WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

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WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:29 pm

Hope this post comes across well, it is my first.

Wondering what I have, I believe it is a WWI German Officiers Prussian Guards helmet. Not really sure what "guards" means. Would appreciate and info.

Is there a book I could buy to get more info? I have a couple other picklehauben and my friend has a few I would like to research.

Thanks,
Jim
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:54 pm

Welcome aboard Jim great to have you with us and you are in the right place to be, if you are investing money in these helmets and need some help. First, the helmet plate is a Garde (Guard) officer plate which is good. However, your spike with the elongated neck is not right, at least I have never seen anything like it in 25 years of collecting. They made very tall spike tops but never a tall neck. The chin scales and rear spine seem to be made of zinc which has lost is gilding (common). This is correct for a mid war piece, they ran out of brass and went for zinc fittings. There is a problem however with the shape of the scales...they are convex (rounded) which means a mounted unit not infantry. Your helmet plate could be Garde Grenadier Infantry, Garde Field Artillery or Garde Foot artillery. The convex scales would have been worn by a Garde Field Artillery officer but if so, it would have a ball top on it not a spike. To cut to the chase here.....a mid war Garde officer helmet with improper spike, Convex scales and bosses for a mounted unit. From what I see, what you need to make this right is an artillery officer ball top and not that spike.
The Gardes were elite regiments with special helmets and uniforms.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:11 pm

Hmm, very interesting. Mid WWI and SHOULD be Artillery ball, THANKS!

This helmet came from a guy in a small farming town of central Michigan in the late 1980's, not sure how it got there but he said it was a family piece. The helmet actually has a real nice cloth liner (maybe silk or something) and the chin straps have a smaller center hole than my other two pickelhauben, I do not know how to remove this style chin strap.

The rest of the story, just today I sold my nicely refinished, matching 1914 artillery Luger, for cash and this helmet BUT I will store this helmet at the previous owners place as long as he lives. I hope he will stick around for a long time as he is one of the absolute best men out there. We really enjoy talking and collecting old militaria! SO, I will not modify this one for now.


I will post my other two picklehauben this weekend, I know I am missing 1/2 of a chin strap and two sheetmetal grommets.


Note: the guy on the right is my great grandfather Michael, I will need one of this style some day!


Again, much appreciated.
Jim
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:17 pm

Hey Jim; Thanks for the quick reply, if you can, an interior shot of the liner would help here for further information. The officer liner should be a calf skin sweat band to which is sewn a ribbed silk liner which fits up inside the shell. Now again, mid war pieces may have a different material used because of shortages in proper materials. Mid war helmets often have a combination of pre war parts and materials plus "make do" stuff from during the war. There are hundreds of pictures here of officer liners so have a look and you will see what I am trying to describe....one pic truly saves a thousand words. Have a look at the officer spikes too and you will see how yours is so different from anything I have ever seen. Check out chin scales, cockades etc, all the information you need is here. I look forward to some more pics of your helmets and your friends as well. I am also going to start a new section on reference books which is long over due. They have been talked about and sort of half listed occasionally but having a specific area where new members can look is much smarter...thanks for that request.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by joerookery » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:39 am

welcome Jim! One of the great advantages of this place is that you get diverse opinions. I would not be so quick to throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are other possibilities for the rounded chin scales. This could be a train helmet. Which would mean that the spike is just fine. Now the spiked base is very interesting. Very saxon looking. There is a picture in the front of the Stubbs book that shows various spike bases that I have to look at. I've never seen one like this either but it could be…
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:07 pm

Good one Joe, I had forgotten about Garde Train! That certainly would fit.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:14 pm

Very fun, Saxon looking. Wondering if there were Saxon guard units?

Sounds like I should pick up Stubbs book.

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Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by joerookery » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:21 pm

No the Saxon army had its own elite formations and the Garde Korps recruited from there.

Hang on for a little while and we will get the picture. I'm not sure that Stubbs is worth buying first given the other books that are available. It was good in it's time but it has been seriously overshadowed. In my humble opinion…
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by poniatowski » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:06 pm

I was thinking the spike base was rather saxon looking as well. Are there any extra mounting holes behind the Garde Eagle?

:D Ron
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by joerookery » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:17 pm

Very saxon looking
In response to a couple of questions I had about this – there are two things about the base that caught my eye. The pearl ring is a specific design often found on Saxon helmets.

The second and most characteristic thing is that Saxons for some reason really seem to extenuate and emphasize the length of items. Their spikes are always taller – everything sort of bigger. Maybe something to compensate for smaller body parts I don't know. Just as an interesting anomaly – my tallest spike is a guard train Fährich.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:26 pm

I didn't own the helmet when I took the pictures and was afraid to remove the crest in case I should damage it. I didn't do anything under the liner.

Next time I am at my buddies house I will take pictures of the inside.

So probably Saxon origin but Prussian unit, supply or medical train I am guessing from around 1915. Excellent!

Thanks,
Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by edwin » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:35 pm

Welcome to the forum and as you probably noticed you came to the right place with your questions. I can highly recommend the website below for an excellent discussion of pickelhaubes:

http://www.kaisersbunker.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Regards,

Edwin

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by jimturinetti » Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:39 pm

Take a look at the Order of the Black Eagle on the star. This is the style of device that was worn by an NCO, or a OYV or an officer Aspirant..

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by joerookery » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:07 pm

Here is the picture. It comes from Stubbs –Stubbs, Thomas N.G., Schiffer Military History, Atglen PA, 2003 (English)--http://www.pickelhauben.net/books/Stubbs.htm

Image

While it does not contain the exact match it gives you the idea of the variety available in private purchase. You can also see why I am a big fan of catalogs. – No I don't have this one and I don't know where it is from – but the photograph looks like junkers.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:56 pm

Yes, many option's! I will say the entire helmet "feels" right, perhaps a private purchase with a little extra flair for a mounted train officer.

Will get the inside pictures as soon as I can.

Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:04 am

Well Joe, the original catalogs and pictures are the real contemporary sources beyond doubt. That pic and your catalog publication certainly puts it right out there....these helmets had a basic shell with visors, but you could up grade with silk liners plus monograms, silk ribbon sweat bands, taller spikes, heavier gilding, finer wappen strikes, lighter gauge leather etc. The ordinary ranker was stuck with a heavier version that was probably sweated in by 2 guys before him. I also think, that we have to step back here, while looking at these numerous upgrades and realize that private purchase meant that you had money and could afford certain options that told everyone who saw them that you had money and social status. It is no different today, if you can afford it, you pay the extra for the designer clothing which supposedly, convinces everyone that you have money.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by poniatowski » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:19 pm

Wouldn't you love to have been able to go shopping at CE Junker back then? Especially if, for some reason, they'd allow you to say, "Give me one of everything!" Talk about your instant collection to go.

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:19 pm

Yes that picture comes from a Haube Heads' dreams!
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by pointystuff » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:58 pm

Did anyone notice the Kokarden are flipped (Reichs on the left)? Also, the silver rings on them are of two types.
Interesting.

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by ww1czechlegion » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:20 am

By member Poniatowski (Ron)
Wouldn't you love to have been able to go shopping at CE Junker back then? Especially if, for some reason, they'd allow you to say, "Give me one of everything!" Talk about your instant collection to go.
Yes, that would be fun! :D
By member Pointystuff
Did anyone notice the Kokarden are flipped (Reichs on the left)? Also, the silver rings on them are of two types.
Interesting.
Excellent Eyes/Observation. :thumb up:

You're correct. I missed that point.

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Alan

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:20 pm

Added pictures of the inside, no extra mounting holes.

Does this help clarify what she actually is?

Jim
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:35 pm

Good interior shots Jim, the liner is in great shape and totally correct for a private purchase officer. Is the sweatband calf skin or oil cloth? It looks like oil cloth to me which would indicate a wartime helmet. If there are no extra holes in the helmet behind the plate and no signs of new solder on the screw posts then this is the original Garde officer helmet plate that was put on 100 yrs ago. I know we are demanding here but if you can.....take the plate off, do one close up of the front and another of the back. Last one of the front with out the plate on. Usually there is a nice ghost outline of the plate on the shell where it has been on for so long.
The square nuts shown in the one pic are totally correct and steel which is another indicator of a mid war piece. Pre war, these nuts would have been brass. Is the interior of the shell kind of fuzzy and black? It looks black in the one pic This would indicate a lacquered felt helmet shell. These are not that common but again, they did make these.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:58 pm

I am scared to remove the nuts, probably will give it a go next time out. In a day or two I will post pictures of another helmet which I cannot figure out what the crest is from, you will see on stud broke free of the crest and the other tore through the leather (thus my concern).

I just played with the Guards helmet yesterday, as I recall yes the dark interior was fuzzy, I will easily confirm that next time out.

Thanks for all your expertise.

Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:59 pm

Oh, never thought to study the leather. Again will confirm in the future, my feel right now is that it is leather.

Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:16 pm

Hi Jim: A couple of things.... there are no grommets in the officer helmets for the plate so lots of times the officer holes are larger than the usual enlisted mans with grommets, so maybe its not torn. There are no grommets in private purchase helmet shells. Regarding the pic of your GF, he is wearing a Prussian M95 OR helmet....brass fittings, easy to buy. The officer helmet plates have 2 ways of attachment...screw posts and square nuts like your Garde or soldered prongs which are bent back on to the shell (war time).
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:07 pm

Excellent, I will pick up a M95. Regular army not reserve, correct?



Note: I will put up the mystery helmet with the hole in a few minutes (not mine, I did express concern and interest in purchasing all WWI leather helmets that he had but the did not go well at all).


Thanks,
Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:28 pm

I do not see a reservist cross on his helmet plate, so just a regular Prussian M95 would do. The other guy has a small cross stitched to his uberzug (helmet cover). Don't know when the photo was taken but if around 1914 they are wearing out dated amo pouches. Their bayonets and rifles are also old models no longer used by the regular army. This was common, reservists were equipped with out dated cast offs from the regulars. Sorry I can not ID the rifle and bayonet models but lots of members here can.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by aicusv » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:51 pm

Rifles are the Mauser model 1888, bayonet and leather set are for that rifle. I don't think the two guys in the photo are from the same unit. One has collar and cuff lace the other does not.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Maple Creek » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:38 pm

The elongated spike base is the strangest element of this helmet. It looks like an original, 100 year part, no? My best guess is that it is original and original to the helmet given the provenance and the fact that the rest of the helmet appears correct, but I've never seen one like this. Does anybody think this fake or assembled post-war from mismatched parts? That would be the other possibility, but I lean towards thinking it's original.

It's been cleaned and polished recently which raises the possibility that somebody mucked around with it. Still, I think probably ok.

Mark D.

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:19 pm

I cleaned the outside, did nothing to the inside. Used a toothbrush with oil on the metal and buffed the black with a cotton cloth. 20+ years ago somebody polished the chin strap, I used the toothbrush with some gun oil still in the bristles to brush off the polishing compound that was between the scales.

Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:20 pm

Good info on the rifle, thanks. Back of the postcard has my great grandfathers greetings to his family, dated autumn 1914.

Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:31 am

The Guards helmet is now home to stay so I took off the front crest for pictures.

Does it look good? Would appreciated opinions.

Thanks,
Jim
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by aicusv » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:28 pm

From the one photo it does look like there were two holes on the front that had been patched and repaired. They appear to be close together as would be with a Saxon wappen. Would it have been possible for someone to be a OYV in a Saxon unit and then find a position in a guard unit?

Correction to my post about the rifles in the photo. Instead of saying; "Mauser model 1888", I should have said, "Infantry Rifle Model 1888", as this rifle was not a Mauser design.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:12 pm

Thanks for the info, I now have a 1888 rifle on display in the front room :D

I looked both inside and out with a magnifying glass, I just see the the two holes for mounting the front crest, no repairs.

Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:19 pm

The wappen is a mid to late war piece as it has soldered prongs which are to hold it on to the helmet. Normally, we have 2 screw posts on all officer wappen. The helmet shown is also from this period because if we look at the chin scales they are zinc, the original gold wash has come off over time. This is typical of what happens but everything is still original. Regarding the wappen again, what looks like filled holes is actually solder which has been put on the 2 prongs which hold the "Garde star" on to the eagle itself, so no problem or repair. These helmets from late war often have a mixture of brass and zinc fittings as we see here......zinc scales, brass wappen. You also see zinc spike with brass pearl ring, zinc spines etc.
PS...Jim what we really need here is a pic of the wappen directly from the front so we can see the Garde Star and the entire front of the bird. For instance it looks like the enamel behind the motto is gone???
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:57 pm

Great, here are some more pics. But dang, I don't see any enamel.

Still, if original WWI I will be really happy, probably start learning about the guard units so I can try to imagine the history it could have seen.

JIm
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by poniatowski » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:27 pm

Jim Newman wrote:

I looked both inside and out with a magnifying glass, I just see the the two holes for mounting the front crest, no repairs.

Jim
You would easily see repairs in the shell from another wappen. I think the depressions by the wing 'wrists' were what he saw.
Also, I don't know if it's parallax in the camera or not, but to me the shell looks pretty tall, like a much earlier than war-time helmet.
The Garde star has a very high relief to it and I would guess is made of three main parts (?). Interesting that it's like a cross between an EM and Officer style. A wartime affectation?

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by 911car » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:45 pm

b.loree wrote:The wappen is a mid to late war piece as it has soldered prongs which are to hold it on to the helmet. Normally, we have 2 screw posts on all officer wappen. The helmet shown is also from this period because if we look at the chin scales they are zinc, the original gold wash has come off over time. This is typical of what happens but everything is still original. Regarding the wappen again, what looks like filled holes is actually solder which has been put on the 2 prongs which hold the "Garde star" on to the eagle itself, so no problem or repair. These helmets from late war often have a mixture of brass and zinc fittings as we see here......zinc scales, brass wappen. You also see zinc spike with brass pearl ring, zinc spines etc.
PS...Jim what we really need here is a pic of the wappen directly from the front so we can see the Garde Star and the entire front of the bird. For instance it looks like the enamel behind the motto is gone???
Brian, as Jim mentioned above, there should be no enamel because this is an Unteroffizier type eagle plate. And look at the crown: it is not void. The Reich cockade is officer's, but the Prussian one is also for an Unteroffizier. Therefore we have a mix of rank attributes here.

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:00 pm

That clears everything up, thanks for the extra pics Jim. Wow, that is a very nice private purchase Garde wappen, just look at how far that star projects in front of the eagle! Congrats on that and the helmet. :thumb up:
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:22 pm

Thanks guys! Figure this one will stick around, SO does anyone put the gold back on the chinscales and spine?

Very happy :D

Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:56 am

I don't know of any collector who has replated the zinc. The chin scales for example would have to be taken apart and every scale done individually (?). The new plating would also be very shiny and artificial looking.....like the Indian repros being sold on Ebay. So I wouldn't do it but it is your piece. One other caution Jim..... gun oil and leather do not mix so be very careful about applying that to fittings or scales.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:29 pm

I will leave well enough alone and enjoy it as it is (will display in an area without direct sunlight as well)

Thanks,
Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by b.loree » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:37 pm

Excellent Jim, probably the best decision...these don't look as nice as the brass ones but they are legit and totally original. Yup, sunlight....no good! You have a very nice helmet there with a killer wappen!
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by joerookery » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:20 pm

Nice gewobelded Wappen! OYV or Fähnrich Gd. Train. One of a kind spike neck. Cockades backward.
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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:24 pm

Appreciate the input, no idea what gewobelded means.

I read your article on the Fahring, intersting. SO is this for sure a train Battalion? Is it for mounted troops?

Thanks,
Jim

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by joerookery » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:45 pm

no idea what gewobelded means.
See how far it sticks out? issued examples tended to be more flat. Very desirable and most definitely private purchase.


Yes train units were mounted. here is a very similar example from my collection. OYV But look at my spike base. No pearling and no lines around the spike.

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Re: WWI German Guards Officer Helmet

Post by Jim Newman » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:17 pm

Yep, got it.
VERY Nice helmet!

Thanks,
Jim

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