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Gas Mask questions

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Gas Mask questions

Postby angie_nrs » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:14 am

I did a search and didn't really find much here about the topic of gas masks. I plan on going to a military surplus store later in the week. I don't have gas masks and am considering a purchase. So I have a few questions that i'm hoping someone here can answer.....

1. What specifically do I look for?
2. What is a reasonable price?
3. How many filters would be prudent?
4.. What types of disasters would a gas mask be used for?

I know that they would be useful in chemical warfare, but I really don't concern myself too much with that since I don't live in an urban area and I would think that a city would be more of a target. I'm not really sure how useful they would be in a nuke type situation? I'm still trying to educate myself on nuke fallout and precautions. There's just so much to do that I haven't been able to read up on that as much as I would like.

I also don't want to "stand out" so to speak. I will pay with cash and I'm hoping the cashier doesn't ask too many questions as I don't like making face to face purchases such as this but I also don't really want to buy online either. How do I make the purchase without drawing attention? Thankfully it is far enough away that they likely won't know me, but close enough that I may know someone there too.

I'm also hoping I can find some bunny boots while there but I'm sure that is a long shot. I've only been to a surplus store a couple of other times many years ago. Anything else I need to consider purchasing while I'm there?
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby Blondie » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:54 am

I can't speak specifically to military surplus but the biggest issue with any respirator is fit.

It must conform to the fit of your face without any leakage. If your spouse has facial hair you can get fitted but it's more difficult.

You're already at a disadvantage if it's a used mask as the seal was conformed to someone else.
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby 3ADScout » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:19 pm

Angie_nrs-

Generally speaking military gas mask protect against chemical, biological and nuclear "agent". For some of these "agents" a gas mask is an N100 mask on steroids since it also protects the mucus membranes. Which chemical there considerations to think about are that even if you have a mask many chemical can be absorbed through the skin, so some type of protective garment is needed. The second and probably the biggest concern is a gas mask will not protect you in an oxygen deficient atmosphere. Many Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) displace the oxygen in the area. The other issues to consider is how will you know when to use it? And how will you decontaminate your mask, and self? You can't wear it for ever. For radiation a gas mask is just capturing the radioactive particles (fallout) but will not stop the penetrating rays of Beta and gamma radiation. For radiation incidents a suit helps to keep the radiation off the skin and out of hair so that decon is much simpler if needed at all. Again how are you going to detect the presences of harmful radiation? Decon?

De very careful of surplus in that we had mask at work and they hardly ever get used. They were purchased about 10 years ago and when we recently had "fit testing" they all failed. We believe this is due to the material being old and starting to break down. Scary thing is the mask looks brand new!! I can only imagine what you might get with a surplus mask.

Besides military surplus you might want to look at something from and industrial safety supply house. They will take your cash. Since 9-11 there are "civilian" (as in non-military) WMD mask and Mask filters. The one that comes to mind is the Milenium Mask by MSA. Probably about $135 and about $50 for a WMD filter- NOTE the mask usually comes with a filter for Tear gas only!!! The Milenium mask is a beefed up version of MSA's "Advantage" mask. I would stay away from this mask as when we used them at work during our trials for purchasing a mask everyone kept knocking the filter off. The Advantage mask uses a "bayonet" filter connection system where as the advantage uses a screw in 40mm mask system. I would stay away from anything with a bayonet connection.

Not trying to talk you out of surplus or into an industrial. I have both in my preps. Look on the internet about hasty decon for chemical biological and nuclear they are not all the same.

Good luck
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby angie_nrs » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:56 pm

I think maybe that's why I haven't pulled the trigger on putting these in my preps. Although if someone wanted in and had tear gas bombs then these would sure come in handy. However, I think that scenario is likely pretty far fetched. I guess I always thought that my money could be spent more wisely in other areas. Still.....

I found this and am considering it....tell me what you think.
https://www.safecastle.com/products/ven ... 6995950209

I agree with you both in that buying from surplus probably isn't the best idea. I had the privilege of using a military gas mask and being in a room of tear gas. Yeah, that was fun. Nobody's mask worked! I'm pretty sure that was intentional......what a slimy mess of an aftermath. Anyone who has gone thru that knows exactly what I mean. :drool:
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby Fullmoon » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:02 pm

I've seen a few surplus American M17 gas masks for sale in surplus stores. These are an older style used from the mid 1960s and they use cheek filters mounted in each side of the mask which makes firing a rifle easier while wearing the mask. The M17 has a drink straw so you may sip water while wearing the mask. They come in different sizes, small, medium and large to fit your face and have quick adjust head straps. These masks were new in a new carrying case with a spare set of filters for $75. The M17 must be removed from the face to change the filters as opposed to a more modern mask that uses the screw on NATO filters, allowing you to change the filter while wearing the mask. The NATO filters are only good for 4 hours before needing to be replaced. Any mask you buy must fit correctly with an airtight face seal or you will be in a world of hurt. I went through the gas chamber - gas mask training at Camp Pendleton, twice, with a CS gas release. My mask fit and worked well but before exiting the gas chamber the masks are removed so you get a taste of the CS gas and feel the effects immediately and its some real nasty stuff. More modern (and expensive) masks use a screw on NATO filter mounted on the left side of the mask to accommodate firing a rifle and they have a larger face window for better visibility. The price for a gas mask seems to oscillate quite a bit depending on the perceived need.
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby 3ADScout » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:26 pm

angie_nrs wrote:I think maybe that's why I haven't pulled the trigger on putting these in my preps. Although if someone wanted in and had tear gas bombs then these would sure come in handy. However, I think that scenario is likely pretty far fetched. I guess I always thought that my money could be spent more wisely in other areas. Still.....

I found this and am considering it....tell me what you think.
https://www.safecastle.com/products/ven ... 6995950209

I agree with you both in that buying from surplus probably isn't the best idea. I had the privilege of using a military gas mask and being in a room of tear gas. Yeah, that was fun. Nobody's mask worked! I'm pretty sure that was intentional......what a slimy mess of an aftermath. Anyone who has gone thru that knows exactly what I mean. :drool:


Just so you know that mask is made in India. I checked eBay and there are a number of MSA Millenium mask. Don't know what happened but that mask is being listed at $400 and more. Years ago they didn't cost that.
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby TRex2 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:44 pm

If regular tear gas from criminal gangs is your main concern, you might not need a real WMD mask. There are cheaper solutions.

If you are concerned about real NBC warfare, you should know the mask will only be good for a few hours. I always said your best bet is to "mask up" and move out of the contaminated area.

Your experience with your masks in a room full of tear gas means the trainers didn't know what they were doing. The whole point of the gas chamber is to teach you to quickly put it on correctly, and seal it. Then you go into the chamber, where you stand around talking with one another with no ill effects. Then each of you takes their mask off and gets to experience proof that the mask was working. If your mask didn't work, the whole exercise was a waste.
Calling Islam a religion isn't much different than calling Nazism or Communism a religion.
Both were also political movements with a religious component, just like Islam.
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby angie_nrs » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:48 pm

TRex2 wrote:Your experience with your masks in a room full of tear gas means the trainers didn't know what they were doing. The whole point of the gas chamber is to teach you to quickly put it on correctly, and seal it. Then you go into the chamber, where you stand around talking with one another with no ill effects. Then each of you takes their mask off and gets to experience proof that the mask was working. If your mask didn't work, the whole exercise was a waste.


Actually I think it's my brain that wasn't working correctly. I think my recall was off.....the scenario you presented sounds correct. I don't remember much about the experience itself since it was many moons ago, but I do remember the aftermath when everyone was exposed to the gas and exited the room. When I could finally see out of my burning eyes, all I could see was uncontrollable drool, snot, tearing, and spitting from everyone.......myself included. THAT I remember. :blink:

Now I'm thinking I should probably just bag the idea of getting masks. I really don't know anything about them and knowing when to use them will be a challenge. I think I could probably use the money in other areas and have a greater impact per dollar.
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby conjomen » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:26 pm

I didn't read all the replys.
If it was me and the cashier asked me why I was buying gas masks...in my best stoner voice...
They make the best bongs man...lol...not sure if that's an option for u? That's what I'd tell them...
Dream like you will live forever, Live like you will die today[size=85][/size]
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby TRex2 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:56 am

angie_nrs wrote:I did a search and didn't really find much here about the topic of gas masks. I plan on going to a military surplus store later in the week. I don't have gas masks and am considering a purchase. So I have a few questions that i'm hoping someone here can answer.....

1. What specifically do I look for?
2. What is a reasonable price?
3. How many filters would be prudent?
4.. What types of disasters would a gas mask be used for?

Wow, I didn't read your opening post very well. My bad.
The acronym I learned was "NBC"
(the Army has, since gone on to a newer, and less useful acronym).
Nuclear - a true NBC mask, filter, and suit will prevent radioactive dust from touching you and keep it out of your lungs. Since your lungs are the most vulnerable, in the short term, a mask with an extra fine dust filter (N95 or better) will give significant protection.
Biological - The primary means for biological agents to enter your body are through eyes, nose, mouth, and damaged skin. The same thing can be said for this as for Nuclear contamination.
Chemical - the difference here is that, while all civilian agents are dispersed as either a mist or a dust (either of which can be filtered out by a N95 mask) certain military agents can be released as a true gas, thus a true activated charcoal filter is a must, when dealing with these.

...
I also don't want to "stand out" so to speak. I will pay with cash and I'm hoping the cashier doesn't ask too many questions as I don't like making face to face purchases such as this but I also don't really want to buy online either. How do I make the purchase without drawing attention? Thankfully it is far enough away that they likely won't know me, but close enough that I may know someone there too.

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but if you were in a military surplus store here, and were not interested in all sorts of prepper supplies, they would regard you with suspicion :rofl:
On the other hand, your bank has no "need to know" about your preps, so cash is king.

... Anything else I need to consider purchasing while I'm there?

All depends on your threat profile.
(What you expect to have to defend against)
And what you already have.
Calling Islam a religion isn't much different than calling Nazism or Communism a religion.
Both were also political movements with a religious component, just like Islam.
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby Hiker72 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:29 am

Well, I hate to plug another survival/prepping website or forum, but http://www.survivalistboards.com/ has a pretty good section on nuclear, biological and chemical survival. A gent by the name of "WImountainMan" is a member that I have found to be knowledgeable in this area.

For what it's worth, based on my reading/researching from there and a few other places, I believe this is what I will buy -
http://approvedgasmasks.com/survivair-optifit.htm

Along with about a half dozen filter's to start.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
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There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure. - General Colin L. Powell
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby koeelvry » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:29 pm

I have been issued several types of gas masks over 30 years of law enforcement and fire dept duty. I have several M-17 masks and extraa filter sets for them. I also have several Isrearli surplus masks with the screw on filter which is what I carry in my "get home bag". It takes a standard screw type filter which can be easily and cheaply replaced. it also comes with a cap that goes on the mask when the filter is removed.This cap
has a hole in it that allows the same amount of air into the mask that the filter does and is designed for being able to train using the mask without having to break the seal and install the filter.The mask is reasonably priced too. Good luck.
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Re: Gas Mask questions

Postby TRex2 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:33 pm

Of Interest (for those whose threat profile is gangs that have acquired police riot gas):

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/02/numb_and_coke.html
Does this really work?

No one knows for sure. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi are acidic, and insurgents and protesters around the world have used acids to minimize the impact of tear gas for decades. Communist Salvadoran guerrillas, for example, used lemon juice in the 1980s, while anti-globalization activists soaked bandanas in vinegar at the Free Trade Association of the Americas summit in 2001. (In terms of pH, Coke and Pepsi are similar to lemon juice, with a pH level of about 2.5. Other types of soda are more basic.) The practice might help prevent the irritant from entering the respiratory system. "Tear gas" isn't a gas at all, but a cloud of suspended particles that don't dissolve easily in water, and any kind of wet rag could serve as a filter. It's possible (but unproved) that an acid-soaked rag would be advantageous given the chemical properties of tear gas. Either way, the tactic has become commonplace among rabble- rousers, and a Pentagon-funded report on nonlethal weapons from 2009 noted in its chapter on tear gas that "a handkerchief soaked in lemon juice can mitigate the weapons' effects." That said, no serious medical researchers have tried to demonstrate its efficacy.
Calling Islam a religion isn't much different than calling Nazism or Communism a religion.
Both were also political movements with a religious component, just like Islam.
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