S6 Respirator

At the end of the Second World War, Britain had just introduced a new light weight respirator for its frontline troops. Whilst a big improvement over what had gone before, with the opening of the Cold War and the increasing threat from Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) weapons it was looking increasingly obsolete. To counter this growing threat government scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down developed a new mask, the S6. The image below shows the new S6 undergoing tests before its introduction:2694848Whilst certain design features were carried over from the previous model, such as the side mounted canister, this was an entirely new and far more sophisticated design. The mask consists of a moulded soft black rubber face piece with an air seal around the inside of the face piece to improve the fit. A metal canister is attached to the side:imageA large diaphragm on the front of the mask allows exhaled air to escape and some sound to come out so the wearer is audible:imageThis mask is marked ‘N’ indicating it’s a normal size:imageSmaller and larger examples were made for people with different sized faces. Other markings on the outside of the face piece indicate it was manufactured in 1967:imageThe respirator has a separate metal canister:imageWhich screws into a 40 mm housing on the right hand side of the mask:imageThe respirator was also available with the mounting on the opposite side depending on which hand the user favoured to shoot with. The canister has faint white markings on it recording filling dates and when the canister should be replaced:imageThe canister could protect against all known chemical agents at the time of its introduction. The mask is held onto the face by a series of six elasticated straps and a pad that sits on the back of the head:imageThese allow the mask to be adjusted for a good fit. Inside the mask can be seen the eyepieces and combination expiration valve and speech diaphragm:imageThe mask weights 0.83 kgs when fitted with a canister making it light and fairly comfortable to wear. The following NATO stores codes (courtesy of Crusader 80) cover the various permutations of the mask:

Face piece Right Handed:

X Small- A2 4240-99-122-3253

Small- A2 4240-99-960-6980

Normal- A2 4240-99-960-6981

Large- A2 4240-99-960-6982

Face piece Left Handed:

Small- A2 4240-99-127-8356

Normal- A2 4240-99-127-8355

Large- A2 4240-99-127-8354

These masks were used from the 1950s until the mid 1980s when the S10 replaced them. Examples were also made for the Turkish Army who still use them today.3067236

3 thoughts on “S6 Respirator

  1. Pingback: S10 Respirator | Tales from the Supply Depot

  2. Pingback: S6 Respirator Haversack Mk 1 | Tales from the Supply Depot

  3. Pingback: Canadian C3 Respirator | Tales from the Supply Depot

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