Many people within the various communities utilize gas masks for their needs. This can be from Cosplay, Fetish, ect. The GP-5 masks are a favorite because they are common and have the "old" circular eyepieces like masks used in World War II and the "helmet" type masks.


The GP-5 gas mask was issued to the Soviet population starting in 1962; production ended in 1989. It is a lightweight mask, weighing 1.09 kg (2.42 lbs). It can operate in all weather and withstand temperatures from −40 degrees (Celsius and Fahrenheit) to 114 °C (237 °F). The GP-5 also comes with sealed glass eye pieces. They were originally made to protect the wearer from radioactive fallout during the Cold War and were distributed to most fallout shelters.


There has been some debate as to whether or not the filters are dangerous for containing asbestos. In October 2013, an asbestos lab found out that the cotton layer of the filter contains 7.5 percent asbestos. Some have claim that the filter is configured so that the asbestos can't be breathed in, so long as the filter layer isn't damaged. Though it is also said that only the masks made in 1950's and below contain dangerous asbestos and the ones made after do not but MAY contain activated charcoal, which is only harmful if the filter is damaged and is breathed by the user of the mask, and especially so if the person breathing the charcoal has respiratory problems. It is not advised to use the filters, as the case is made with a percentage of lead that slowly degrades into the filter, along with many other chemicals used in the manufacturing process.


The GP-5 is widely available on the army surplus market, usually very cheaply, and as such is often used as part of Halloween, Cosplay and Fetish costumes.


Just to be on the safe side, I have taken a GP-5 Filter and completely gutted it for my needs. I removed the cap from the top and the rubber plug from the bottom. With some tools and effort and about four hours later I was able to take everything from the inside of the filter completely out mostly using needle nose pliers.



As I was gutting the filter the inside middle screen I punched out with a screwdriver and yanked it out with the pliers. It was tough to do but I eventually got it out.

After everything was taken out there was some goo inside holding the cotton padding in place against the inside walls. I washed the cleaned it all out. Overall with a lot of patience and hard work you can gut a filter. Just be sure to do it outside and wear a facemask and rubber gloves. It is a messy process, mostly dry but messy. Plus you just want to protect yourself just incase there are any bad things in the filter.

I did bend the filter a little bit gutting it. So I straightened it out the best I could. It will work for my needs. I then sanded the inside lip since I made some sharp spots on it while gutting it. I also sanded the entire filter to ready it for painting.

After a hot soapy wash (several times) I let the filter dry and then I painted it black.

To fill in the hole at the bottom of the filter I took some plastic mess and dropped it through the top and with some glue glued it into place. After the glue was dry I put more glue onto the plastic mesh just to make sure it would stay in place.

This is how my gutted GP-5 gas mask filter came out.

It will be used with my various gas masks mainly for pictures.