The M17 Field Protective Mask was developed by the Army Chemical Corps, first issued in 1959 as an improvement on the M9 Gas Mask from the previous decade.
The M17 Field Protective Mask had a singular new feature: the elimination of the need for a canister by placing lightweight filter material in pockets in the cheek of the mask. With no canister, the mask was made in one configuration, with no need to accomodate left or right-handed canister placement. The mask was originally made in three sizes and included a voice transmitter to improve speech transmission.
The M17 Field Protective Mask is designed to give protection against respiratory war gases, germ-warfare agents, and airborne radioactive fallout particles. The protection is provided by the pads of filter material (M13A2 filter elements) enclosed within “pork chop” cavities molded into the rubber facepiece of the mask. In the M13A2 filter elements, the adsorbent, known as ASC Whetlerite charcoal, is charcoal impregnated with copper oxide and salts of silver and chromium. The filter element also includes a laminated particulate filter layer to remove particles and aerosols greater than 3 µm in diameter.
The M17 gas mask can be used in any climatic condition, but the M4 winterization kit is required for temperatures of –20°F or below. The forehead straps, temple straps, and cheek straps come together at a head pad for ease of fitting.
Reference Technical Manuals for the M17 Gas Mask include:
TM 3-4240-279-10, Operator’s Manual: Mask, Chemical-Biological: Field ABC-M17, M17A1, and M17A2
TM 3-4240-279-20&P, Unit Maintenance Manual for Mask, Chemical-Biological; Field, ABC-M17, M17A1, and M17A2
Stock Number Reference:
Mask, Protective, Field, M17