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#5 and 5A experimental WW1 helmets


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Went to the ASMIC show today and scored a US experimental helmet Number 5 to go along with my Number 5A. The differences are slight. The Number 5 is 3/8" wider and longer than the Number 5A, and the chinstrap on the 5A is leather instead of fabric. Number 5 is on the right.





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16 minutes ago, mdk0911 said:

very cool lids - can see the similarity to a German Stalhelm.


To be honest, I see more similarity with Darth Vaders helmet ;) 

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On 9/13/2022 at 2:08 PM, Paul Reijnders said:

Hello Robinb,


Both helmets are model 5


Regards, Paul


 If that is the case, then what is a Model-5A type helmet? if these are technically both a Model-5.

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The op shows a Model 5 and what could be a Model 5a.  I can't see quite enough of the side profile to tell for sure.


In order to reduce the similarity to the German m16, a small number of Model 5 helmets were modified by trimming the brim to a new contour and applying new rim edging.  The modified version was known as the Model 5a, and can be seen on the frontispiece of Bashford Dean's Helmets And Body Armor In Modern Warfare.


Similar modifications were made to the Model 2, which was known as the Model 2a.


In 1920, the Model 5 and 5a were mislabeled as Model 2 and 2a by the Infantry Board.  The Model 2 and 2a were mislabeled as Model 5 and 5a.  The error was noted by the Ordnance Department, but they made no effort to correct it, and the change in designation became permanent.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...


 I have a couple of US WW1 Experimental Helmets which I acquired from a friends estate and are clueless on the value of these oddball items.  I normally collect German WW1 Pickelhaubes and Stahlhelms, but these are interesting and apparently unique.  I have have been approached to sell them and I'm not sure if I want to at this time.  Any assistance from the experts to help me value these items would be appreciated.

1- US "Liberty Bell" Helmet-  Good paint finish with the usual 100 years of storage wear.  It has what looks to be a M1917A1 Kelly Liner that is ill fitting and has a web chinstrap that looks like the one pictured in another thread on this site.

2- US Model 5- Shell has what looks like an old water stain on the left side but it is not rusty, just discolored, still displays well.  The liner band is present but 2 pads are missing and one remains but is detached.  It has the complete M1917A1 style chinstrap in good shape.

3- US Model 8 Visor for the Model 8 helmet.  Visor only.  I was told that only a little over 1,000 these helmets were made by Ford.  I guess it would be the "Holy Grail" to a collector that has this helmet but is missing the visor. Looks to be in nice shape.

I will try to post some photos soon. 

So, thank you for any help you might be willing to share.  As an Imperial German collector, US items (expecially experimental ones) are out of my scope of collecting.




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Pictures would really help a lot here.  It's always a little difficult to put a value on the WWI experimentals, since the collector pool is very small, and given their relative scarcity, sales are pretty infrequent.


I've seen a couple of Liberty Bell helmets sell within the last year or so in the $1100-1200 range.  These all had incorrect liners, but yours sounds more promising.  Photos would tell the story there.


Model 5s are the most common of the experimentals and I know of a few that have sold for $1200-1500 pretty recently.  It's important to know that there was a postwar modification of these that is much rarer and could affect the price.


As for the Model 8 visor, there's probably one person in the world that needs one, so it's down to what he'd pay.

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