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What to look for when buying an M1 helmet

The soldier on the right wears a helmet with a late model helmet net and elastic foliage band while the helmet on the soldier on the left exhibits common paint loss to the helmet rim. Is this a WWII helmet? Few questions evoke so many opinions as this one often asked at shows, auctions, or online forums. In order to accurately deduce if a M1 helmet and liner are of WWII origin, it is important to know the basic manufacturing characteristics of the helmet and liner as new specification changes emerged. Approximating dates according to stamps in WWII helmets cannot always be done as some are unreadable. The collector should take note that as new specifications came into being, older patterns were normally used up, inconjunction with the production of new specification models of any part of the helmet.

M1 - Vietnam Era? Here is the stamp on the cover - and what I assume is Robert's Serial number as written by him I presume - I've looked him up, I just cant get his military record because I cant pay for the veteran search sites I cant see any other stamps or anything besides that. Is it the deep flap cut style at the side to accommodate the bales? The liner might be marked on the webbing near the temples, facing the outside.

Does it have a maker mark? Are the metal parts of the shell's chinstrap marked? I like the looks of the helmet so far. I would like some more close up pics. Sometimes the chinstraps are short and will not latch on the rear of the helmet. Fortune favors the brave th td.

How to date WWII and Later US M1 Helmets

More pictures two of them show what I meant by the chinstrap clips sticking out. Question Dating a Sporran In Uniforms. Dating a ww2 liner In US M1 steel helmet forum. Bookmarks Bookmarks Digg del. In order to accurately deduce if a M1 helmet and liner are of WWII origin, it is important to know the basic manufacturing characteristics of the helmet and liner as new specification changes emerged.

Approximating dates according to stamps in WWII helmets cannot always be done as some are unreadable. The collector should take note that as new specifications came into being, older patterns were normally used up, inconjunction with the production of new specification models of any part of the helmet.

So, it is normal for odd combinations such as a fiber liner with a herringbone suspension. This can result in many interesting combinations, both historically and informatively. This article will provide the new collector with a step-by-step process to determine the WWII vintage of the M1 helmet.

The Basics on Dating a US M1 Helmet

The M1 helmets distinctive WWII manufacturing features will be described as well as dates approximating time of specification changes. Attention will be made to alert the collector of post-WWII modifications due to specification changes that were applied to helmets originally produced during WWII.

They were also marked with an alpha numerical stamp in the same place as Shlueter made helmets but did not possess any other distinguishing hallmarks. Adopted shortly before the United States entry into WWII, the first production M1 helmet shell was made of manganese steel coated in cork aggregate and dark olive drab paint. This combination gave the helmet a dark, coarse, appearance and texture. The stamp can be hard to see but can identify maker and approximate year of manufacture. These features are common to all WWII helmets and were never changed during the course of the war.

Initial production helmets in to late had their rims seemed in the front. From to late , the seam met in the front center edge of the steel helmet.

The rim was made of stainless steel which did not rust but shined excessively when exposed, as the paint normally did not hold up well under constant contact with hard surfaces. At that time, the seam moved degrees to the center rear edge of the helmet.

M1 helmet dating

Originally, the chin straps were sewn onto fixed loops. This feature was installed on all front and early rear seamed helmets. The fixed loops were a weak point in the helmets design because the loops were in constant contact with the surface. Enough became broken off that they were superseded by the swivel loop type chinstrap attachments in From to late , these loops were welded directly to the left and right side of the helmet.

The airborne used a fixed loop in the shape of a half circle for most of the war but also used the standard swivel loop by the end of the war. From to late , chin straps were constructed of cotton webbing in olive drab shade number three top.

It was produced in different shades from khaki to light green. Although officially phased out in , the number three shade was used passed , until supplies were exhausted. The decision to adopt the shade of field gear material to the darker olive drab number seven bottom was made by the end of It is usually found sewn on to rear seamed helmet shells.

Initially they were dyed olive drab number three which was technically a greenish khaki, but in practice was produced in varying shades from khaki to greenish khaki. In , a decision was made to phase out olive drab number three in favor of olive drab number seven, or dark olive drab. By the end of , the new color change was implemented. This change was not completed over night by all manufacturers as the old number three material was normally used until exhausted.

WWII-Era M1 Helmets: A Beginnerís Guide

From to late , the chin strap buckle was made from a brass casting that can be readily distinguished by its brass construction and the raised bar cast into the top of the buckle. After , a simplified buckle was developed to ease construction and conserve brass. The new buckle, stamped out of steel and painted black would remain unchanged for the rest of WWII. The adjustment keeper was placed at the end of the chinstrap to secure the extra webbing after adjustment. The manufacturing processes tabs used were the same as the buckle.

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