The ACAPS or Artillery Communications/Aural Protective System sits right at the point in time when the US military first started caring about their soldier's ears during combat.
A ‘90s spec, yet new-in-box granddad to over-the-ear MIL headsets such as 3M's Peltor/COMTAC or Gentex's latest Ops Core AMP headsets, these were designed to be worn with PASGT style helmets, giving them communications capabilities when plugged into milspec radio equipment. Specifically, these were made so that troops that were in and out of armored vehicles such as the Bradley could effectively communicate, be able to plug into vehicle radios, and have ballistic protection for their heads. Weirdly enough, they were specifically designed to be worn without the need for removal of said helmet, with a strap that goes behind the neck to compress the earcups on to the user, and a strap that goes over the top of the helmet shell to secure it down.
Unfortunately, the downlead is only compatible with said vehicle/other large format radios, but it actually features a push-to-talk toggle switch for comms usage. Up is locked on (if you want to be like the kid stuck using the KINECT as his headset on XBOX Live), middle is listen only, and the spring-loaded down position is for momentary transmission.
Whether you actually plan to modify this for off-the-shelf radio usage (godspeed, please tell us if and how you figure it out) or are simply a PASGT-era accessory collector, this is definitely an interesting piece to have.
Feeling in the mood to read some walls of text from the ‘90s? Good. You can check out a scan of the manual here and a research study conducted on the headsets and their companion equipment/vehicles here (pg. 202).
Made in the USA by Gentex Corporation
- Features electronic active noise canceling (dial switch on the right side of the headset to turn on)
- Average attenuation is 27 dB
- Fits over PASGT and similar pattern helmets using the hook and loop strap
- Behind-the-neck band holds AA battery for operation
- Can be donned and doffed with your helmet still on
- Downlead goes to common US military vehicle radios (AJ107 bailout connector)
All headsets are new old stock, meaning they come brand new in their factory boxes with protective wrapping, all components intact, and with an operator's manual included. Most of the headsets were manufactured in the ‘90s, but there are astonishingly very few signs of fading on any of the components.