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The GP-5 (Russian: Гражданский Противогаз — "Civilian Gas Mask") is a gas mask kit, manufactured from 1962 to 1990 by the Soviet Union, issued and stored for civil defence usage. The gas mask is based on the ShM-41 and itself was initially the ShM-62, which was replaced by the ShM-62u. The upgraded variants of the ShM-62 are the ShM-66mu and the PMK-G

Overview

The GP-5 was designed to protect civilians of the Soviet Union from radioactive fallout during the Cold War. This mask is a helmet-type mask which was made in white rubber. The lenses of these masks are held in place by crimped metal rims, crimped onto the rubber of the mask. The bottom of the mask is made of metal, and in it is the 40mm filter inlet, and the inhale and exhale valves assembly. Air entered through the inhale valve, passed into the mask through tissot tubes under the lenses and was breathed out through the exhale valve. The lenses are easily fogged up and to prevent this, anti-fogging lens inserts were included with the Kit.

The gas mask, being of the "helmet" type, requires it to have strong elasticity, and must be stretched over the head for it to be worn. This allows for a secure fit, but can make the mask uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. The mask itself is made of latex rubber, and thus it naturally adheres well to the skin which ensures an airtight seal. This, however, can make it difficult to wear for a person with long hair, as the rubber will cling to hair strands and can make it both painful and frustrating to put on. Because of this, it is more suitable to people with short hair. The face piece of this mask was designated ShM-62. The ShM-62u was the newer upgraded version of the face piece (the "u" stands for upgraded). The difference between these two face pieces is that the ShM-62 was made with more rubber (the rubber is thicker) thus making the rubber less flexible and uncomfortable. The ShM-62u featured less rubber, so it was more flexible and weighed less. One of the ways to tell which one you have is to look at the size marking, if the size marking is just 2 (for example) it is the early version and if the size marking is 2y ( "y" added at the end meaning that it's the upgraded version).

Markings

The top row of numbers behind character "Ф" indicates the production lot number of the mask

Location:

  • "M" = Moscow
  • "С" = Saratov
  • "T" = Tambov
  • "Я" = Jakowlew

Date:

  • 1 Dot = Made between January - March 
  • 2 Dots = Made between April - June
  • 3 Dots = Made between July - September
  • 4 Dots = Made Between October - December

Sizes:

  • 0 = X Small - 63 cm
  • 1 = Small - 63,5-65.5 cm
  • 2 = Medium - 66,0-68,0 cm
  • 3 = Large - 68,5-70,5 cm
  • 4 = X Large - 71 cm

Accessories

The mask was issued in a very basic khaki fabric bag with two straps, one to hold the bag over the shoulder, and the other to keep it tight around the waist, preventing it from moving around as the person walked. The bag also had two pockets inside, one for a decontamination kit (IPP-1 or IPP-8), and the other for bandages or AI-2 "apechka" (soviet first aid kit) and the pocket also featured a smaller one inside for keeping the anti-fogging lens inserts, issued with the mask to prevent the lenses fogging when the user exhaled.

Filter

Main article: GP-5 Filter Canister

The GP-5 kit included a 40mm GOST filter (itself designated as GP-5). STANAG 4155 filters don't screw on properly and require either forcing the thread or using external means of sealing (i.e. black tape).

Lab reports from the Netherlands and Finland have confirmed the presence of asbestos in the GP-5 filter, in both the particulate filter, and the activated carbon, in filters produced up to at least 1988.[2] [3]

Variants

GP-5m

The GP-5m kit was issued with the ShM-66mu, which differs from the ShM-62u in several things such as the addition of a voice diaphragm and holes for ears. The military kit, designated PMG-2, was completed with a PMG type G bag, and an EO-62K filter, similar in appearance to the GP-5 filter.[4].

ShMP

The ShMP (Russian: Шлем Маска Промышленный - Helmet mask Industrial) is a designation for helmet stlyed masks used in the industry (mainly ShM-62 and ShM-41 variants). All the ShMP masks with ShM-62 facepieces are black.

East German use

Between 1981 and 1988, the government of East Germany imported at least 1,810,000 GP-5 units for a cost of 90,559,300 East German Marks, producing localised documentation. [1]

US 'Evirstar' import

Soviet-manufactured GP-5 kits were imported and sold in the United States by Evirstar Defense Products as current CBRN protection, despite the age of the masks and contents of the filters.

Popular Culture

Team Fortress 2

250px-Foster's Facade

Mumbling pyromaniac.

The first person shooter, Team Fortress 2, features the GP-5 as a wearable item for the Pyro class, known as Foster's Facade (a reference to the Killing Floor series' Mr.Foster, who is always seen wearing the mask).

SCP

The GP-5 makes an appearance on the SCP wiki as SCP-1499[5]

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

The GP-5 makes an appearance on many full conversion mods for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, both SHoC (Shadow Of Chernobyl) and CoP (Call Of Pripyat).

Such mods being:

  • Dead Air (for CoP);
  • RadioPhobia 2 (for SHoC);

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.atemschutzddr.de/025ea998a80d98f09/025ea998a80dc71f8/index.html (in German)
  2. File:337992e9-de99-4358-addb-3ced34dd6054.jpg (in Dutch)
  3. File:Photo_2017-08-09_10-29-35.jpg (in Finnish)
  4. http://www.mil.by/ru/forces/special/rhbz/459/8335/ (in Russian)
  5. http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1499

External links

Bart's Old Gas Mask Collection

Gasmasklexikon

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