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TheBigBoyarski

Airsoft Armor Chainmail Hood/Coif

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I appreciate everyone's help in advance. Just so you know my skill level, I have no personal experiance with chainmail but I seen my brother build a coif out of steel wire, hence the idea. If I don't quite understand what you mean in any suggestions, I'll ask. :biggrin: 

I guess I really need to know 4 things: (1) the most cost effective material to produce this project (2) what weave, (3)  how to calculate cost (4) url to any diy tutorial(s) you see best.  Thank you!

This is the already suggested weave: a tight one, like E6-1

 

Here's what I can tell you:
What would you like to make?: chainmail head armor hood (coif )

What do you plan on using the finished product for?: Airsoft Armor for zombie role players at risk of close quarter hits.  Note: An impact proof paintball mask could be used for eye protection and the front of ones face.  I am not a fan of the mesh goggles sold for airsoft. This chainmail hood I envision is a means to protect the necks, and back of peoples heads, without the weight and shape of a helmet. A custom design where impact proof saftey goggles are woren and the chainmail hood covers the face and mouth of wearer is also feasible.

How Important is strength?:Very Important.  Will be used in active combat. As light and strong as possible, non-allergic, washable to share as rental and loan pieces

How Important is cost?: Quality and Price are both important, if it works great I will be needing many more.

What is your prefered material?: Based on the information on RingLord I am guessing Rubber and/or Plastic but whatever you suggest

How much time are you willing to spend on your project?: Lots! I must figure out a work routine to make many pieces if the prototype is successful.

What type of weave are you planning on using?: Unknown, whatever you suggest. A tight one, like E6-1 has been suggested by the great people at TheRingLord.  Makes sense too.  0.20gram, 6mm bbs will be used and the odd one may make it through a looser weave.

Thank you!

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I stopped airsofting 4 or 5 years ago, but I wore my maille once, so I can give you a little bit of insight. A few questions first, since I did field, not CQB: I'd always seemed to hear that the FPS limit was 350 with 0.2g BBs, is this true for where you play? Do head shots count as hits where you play; that is to say, how likely are you to get shot in the head and/or face? I know that at my field we didn't count hits to the head just to discourage people from unloading on peoples' faces and risking chipped teeth, bruised ears and damaging some of the thinner skin, but I don't  think that it's a common rule.

 

One thing to remember is that once the BBs start to lose velocity, they lose it fast: that's why even relatively thin clothing is fairly effective at preventing the BBs from stinging if they're loose and away from the body: tight clothes will just transfer the force of the BB straight through, while loose clothing makes it necessary for the BB to pull the fabric with it to get to your body, which sucks up a lot of its power. Maille is the same way: a weave that's sitting straight against your noggin will transfer most of the force through, while if if has to move the maille a distance, that will use a tremendous amount of its velocity, so you'll want some way to keep it away from your head (such as a cap of some sort).

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Thanks for the reply Milquetoast. :) I don't know if you read my original reply, but I've re-read your FPS question to ask if in close quarters combat, if head shots count.

I'm building this airsoft armor chainmail as a saftey device for my own zombie game.  A head shot to a zombie will be the only hit that counts as an elimination hit.

I see your point with chainmail and impact transfer.  Now that you mentioned it, padded head gear is suppose to be woren beneath maile from everything I've ever read in the history books. Same situation with a steel helmet ringing I suppose.  The rubber rings should offer a unique property versus metal, don't you think?  I don't want people sweating from being a walking pillow, but if people have to wear bubble wrap helmets over Value Village T-shirt masks, under chainmail, with $0.10 kitchen sponges, soaked in icewater, in Ziplok bags for comfort, ALL to make a cost effective, safe head shot possible - then those will be the rules. :laughing:

There are full head paintball helmets, but the more universal fit, and diy manufactoring of a chainmail hood seems a cost effective avenue worth exploring at this moment in time. A paintball mask will probably be needed.  This chainmail will protect one's back of there head. Thanks again for any more advice.

Edited by TheBigBoyarski

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A balaclava ought to do just fine for padding, they might be a little warm in summer but that's nothing some cold water can't fix.

 

I'd recommend our medium size welded stainless mesh for the coif, it's very light and way stronger than anything you could make by hand on a budget. Probably overkill for something like this but it's pretty cost competitive once you consider the amount of time it takes to weave stuff by hand.

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Lorenzo is right on both accounts; you don't need a full arming cap or anything terribly thick, a balaclava would work fine, just so the maille isn't directly against the skin, and their welded maille would be your best bet for safety.

But I have to voice concern over your game: please correct me if I'm wrong, but it's sounding like you're wanting to do a backyard sort of game with some friends, which if you've browsed airsoft forums I'm sure you've seen advised against. It's too easy for a neighbor or passerby to see you and call the police which is a hassle even if you're legally fine to be playing, or to get a bad article written in the paper (because airsoft is definitely weird to most outsiders), or the most important factor, it's very easy for someone to get injured because oftentimes backyard games don't have the same safety regulations as established groups/fields.

I would definitely recommend that you spend some time with a local group and do a few real events to learn what the common rules are and why they're in place, if for no other reason than to make your own better.

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Well from all this excellent discussion I am thinking saftey enhanced, full paintball helmets are my best option, and some hockey equipment.  :biggrin:

Yes, twilightbanana, I want to change the rules.  The chainmail was to be a back of the head, and neck/throat protection, with a fully certified paintball mask in place on the wearer roleplaying a zombie.  But as lorenzo suggested, the lightest, safest, most cost effective chainmail available, is - added to the cost of what I'm presently able to get a full face-eyes-ears protecting paintball mask for - best spent on a full helmet for paintball, and upgrading it.
 

So I guess I'll shoot at a paintball mask repeatedly, and decide if it holds up, or if I need to start applying bedliner and rubberizing the lens with a clear coating.

And thanks for the words of caution, Milquetoast.  I agree, for some reason their are people who think just because they aren't splattering paint everywhere like you do in paintball, airsoft is some kind of free-reign gun sport.  It's just as dangerous in my opinion.  Just the welts are smaller if you take a hard hit.  This game would either be organized at an existing paintball establishment, or on my own relative's isolated rural property. Think a quarter section of land, like the middle of a field, or pasture, with small treed areas.  Saftey's my number one concern.  Only bio bbs will be allowed too, and if anyone is caught even aiming at wildlife, they'll be ejected.

So I gather chainmail and afforability for safety isn't an equation that quite adds up for this project.  Unless someone has an alternative idea or how it could work?

 

Edited by TheBigBoyarski

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So I gather chainmail and afforability for safety isn't an equation that quite adds up for this project.  Unless someone has an alternative idea or how it could work?

 

Replace the actual headshots with head-sized and possibly even shaped 'target locations' outlined on the 'zombies' outfits in bright red tape.

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