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.

But even with its common use, one problem has been left behind: filters. The MSA Phalanx’s filter system might have been cheaper to produce, but it poses a huge availability issue in the modern era. Sure, the company still produces these proprietary filters, but only on large orders from the few derelict mining companies that still field this mask. If you can’t fill their ludicrously high MOQ’s, you might try the surplus market. Even then, expired filters are rare and difficult to locate.

That is where a close friend of NXG sat last year. It was April, right as the panic was truly beginning to set in. Surgical masks were next to impossible to find but being mandated everywhere. And there he was with his MSA Phalanx, and no filters. Suitable for even heavy riot duty, but still not usable. In the late hours of the night, he called me up asking for help.

Thus the Phalanx filter adapter was born. Adapting the proprietary screw threads to 40mm NATO, NXG has brought the Phalanx into the modern era. Unlike other fly-by-night parts producers for gas maks, we have actively put ourselves through riot agents to prove this filter adapters effectiveness.

MSA PHALANX to 40mm STANAG Filter Adapter

Designed to adapt from the MSA PHALANX's proprietary 7/8 14 screw thread to the STANAG/NATO 40mm filter standard.

Construction: Solid Photoresin (Sterolithographic Curing 405nm)

Usage manual: manual.zip (2.3 MB)

Porosity Study

To ensure proper quality, NXG has done a study on the porosity of its filter adapters. We have found porosity on the product to be minimal, posing no risk.

Study Image A - Study Image B