HEY! We need your opinions and most of all FACTS!!
Gas Mask Reviews
GAS MASK INFO...based on my opinions and experiences, articles in ASG, the book “Breathe No Evil,” and testimony of my acquaintances...
- 1) US M17 series. I avoid the M17 because it does not have a drinking tube, something which I regard as necessary. The M17A1 internal tube is just another part to break and/or cause a leak. The preference of American masks is the M17A2. It is “the latest” of the M17 series, can use the issue resuscitation tube, and comes is a wider variety of sizes. The canteen cap for drinking thru M17 series masks will lose its grey rubber “internal cone” after a few uses; this is no cause for concern.
PROS: Parts and accessories widely available, good field of view, quality filters, drinking tube, quality facepiece resistant to mustard/HD.
CONS: Cheek filters. The masks were designed when the US was looking for a compact, lightweight mask and it looked fine on paper but didn’t turn out so convenient in the field. Personally I carry a NATO-threaded mask alongside my M17 series so I can wear the NATO mask while completing the tedious filter changing process of the M17.
- 2) Israeli Civilian mask. The main complaint about these is the stiffness of the rubber. Facepiece is so rigid that if one must move in a cramped space and accidentally bumps the filter on something the seal is broken and the person becomes a victim.
PROS: Uses widely available and quick-changing NATO filters.
CONS: Mass production=poor quality control, rigid facepiece, eye lenses in awkward position for some.
- 3) Russian ShM. Floppy, thin grey rubber mask that provides an instant good seal because there are no straps.
PROS: Available in variety of sizes, NATO filters.
CONS: Limited visibility, very hot after short period of time, most sizes impair hearing.
- 4) US M40 series. The “latest” but with some drawbacks. I will provide more details on each model in the future.
PROS: NATO filters, variety of sizes, good vision, perimeter "lip" seal.
CONS: Silicone facepiece prone to mustard/HD penetration, loses proper fit if not tightly fit into carrier while moving, poor peripheral vision.
- 5) Canadian C4. Personal favorite. Fits like a dream, seals even with a slight beard, drinking/inhale/exhale easier than most others, a fine mask all around. PROS: NATO filters, drinking system works with US issue canteen caps, two voicemitters, filter position can be changed, outer "lip" seal, best vision around, very easy to use all functions. CONS: Not for sale in USA.
- 6) Israeli "M15" Military issue. Better than the civilian crap. PROS: Good field of view, NATO filters, drinking capability. CONS: Difficult to find drinking accessories, poor fit for most, rubber not very flexible or comfortable.