90th IDPG Reviews


Prairie Flower Leather Company 1917A1 Kelly Liner Kit Review

Review Date: 3/13/2012
Updated: 9/17/2012
Author: Chris Guska

American soldiers preparing to fire a .30 caliber machine gun from a concealed nest position (Source: Life Archive)

One of my friends asked if I'd be interested in rebuilding a 1917A1 helmet for him for reenacting. Conveniently, Prairie Flower Leather Company makes a complete ready to drop in liner kit. All that is required is to remove the old liner and screw the new liner in.

At one time I owned an original 1917A1, but unfortunately it was monetized to finance other reenacting projects. Therefore, I don't have anything in the collection to compare this repro against.

I'll have the photos do much of the talking here.

The Reproduction:

Dan ordered the liner kit from PFLCo in early Feb. 2012, and received it within a couple of weeks despite being out of stock at the time of ordering.

Cost: $100 + Shipping.


Initial photos, out of the box. At first glance, the liner kit appears well constructed out of appropriate materials, with good attention to detail. The kit appears complete and ready to drop into a freshly painted helmet shell.

Hardware and chinstrap detail. The cast early style buckle is of better quality than I have seen on other retailer's "early war chinstrap sets". I'm quite pleased with both the hardware and the weave of the webbing.

Top Detail showing the crown pad, fingers and some of the construction detail.

Inside detail. The leather is real, uncoated and appears to be of good quality.

Interior Detail. Based on the original that I previously owned, it had a felt padding strip between the leather and the metal band that runs the circumference. The repro is missing that felt padding.

Detail of the size adjustment. This matches the original in style.

Rear detail showing the adjustment tie, top dome screw, and crown pad vent.

Top view.

Installed, Finished view.

Update 9/17/12:

Alex was kind enough to write to us with some important details regarding installation and wear.

Based on several original examples, Alex noted that the dome screw was installed through the outermost band. The inner cross band has a slot cut in it for the head of a screwdriver for holding the screw head while tightening the nut.

What not to do is illustrated below.

If the dome screw is installed as such - the helmet can be somewhat more uncomfortable and akward to wear.

Furthermore, Alex reccomended based on his original example, that the crown pad is installed in between the top band and cross band, ontop of the dome screw as illustrated below.

Lastly, based on numerous examples, the chinstrap is not to be passed through the loops on the helmet shell. This is evident on surviving examples and original photographs.

Many thanks to Alex for taking the time to write and offer sugguestions and corrections. Feedback is always welcome.



Hopefully the photos have been informative as to what this product really is. Admittedly, the review is totally lacking in comparisons to originals, but some judgments can be made.

What I will say is that the helmet liner kit does fit, and is well constructed of quality materials.

As far as I know, Prairie Flower Leather Company is the only game around with regards to reproducing the 1917A1 Helmet Liner Kit. They delivered exactly what they said they would, at the price advertised, in a reasonable amount of time.



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