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Prototype Kevlar PASGT Helmet - Camouflage finish.


USMC-RECON0321
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USMC-RECON0321

Hello,

 

I picked this up the other day, but not really my specialty area of helmet collecting. I'm pretty sure this is an early prototype Kevlar helmet from maybe the 1970's, but I wanted to post it here to get feedback on what I actually have? There are no markings except a molded cross on the top exterior of the helmet, the painted "A-14" on the front and a hand written #198 inside the crown.

 

As you can see in the pictures the shape and lines appear a little different from the final product and the camo finish is obviously from the factory and not applied after the fact.

 

Appreciate any information.

 

Thanks

Troy

 

post-33000-0-52932100-1401386920.jpg post-33000-0-88034200-1401386928.jpg post-33000-0-80474800-1401386935.jpg post-33000-0-95813500-1401386984.jpg

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You're spot on. It is a circa 1976 prototype, made of either Kevlar or GRP (glass reinforced plastic). The one I have is GRP and is really interesting - feels like ceramic almost.

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USMC-RECON0321

I'm pretty sure this one is made of kevlar. Any idea how many of these were made and how many were sent to the field for soldiers to test. This one was definitely used, but still in great shape.

 

It would also be interesting to know what units were selected to field test them? I believe the 82nd AB was one of the first units to be issued the PASGT as a standard issued helmet in either 1984 or 85.

 

Troy

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I thumbed through Reynosa's PASGT book and although he discusses it being tested, it doesn't say with whom. He says the prototypes were tested for Compatibility (at Aberdeen), Operational (?), Arctic (?), and Durability (?). These produced Test Reports APG, OT-II, ATC, and TTC respectively. There may be more information in those reports. Ballistic testing was done afterwards at the Naval Research Labs.

 

Btw, you have the second design made for field testing. The first design only had 36 helmets made, so those are even rarer. They were used for the initial tests for weight and fit, and were made of molded epoxy resin. The ear bulge on those is shaped differently.

 

There is a report online from 1976 that includes the process up through the initial testing - it's actually pretty interesting. I haven't ever found (or looked for) later reports.

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After another look at the book, and the chart he references, it appears as though most of the 'test reports' he mentions are actually locations.

 

Compatibility - APG - Aberdeen Proving Ground

Operational - OT-II - US Army Infantry Center, Ft. Benning, GA

Arctic - ATC - Arctic Test Center, Fort Greely, Alaska

Durability - TTC - May be the Army's Tropical Test Center in Panama

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USMC-RECON0321

Great information and thanks for the link. That is a very in-depth development process! Thanks for sharing

 

Troy

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USMC-RECON0321

I haven't (yet) got into collecting modern helmets, but I would think if you do, one of these would be a must have, to display in a modern helmet collection to show the start of that era?

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I certainly thought so. At first I got a few PASGT helmets. Then I wanted an early 1983 dated one. Check. Then I wanted a even earlier 1980 dated one, but in the meantime I got one like yours. Now the dated versions are 'common' ( :P ) and I love the prototype. But I'm attracted to the prototypes and experimental stuff anyway.

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USMC-RECON0321

Was there 1980 dated PASGT helmets? I thought the first contracted ones after approval were 1983?

 

Troy

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Here's a contract listing based on Reynosa's findings. The initial production runs are very hard to find - I've never actually seen a pre-1983 helmet, but have seen several examples of the prototype. Weird.

 

PASGT Contracts.pdf

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  • 2 months later...
flashesandovals

Hello,

 

I picked this up the other day, but not really my specialty area of helmet collecting. I'm pretty sure this is an early prototype Kevlar helmet from maybe the 1970's, but I wanted to post it here to get feedback on what I actually have? There are no markings except a molded cross on the top exterior of the helmet, the painted "A-14" on the front and a hand written #198 inside the crown.

 

As you can see in the pictures the shape and lines appear a little different from the final product and the camo finish is obviously from the factory and not applied after the fact.

 

Appreciate any information.

 

Thanks

Troy

 

attachicon.gifDSCN1723aa.jpg attachicon.gifDSCN1701aa.jpg attachicon.gifDSCN1716aa.jpg attachicon.gifDSCN1727aa.jpg

 

Here's a picture of Major Hudson in 1st BN (RANGER), 75TH INF somewhere between 1974-76

post-9154-0-10807000-1407148591.jpg

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flashesandovals

And this is where it came from

 

 

 

Here's a picture of Major Hudson in 1st BN (RANGER), 75TH INF somewhere between 1974-76

 

post-9154-0-71376600-1407148666.jpg

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  • 7 years later...
Chim Chim the Diminutive

This in one of the prototypes made by Geonautics as part of the test program. 200 Kevlars and 200 GRPs were made. 

 

Geonautics is a very small family run business that doesn't get enough credit for assisting with the development of the PASGT helmet. The camo patterns on the prototypes were painted by the owner's daughter.

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