In the world of Gas Masks, not all masks are created equal. The SF10 was made famous when selected by the UK’s elite SAS unit. The SF10 is not without it’s limitations, but it is an excellent high quality mask with good tactical features.
The SF10 gas mask is a variant of the S10 series. The S10 entered mass production in 1986. The SF10 is the counter terror variant and it went into production in 1988. SF10 differences from include: the S10 in that it lacks the drinking tube. The SF10 can also adapt a filter to either side, S10s were manufactured in either left or right configuration.
The SF10 has two large eyepieces set in thick supple rubber body. There are two filter ports and the filter can be switched between either. This allows the mask to be adapted to right and left handed rifle shooters.
The large center exhalation valve also serves as a voice emitter. The head harness is also soft rubber.
40mm Filters are standard for this mask. This is a huge plus. The 40mm NBC offers the most value and availability to the end user.
Using the SF10.
Gas masks are uncomfortable. That being said the SF10 has excellent ergonomic performance. I hesitated to say it’s comfortable, but it is more comfortable than most masks.
The mask has excellent visibility. The big eye pieces perform very well and they are a big plus.
Using a rifle with the SF10 is also easier than with many gas masks. It’s always a bit of a chore, but the soft mask material and the large eye pieces do a good job of mitigating the difficulty wearing the mask presents.
The integrated oronasal cup does a great job of preventing fogging. The cup also helps the mask stay comfortably aligned on the users face.
The rubber head harness is soft, and can tug on long hair. I’ve seen fabric replacement harnesses but I can’t attest to their performance.
The lack of drinking tube is a significant limitation to this mask. Problems associated with this can be range from an inconvenience to a major problem. This can mean if you are in an area of significant contamination and cant get out you’re facing a hydration challenge.
Finding an SF10 can be a little tricky. I’ve found they can be found, but finding a new one can be hard. These days this mask goes for upwards of $200 on the used market.
Overall the SF10 is a quality piece of kit. It is well designed, it has a distinguished service history, and it is a solid performer.
The eye pieces provide excellent visibility. The soft rubber provides good comfort and the combination of the supple design and good eye pieces make the onerous task of using a gas mask with a rifle less troublesome.
The mask allows the end user to switch filter placement without too much trouble. If you can find one of these in appropriate condition I’d recommend them for the preparedness tool box.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” Live Ready.