Protective Gear

M17 & M17A1 Field Protective Gas Mask



M17 – A rubberized mask worn over the face, it protects the face, eyes and respiratory tract against chemical biological agents, in the form of gases or aerosols and from splashes and liquid drops of the agents.  The entire kit contains the mask, a carrier and a personal decontamination kit.  The 1st pattern does not have the drinking tube in the front of the mask.

M17A1 – Same as the 1st Pattern but with a drinking tube that can attach to the 1 QT Canteen with modified cap.

1st Pattern

2nd Pattern

A canvas bag that opens fully at the one side. It has straps that enable you to attach it around your left leg. The carrier comes with three external pockets for straps and ABC items.  There are three variations in carriers. The earlier carrier has the chemical symbol printed on the exterior and has a wide strap at the rear with 2 slide keepers for alternative attachment. The second variation is the same but with the “US” symbol and no chemical symbol. The third variation has the US symbol but no wide strap with slide keepers.

Sun, Wind and Dust Goggles

A close-fitting plastic single-aperture goggles with elastic headband.  In the 1960’s dated goggles the strap goes through the lens. This is the only difference between Vietnam War dated goggles and modern examples. This pair is dated 1974.

Fragmentation Vests

The M1952 was developed during the Korean War and was used right through the Vietnam War.  The vest contained a filler of semiflexible layers of ballistic nylon cloth with a quarter inch layer of sponge rubber over the ribs and shoulders. This served as a shock absorbing layer to alleviate contusions and fractures from the impact of missiles. The vest closed with a full length zipper and could be adjusted by laced closures at both sides. It had two chest pockets, shoulder straps and two rows of web hangers for grenades etc.

The M1969 vest was an improved version of the M1952.  There are 12 layers in the front and upper back, two in the lower back, and an additional two down the length of the spine. The jacket does not have shoulder loops of the M1952, but incorporated a semi-stiff three-quarter inch color with three layers of ballistic filling, providing protection to the neck.  This can be fairly comfortable to wear, but with your webbing as well, it will get to feeling heavy pretty quick.  I have seen these vest with Velcro for closing rather than zippers, with dates starting at 1970.

If you are going to purchase a vest keep these sizes in mind:

Armour Vest Sizes
If your chest measures
36 ½ or less = Small
37″ – 40 ½” = Medium
41″ – 44 ½” = Large
45″ or more = X Large 

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