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Hey everyone. 

Just bought a couple of M1 helmets and needs some help on a couple.

First one is a front seam, swivel bail but seems  to have the apple color pain on it. Heat stamp of 1108F. DO you guys think this was repainted or original color paint? Cork is large and not sand. Second picture i have it next to my Vietnam era M1. seems to be the same color

 

Next helmet (3rd pic next to front seam) is a rear seam, swivel bail with original ww2 chin strap. Cork has been worn out on top but still has large cork on sides. This one is a lot darker than the others.  Is this a Korean War repaint? I also cant make out the heat stamp either but it looks like its upside down(I see 123 c). Maybe someone on here can tell what it is?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated

 

Thanks!

 

 

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late war chinstrap.jpg

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Yes, please DO NOT deface an original helmet trying to uncover the lot number.

IF IT'S A FRONT SEAM IT IS WW2 PRODUCTION. That's all you need to know. 

I realize you're a new member (welcome!), but this destructive practice is something becoming more common and is frowned upon by collectors.

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It he wants to find out the exact year then he has to see lot #. When I collected helmets a few years ago, I still do but not as much. There was no problem to scratch under lid to see. All of a sudden somebody frowned on it now it's gospel? And besides half the time the liner takes a lot of paint off also. Do what you want it's yours.

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Welcome to the forum I guess lol. 

 

I work full time for the National Guard and these are going to become display pieces for my office (ww2, Korea, vietnam) 

 

Nobody is ever going to see the inside but me. I also paid less than $100 for all three of the helmets. It's not a big deal to me that they show. I appreciate the opinions though. 

 

That said. I would still appreciate thoughts on the OP and colors difference or wrong color

 

 

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13 minutes ago, BILL THE PATCH said:

It he wants to find out the exact year then he has to see lot #. When I collected helmets a few years ago, I still do but not as much. There was no problem to scratch under lid to see. All of a sudden somebody frowned on it now it's gospel? And besides half the time the liner takes a lot of paint off also. Do what you want it's yours.

 

The reason it's frowned upon by some is that it's unnecessary damage added long after the helmet was last used. The date chart that is often used to date helmets is not super accurate. At best you'll narrow it down to a range of a few months, and knowing that information doesn't add much from what could already be obtained based on the helmets hardware configuration. 

 

It's not the end of the world, especially for helmets like these, but it's not really a great practice. In most cases I would think some foot powder or something would be more than enough to help see the lot numbers and can be cleaned with ease. 

 

Now back to the original purpose of the thread:

 

The first helmet looks like it might be original paint but was likely used post WWII due to it being towards the end of the WWII helmet production. Hard to tell for certain from the pictures. Does the inside of the shell match the outside in terms of color? If so and if there are no visible signs of a repaint I'd say it's most likely original. I've got a near mint late war Schlueter with a similar color.

 

The second helmet looks like KW or later paint.

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I understand the purpose but the chart that is regarded as the gold standard for McCords is a general guide based on a very small sample of M1s.

Dusting a little chalk over the number to bring it out was always my approach. And is a February 42 M1 worth considerably more than one made in February 43? Because one all scratched up and sanded on last week (not wartime actual usage) is worth less to me. I've always thought irreparably damaging an original artifact was never a good idea, don't think that has changed recently. Imagine the uproar if someone printed a timeline of German lot numbers and new collectors started sanding on the inner rims of stahlhelms. 

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I understand what your saying, let's say there is a original 509th para lid, with provenance. And if the brim is scratched off would lesson the value?, I don't think it would. And yes the darker of the two look Korean war era, the apple color looks Vietnam.

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9 minutes ago, Berettatrio said:

Welcome to the forum I guess lol. 

 

I work full time for the National Guard and these are going to become display pieces for my office (ww2, Korea, vietnam) 

 

Ha! Sorry you wandered into this minefield.

Sounds like a great idea, look forward to seeing the finished display! 

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4 minutes ago, Nickman983 said:

 

The reason it's frowned upon by some is that it's unnecessary damage added long after the helmet was last used. The date chart that is often used to date helmets is not super accurate. At best you'll narrow it down to a range of a few months, and knowing that information doesn't add much from what could already be obtained based on the helmets hardware configuration. 

 

It's not the end of the world, especially for helmets like these, but it's not really a great practice. In most cases I would think some foot powder or something would be more than enough to help see the lot numbers and can be cleaned with ease. 

 

Now back to the original purpose of the thread:

 

The first helmet looks like it might be original paint but was likely used post WWII due to it being towards the end of the WWII helmet production. Hard to tell for certain from the pictures. Does the inside of the shell match the outside in terms of color? If so and if there are no visible signs of a repaint I'd say it's most likely original. I've got a near mint late war Schlueter with a similar color.

 

The second helmet looks like KW or later paint.

I totally understand that. If I had super sentimental or rare one, I wouldn't even be touching them. These are not that. I got all three for $55. Totally get it though. 

 

The paint looks the same throughout the shell.The cork just looks to even and new I guess. Maybe unissued or just lightly used I guess. I didn't realize that they repainted them for KW darker. 

 

Thanks for the info

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6 minutes ago, BILL THE PATCH said:

It he wants to find out the exact year then he has to see lot #.

This is just not true, and it's that misconception that causes new collectors to sand their helmets. A helmet's date of production can be determined by a combination of factors, none of which include reading the heat stamp (loop style, rim material, seam placement, chinstrap webbing, chinstrap hardware, manufacturer, etc.). I'd like to share something that I think does a good job of encapsulating our frustration with scratching heat stamps. The helmet below was sold on eBay a few weeks ago. Just from the photos, we can tell by its early style loops and cast-brass chinstrap buckle that this McCord could date from mid-1941 to May/June 1942 (that's when the new style loop was introduced).

https://www.ebay.com/itm/FRONT-SEAM-FIXED-bail-HELMET-McCORD-CAPT-BARS-FLAG-ON-FIRESTONE-LINER-/324242879310?ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=hLLYZ23NX6XNjZ07NdJBQyA0TDs%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

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The exact helmet reappears a few weeks later, being sold by a different seller, with a sanded down heat stamp, and what does the seller do with this new information he has at hand? He completely misreads the heat stamp as being 82B, when in fact it reads 32B 1. So not only do we have damage done to an otherwise $400-$500 mid-1941 shell, but the damage, in the end didn't even help the seller to properly identify the helmet.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Early-82B-Heat-Stamp-Fixed-bail-Front-Seam-Helmet/114372547150?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055359.m2763.l2649

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13 minutes ago, BILL THE PATCH said:

I understand what your saying, let's say there is a original 509th para lid, with provenance. And if the brim is scratched off would lesson the value?, I don't think it would.

 

That's obviously an outlier, but 2 similar early fixed bales without markings, one recently sanded on and the other not, I think there would be a difference in value. Might be negligible now, but what about 50 years from now when that spot has rusted over?

I seriously doubt firearm collectors would condone sanding on the stock to reveal inspector stamps, and grinding on bayonets to reveal maker stamps is generally not condoned in the collecting community either. I'm not sure why it's ok to do it on original M1s. If it was turned into a biker helmet and painted gold in the 60s, you're not hurting the originality. Not so with sanding off 75 year old factory paint. Just my thoughts, as stated before, it's up to the individual to do with as he/she pleases. [Steps down off soapbox] 

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20 minutes ago, Grant G. said:

The exact helmet reappears a few weeks later, being sold by a different seller, with a sanded down heat stamp, and what does the seller do with this new information he has at hand? He completely misreads the heat stamp as being 82B, when in fact it reads 32B 1. So not only do we have damage done to an otherwise $400-$500 mid-1941 shell, but the damage, in the end didn't even help the seller to properly identify the helmet.

 

And that damage is irreversible.

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32 minutes ago, BILL THE PATCH said:

I understand what your saying, let's say there is a original 509th para lid, with provenance. And if the brim is scratched off would lesson the value?, I don't think it would. And yes the darker of the two look Korean war era, the apple color looks Vietnam.

Sent from my moto g(7) play using Tapatalk
 

So this is where I'm confused. The FS on the right next, to the RS on the left (darker), is apple colored and Vietnam? So would the Front seam have been painted in Vietnam or same color that was used in ww2?

 

I'm not sure if a certain. Shade was used throughout ww2 or they just used what they had and called it good. 

 

Maybe I'm being picky but I just want to make sure that I display the correct helmet for the correct war. Or nobody will ever be able to tell the difference and I'm overthinking it. 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Berettatrio said:

So this is where I'm confused. The FS on the right next, to the RS on the left (darker), is apple colored and Vietnam? So would the Front seam have been painted in Vietnam or same color that was used in ww2?

 

I'm not sure if a certain. Shade was used throughout ww2 or they just used what they had and called it good. 

 

Maybe I'm being picky but I just want to make sure that I display the correct helmet for the correct war. Or nobody will ever be able to tell the difference and I'm overthinking it. 

 

I think (could be mistaken) that the cork textured FS lighter apple green shell is WW2 paint, just a lighter shade (like that used later on in Vietnam). If it was a Vietnam repaint, it would probably have been stripped and retextured with sand/silica. 

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52 minutes ago, BILL THE PATCH said:

I understand what your saying, let's say there is a original 509th para lid, with provenance. And if the brim is scratched off would lesson the value?, I don't think it would. And yes the darker of the two look Korean war era, the apple color looks Vietnam.

Sent from my moto g(7) play using Tapatalk

 

6 minutes ago, MattS said:

 

I think (could be mistaken) that the cork textured FS lighter apple green shell is WW2 paint, just a lighter shade (like that used later on in Vietnam). If it was a Vietnam repaint, it would probably have been stripped and retextured with sand/silica. 

That's what I thought they did too when they repainted them. That's good to know though. Thanks 

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That's what I thought they did too when they repainted them. That's good to know though. Thanks 
Yeah, paint shades vary a whole lot more than I think some of us collectors would like it to. Made me sit on the fence on a lot of pots in my earlier collecting years, all because a helmet didn't just look like what I thought it was supposed to, but I suppose the person who mixed the batch of paint up in a factory 75 years ago didn't much care for what some kid decades down the road thought the paint should've looked like lol.

Definitely gonna be a neat display in your office, I'd suggest getting some nets or covers to put on them, and the leather liner chinstraps, make 'em pop out a little more to people who only see them as 3 green old pieces a junk on a shelf, eh?

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Ah yes the old sanding the lot number debate. Back to this again. Why is this even still a debate? Just don’t do it. Simple. Stop irreversibly damaging artifacts. This isn’t the 80’s anymore and WW2 shells aren’t popping out of the woodwork like eggs from a hen. There is a limited supply and they are becoming harder and harder to find everyday. It doesn’t help that reenactors and helmet “restorers” are ruining them at an alarming rate as well.

You know what you get by finding the lot number? Nothing, literally nothing is gained. If a helmet is front seam, it’s midwar at the latest. If it has fixed loops it’s early war. If it has a rear seam and swivel loops it’s late war. Any real collector who actually cares for the history should be able to tell if a rear seam helmet is ww2 manufactured or not. And if they can’t, then they should show it to a collector who can and identify it for them. Stop. Ruining. Helmets.

Another pet peeve is the “just because you can’t see it it’s alright”. The paint is gone. You have irreversibly changed the helmet forever. It is no longer in its original configuration. You have done harm that will last forever.

Next pet peeve “I only spent insert x amount of dollars”. Guess what, it will probably be worth much more then that in 10-20 years and maybe you’ll be disappointed then. This a rapidly changing field in terms of price point for helmets. A few years ago a complete set went for a lot less then they’re going for these days. The demand is ever raising for something that is ever shrinking in quantity that remains.

And the thing that annoys me most is the need for an exact month and date. It has already been mentioned the chart is not very accurate but even if it was why would it matter? What’s the different a helmet manufactured in 1942 opposed to 1943 going to make? You can’t even see the chinstrap loops and you can barely tell where the seam of the rim is anyways just like the heat stamp you sanded out so why does it matter. If you get a rear seam helmet with original paint it will probably look just as original WW2 manufactured as a front seam would because they are both WW2 manufactured.

So in conclusion stop messing with original helmets for no good reason. If you can name one singular good reason I will admit I’m wrong but there isn’t one.


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8 hours ago, RememberThe5thESB said:

Yeah, paint shades vary a whole lot more than I think some of us collectors would like it to. Made me sit on the fence on a lot of pots in my earlier collecting years, all because a helmet didn't just look like what I thought it was supposed to, but I suppose the person who mixed the batch of paint up in a factory 75 years ago didn't much care for what some kid decades down the road thought the paint should've looked like lol.

Definitely gonna be a neat display in your office, I'd suggest getting some nets or covers to put on them, and the leather liner chinstraps, make 'em pop out a little more to people who only see them as 3 green old pieces a junk on a shelf, eh?

Sent from my SM-J327V using Tapatalk
 

Yup that's the plan. I've already got some stuff ordered. 

 

Did they not use helmet nets in the KW? All the pictures I ever see are just plain pots. 

7 hours ago, The Rooster said:

I would throw a Mitchell cover on the Vietnam helmet.

And putting on a new old stock or an old liner chinstrap

on the liner is a good addition.

 

Yup got a cover on the way for that one. 

 

I'll get a picture of them when they are done.

 

After these three I just need to find a PASGT to go along with my ACH

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20 minutes ago, Berettatrio said:

Did they not use helmet nets in the KW? All the pictures I ever see are just plain pots. 

 

Nets weren't very common, but sandbag/burlap covers were seen in a lot of photos. Here's one I made up, but there are lot of threads on here with originals.

 

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20 minutes ago, Berettatrio said:

Did they not use helmet nets in the KW? All the pictures I ever see are just plain pots. 

 

I think nets were used in some cases but not nearly as often as they were in WWII. I think a lot of the time when nets were used in Korea it was typically done by higher ranking individuals who were using the same helmet they had used in WWII.

 

My grandfather served during and after Korea (though was never in country) and I have photos of his time in Germany that show multiple men using the large style cargo nets. These pictures would have been taken around 1954 I believe.

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Nets weren't very common, but sandbag/burlap covers were seen in a lot of photos. Here's one I made up, but there are lot of threads on here with originals.
 
Do we know if they were simply unpopular with the troops, or were they just no longer issued out?

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I don't think they were in the supply system by Korea, but surely there were still a ton of them around. Not sure why their popularity waned in Korea. 

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