Sunday, September 16, 2012

Austrian Mess Kit / Tin, circa 1980

This last Friday, Sweet Pea and I were over in the "Big City"......... Seattle, and stopped by the local surplus store.  I found a small bin of old Austrian mess kits and just had to pick one up to fill in an empty spot in the collection.

This model of Austrian mess kit is identical to the old German mess kits, with the exception of the code stampings. This kit is stamped with the the code "HV 80", which stands for Heeresverwaltung 1980.  Heeresverwaltung is the tittle of the Austrian Federal Army and 1980 is the date of manufacture.  The other code is U.SCH.  This stands for "Heinrich Ulbricht's Witwe, Schwanenstadt", the manufacturer of the mess kit.  This company was also the manufacturer of many of the Austrian helmets as well.

These are great old mess kits and make excellent replica German kits for field reenacting, in the absence of an original WW2 model. 

If you want to find more info about the Austrian Army, you can jump over to this site here:

Here's the album of photos of this mess kit.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

U.S.M.C. Coyote Tan Grenade Pouch MOLLE, repurposed for Shotshell Pouch on Chest Rig

When I ordered the 440 rounds of Mosin Nagant ammo, I also picked up a new, unissued, United States Marine Corps Fragmentation Grenade pouch for about $2.00.  I had the idea to use this pouch as a loose shell holder on my chest rig ( ).  The pouch arrived today and it fits perfectly!  The chest rig may finally be finished!

The pouch holds 11, 12 gauge shot shells perfectly.  I will use this pouch for extra loose ammo, or possibly for specialty shot shell rounds.  With the addition of this pouch, I will now be carrying 86 shot shells on the chest rig!  With the shotgun fully loaded, this will bring up my combat load out of ammo to just short of 100 rounds!

Here are a few photos of US Marines in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan........... with the shot gun and MOLLE rigs:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

United States Coast Guard Police Patch, USCG Police

I picked up a new and very unique patch for the police collection today.  It is a shoulder patch for one of the United States Coast Guard Police Departments!

These patches are very hard to come by, and in fact, this is the first one that I have actually seen or had the opportunity to pick up.  The US Coast Guard has five police departments, and each of the departments is very small, something like 12 officers each.  The Police Departments are staffed by USCG Officers and Petty Officers who have undergone specialized police training.

The five departments are located at:

USCG Base Kodiak Alaska
USCG Training Center Cape May, New Jersey
USCG Training Center Petaluma, California
USCG Yard Baltimore, Maryland
US Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut

All of the departments basically use the same shoulder patch, with the exception of the USCG Academy.  The academy patch looks the same, but it has "Academy" in the lower area of the star text.
There also appears to be a few other variations of this patch, as you can see in the first USCG Police photo in the last album.

Here is the photo album of this new USCG patch:

Here are a few USCG Police photos to show the uniforms and vehicles:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mosin Nagant Ammo Tin 7.62 x 54r, Ready for Display

Here is a quick follow-up on the Russian ammo can that I opened up yesterday...........  

The "double door" hole I cut open on the back of the can worked great for getting the ammo out. and it really helped when it came to bending it all straight again.  I carefully straightened and bent the "doors" back with pliers so that it was relatively flat and level with the surrounding surface.  The can looks pretty darn good and is ready for display!  I have considered filling the cut area with something like epoxy putty and painting, but I think I will just leave it "raw" and unmodified for now.  Another option I have considered is using aluminum tape, cut in thin strips, to cover the cuts, and then painting to match............... The can as it is  now will work perfect for any field display, and it doesn't weigh 25 pounds!

Here are some shots of the newly closed "doors" on the bottom of the tin:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mosin Nagant 7.62 x 54r Soldered Ammo Tin, dated 1946

For today's posting we'll be making a U-Turn and heading back over to the Mosin Nagant M91/30 project............  I located a source for bulk ammo for the 7.62 x 54r Mosin Nagant rifle from a company that was offering it at a fantastic price, in the original ammo tins, all dated and produced in the 1940's and 1950's. (Oh yes, no tax and free shipping!) I was hoping for some ammo in the WW2 or early Cold War date range so I could save the tin for display and this batch was exactly what I was looking for.  It was delivered today, and it was EXACTLY what I had hoped for!  

Here is a quick run down on what this batch of ammo actually is:  This 7.62 x 54r ammo was produced in 1946, with powder produced in 1945.  The rounds are 148 grain, Light Ball Ammo, steel cored - copper covered bullets, steel - copper washed shell casings.  The tin contained 440 rounds, with 20 rounds to the wrapped packet.  About 25 pounds total weight.

The ammo tin is the WW2 style tin constructed out of galvanized steel and soldered together.  The tin is designed to be opened by pulling the corner tab on the top and then rolling back the top cover.  The tin is painted in standard Russian green paint and stenciled with all of the ammo specifications, dates and manufacturing details.  The tin is very "rustic" looking, but definitely well made and weatherproof.  The rounds were all in perfect condition and all of the paper wrappings and packing cardboard was intact and undamaged....... not bad for a tin of ammo that is 76 years old!

Here is a "how to read an ammo tin" photo that will help you decipher these old ammo tins.  And here is a link over to a website that gives all of the details on the individual shell stampings and ammo tin makings:

The individual shell casings are stamped with the date "46" , and with the number "188", which indicates that the ammo was produced at the Klimov / Novsibirsk ammo factory in Russia.  This ammunition factory is still in operation and producing ammo today: 
It is interesting to note that the casing numbers are raised, not stamped in.  This was the style of casing stamps that were used from 1930 and into the 1970's.

I opened the ammo tin from the bottom using a cold chisel to get a small cut started and then used the can opener from a West German mess ware set to extend the cut and then a pair of tin snips to finish opening the hole.  I plan to fold the flaps back over the hole so I can use the tin for display.

Let's take a look at the tin and the ammo: