It doesn’t take much instability in the world to make people stop and think about the possibilities which might result from pandemics, invasions, and other societal conflicts.
How you can protect yourself from these substances varies but one good step is having a solid gas mask.
We all can agree on the importance of breathing, but a good filter in some of these instances might just prove life-saving.
We tested out a few gas mask offerings from Mira Safety to see if any of them were worth stocking in your Bug Out Bag or bunker.
Stay tuned as we walk you through the specs as well as the pros and cons of each model. By the end of the review, you’ll have a better idea of whether Mira is worth grabbing and which model might work best for you!
Summary of Our Top Picks
Table of Contents
CM-7M Military Gas Mask
Manufactured in the Czech Republic from bromobutyl rubber, the 7M features dual, separate lenses and a fairly narrow profile. The main benefit of this configuration is the ability to shoot without much adaptation.
In my time at the range with the 7M, I was able to achieve sight picture with a raised, red dot mounted rifle by canting approximately 15 degrees.
Cheek weld wasn’t bad at all and the minor canting didn’t affect my accuracy.
The field of view was solid, though obviously not as wide as the 6M and I found it pretty easy to don and doff. Its five adjustable straps were stretchy and the webbing on the back made for a comfortable fit.
I noticed this left the top of my head mostly uncovered so I could wear a hat or helmet comfortably.
In addition, the rubber was soft against my face and I could feel my breath being routed through the filter.
This is evidence of at least some seal to the face, though as noted above, an optimal seal isn’t likely with a beard.
The 7M accepts 40mm NATO standard filters. Shooters can also mount the filters on the left or right to accommodate their shooting preferences.
Our smooth-skinned editor Eric also had a range day with both the CM-6M and 7M before and reported a great seal where you can feel the suction on your face with each breath.
Manufactured in the Czech Republic, the 6M is also made of bromobutyl rubber but has a full, one-piece visor for wide field of view.
While view is outstanding, the profile of the mask is a bit wider.
This means it’s great for general tasks but cheek weld and sight picture are slightly more challenging.
With that in mind I found it took about a 45-degree cant to line my eye up with the raised red dot on my rifle.
Once established, it was easy to repeatedly engage multiple targets but it took some practice to get comfortable with.
The rubber on the 6M was also soft and the 5-strap plus mesh setup from the 7M is repeated here.
Again, putting the mask on and taking it off felt pretty easy. Once on, I could feel my breath being routed through the filter.
The 6M also uses a standard 40mm filter and like the 7M, it mounts on either side of the mask to allow shooters to pick their preferred setup.
We also tested both the 7M and 6M with a pepper spray grenade prior which both masks passed with flying colors.
Don’t get too excited though…the “grenade” was underwhelming. That said, it still propelled enough particles into the air that we felt spicy air when we took off the masks a few minutes after.
TAPR (Tactical Air Purifying Respirator)
The TAPR is a different approach altogether and only covers the mouth and nose — making it easier to use with goggles and face shields.
This half-mask was also easy to put on and take off. Similar to the 7M, a slight cant allows a shooter’s eye to line up with the reticle while wearing the TAPR.
This is largely due to the slim profile and mounting of the 40mm filter at the bottom of the mask, near the chin.
One of the immediately obvious benefits of this mask is visual range is not limited. It makes sense that you would still want to wear some eye pro of some sort depending on what scenario you faced.
Again, Eric found a great seal when cleanly shaven.
A Note About Beards
A study conducted in the 1980s showed men with beards cannot achieve a good seal with a gas mask. As inconvenient as that might be for us bearded folk, the evidence was pretty clear.
When I asked Mira Safety about this, they indicated they could not recommend attempting a seal with a beard.
There are some people who say Vaseline or other substances can be used to achieve a good seal between a beard and gas mask.
However, Mira recommends keeping a small shaver in your kit if you encounter a dire situation where you need to deploy a mask.
The results of a bad seal are dependent upon a number of factors but the most important is what you’re trying to filter out. If you’re up against a smokey room it wouldn’t be great, but you’d be better off than without a mask.
Try to tackle some CN or pepper spray and a bad seal could be tough.
Sarin gas or something similar? An 8% leak (commonly found in bearded test subjects from the study above) would likely prove fatal.
Mira Safety has a number of gas masks to suit different applications. I found them all to be comfortable, simple to use, and relatively easy to shoot with.
Communication was still do-able while wearing these masks and features like the drinking tube make long-term uses far more tenable.
These proved innovative and handy.
The 7M was definitely easier to shoot with but the 6M wasn’t too difficult. The field of view on both full masks was good with the wider range going to the 6M.
Eric found the seals to be solid during testing and even though I had a beard I could definitely feel a partial seal when I wore them.
Mira Safety warranties these masks for 1 year but offers an extended 5-year warranty for the 6M with product registration.
Mira Safety Gas Mask Review: CM-6M, CM-7M, TAPR [Hands-On] is written by Sean Curtis for www.pewpewtactical.com