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anelles

Lightweight PASGT

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I found a "Lightweight PASGT" at the flea market today. Not to be confused with the Marine's Light Weight Helmet.

 

This looks like a standard PASGT, same suspension, just with a 3 point chinstrap. An example can be seen on this thread: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...showtopic=77166

 

I was wondering who used this model of PASGT, was this an Army or Marine item? What era?

 

Paid $20 for it, so I'm definitely satisfied.


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The price you paid is definitely great, because they are not so common !

 

Depending on the coloration (black or green), it may be one civilian or military helmet... Based on the informations I found, they were used mainly by Army parachutists.

 

I had a few pictures that show helmet with the same kind of chin strap worn by soldiers, but the problem is that apparently these chin straps were also available in PX and so there's no way to be sure if the helmet shown was well a LW PASGT or a common PASGT with an upgraded chin strap....


"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up..." - Donald Rumsfeld (Camp Buehring, KU - Dec. 8, 2004)

See my current collection of desert SSI HERE
See my current collection of Badges (ranks, qualification badges, Branch of Service - from WW2 to present) HERE
See my files in PDF on scribd.com HERE
See my collection of jackets HERE

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You got a great deal on it. As P-E states, it's not common to find one. I was under the impression that they were used for civilian agencies and are not military grade.


Looking for EXPERIMENTAL & PROTOTYPE HELMETS

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Maybe you're right Gitana, there's simply no way to know...I can just tell you that I've see picture of soldiers wearing helmet with the exact same chin strap. We can easy differenciate the chin strap that's totaly different than ACH / LWH / PASGT helmets. The Skydex PASGT upgrade chin strap is also completely different.

 

Based on this website : http://www.combatreform.org/chinstrap.htm, the chin strap is Gentex made. It's a 3 points chin strap. They growed the number of attachment to the helmet to have a better stability on the head. This was very important for parachutists to avoid them loose their helmet or be disturbed. So a foam pad was added by parachutists. After that, some tests were made with 3-points and 4-points chin straps. Currently now, all the standard helmets of the US Military have a 4-point chin strap.

 

That being said, they exist in both black and green paint and we have NO other information. So it's not exclude it was made for the civil market, or for export. I just know mine comes from a US soldier.


"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up..." - Donald Rumsfeld (Camp Buehring, KU - Dec. 8, 2004)

See my current collection of desert SSI HERE
See my current collection of Badges (ranks, qualification badges, Branch of Service - from WW2 to present) HERE
See my files in PDF on scribd.com HERE
See my collection of jackets HERE

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Mine is OD in color, same shade as early ACH helmets, not the color of a typical PASGT.

 

The seller I got mine from had a selection of surplus PASGT's with this mixed in, the rest were very typical and well used, I'm guessing they were bought surplus.

 

 

SDS, the company who made the Lightweight PASGT has since been bought by BAE (http://www.baesystems.com) Maybe someone at that company could provide info?


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It's not uncommon to find late production PASGT helmets in the darker OD green color similar to the color of early ACH helmets. This color is not specific to the Lightweight PASGT. Just a friendly FYI to anyone reading this and thinks the darker color identifies the more rare Lightweight PASGT


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P-E, I have followed some of your posts and have always been impressed with your ability to work through a theory with hands-on examples, so I defer to you in this. I've always been a bit confused about the Level II or III helmets anyway. See this Gentex website where they reference a "Lightweight LE PASGT" helmet. Is this the same thing? Is there a difference between 'Lightweight' and 'Lightweight LE'? :dunno:

 

Lightweight IIIA Police PASGT

The Gentex Level IIIA Personnel Protective Armor System Ground Troops (PASGT) helmet, also referred to as the Lightweight LE helmet, is specifically designed to protect law enforcement and other personnel from ballistic threats.

 

Weighing less than earlier PASGT helmets, it offers improved retentions and suspensions for comfort and stability compatible with protective gas masks.

 

Available helmet retentions include the standard police 3-Point or a modified version of the new U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) 4-Point design. Available retentions include a padded or mesh crown pads with foam lined headbands or a pad suspension, which can be adjusted in thickness for uniform compression for enhanced comfort and stability.

 

The helmet is available in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large and X-Large. The outer shell features a textured surface, and is available in a variety of colors: Black, Olive Drab, Green 383, CHP Blue, UN Blue, Desert Tan, and Foliage Green.


Looking for EXPERIMENTAL & PROTOTYPE HELMETS

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Could these Lightweight PASGT's be privately purchased helmets by soldiers, or unit purchases? They do lack contract #'s.

 

If they have a higher ballistic rating (IIIA vs. the PASGT's IIA) that could have been motivation.

 

I'm throwing a clamp on NVG mount and a 3-color cover on mine for display in my collection for now.


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P-E, I have followed some of your posts and have always been impressed with your ability to work through a theory with hands-on examples, so I defer to you in this. I've always been a bit confused about the Level II or III helmets anyway. See this Gentex website where they reference a "Lightweight LE PASGT" helmet. Is this the same thing? Is there a difference between 'Lightweight' and 'Lightweight LE'? :dunno:

 

About the level IIA, II, IIIA and III, there're many discussions. It's hard to say, even when you read report, if the PASGT meet the level IIA, II or IIIA NIJ. It simply depends the reports / source you've... For body armor, things are little more clear. Usualy, we consider that the PASGT vest is a level II, and the OTV level IIIA (without the sapi plates), or level III with the SAPIs. And current body armor offers a best protection we consider as level IV with the ESAPI plates.

 

Now, we have to differenciate PASGT, Lightweight Helmet (= USMC) and Lightweight PASGT. Both PASGT and LWH were issued to troop, and there're no doubt about that. For the Lightweight PASGT, things are little different because there's no official information and pictures are hard to come.

 

What make me thing it was also used by the us military forces : firstly I got mine from a soldier and I already saw a few for sale on ebay that were used and had military cover on them (desert or Woodland). Secondly, I also think those helmets are perfect for military Parachutists : lightweight material, ballistic protection (maybe better than the PASGT, but it's hard to say because of the lack of reports about this particular model), and also the 3-point chin strap that was more often used in the parachutists community. Just remember that when the PASGT and its 2 point chin strap were worn by parachutists, they usualy added one pad and a strap to stabilize the helmet on the head. The 3-point and 4-point chin straps permit to avoid any additional strap / pad and offer a perfect stabilization. This was in the 80'-90', some time before the introduction of the Lightweight Helmet wof the USMC with its 4 point X-style chinstrap, and some time before the introduction of the ACH / MICH with its 4 point H-style chin strap...

 

If we follow this theory, then we also have to consider that there're not many parachustists who need ballistic helmet ; we can only find them in the military and so this helmet may be devoted to military forces ! On the contrary, we can also say that a few of them were black paint, so probably for law enforcement... and so my only conclusion to that is they weren't only used by military parachutists...

 

I've already saw the same chin strap for sale alone and seller pretented it was made by Gentex. This is possible, but not certain because there's no tag / label. Now, every Lightweight PASGT I've seen have the same 3-point chin strap and are all made by SDS, a direct market competitor of Gentex (that'ld be just realy curious that gentex made the chin straps for another helmet produced by a competitor). They offer similar product for the same market : corporal protections that're used mainly in military and law enforcement.

 

I've checked the Gentex link above, and the shield of the helmet is identical to the Lightweight Helmet of the USMC, but also to the Lighweight PASGT. So it's hard to say if it's only a black variant made for Law Enforcement (= Lightweight Law Enforcement) or if it's realy a new model. The shield is not a decisive element, because the shield of the LWH and the LW PASGT are simply identical, and also very similar to the PASGT (except the holes). Maybe it's only a change of name for three identical helmets... If you want another example, "ACH", "TBH II" and "MICH" are three abbreviations for a similar helmet ; there's just a difference of manufacturer (usualy, MICH are made by MSA ; ACH by SDS ; TBH II by Gentex), and sometime paint is also different (grey, green, tan,...). But they are still the same helmet issued to troops, with the same pads inside, a very similar 4-point H-style chin strap,...

 

That being said, this is Gentex website, not SDS website so it doesn't help us to ID the "Lightweight PASGT" we have in our collections. As anelles said, maybe thise Lightweight PASGT are private purchase helmets (because there's no NSN or contract numbers), or a model for exportation (it's write "made in the USA"). Or maybe it's a trial model of SDS, and SDS offered a few to the military / law enforcement forces to test it on the ground... ?

 

I've to admit I do not have the response...


"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up..." - Donald Rumsfeld (Camp Buehring, KU - Dec. 8, 2004)

See my current collection of desert SSI HERE
See my current collection of Badges (ranks, qualification badges, Branch of Service - from WW2 to present) HERE
See my files in PDF on scribd.com HERE
See my collection of jackets HERE

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