Introduction to The Gas Mask

Now we’ve written a LOT about Gas Masks on Gear Exploit. You’ll find everything from preparing for a Pandemic to the best Gask Masks in 2020 but today we’re looking at a classic mask that has been used the US Marine Corps for decades. Then we will look at the replacement for this legendary mask, the M50.


The M40A1Gas Mask Review

The M40A1 Gas Mask is the standard protective mask used by the United States Army and United States Marine Corps. This has been the standard issue mask for the last 30 years. The M40 Gas Mask was developed in the 80s in a program that was designed to replace the older M17 series gas masks. It did not enter service until after the first gulf war. During the first Gulf War the M17A2 mask was used. The M40a1 mask provides respiratory, eye and face protection from persistent chemical warfare agents.

(Jarhead – M17A1 gas mask)

In the mid 1990s, the M40 was updated and the M40A1 was born. The M40A1 has a new cup design that is made of a smoother silicone rubber. The hood and second skin got a nice redesign too.

Features of the M40A1 Gas Mask:

  • Removable Ballistic Outer Lenses
  • Improved Hood and Second Skin
  • 2 Changeable, 1 Permanent Voicemitter, One on the Right or One on the Left Side depending on Canister Placement (This will depend on left or right rifle shooting) One in Front (Permanent)
  • Improved C2A1 Chemical-Biological Filter
  • Quick Doff Hood
  • C2A1 Canister Protects the User From Up To 15 Nerve, Choking, and Blister Agent Attacks, and Two Blood Agent Attacks
  • Drinking System Allows the User to Drink Water When Donning the Mask for Long Periods of Time in a Chemically Contaminated Environment. ( Use the U.S. 1 Quart Canteen with the M40A1 Gas Mask Cap)
  • Water Proof Bag
  • Heavy Duty Canvas Carrying Case
  • Voice Amplifier

I used the M40 gas mask in basic training and you honestly don’t have any appreciation for them until you’re ordered to take them off and see what its like without. Now imagine what it’s like with chemical, biological agents, radioactive fallout particles or other battlefield contaminants getting on your skin. These masks are awesome as you can wear them for a LONG time without taking them off. You can change the filter without taking it off and even have a drink.

I don’t skimp on gear when it comes to my life and you shouldn’t either. I’m not sure why you want a gas mask but for me its prepping for the unthinkable.

Some preppers gear I have:

  • m40 Gas Mask
  • Tyvek F chemsuit
  • Chem hood,
  • inner and outer chem gloves
  • rubber boots w/ chem resistant covers
  • real tyvek chem tape.

The M50 Series Protective Mask

In 2008 the M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask started replacing the M40 series.  The M50 or M51 variants is a lightweight protective mask that was designed with state-of-the-art technologies to protect the US Millitary. 

The Mask provides:

  • 24 hours of protection against CB agents and radioactive particulate matter.
  • This mask provides protection against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons.
  • You can upgrade to a flame resistant hood.
  • You can swap one filter out without affecting breathing (no need to hold your breath anymore)
  • Enhanced field of view
  • Lightweight
  • Improved drinking system

What does the m50 gas mask protect from?

This is an above-the-neck respirator designed to protect you from chemical / biological weapons. They offer protection against CB agents, industrial materials, toxins and radioactive particulate matter.

Its worth noting the M50 FPM will not protect the wearer against industrial gases such as ammonia or carbon monoxide.



How much does an M50 gas mask cost?

These aren’t cheap and are military grade. They are around $450+



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