The newest edition to my ever expanding military E-tool collection arrived yesterday. A vintage Swiss Army issue folding shovel and leather carrier!
I must say that this Swiss shovel is far and above the best made and heaviest duty of all of the military folding shovels that I have ever seen! This baby is built TOUGH and is VERY heavy! The leather carrier-sheath is very heavy, full grained, oiled leather. Like all of the old Swiss military equipment, this shovel and carrier was built to last.............and last.........and last...............
The shovel (klappspaten), looks like it has never been used, even once, to dig in the ground! The paint on the shovel blade is as new as the day it was painted on. The adjusting nut is heavy metal, and the blade rivets and mount are VERY heavy duty. The handle is heavy oak with octagon flats around the gripping portion. I think this handle is the thickest and heaviest of all the other folding shovel handles that I've seen.
The blade is is set up to lock at a nice angle for use as a spade, and locks at at a 45 degree angle for use as a hoe-pick. When the blade is locked in the closed position, the handle is held out and away from the blade by several degrees, like the WW2 German shovels.
The blade has a very small stamp mark that looks like it is possibly a "F C" in an oval. Definitely a "C", but not sure about the first letter. I can find no date on the shovel.
The leather cover is stamp dated 1958, along with the manufacturer's stamp and the Swiss cross. The leather has a great patina and is in outstanding shape. It was a bit stiff from storage, but after a light coat of leather oil, it limbered right up.
I would highly recommend picking up one of these shovels while you still can! The very last of these shovels are quickly disappearing and they will be "rare" very shortly. The military's of the world will probably never make equipment that measure up to these old-world standards again..........