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Hey all, as part of a SHTF who knows what the heck could happen scenario I figured I'd add a gas mask to my prep gear. 

Have looked at some stuff on Amazon and in casual conversations with some gas mask afficionados been told that it's far superior to go mil-surp. Wanted to get people's thoughts on the topic if you've researched and own a gas mask. Ideally would like to find something that will fit my glasses underneath, that could take a filter that's commonly found, and can filter out tear gas and/or more poisonous gases. 

Thanks

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There are many options out there and while some milsurp masks may be fine, my preference is new production. As a general rule I’m generally disinclined to trust my life to something that has been removed from inventory due to age. Most especially on a product that is made of a material that degrades. 
 

My recommendation is a new production mask from Mira Safety that uses standard 40mm NATO filters. The CM-7M (which I use due to being better for shooting) or the CM-6M both fit this bill. 

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Beware of old masks. While going through a late friend's stuff for his wife, I found several mil-surp gas masks. All were useless due to deteriorated rubber and straps. Some late production mil-surp masks may be good. But be careful of how and how long they may be stored. 

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On 7/2/2021 at 5:34 PM, Grayfox54 said:

Beware of old masks. While going through a late friend's stuff for his wife, I found several mil-surp gas masks. All were useless due to deteriorated rubber and straps. Some late production mil-surp masks may be good. But be careful of how and how long they may be stored. 

thank you for that

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Glad this came up as it's something I've been mulling over too. It's on the "maybe someday" list, but never hurts to get educated.

I'm a but confused on the canisters. I know 40mm NATO for the size, but what's the best type for the most likely scenarios? It seems like you'd need different canisters for different types of gases/agents.

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If you are just wanting something for tear gas, my advice is to get used to it and fight through it as trying to don a mask after exposure just lets anyone using the gas do their thing.  If you don a mask before the gas, then you probably have time to avoid the area instead.

I have M17 masks that the army refused to take from me because I was deployed to areas that had potential agents, they work good for their intended purpose but the filters are difficult to change out as they are not the canister type.  But I have gotten used to riot gas, so wouldn't even don one for that, anything else, I may don one to get out of the contaminated area.  But, gas masks only protect from some chemicals/agents, as oxygen needs to get in, anything smaller or the same size can get in.  Most filters are activated charcoal, and normally only last a day or so before you have to change them out.  If you don't have an area to seal up with it's own supply of oxygen, then the mask will only prolong the inevitable.  If you are not familiar with methods to don/doff the mask after contamination then it doesn't look good for you.  Bottom line is, if there is a deadly need for gas masks, you are toast, as any persistent agent will outlast the average persons supply of filters, and since the mask if only one piece of a protective measure you will not even know how far the contaminated area extends to.

As to milsurp, I agree with those that say get something with current filter availability, but disagree with saying they are obsolete.  Many M17 masks are still very good, just got replaced with a better design.  Sure some may be deteriorated, but the majority of them are physically ok.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a milsurp M17. Omega is right about them being a pain to change out the filters. We actually bought this one for adding chemicals to our pool. We use all liquid chemicals and liquid chlorine and muriatic acid make a combination close to mustard gas. I’m using old milsurp filters and we can’t smell anything when mixing chemicals. 
 

Now, if I knew I’d be encountering CBRN agents, I’d get a better mask, but for my needs this works, and I’d trust it in a pinch if the SHTF. Also, I doubt you will find one that would go over your glasses. The frame of the glasses would break the seal on a mask rendering it useless. 

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9 hours ago, Thursty said:

I have a milsurp M17. Omega is right about them being a pain to change out the filters. We actually bought this one for adding chemicals to our pool. We use all liquid chemicals and liquid chlorine and muriatic acid make a combination close to mustard gas. I’m using old milsurp filters and we can’t smell anything when mixing chemicals. 
 

Now, if I knew I’d be encountering CBRN agents, I’d get a better mask, but for my needs this works, and I’d trust it in a pinch if the SHTF. Also, I doubt you will find one that would go over your glasses. The frame of the glasses would break the seal on a mask rendering it useless. 

They make inserts for your glasses. for all the modern ones, at least M17 and newer.

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