M-1 Liner Suspension System "Weight Limit"

Big Red here with a question from "Richard Simmons"...

    So, TAKE FIVE!

    Richard asks,

    "Hey Big Red, I am here to help with your weight problem. It’s gonna be great!! Were gonna wear these leotards, sweat to the oldies, cry about our dads and then go enjoy a nice salad bar!!"

    Hey Richard, what…  no me and my pops had a great relationship… a leo what?!

    Hey Big Guy. I’m gonna just skip in here and change real quick. Don’t go anywhere….

    WOW!     Ok….   well, while he changes into his leotard let’s discuss our M-1 helmet weight problem.

    On February 7, 1941 McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company received their first contract for what would become the M-1 helmet. This first contract was for 200 helmets complete with liners and for tooling necessary to make the helmet body. Many of the helmets and the liners in these initial helmets had slight variations to their component parts as both McCord and Hawley Products, the company subcontracted by McCord to make the liners, figured out how to make the helmet and how parts would need to be modified for mass production.

    The Army, being satisfied with McCord’s 200 samples, issued a contract for 950,000 helmets on July 21, 1941. Just as Hawley and McCord were innovating at the same time they were manufacturing, the Ordnance Department was refining their requirements and specifications for the new M-1 helmet.

    Difficulties arose when the opposing desire for high ballistic protection clashed with that of the maximum weight limit.

    Helmet weight is largely determined by the final gauge or thickness of the metal. Basically a thicker helmet offers a higher ballistic capability. Liner weight is largely determined by the weight of the component parts of the suspension assembly.

    The initial target weight for the complete helmet assembly was plus or minus 3-pounds. Initially, the Ordnance Department allowed a weight variance in order to achieve a higher ballistic performance resulting in helmets that were 0.037 inches thick after their draw.

    However, on September 6, 1941 the Ordnance Department stopped allowing variances and informed McCord that helmet assemblies that exceeded 3-pounds would be rejected. In order to meet this weight requirement McCord set a limit of 39.375 ounces for the complete helmet body leaving 8.625 ounces for a liner assembly.

    During the review of the liner assembly, the weight of the rayon fabric was reduced by using a thinner webbing as well as restricting the leather sweat pad on the head band to a half wrap as well as using a thinner cut of calf skin.

    Rectangular washers made of thin gauge aluminum incorporating two fluted ridges for added strength replaced those of solid steel.

    The initial leather liner chin strap incorporated two slider adjustment buckles which was reduced to one and the initial six-loop suspension cradle was reduced to three sections folded over and looped through the crown adjustment string.

    All these little changes added up and reduced the final fibre liner assembly weight to the allotted 8.625 ounces solving our liner weight problem.


    if your friends want to know how you gained your intel, tell em


    Big Red Says!




    Whaaaaw?!......... Ummmmm nope, I'm good. Please put me down as a solid pass on the salad bar, thanks!

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