Hey, it was good enough for Finland so it is good enough for you, right? After all, what military would issue poorly-made equipment to their troops? If you want a high-quality surplus gas mask then you want the Finnish gas mask model M61.
The Finnish gas mask model M61 is a military surplus item. They are all unissued and free from rips, tears, stains, scents or anything else that may render it ineffective. As noted, the M61 was originally manufactured by Nokia from the 1960s until the 1980s and was the standard issue gas mask for the Finnish army, a branch of the Finnish Defense Forces. It was not until the 1990s that this mask was replaced by the M95. Interestingly enough, this happens to be one of the more popular masks available on the surplus market.
As previously mentioned, the M61 is a side-mounted gas mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask as opposed to the front. The mask itself is made from a heavy-duty, form-fitting rubber that provides a tight seal around the face of the wearer. It also utilizes a set of twin goggles to provide a nearly unobstructed view.
Over the years, several modifications were made to the mask, leading to three different versions. The first generation of M61s was a copy of the U.S. M9 gas mask. The second generation included minor modifications to the exhalations valve. Finally, a third generation of the mask featured a plastic exhalation valve with an integrated speech diaphragm. Currently, only the second generation is available from Keepshooting.com.
Alright, now why would you want to buy the Finnish gas mask model M61? At only $11.95, I think a more appropriate question would be, “Why shouldn’t I buy it?” Aside from being just plain cool-looking, the M61 was designed to protect against toxic gases and airborne pollutants and it does just that. As noted every order includes one gas mask and one sealed 60mm gas mask filter. It is a great choice for:
- Yard work (Provided you do not mind looking great in public)
- Paintball and airsoft
- Halloween costumes
- The Apocalypse
- Much more…
Where Did Gas Masks Come From?
Good question. I wanted to learn a little more about the history of gas masks, so I did a little research. What I found, courtesy of Popular Mechanics, is that as far back as ancient Greece, people were using sponges as a crude form of gas mask. Fast forward to World War I, and we get the precursor to the modern military gas masks with which we are all more familiar. WWI saw a spike in chemical warfare with the introduction of chlorine, phosgene and mustard gas. The need to protect troops from these gases lead to the development of the hypo helmet in 1915, a fabric mask fitted over the head of a soldier and soaked in a chemical absorbing solution of glycerin and sodium thiosulphate. Though this original gas mask only protected against chlorine gas, the P helmet was developed to offer additional protection with the introduction of phosgene gas. As history progressed, the development of gas masks mirrored the advancement of chemical and biological warfare.