Giving new life to a classic mask
The MSA Phalanx was never supposed to be a high brow mask. The mask started off as an experiment to create cheap, effective masks for mining operations. Its cost cutting method was unique: change the filter. In most gas masks, the filter port is often a huge cost sink, requiring multiple precise injection molded parts.
That is where the Phalanx became different. If MSA wanted to stay competitive, they needed to find a simple and effective way to seal their masks. They devised a simple solution. The gas mask would hold the male connector, uncommon for most masks even today. The filter would screw into their proprietary threading system, using the rubber of the mask itself as a gasket. This of course created a second advantage: the proprietary system would render MSA the sole producer of filters.
However in the years following its creation, the Phalanx would see an interesting rise in the market. Originally intended for use in mining applications, the mask would increasingly be marketed in other sectors. At an unknown time, Defense Technologies (DEF-TEC) would enter the scene.
DEF-TEC isn’t a household name, but its one of those strange companies that should be. As the leading producer in CS chemical discharge grenades, OC spray concentrate, batons, and even flash-bangs; DEF-TEC has a strangle hold over the riot control market. Some time in the mid 90’s, DEF-TEC would pick up the Phalanx and begin marketing it to police departments. Slowly and surely, these masks would end up in the hands of groups like the NYPD and even to the cinema screens in movies like Terminator 2.