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M1938 Wire Cutters

Started by Johan Willaert , Feb 11 2007 03:56 AM

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#1 Johan Willaert

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 03:56 AM

I've come across several marked M38 wire cutters and I wonder if they are all WW2 issue? The one I don't have doubts about is dated 1944 and HKP made. But then I have seen two that have the HKP logo in a circle with the circled 'R' next to it. No date and marked 5.000Volts and 20.000 Volts. What period are these?

#2 Johan Willaert

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 11:42 AM

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s234/johanwillaert/Forums/uswirecutter1944.jpg

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s234/johanwillaert/Forums/uswirecutter5000V.jpg

http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s234/johanwillaert/Forums/uswirecutter20000v2.jpg

#3 gunbarrel

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 12:13 PM

I have a similar one (see photo). It came in a like new, green, E.A. Brown Mfg. Co. 1945 US pouch. I was told they they are Viet Nam war vintage, and that they were sold at military surplus stores 10-15 years ago.

Wire_Cutters_5000_V_MAX.JPG

#4 gunbarrel

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 12:27 PM

My WWII cutter is of the large head variety, which is less common. It is a HKP 1944, and it came in a pouch marked Scott Mfg. Co. 1942. Bought it at a garage sale for $5.

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  • Wire_Cutters_Lg_Head_1944.JPG


#5 gunbarrel

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 12:30 PM

Here is a close-up.

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  • Wire_Cutters_Lg_Head_1944_Close_up.JPG


#6 gunbarrel

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 12:39 PM

National Archives photos showing M1938 wirecutters.

1. Infantry man from the 103rd.

2. Normandy

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  • 103rd_Infantryman_with_wire_cutters.jpg
  • Wire_Cutters_Normandy_Photo_A.jpg


#7 craig_pickrall

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 05:18 PM

It may have been me that told you that. I know someone asked on MCF and I responed with info similar to what you stated. Sometime between 1985 - 90 surplus stores at Ft Bragg had lots of these for sell in new condition. I bought 6 pair of them for $5 a pair and wish now that I had bought more. It is a great pair of cutters for the money. I have no idea when they were made but suspect it was Vietnam era or later.

#8 gunbarrel

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 05:26 PM

Thank you, Craig--it was probably you that told me.

Here is another National Archives photo. This one shows members of the 3rd Armored Division after infiltrating German lines in Belgium on 26 Dec 1944.

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  • 3rd_Armored_Div._after_infiltrating_German_lines_Belgium_26_Dec_44.jpg


#9 costa

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 05:58 PM

That type cutter was also used in Korea, but Korean War dated. I was told that the cutters that had the nut and bolt holdind the jaws together was pre ww2. Is it true or are they Nam?

#10 gunbarrel

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 06:10 PM

It appears that the cutters with the nut & bolt (like the first one I showed) are from the 60's & 70's.


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