200A and 202 reproduction
frames back
in stock.

Pullman
I'm new to Coleman Lanterns.  I've always admired them and have decided to pick up a couple.  

I'm looking at the 252 as a general purpose camping lantern.  Not necessarily looking for a collectors grade... something that I can use hunting and camping. 

My questions are...
  1. How well do they work in the field compared to their non military version?
  2. Are there better years I should be looking for?  I've seen some nice ones from the late 70s / early 80s.  I want a lantern that is well built... 
  3. This I'm sure is a dumb question but... these do run off the Coleman fuel right?
Quote
mgmlvks
Welcome to CCF from Leavenworth, Kansas.  You are in the right place!

Some quick answers
  1. They work a bit differently, and and slightly more finicky.  BUT - my friend who is a retired Army Officer had never used one and was able to start it up easily by simply reading the instructions as he noted "This was made for GI's to use, it cannot be that difficult".  My suggestion is to get familiar with lighting it BEFORE you need it.
  2. That I do no know
  3. Coleman Fuel, Crown Fuel, White Gas are all better than anything else you might want to try and burn in it
For ease of use and maintenance - consider 200A or 242 as "vintage choices", a more modern choice would be 286A or 288 or CL2/CLX

Mike
Mike, ICCC member #1156, Slant Saver Group #011, 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0215, FAS #20 - Confusing Future Generations of Collectors One Lantern at a Time
"In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present"
Francis Bacon
(and - for those who have asked - avatar from postcard and says "Coming Home by Rail".  https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4595/27430282209_39a564be00_z.jpg
 
 
Quote
JimL
You should maybe consider being around a lit one first, as they are not quiet running lanterns.   If you want to tick off other campers around you, or scare the bears away, this is the right lantern.  They do not start up like other lanterns either, but need very low pressure to start.  Expect flaming up while the generator heats up.  These were designed for the nastiest gasoline ever,  leaded.  As a result, they are a different design and the generator is further away from the mantle.  Being aluminum instead of brass, the generators were made to be cheap and disposable, so if you get a Mil-spec, get extra generators while you still can since they likely haven't been made in over 35 years.

Note that you used the model number 252.  Only Coleman had this model number, other's did not use it.   The only brand that did not enjoy a very good reputation is SMP.  Also, with the SMP, the vent is most likely painted and not porcelain coated. 
Edit:  There was only one manufacturer during a given year.  Somewhere on this forum will state which manufacturer made them and the years they made them. 

I'm not suggesting you don't get any Mil-specs, but take Mike's suggestion to heart on his recommendations of other lanterns for camping.  I like Mil-specs, but knew what they were and some of the quirks before getting any.

Edit:  Welcome to the forum from north Jersey.

-Jim

Flammable liquids, open flame, what could go wrong?


There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness. - Dave Barry
Quote
Pullman
Thank you both!

I'm not familiar with the 200A or 242.  I'll look into those.  What about the 220's for a good starter / camping lantern?

And I'm making an assumption that the older models are better built than a new model.  Is that true?  The new ones I guess have overseas parts and don't seem as beefy but maybe I'm wrong. 
Quote
MartyJ
The 220 is the Rodney Dangerfield of the lantern collectors world.  They are considered “commons” and thus do not have collector value.  They are thus inexpensive and easy:to find.   However, they are excellent lanterns, easy to maintain and there are parts available.  I routinely see them for $20 and often cheaper.  I would recommend that you never burn regular unleaded gas and save grief by using Crown or Coleman fuel and you will be happy with their performance. Relatively speaking, the older the lantern, the less shortcuts were made in manufacture but the they all a can be made functional.  Long answer but the 220 is an excellent camping lantern.  Just understand how they work and follow the instructions. 
Marty
Quote
scl
the 252 ones will make camp more safe and secure due to their sound.
Quote
JimL
All Coleman liquid fueled lanterns and stoves are made in the US.  The newer lanterns may not be as beefy as the older stuff, but do have advantages, primarily that they are adjustable.  This can make them a nice night light while camping and instant brightness with the turn of the knob.  They are all made to last, but the newer ones do have some shortcuts, such as no frame and the bail attaching to the vent.  Although I may not be a fan of this, it does not affect performance and does not dissuade me from buying more.  Yeah, I have too many now.

The 200 and 242 series are easy to work on if you ever need to.  I'm not a fan of the 220's, unless the much later ones which are easier to disassemble.  If you can tear into an older 220 and rebuild it, you can apply to NASA to work on the space shuttle.  However, they might consider you overqualified.
The 228's are 220's, but have the wide vent and therefore a wider bail to accommodate the wider vent (AKA brim).  Now those are classy and worth the extra effort if required.  The 228's are great for picnic table duty.

-Jim

Flammable liquids, open flame, what could go wrong?


There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness. - Dave Barry
Quote
mgmlvks
All 220's are good camp lanterns.

220's through 220E/F are sturdy performers.  They may need a deep disassembly for maintenance if not currently working .  They are a PITA to take apart, but can be an enjoyable hobby if so inclined.

220H, J and K are good performers too, and a LOT easier to work on than the earlier ones if you have issues.
Mike, ICCC member #1156, Slant Saver Group #011, 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0215, FAS #20 - Confusing Future Generations of Collectors One Lantern at a Time
"In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present"
Francis Bacon
(and - for those who have asked - avatar from postcard and says "Coming Home by Rail".  https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4595/27430282209_39a564be00_z.jpg
 
 
Quote
Pullman
Seems like liquid fuel lanterns wouldn't be all that safe but I never hear about incidents.  Are they generally safe?  Are the newer lanterns safer than the older ones?  
Quote
mgmlvks
Liquid Fuel appliances are safe to use if the user understands what it is they are dealing with and takes appropriate safety precautions.

Similar to vehicles, newer may be considered safer, but older can still be used for their intended purpose
Mike, ICCC member #1156, Slant Saver Group #011, 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0215, FAS #20 - Confusing Future Generations of Collectors One Lantern at a Time
"In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present"
Francis Bacon
(and - for those who have asked - avatar from postcard and says "Coming Home by Rail".  https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4595/27430282209_39a564be00_z.jpg
 
 
Quote
BSAGuy
Hello Pullman and welcome from NC.  Great to have you here on the CCF.
- Courtenay
Be Prepared
Quote
Tigerfans2
MartyJ wrote:
The 220 is the Rodney Dangerfield of the lantern collectors world.  They are considered “commons” and thus do not have collector value.  They are thus inexpensive and easy:to find.   However, they are excellent lanterns, easy to maintain and there are parts available.  I routinely see them for $20 and often cheaper.  I would recommend that you never burn regular unleaded gas and save grief by using Crown or Coleman fuel and you will be happy with their performance. Relatively speaking, the older the lantern, the less shortcuts were made in manufacture but the they all a can be made functional.  Long answer but the 220 is an excellent camping lantern.  Just understand how they work and follow the instructions. 


I'll take all the 220's and 228's at $20.00  you can find.

I like slants😎
Coleman Slant Saver #58
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #8
Coleman Blues 243's #16
Quote
Duck
I think the 275 known around here as a turd (affectionate nickname) is the only one
 I'd stay away from till you know lanterns better. I personally like 228s and 252 milspecs  but will repeat advice you've already have been given. Get to know your lantern before you need it. Welcome to the forum and remember we're always here to help if you need it.

Joe
Mil-SpecOps #0219
Stovie and Damn proud of it

”life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome!” Isaac Asimov 
 In my defense I was a little drunk and was left unattended!

Quote
austin65uri
[QUOTE username=Pullman userid=7247271 postid=1311895447]  
"I'm looking at the 252 as a general purpose camping lantern.  Not necessarily looking for a collectors grade... something that I can use hunting and camping."
Back to this statement: the MilSpecs , especially the Coleman 252, are durable, reliable, retro- cool, and mark the user as someone who has his "stuff" together.  Just about all of the problems some have with them are due to failure to understand the design, and how to operate them.  
Hey, and welcome from Hawaii.  



Bill.
ICCC#1601
Quote
Pullman
I think I'm going to get a mil spec a 220 and probably a 242 to start off.  When in doubt, just get them all.  I mean... they'll all look cool in my shop and they're fun to play with, even when not in serious camp use.

What is a reasonable price for a 252 mil spec in very good condition to even NOS?
Quote
Gavercronos
"A general purpose camping lantern"
If you use a camp stove, get a lantern that runs on the same fuel! Makes your life much easier. If you cook over an open fire, you're probably swift enough to figure out any model lantern. That, and the fact you're asking us for advice... Even a 275 isn't difficult to deal with if you read up on the schrader valve issue some of them have. 
All that said, the best value for "a general purpose camping lantern" is likely to be a 288 if you're using camp fuel. They are unloved and therefore cheap secondhand, and I've encountered very few that needed any major work to fire up. They are easy to use too- almost as easy as a propane lantern. Speaking of, those are generally even cheaper and also almost always still work fine. (And, my propane Northstar is the brightest lantern I own!) If you're a weirdo who takes a kerosene stove camping, there are Coleman mantle lanterns that use it too, and certain models (like those later 220s) can be converted with a minimum of parts and effort. All of these routes will save you the trouble of having to get long-out-of-production parts and playing with wrenches in the field that come with a Milspec.
Happy hunting!
WillCat

Chautauqua County, New York
Slant Saver [svg] Frank MakerNew York State Route 5 marker

Wanted: GPA dated 5/89 (Red 286?  Black Powerhouse? 508? Early Unleadeds? Canadian things? I'll settle for a propane job at this point) Vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster bowls and accessories, Ruby-cased 10in lamp shade, 7D Mag-lite
Quote
JimL
You may want to see the second post in this thread by Chuck for the years of production.  I was mistaken earlier, some were produced by different companies in the same year.  If you want a Mil-spec, that covers all models and years, but 252 is strictly Coleman. https://www.colemancollectorsforum.com/post/milspecs-production-years-as-noted-by-forum-members-7424755?highlight=mil+-+spec+dates&trail=50

-Jim

Flammable liquids, open flame, what could go wrong?


There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness. - Dave Barry
Quote
Emorr123
Last years camping trip I brought my 1952 MilSpec, my 10/51 228 D, and my 9/49 242C. So you are on the right track!
Welcome from SE CT
Eric 
MilspecOps #1272
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #1272
BernzOmatic Appreciation Club #1272
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #7
ICCC #1789
Quote
Hot Diggity
Pullman wrote:
I think I'm going to get a mil spec a 220 and probably a 242 to start off.  When in doubt, just get them all.  I mean... they'll all look cool in my shop and they're fun to play with, even when not in serious camp use.


That sounds like a pretty sound trio.  I will share one trick that I learned while gathering my Milspec lanterns.  If you like the looks and function of the quadrant glass, but not the jet engine roar of the Milspec, you can always swap the quadrant holders and glass onto the 220.  

These two 220J's are as found, in a USMC lantern transit chest, and dressed up with quadrant glass.

[Coleman%20220J]

 
Chuck, 3/61, ICCC 1689
Milspec Syndicate #510
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0510
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #12
BernzOmatic Appreciation Club #510
Coleman Slant Saver #510
Frank Appreciation Syndicate Member #2
Tinker, Toy maker, Trash picker, Wickie, Lamp loon
Quote
Pullman
Hot Diggity wrote:


That sounds like a pretty sound trio.  I will share one trick that I learned while gathering my Milspec lanterns.  If you like the looks and function of the quadrant glass, but not the jet engine roar of the Milspec, you can always swap the quadrant holders and glass onto the 220.  

These two 220J's are as found, in a USMC lantern transit chest, and dressed up with quadrant glass.

[Coleman%20220J]

 


Very nice!  Tell me more... were those two lanterns issued and used by the Marines or just happened to be in a USMC chest?  I'm a former Marine... would love to have a USMC lantern if such a lantern exists.  
Quote
Pullman
Are there any videos on you tube that showcase the different models and their differences or at least the most prevalent?  I've looked and haven't found much.
Quote
Flyboyfwa
My first lantern was a 220E. Easy to use, just a bear to get apart. Like others have said, 200 or its predecessor the 242s are much easier. Take some time to watch some videos and read a little and you can avoid most mistakes. Most people don't understand how to light them properly and scare themselves and don't try again. This can easily be avoided if you do some homework and know what to expect.

I always change the cap gasket, do a dunk test, and light it outside the first time as would make sense for something that may have been run for 50 years.  Lanterns can be very addictive and enjoyable. There are plenty of great folks here that will help you get it up and running and answer questions.

Look up Lanternlab on YouTube. He is a member here and his videos were an invaluable resource when I was new and learning. Post pics if you get something. 

Welcome from NE Indiana.
Andy
Mil-Spec Ops #199
Coleman Slant Saver #54
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #06
275 Appreciation Syndicate #1970
The Coleman Blues 243's #159

ICCC #1741
Quote
Gasman64
[welcome]from Pennsylvania! The others have certainly given you plenty to think about, and I hope you can find a few good lanterns.  You mentioned the 242, which is my favorite model, and easier to work on than the 220 series. 
Steve
ICCC #1012
logoballistol logo 1a.png

Quote
Duck
I forget where I saw it but if you get a mil-spec and want to quiet it down you can buy a  burner cap for it. Some people have luck using a cap off a 200a. Me I like the noise.

Joe
Mil-SpecOps #0219
Stovie and Damn proud of it

”life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome!” Isaac Asimov 
 In my defense I was a little drunk and was left unattended!

Quote


...
...
Welcome to the Coleman Collectors Forum, an international forum of Coleman enthusiast and collectors, as such people from all over the world come here to read about Coleman collecting, repair, and to meet and make friends. The pages contained here are intended for the use of amateur collectors and people interested in Coleman collecting, restoration and repair as a hobby. It goes without saying to refrain from political posts, personal attacks and inflammatory posts.

Please note, all postings are the personal opinions of the members posting, the owner, administrators and moderators of the forum do not warrant the accuracy of posted information or endorse the safety of such.