I thought I would talk about a few odds and ends from my personal hoard and give a few words for each item.
First up we have here a Marbles vintage gun cleaning kit in its metal box. One of the higher end kits from its day, the rod was well made with a wooden handle and cam wit various attachments for a wide variety of bore sizes.
Inside you can see the metal tabs that hold each brush or jag in its place. The tiny cardboard box still retains the original patches and the small plastic bottle is cold blue to restore any dings you may have put on your firearm. The original solvent/oil bottles is sadly missing so I substituted a period metal bottle of military bore solvent until I can source the correct bottle.
As you can see above, the kit was very nice and is superior to the cheap plastic box kits on the market today. Even the black insert for holding the components is metal. It is very well made . A kit like this on the market today would likely be expensive if made to the same quality. A time long gone now in a world of kydex, plastic and MIM. Below is the kit pictured with some other items from a shooting world now long gone.
Finally , an advert for the kit.
As testament to never knowing what you can turn up at garage sales of little old ladies after their husband passes away, is two vintage boxes of .22LR. One is JC Higgins and the other Sears brand. The ammo is hard enough to find in modern times. When I saw these two I had to buy them as I am a sucker vintage shooting world items.
Continuing on the topic of vintage gun cleaning. Below is a full , never opened can of military bore solvent. Made from before the EPA banning of the active chemical that used to make Hoppes actually effective. When you hear old timers speak of the smell of Hoppes, that chemical is what they smelled. Now long gone, anyone who tells you they love the smell of hoppes, has no idea they are just repeating something from down the decades and have never really smelt the sweat cloying odor of the chemical now missing from Hoppes. Said chemical being the only think that made it effective at removing copper and powder fouling. Now its barely useful as a dip to clean off you brushes. If you find older bore solvent buy it and try it out. Then you will know what the big deal used to be about with Hoppes.
I found this can of solvent for 5 bucks at a consignment store. It pays to always take a minute to look.
Next up is a War of Northern Aggression canon ball from a battle. Found in a farmer’s filed in north eastern WV and turned over to a EOD specialist who recognized it as solid shot, he then gave it to me as the war of Northern Aggression has always been one of my hobbies. I would tell you the area and county, but the farmer would not be pleased with the onslaught of metal detectors that could pop up if enough people saw it.
Here we have something that was once plentiful and easy to find when in the 1980s when I was still young. Now they are hard to find, expensive and not safe to eat. At all. It’s two MCI ratios. Otherwise known as “C-rations.” None of the contents are safe to eat save the coffee , sugar and gun. I keep these for display with the rest of my Vietnam War collection. I have taken out a can of crackers to show those curious how a can looks.
Continuing with the Vietnam war theme. below are two Colt 20 round M16 mags in the famous Chieu Hoi bags. These plastic bags offered some protection from the elements and once discarded, they would hopefully be found by a PAVN or Viet Cong soldier who would read the printed message on the bag and “rally to the southern government” or surrender. The bags tell possible defectors to come in with your hands up with the bag and you will be accepted by the SVN gov. Stats exist some where over how effective this was, but it did work at least a few times.
Speaking of the South Viets, Below is a M1 steel helmet painted for the LLDB, the South VN Special Forces troops. The painting is of the same image as one of the shoulder patch worn by the LLDB. A tiger jumping with a white silk parachute in the back ground with three lightening bolts. This all painted over the classic VN tiger stripe pattern.
Below is a recent acquisition of mine. It is a full can of Korean war era US Cal. 30 blanks. Made for the M1919 type machine guns in metal links. The can holds the full 250 rounds.
The condition of the can is very gratifying.
Last up is a vintage can of weapons grease. Used for the M1 and M14 among other things. An old gentleman who was a friend of my Father, gave this to me over 20 years ago. He brought it out of the service with him even further back still. He passed away only about 2 years after giving this to me. It is still in excellent condition and I have never opened it.
As you can probably guess, I am a collector and a bit of a hoarder when it comes to vintage shooting paraphernalia and military odds and ends. If you enjoyed this, let me know and I will showcase more of my ever increasing hoard of interesting items of all type.
Nothing wrong with collecting and hoarding military/shooting stuff. I’ve made a mini-museum out of all the things I’ve picked up over the years. And agreed on the Hoppes, the old stuff is awesome. I still have one of the big bottles in the original cardboard box that I use sparingly.