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Old 04-30-2012, 12:39 PM
USMC USMC is offline
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Right now, the best mask out there is the M50. I keep my issued gear at home so that's here should I ever need one. BTW, the filters are NOT the standard 40mm NATO thread canisters so even if you happen to find one for sale (most likely stolen) finding spare filters is another problem as well.
So, lacking civilian access to the M50 and filters, the other suggestions I would go with in the surplus realm would be either the USMC/Army M40 or the USAF/USN MCU-2A/P masks. I prefer the M40 as the 2 lens system over the full visor of the MCU-2A/P as aligning the sights on a weapon are easier with the 2-lens system. Other than that and the color, they are very similar in design and construction.
The only other surplus options I would consider are the Israeli M15 mask that has the drinking tube or a better choice (although more expensive) is the British Avon FM-12 mask. Both of these masks are of modern design and construction as well as use the standard 40mm NATO filters. Odd thing is if you are looking at using a canteen cap, the FM-12 shares the same NBC cap as the M50, both are NOT compatible with the caps designed for the M40, MCU-2A/P and M-17 series masks.
Speaking of the old M-17 series, there are 3 varieties, the original M-17 that lacked a drinking tube, the M-17A1 that had both a drinking tube and a prone to leaking resucation tube and the M-17A2 that had all the features of the older A1 model but got rid of the resucation tube so that was no big loss. I used the A2 during Desert Storm and honestly, that was my favorite mask of all time. The cheek filters didn't portrude like the 40mm canisters and having one on each side made it a balanced mask to wear. Yes, the filters were more complicated to take out but let me dispell a myth about the 40mm filters right now.
A common myth is that when in a dirty environment, your filter starts to plug up so it's a simple matter to pull the old one off and screw the new one on. Problem number 1. Once you expose the filter to the agents, chemicals can get inside the threads of the neck of the filter. You screw it on and your first breath you take is going to be a dirty one. The common (and incorrect) "solution" for this problem is to exhale while the filter is off with the false belief that this will clean out any agent that is in those filter threads before it is screwed down and sealed leaving you with a first breath as a clean one. That brings us to problem 2. Moisture including mopisture in your breath will degrade filters in short order. To prevent that from happening, gas masks are designed with a series of 1-way valves to prevent your moist breath from going back into the filter and instead it goes out the outlet valve. In other words, you can blow as hard as you like, your first breath is still going to contain those contaminates caught in the next of your new filter. Bottom line is there is NO safe way to change your filters in a contaminated area regardless if it's an M-17 series cheek filter or the 40mm screw on filters!!!
Now getting back to the old M-17 masks, while they were good, I would not consider using mine for anything more than CS so really, they are just part of my collection. The masks are old and the filters are old as well. For CS or training, sure but for anything that may wind up killing me, no thanks. I'm not going to trust a mask or filter that old!
Now let's shift gears to the common Soviet and Russian mask we are seeing for sale. The older masks while serviceable are NOT comfortable and the lack of a drinking tube is another show stopper IMHO for a serious mask. The newer masks have corrected this problem and now come with that feature as well as voicemitters for more clear communication. However, the reason I will not use any Russian mask for any purpose other than for a collection is that the filters are, well, they are coming from Russia and even if their construction was sound and even of a recent date, can anybody vouch for the Russian storage methods of filters like this? As far as the idea of using a cheap Russian mask that uses the 40mm threaded filter then just use a new NATO filter, forget it. Yes, the Russians use a 40mm threaded filter like NATO does, however, THE THREAD PITCH IS DIFFERENT!!!!! They start in just fine but they don't seat propperly leaving leaks between the filter and mask. So choices boil down to new NATO filters that won't seal, questionable Russian filters or a nice piece for a collection. I'm going to go with the last option.
The other option would be a newly manufactured mask from a REPUTABLE dealer that sells good quality masks. Millenium makes several models as well as MSA that you could look at. The M-95 made in Finland is another good option to look at although, the drinking tube requires an uncommon adaptor so that is something to consider. In any case, many of these masks are not going to be cheap in any sense of the word so if you're on a budget, this may be a problem.
So there you have my long-winded answer. For the best protection, a new high quality mask bought on the civilian market is probably your best option for the best protection. The M40/MCU-2A/P surplus masks of recent manufacture and in good condition is lower priced but may still afford decent protection (pending an inspection to ensure they are still serviceable) so that may be the better way to go. Masks older than this I wouldn't trust for serious use and Russian masks are best left as collector items. Hope something in here helped you out.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:09 PM
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http://approvedgasmasks.com/defective-masks.htm is a decent site for information about the different masks available.

HOWEVER... Be aware that in the event of anything more than tear gas you will need an entire suit to fully protect you from the effects of chemical/biological agents. The use of a gas mask alone would be okay for a "get as far away as possible NOW" type action but would not guarantee your long term survival especially if you remain in an area that is/or you are yourself are still contaminated. Make sure that for whatever mask you buy, especially for used or old masks, that ALL parts are present and in good condition. This includes valves and straps. Make sure all the rubber is in good condition and not cracked.

Also, a quick way to check the seal on a mask is thus:

1. Put mask on as directed by manufacturer, securing it completely to your face.

2. Place your hand over the filter/valve that is supposed to be the only place for air to enter.

3. Take a deep breathe!

What happens?
If you are able to draw air in at all then the mask is not seated properly in some place.

If the mask caves in and you cannot get a breathe then you likely have a good seal.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:02 AM
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I also bought some surplus Israeli and Yugoslavian mask's for around $20-40 bucks each. Anyone have any idea if these are even functional? Or did I waste my money?
Old 05-01-2012, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickHenry View Post
I also bought some surplus Israeli and Yugoslavian mask's for around $20-40 bucks each. Anyone have any idea if these are even functional? Or did I waste my money?
You will probably have to find someone locally that can take a look at the masks who knows what they are doing to tell if the exact ones you have are any good. I tend to believe in the general rule that old, and foreign gas masks should not be trusted for full NBC protection. Tear gas should be no problem unless there is a problem with the actual mask.

Did you waste your money? It depends on the intended use for the masks. For NBC, they would probably be useless.

ALSO ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING ABOUT GAS MASKS:

The mask will only protect you as well as the filter you use with it. Check to make sure the filter you have is approved for what you intend to use it for.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:16 PM
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Why is non one recommending a PAPR type system?
Old 05-01-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwickwire View Post
Why is non one recommending a PAPR type system?
Too costly for most people versus a regular gas mask.
Old 05-02-2012, 08:02 AM
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strokes762 is quite correct, if one's day job is to renew plumbing containing asbestos then sure, a forced air/positive pressure breathing system would be nice. But for the average adult concerned about being prepared then a negative pressure respirator/gas mask would suffice in most cases, less bulk and easier logistics (most PAPRs use NiCad/NIMH batteries for the fan motors, I suppose there are models with lithium batteries too nowadays. At any rate that's another thing that could go wrong if the battery is dead when you need it). One just need to know that the mask is OK and that the filter is fresh (that goes especially if one wants to filter gases, particle filters do not age as long as the wrapping is intact and the filter has not been subjected to moisture etc.), for gas filters or combination filters (gas + particulates) the activated carbon degrade with time and various agents that it has been spiked with oxidize which leads to less performance.

If only fallout particles, viruses, tear gas [which could be described as "tear powder" as it consists of particles] etc. is what one wants to prepare for then particle-only filters are sold too and they're handy as the breathing resistance is very low and as said before they don't expire. Some manufacturers give a best before date for them but not all, Dräger for example state that stored correctly [i.e. unopened] they'll last forever.


Children on the other hand have underdeveloped lungs and need a bit of help with overcoming the breathing resistance of gas filters (AFAIK particulate filters are OK as there's little resistance when breathing through one) and therefore protective suits or hoods for them are equipped with a blower (such as the Swedish 1980s civil defense model or the early 1990s Israeli Bardas, there's also a newer Israeli model called MAMTAK but I guess any that any such units that are found on the market are ones stolen from the families that have been issued one by the Israeli civil defense authorities).

If one has been a chain smoker all life or otherwise have respiratory problems of some kind then a PAPR system would be nice of course. If the problems are due to an unhealthy lifestyle then of course the money would be better spent getting into shape if possible, rather than try to "pull a fast one" by getting equipment that is more maintenance intensive.

Outonowhere is correct that the "cover air intake and inhale, look for leaks"-method is a good for field testing one's mask, however more exact methods are used by armed forces/rescue agencies. Usually the mask is fitted to a mannequin head and connected to apparatus that can detect whether or not the seal & mask itself is airtight.

Buying surplus stuff is always a gamble, one could get a good piece of kit or fool's gold that won't work when/if really needed.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:37 PM
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try this video out....
Old 08-02-2012, 09:50 PM
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Anyone know anything about converting the British FM12 masks drinking tube system to the US M40 NBC canteen cap style fitting??
Old 08-03-2012, 04:01 AM
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Has anybody givin thought to respirators instead of gas masks?They protect against the same stuff(i think) and they appear to have a better field of vision(look at a gas mask then look at a good respirator). Would a full face 3m respirator be a good bet? Only problem with a respirator over a gas mask(as far as i can tell,by just looking at each over the internet) Is it will be harder to shoot a rifle with the respirator,Then with a gas mask.
Old 08-03-2012, 02:57 PM
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For some reason I still can't post in the classifieds. So if anyone is interested I have a US issue M40a1 and a MSA Millennium for sale. Sorry for this post being in the wrong spot.

http://forum.pafoa.org/everything-el...asks-sale.html
Old 08-03-2012, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachson View Post
Anyone know anything about converting the British FM12 masks drinking tube system to the US M40 NBC canteen cap style fitting??
It would depend on how the drinking tube on the FM12 is attached. It is possible. If the connection is the same, then obviously you would be good to go. Anything other than that and you could run the chance of that area leaking.
Old 08-15-2012, 10:52 PM
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there are some very top quality masks at ScottSafety.com. They ship internatioinally.
Old 09-20-2012, 11:16 PM
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Gas mask alone is not enough. If you expect blister/blood/nerve agents you need a full outfit for mopp readiness and training.

Just having a fancy 300 dollar mask will do you no good if something other than tear gas is the agent.

And not only that you need proper decon gear and of course a detection system. How the hell will you know when to immediately go into mopp4 By the time you smell something that smells like freshly cut hay, your done for.
Old 09-21-2012, 09:46 AM
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I'm only prepping for tear gas (anything more and I'd be screwed anyway).

A half face respirator and swimming goggles not only kept the cost down but also the size and weight is negligible.
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