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M1912 Squad Cleaning Kit

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post-3847-1218347009.jpgI used to collect Squad Cleaning Kits. This one is one of my favorites. Picking one piece here, another cleaning rod there. "Epay" has made the prices for these (as well as many other items) out of reach.

 

However, I believe there were many thousands of them produced, but most of the time they are incomplete. I have been lucky enough to find three different variations of the box itself. I can photograph and post more if there is any interest.

 

I enjoy a Military collectible that is still usable and I find these kits very handy after a day at the range. I load up all 12 rods with patches and a bristle brush. Bore solvent/cleaner on a couple of them, 7 with clean patches, and a couple with a light coat of oil. Done in no time. This one, I believe, is an early one.


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Hi Maxx:

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

That is a beautiful squad cleaning kit. The WW1 versions like this are a little more attractive than the WW2 versions by having the blued finish, brass rods, wood insert and brass oiler and cosmic can. The later ones were all business.

 

If you have been putting these together one piece at a time you have done a lot of work. I know because I did it myself twice, a long time ago.

 

Very nice stuff. Thanks for the post.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick


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post-3847-1218347009.jpgI used to collect Squad Cleaning Kits. This one is one of my favorites. Picking one piece here, another cleaning rod there. "Epay" has made the prices for these (as well as many other items) out of reach.

 

However, I believe there were many thousands of them produced, but most of the time they are incomplete. I have been lucky enough to find three different variations of the box itself. I can photograph and post more if there is any interest.

 

I enjoy a Military collectible that is still usable and I find these kits very handy after a day at the range. I load up all 12 rods with patches and a bristle brush. Bore solvent/cleaner on a couple of them, 7 with clean patches, and a couple with a light coat of oil. Done in no time. This one, I believe, is an early one.

 

Maxx,

 

I'd like to see more pictures and hear what you know about the variations.

 

Thanks,

Kevin Williams

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Maxx:

 

I agree with Kevin. Perhaps you could post a few pics of your kits and discuss the variations in them.

 

In the meantime I thought you guys might like to see the attached page from the WW2 era Standard Nomenclature List B-6 which shows the Kit.

 

Regards,

Charlie Flick

 

M1911A1SNLAccessories.jpg


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Gents:

 

Here is a pic of a late issue kit without the wooden insert, parkerized and a mix of cleaning rods. This photo was originally posted elsewhere on the Forum in October, 2007 by member PMShindy.

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

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Gents:

 

Here is a pic of a late issue kit without the wooden insert, parkerized and a mix of cleaning rods. This photo was originally posted elsewhere on the Forum in October, 2007 by member PMShindy.

 

Regards,

Charlie

 

post-1704-1192720935.jpg

 

 

That is a nice kit too. The "box" or main container is of the type I have tenatively named version # 3. It has a slightly rough texture on it. It *almost* seems as if it is some kind of galvanized surface. There is so little information published about these kits, so I simply theorize.

 

I believe these "silverish" looking boxes were produced/issued sometime around the 1950s. In my limited experience the blued boxes are the most common. Roughly 30% of them were painted dark olive green and I believe were re-issued in WWII. We know that blueing is not the most durable finish as far as abrasion and rust resistance.

 

All of the blued boxes had a wooden block to hold the oil can and "cosmic"/small parts can, and notches for the ten rods. Often the wood blocks are saturated with oil where the leather seal dried out and the oil seeped out. I have noticed two kinds of wood blocks. The most common has brass holders on the ends for the rods, but I did have one that had plain steel holders on the ends. The blocks are very hard to find by themselves.

 

The round container has been said to have contained: a) cosmic grease (WWI era) which I believe contained whale oil. I have one brass can which still contains some. One whiff and you know why it was called Cosmic. B) small parts. Springs, pins, etc. c) I have also read that they contained cleaning patches. I do not believe this as the bore patches would not need elaborate protection. I believe they were intended for grease.

 

The blued box kits contained 10 "L" tools. A combination screwdriver and punch. They were blued as well and the steel was not very durable. I have broken a few, so they are somewhat scarce. The L tools had no mfg. or part number marking which is consistant with the era. They also contained 10 black boar bristle bore brushes. Many other small items found their way into the kits. I have found thong bore cleaners, inspection mirrors as well as .22 & .50 cal bore brushes. (a .50 cal bore brush will quickly push the crud out of a .45 barrel.)

 

The kit pictured below is a little harder to find. The paint coating is a very dark olive green. All non-blued boxes have the spot welded partitions which did away with the wood block. I have seen a dozen or so cleaning kits which had a miss mash of brass and parkerized rods, and painted or sheet brass cans which were equally mixed up.

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Great info an pictures folks. I have always wanted to get a squad cleaning kit, but I'm afraid that will force me to by a squad's worth of pistols. Maxx from the little bit Iknow about these things I do believe that your's is an early one. Lot's of brass and sorta classy looking. Also Charlie, thanks for the info, you clearly have done your homework. Good info folks, thanks for sharing. And do feel free to share more if you'd like.

Mike


They have us surrounded? The poor Bastards.

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Hello guys!

I collect Squad Cleaning Kits (empty and full up) since 40 years and I can add some informations to your nice posts. As for the Squad Kits, I have the following variations in my collection: (1) blued, WWI, wooden insert, brass racks, brass rods etc. (like the one pictured in the main post), (2)parkerized, wooden insert, parkerized racks (made by Climax early WWI, according Clawson's book), (3) parkerized, welded partitions, WWII and post War, (4) O.D. painted WWI, reissued WWII, (5) Dull black painted WWI, reissued WWII ( I found a year ago one of these black painted, still sealed in wrapping (repacked) dated 50s). I never encountered nor I have seen in pictures the post War variation mentioned by Clawson, thiner steel than previous ones and avoided of any FSN.

As for the contents it would be a very long (and for me very exciting...) story to tell. In 40 years I put together 4 variations of the WWI brass rods and 20 variations of the later steel rods until the end of the production. I put also together 10 variations of the brass and steel oilers. Not too bad also in the fascinating stripping tools field: about 10 variations... I have on hand some pictures of all my "cosmic" can variations: five in all...Hope you enjoy them...

Fausto

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Fausto, those (brass?) copper colored cans look very classy. I'm very much enjoying this thread. I can see where the addiction thing comes into play. I've managed to keep my collection to one (1) Ohare cleaning rod and one (1) stanley tool. I hope you folks aren't gonna get me in trouble here. They sure look tempting to collect.

 

Mike


They have us surrounded? The poor Bastards.

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Yes Mike, that's a very fascinating field and if you go step by step not even too expensive. Not to mention that many things are still to be explored and explained. I'm trying without success since many years to identify all the contractors of the M4 cleaning rods, but no one seems able to say which firms stand behind some marks on them. For example the ones marked E.T. CO., or K, J.A.M., D.A.D., SWT, MFI-DAL and so... Not to mention the "mistery" of the 180.000 Stanley "Special Screwdrivers" ordered at the end of 1918 (I mean the case hardened "T" shaped ones: two screwdriver blades, one punch), which disappeared when the Army, in the WWII, turned again to the classic "L" shaped ones that we all know. Today we can still find tons of "L" shaped ones, both WWI (blued unmarked) and WWII (parkerized, marked Stanley, Metlglas or National), but the "T" shaped ones are very, very seldom encountered. Why and when nearly 180.000 of these tools disappeared? Why the need to destroy them?

Fausto

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I find the field of cleaning accessories very interesting.Enjoying the pictures posted on the variations.I've completed a couple of the late Squad Kits and am working on an early one.Have the box and oiler and cosmic can and one rod.Those earlier brass rods are hard to locate and expensive when you do find them.The earlier fiber bristle cleaning brushes are almost impossible to locate as well.I have also found it easier to locate the brass oilers than the steel although the steel are generally cheaper.I also noted in some of the SNLs those oilers and the screwdriver are shown as an accessory cleaning kit item on some other weapons besides the M1911 and A1.I'm currently trying to assemble a BAR accessory kit.Thanks to all for the pictures,maybe one day I'll have a camera and learn how to post pictures.LOL An old dog trying to learn new tricks.

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Hi Guys !

I'm sending some pictures of the Kits, tools, rods I spoke about in my previous replies. The Kits in the first pic are from left WWI blued and WWI painted dull black (reissued in WWII-postWar). In the second pic, the Kit on the right is a Climax made, parkerized, cheap wood insert, parkerized racks. Last picture: on the right the WWII Kit with welded partitions.

Rods: here you have all the known rods (one or two are in another drawer), starting from the brass ones, then U.H.CO. bright unfinished (between the Wars), U.S.C.B. CO. (WWII, marked along the shaft), WWII various O'Hare (we find these marked with small, medium and large size letters). Finally all the known contractors of the post War ones until the end of the production: the last on the right is an Otis contract with 2001-02 dates.

Stripping tools: here all the known ones from the very first ones with narrow blade (the very first on the left, bottom row, is a gift from Chuck Clawson and it is the very rare one with coarsely hand made punch, after the rejection of the initially issued two blades ones) to the last ones made in WWII by Stanley, Metlglas and National Needle Company. Last picture is a "cosmic" can dressed as it appeared after the cosmoline was dropped and it was converted to a .45 spare parts container. BTW these Squad Cleaning Kits were official for the 1911, 1911A1 pistols, M1917 Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers and, maybe, other weapons when needed. Hope you enjoy !

Fausto

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:w00t: :w00t:

 

Good Lord, Fausto....that is a fabulous collection of accessories..!!!!

 

I had some nice kits myself, but never had the screwdivers and the oil like you've got....wonderful..!!


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Thanks Everforward...

That's the bounty of 40 years collecting military handguns, with a special eye to their accessories. I got my first cleaning rods and stripping tools in the late 60s when I was no more than a kid. Since the bunch grew up noticeably and, believe me, was never disappointing... Really glad that you enjoied...

Fausto

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:w00t: WOW Fausto......what an Incredible collection you have...... :blink:

 

do you have any extras for sale,to help with my collection..... :think:

 

 

:bravo: thanks Mark

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Thanks Mark...Yes, I have many items in double or more, but I prefer to trade for them...Maybe we can find something to exchange...

Fausto

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Thanks Mark...Yes, I have many items in double or more, but I prefer to trade for them...Maybe we can find something to exchange...

Fausto

 

 

:think: well what I'm looking for, is a wooden tray with the steel racks for the Climax box....also a WW1 tray brass rods and the WW1 brushes.....

 

I have several boxes without trays......

 

what are you looking for.....

 

:) Mark

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Thanks to you all ! Mark: I sent you a PM...

Just a line about the rarest and most elusive M4 rod I have heard about: a brass made one, marked on the loop O'Hare Mfg. Co. in a reversed way. I mean in the U.H.CO. "style": unlike any other rod, you can read the markings if you keep the shaft up and the loop down. I have some pictures of this rod - probably made just before they turned to the steel ones - so it does exist! Have you guys ever seen one? Thanks...

Fausto

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Fausto, You have got some nice items in your collection. I just went back and looked at some of your earlier posts, Holsters, belts, magazine pouches, belts, lanyards not to mention all the cleaning equipment on this thread, You've got pictures of things I've never seen before and probably would not have seen if not for your posting of them. I'm going to be on this forum at least half the day looking at the pictures of your collection. Really nice, Thanks for sharing the information you have collected over the years.

 

Mike


They have us surrounded? The poor Bastards.

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Thanks Mike,

that's very kind of you... As I told many times, I collect military pistols-revolvers-flare guns and related items since 40 years. I collect only item in mint, near-mint condition, so they look nice... If you look back in topics, you will find some nice examples of my brand new 1911, Victory, Colt Commando, Liberator pistols and so...

As for the pictures you are too kind...Many guys here have posted splendid images that could proudly hang on the wall of any collector's room. Thanks again for your kindness...

Fausto

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