletproof or shockproof visor, and the addition of a neck guard at the rear base of the helmet. "

A few photos of this helmet used in action (Many thanks to Vitaly)

------------------------------------------------------- The Review -------------------------------------------------------

I was lucky enough to live closeby to Zip, who along with Dzed, sells these helmets in their thread. He came over and I got the helmet from him. First thing I noticed was it was very lightweight, and that was to be expected as this thing was made out of kevlar. The actual helmet I have is a production version and not a sample. The only difference between this helmet and the real one is the lack of more layers of kevlar. This helmet offers no bullet protection, and from what I know, this helmet is made right alongside it's real counterpart (Same factory).

I got the helmet from Zip in a plastic bag with foam covering the ballistic visor.

The front and sides of the helmet are very nice. The rubber trip goes all around the base of the helmet, and the green paint looks like its very durable. I bumped the helmet around and found no visible scuffs of doing so.

As you can see, this is the mechanism for the ballistic visor to go up and down. It's a very simple mechanism and if you want, you can remove the 3 screws and remove the visor completely. Though the mechanism works, i found it slightly difficult to put the visor up all the way, it got tighter to push up as I neared the top. I believe I need to work it in before it gets a nice clean and jitter free movement to put the visor up and down.

You can see that this helmet is indeed a good replica because you can see the kevlar fibres on the inside. One would believe that this helmet is made out of a hard plastic until looking at the inside, atleast thats what I thought. The sitching of the components is fantastic, and I would see this helmet standing up to alot of usage without falling apart. The cushioned material inside of the helmet is a synthetic leather that feels good but I am not sure how it would hold up when you sweat buckets inside. I found it to be breathable though, but the backing of the leather is a foam, which can hold water. The nylon chin strap is also great and offers a leather 'cradle' to put your chin in. I would suspect that people with bigger and fatter chins would find this very uncomfortable, but for my chin, it felt quite nice with the balaclava between it and my face.

The chin strap lock is also a good design on this helmet, offering different levels of tightness. One thing I found wierd was the english "PULL" and not anything in cyrillic. I didn't find any proofings or markings inside the helmet either.

------------------------------------------------------- Field Test -------------------------------------------------------

Though I haven't gamed this helmet, I did wear it around my house for an hour. After the first 10 minutes, I forgot that I even had the helmet on. As for a shooting test of the ballistic visor, I haven't tried shooting this but I think it should withstand a beating as it looks like it's made out of a lexan material.

------------------------------------------------------- Conclusion -------------------------------------------------------

Despite it's somewhat steep price tag, I think this helmet is worth it to those that can afford it. ZIP approached me recently as he had brought 2 extra helmets from Dzed in Belarus, so I didn't hesitate and bought one from him, and I am glad I did. If you want to complete a Vityaz or OMON impression, it won't be complete without one of these helmets.

Looks: 9/10
Performance: ?
Price: 8/10
Overall : 8/10

You can buy one from EQCenter here:
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