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Question about MX991/U flashlights


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I came across a website on Vietnam equipment and uniforms (http://david.brubakers.us/Vietnam/index.html) that states that the Vietnam War era MX991/U flashlight should not have raised guards along the sides of the switch.

 

Can someone confirm that this is true and, if so, does that mean that the flashlight pictured below is a reproduction perhaps made for reenactments?

 

VietnamFlashlight.jpg

 

Thanks for the clarification on this point.

 

Tim

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Should be marked as to mfgr... I have a GT Price MX991/U issued to me sometime in the '70s with the switch guard. Could be as late as '77. I saw both in use when I was in the army. Switch guard was a upgrade to improve durability. I don't know when they were added, but likely between 1963 and 1977. Having one doesn't mean it wasn't issued, but might denote when. Of course I'm sure a quite a few were sold to civilian market. Sorry I can't pin down a date.

 

I might add that anyone who would know with assurance that they had to be post Vietnam to have the switch guard, would also be able to tell you when they were added. Also, different manufacturers may have added the guards at different times.

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Should be marked as to mfgr... I have a GT Price MX991/U issued to me sometime in the '70s with the switch guard. Could be as late as '77. I saw both in use when I was in the army. Switch guard was a upgrade to improve durability. I don't know when they were added, but likely between 1963 and 1977. Having one doesn't mean it wasn't issued, but might denote when. Of course I'm sure a quite a few were sold to civilian market. Sorry I can't pin down a date.

 

I might add that anyone who would know with assurance that they had to be post Vietnam to have the switch guard, would also be able to tell you when they were added. Also, different manufacturers may have added the guards at different times.

 

Well, based upon what you have said and the fact that it's part of a grouping from a fellow board member I trust I am inclined to think it is Vietnam War era.

 

I just was a tiny bit uncertain after reading the commentary on the website.

 

Tim

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I'm thinking on that website when he say "original", he means the first ones issued early in the war. I've looked around and couldn't find any source that states when the tabs were added, just "sometime later"(after first being made without guard,not neccessarily after war). I do know that GT Price stated making the MX991/U in 1963 and the early ones didn't have the switch guard. Is the one you have marked as to manufacturer?

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I would be really interested in seeing some dates. I havent ever seen any but have only read in a number of places that vietnam flashlights were the mx 99/u and mx 991/u without the guards (or ears). How about it anyone.

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I remember noticing the raised guards in the 1970s, but can't tell you when they first made it into the system. It seems to me that the color was a little lighter or grayer than earlier models too. The ones with raised guards are NOT repros, juust a later variant.

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I have one made by Fulton & it has the raised guards. No date anywhere.

 

I also have 2 MX-993/U flashlights (straight, not angled); one has the guards (Fulton), the other does not (GT Price). Both look to be from around the same era.

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Doing google searches seems to produce sites that all pretty much seem to say the same thing and seem to borrow from each other: "at some point a switch guard was added"...haven't seen mention anywhere yet as to when. At least the comment at the flashlight museum from George T. Price III seems like something believable. It would be great to find a way to get in touch with him. Here's a link: http://www.flashlightmuseum.com/GT-Price-F...-Hanger-2D-1963

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I sent an email off to Dave McLellan, Founder and Flashlight Guru, of the Flashlight Museum with our question about when the protective guards came into use.

 

I'll let you all know when I hear back from him.

 

Tim

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Can someone confirm that this is true and, if so, does that mean that the flashlight pictured below is a reproduction perhaps made for reenactments?

 

VietnamFlashlight.jpg

 

To directly answer your question, no, that is not a reproduction, it is a current production, current issue flashlight. When did the wings get added? Well, we are still out on that one. If you are trying to represent Vietnam, if you have a wingless, you are good to go. If you have a winged one, then you are representing late war. Almost everyone I know that displays Vietnam, won't display a flashlight with wings, not saying they weren't there or used, just not generally accepted as "right"

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I bought this one on ebay. It came new in a box. Can anyone get a date from the numbers on the box? Its a mx994/u from G.T.Price

The box does not have a contract code but the NSN indicates a post-1974 design.

 

The plastic "angle-head" Flashlight; MX-991/U (FSN 6230-264-8261) was standardized on 23 February 1960. The switch-guard (the raised tabs on either side of the switch) were not present when standardized. During heavy usage in Southeast Asia it was found the flashlight could be accidentally turned on (thus draining the batteries) when carried (with the switch rubbing against something). Further the switch could be damaged quite easily. On 05 October 1973 the switch-guard (raised tabs) was added to all flashlights (MX-991, MX-992, MX-993) to correct the problems.

 

The old theory of the "no switch-guard equals Vietnam" is based in fact but their are exceptions. I have seen DSA FY1975 dated sealed flashlights that do not have the switch-guard. Due to the sheer volume of flashlights manufactured (by Price, Fulton, and others) and the amount detoured to the civilian market it is almost impossible to say that every flashlight without the switch-guard is 100% Vietnam-era. I assume the manufacturers probably had left over stock of the older bodies (without the switch-guard) and assembled them after the specifications had changed and routed them to the civilian market. But what can be said, with certainty, is that flashlights with the switch-guard are post-Vietnam War and did not see service there.

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The plastic "angle-head" Flashlight; MX-991/U (FSN 6230-264-8261) was standardized on 23 February 1960. The switch-guard (the raised tabs on either side of the switch) were not present when standardized. During heavy usage in Southeast Asia it was found the flashlight could be accidentally turned on (thus draining the batteries) when carried (with the switch rubbing against something). Further the switch could be damaged quite easily. On 05 October 1973 the switch-guard (raised tabs) was added to all flashlights (MX-991, MX-992, MX-993) to correct the problems.

 

What is your reference for this information for our references.

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What is your reference for this information for our references.

MIL-F-3747A dated 23 February 1960

MIL-F-3747C dated 05 October 1973

 

Just FYI, all flashlights in the series (a total of nine including the MX-991/U, MX-992/U, MX-993/U, MX-994/U, MX-212/U, and others) were cancelled on 09 May 1996.

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Just FYI, all flashlights in the series (a total of nine including the MX-991/U, MX-992/U, MX-993/U, MX-994/U, MX-212/U, and others) were cancelled on 09 May 1996.

 

 

Interesting, they must have one helluva stock pile of them then, we are still getting them through the supply system. I am required to have these in my crash kits and orded six of them just about a year ago and the came right in.

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I heard back from Dave McLellan, President (Flashlight Museum.com) and according to him "Fulton Mfg. was a primary manufacturer of the guarded switch although Bright Star also put it on and was a primary supplier of flashlights during WWII. The company principles even have thank you documents from MacArthur."

 

Tim

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Ive seen some never issued MX-991/Us in the original boxes with dates on them like 1973 and 1975 and they did not have the switch guards.

 

From what I have learned these may have been flashlights manufactured by G.T. Price as opposed to Fulton Mfg.

 

Tim

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MIL-F-3747A dated 23 February 1960

MIL-F-3747C dated 05 October 1973

 

Just FYI, all flashlights in the series (a total of nine including the MX-991/U, MX-992/U, MX-993/U, MX-994/U, MX-212/U, and others) were cancelled on 09 May 1996.

 

Does MIL-F-3747B manual exist?

 

Tim

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I heard back from Dave McLellan, President (Flashlight Museum.com) and according to him "Fulton Mfg. was a primary manufacturer of the guarded switch although Bright Star also put it on and was a primary supplier of flashlights during WWII. The company principles even have thank you documents from MacArthur."

 

Tim

 

Did he say when the wings were put on?

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Did he say when the wings were put on?

 

No he did not, but, he is delving into the question. I also am trying to dig up contact information for Fulton Mfg, to see if I can pose that question to their archivist (if they have one).

 

I'll let everyone know what I turn up.

 

Tim

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