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British Mk6 helmet

Article about: Hello! It has been quite a long time since I have last posted here, a few years actually now that I think of it. I do apologize for my extended absence, but the years have treated me kindly

  1. #1

    Default British Mk6 helmet

    Hello! It has been quite a long time since I have last posted here, a few years actually now that I think of it.

    I do apologize for my extended absence, but the years have treated me kindly and luckily I have been able to continue my collecting as of recent!

    Here I have a British Mk6 helmet I purchased recently, it's in good condition and it came with a DPM cover.

    The straps on the cover have seen better days, they're rather sloppy now. The cover also seems to be too large for the helmet, as the tag on the cover states "Oversize". I could be wrong, please correct me if I am.

    The helmet straps also seem to be taped up, probably to prevent the straps from loosening on their own.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture British Mk6 helmet   British Mk6 helmet  

    British Mk6 helmet   British Mk6 helmet  

  2. #2


    Great to have you back and good to hear all is well with you nice gs mk6 example ,the foliage bands do tend to stretch in this manner but as its shows issued use i like it hope you stick around for a while ,all the best ,james

  3. #3


    Quote by James C View Post
    Great to have you back and good to hear all is well with you nice gs mk6 example ,the foliage bands do tend to stretch in this manner but as its shows issued use i like it hope you stick around for a while ,all the best ,james
    Thank you, James! I do have some other stuff that I plan to post tomorrow, some DPM uniforms and a combat vest. I also have one new gas mask that I am really looking forward to showing everyone. It's great to be back.

  4. #4


    Here is a somewhat unusual Mk6. Well, OK, in general appearance it is no different from any other early Mk6, in that it has a smooth finish and no press-out studs for a facemask fitting. The unusual part is its apparent origin.

    The label is the first clue - as you can see it is badged as the usual HELMET COMBAT GS Mk6, dated 1984, so a nice early one. The surprise is in the stated manufacturer, which is ROF GLASCOED. This is genuinely unusual as ROF (Royal Ordnance Factory) Glascoed is a long-established munitions plant near Pontypool in South-East Wales. To my knowledge they have great expertise in the making and production of shells, bombs, and bullets but none in helmets. See Wikipedia article here for the background history - .

    The most interesting part is that Glascoed remained a government department unitl 1987, after the date of the helmet. So what was going on. Did they have a relationship with any of the other early Mk6 makers or was this a separate government project with a view to making all the helmets in-house, so to speak. Was it a test or experimental production run? I have no idea. I have also seen another Mk6 with a similar label but this time dated 1986 and badged as R.O.A.D. GLASCOED. I think we can safely assume the 'R.O.' is 'Royal Ordnance', bu the 'A.D.' is presently obscure. 'Advanced Developments'? That's simply a guess.

    Anyway, as you can see in the picture of the moulding in the crown of the shell, the mould gives a date of 1984 and the little oval to the left shows ROF CD (whatever 'CD' means in this context - I will bet real money is is *not* 'Civil Defence'!). The '132-5610' echoes in part the Nato Stock Number on the helmet label. I have no idea what the 'G' may be. 'M' is of course 'Medium' size. Incidentally the little blob on the 'M' is not a moulding artifact - it is a little sticky-backed pad apparently deliberately placed there. No, I don't know why either...

    The fact that Glascoed obviously had their own pressing moulds indicates that some notable level of production either took place or was anticipated. Given the the fact that this is an unusual sighting I'd guess that either not many were made, or few escaped into the wild.

    British Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmet

    Another really strange - and totally unconnected to the above - thing about this helmet is what happened when I realised I just had to get the liner out to see what the crown mould would tell me - was it in fact just a NP with a different label for some reason? As I was holding the helmet one of the little 'horns' of the rubber mushroom rivet fell off. And then, when I poked it experimentally with the Mk1 finger, the other one did too! This was completely inexplicable, especially as the rivets broke (snapped? were cut?) fractionally *below* the outside surface of the helmet, which really seems impossible. That this happened at the exact moment I had said to Catherine "I've got to get this liner out..." is a coincidence that would have sent William Burroughs and Brion Gysin into paroxysms of speculation. Yeah well, maybe not, its really strange but portends nothing! It made getting the liner out a whole lot easier and without the usual anxiety about sacrificing the rubber rivets.

    So, right then, who can tell me more about all this?

    British Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmet

  5. #5


    Very interesting Greg ,can i ask if the shell is moulded in the olive colour we see ,i notice black markings in one of your pictures and wonder if it is more like the mk6 A ,the liner pins were very easy to remove ,so just to get this right the exterior stubs we see were purely superficial or were cut in a fashion to break away easily ,im sure they would of fallen out a long time back if simply pushed in but you never know ,also I'd recheck the moulding stamp ,with my eye's i see GD not CD

  6. #6


    James, could be GD, and yes, having looked again, you are right. I am willing to make a guess that this is the identifier for G lascoe D. Well spotted.

    It is definately not by any stretch of the imagination a MK6A shell, I can tell you for certain. Any black(ish) marks you see are either dirt or shadow. It is a standard early green shiny-shell Mk6, no doubt about it. Other than the label and the crown moulding it is utterly unremarkable.

    The liner pins were not easy to remove, they were already cut or broken. That's the other strange thing. It is as if the little stubs were pushed back into the shell from outside after they had been cut or broken. Interestingly the tip of the remaining shaft of the mushroom rivet does feel harder and potentially more brittle than others I have handled. Maybe a clue there, but as to what I remain unsure. Faulty manufacture? Failed trial of a new formula? Could be just plain accident. Remember, once the protruding part outside the helmet is cut off the mushrooms inside withdraw quite easily. Its the outside but that actually holds the liner firmly. (It doesn't make any sense but that's how it works.)

  7. #7


    Thanks for the extra info Greg ,yes your right i see the black as more a scuff mark now , well the liner did well to hold fast with the retaining mushroom section's cut ,but what i can't grasp is if cut they would of been flush with the shell exterior and not below the line ,confused yes i am I'll watch this thread with keen interest to see what develop's

  8. #8


    Here's a followup to the ROF GLASCOED-badged Mk6 above. It is another Glascoed-label example, this time labelled R.O.A.D. GLASCOED and dated 1986. It is a Mk6 in ever sense, this time with the extra removable plug for the visor bracket at each side. The only remarkable thing externally is that it certainly seems to me - on comparison - a distinctly darker shade of green than other early smooth-shell Mk6. The main chinstrap rig is of the thinner lighter sort often found on early Mk6.

    As you can see the crown moulding (yes, I did sacrifice the mushroom rivets) shows the date as 1985 (one year earlier than the label) and the 'maker' (is it? were they really making Mk6s in Glascoed?) as R.O.A. GD. Royal Ordnance Armaments? Probably. Does anyone know for certain? As before the '132-5610' is part of the Nato Stock Number for the Mk6. The hand-painted numberal adjacent to the crown moulding read 7/203. I have no idea what that might mean.

    Unusual and interesting, and, unbelievably, acquired with a little effort from a colllector in the USA. How did it get there?

    British Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmet

  9. #9


    And while we are about it, here's a query regarding the visor for the Mk6. I've recently had a slightly aggrevating dispute with someone who insists that the 'horns' on the back of the Mk6 (and other NP helmets) are there to act as stops for a visor, to prevent it being pushed back too far. This seems fantastically unlkely to me as these little horns - the external parts of the liner-retention rubber rivets - first appeared on the Mk6 in the 1980s, and that helmet was first and foremost developed as a combat helmet with any idea of it being used for internal security being distinctly secondary. And a de-mining visor is another story altogether.

    It seemed implausible to me that the external horns would be designed in to act as backstops. In fact any helmet type I have seen fitted with a visor either has no backstop at all or has a quite obvious angle bracket fixed to the rear crown of the shell.

    I asked the person for references regarding this but all he ever came up with was purely anecdotal ("someone told me"). No actual references at all despite assurances that "I read about it somewhere...". Useless.

    So I got a Mk6 with the Internal Security visor attached. Now, on my experimentation it seems that the visor hinge is deliberately designed to be stiff, and that when pushed up the top edge of the visor comes to rest naturally at more or less the centreline of the helmet, well before it comes anywhere near the horns. As you can see it has a rubber flange not dissimilar to a huge windscreen wiper which actually sweep across the surface of the helmet from front brim to centreline, giving distinct grip with apparently little danger of the visor falling on its own volition.

    Now, once the visor is pushed further back that flange actually leaves the surface and by the time is crosses the horns they serve no purpose in stopping it moving further to the rear. On the example I have one side of the flange is several millimetres above the horn and the other sweeps over it only slightly with no sticking at all.

    I think this proves my intuition that the horns have nothing to do with a visor at all (after all only a tiny proportion of Mk6 were ever fitted with one) but I would like further opinion on this, especially from persons who actually used them for real.

    British Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmetBritish Mk6 helmet

  10. #10


    Greg do you know off hand how many visor types there are/were ,My mk6 has the anti mine visor fitted British Mk6 helmet

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