Sunday, February 26, 2017

West German Firearm Cleaning Mops, Waffen Reinigungsdochte, Rg34, Full Case, circa 1990's

As a follow-up to my previous post about my new Bundesgrenzschutz, Rg34 cleaning kit, today we'll be taking a look at an interesting component of these old cleaning kits........the ever popular "Cleaning Mop".

Case shown with an Rg34 and G3 cleaning kit & BW hat.

Recently a large quantity of these unissued cases appeared on the surplus market.  As with all unique items like this, If you don't buy them when you have the opportunity, they quickly disappear!  I wasn't about to let that happen, so I picked up one of these cases as soon as I spotted a great deal.

These "cleaning mops" are officially known as Waffen Reinigungsdochte.  They are traditionally carried in the small Rg34 cleaning kits, and later in the plastic G3 cleaning kits.  They have remained unchanged (other than the fibers used) since their inception back in the 1930's.  

The mops I have were issued to the West German military and paramilitary troops:  Bundeswehr, Bundesgrenzschutz and Polizei, etc.  The West German mops are easily distinguished from the East German issued mops by their color and fiber content.  The West German mops are white, and the East German mops are usually a "dirty dark color" due to their recycled fiber content.

The case of mops that I have has a date sticker on the label indicating that the case was made and packaged in September of 1990 (09 90).  When I received the case, it was completely sealed and unopened.   I will be using these mops "as intended" and as replacements for the various cleaning kits in the collection.  (It never hurts to have a reserve of these in the bunker!)

These mops come in larger bundles that are meant to be disassembled into smaller bundles, and then issued out to individual cleaning kits.  The soldier then opens the smaller bundle and removes the number of individual mop strands that are needed, based on the caliber of the firearm he is cleaning.  Ingenious!

Let's take a look at the "Case Opening" photo album.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Bundesgrenzschutz, West German Rifle Cleaning Kit: Reinigungsgerät 34, Rg34, Rg. f. Gew. , circa 1950's - 1960's, G1, G3, K98k

After a number of years of searching, I finally found one of the original Bundesgrenzschutz rifle cleaning kits from the 1950's!

I have written about these old "Tobacco Tin" kits in previous posts, but this one is different than all of the rest.

This kit is known as the Rg34, or  Reinigungsgerät 34.  It is one of the first post-war versions of the old WW2 German cleaning kits.  Mine is one of the seldom seen varieties though.  It is painted in the "Old BGS Green" and was most likely issued out with the first of the post-war Mausers, or FAL G1's that were used in the Bundesgrenzschutz (German Border Police).  This dates the cleaning kit to the 1950's or early 1960's.

The kit is is in remarkably perfect condition for its age, and it includes a number of the nicer "upgraded" parts.

The tin itself, is unmarked, and is the rarer variation without the reinforcing line on the side.  Here are a couple of side-by side comparisons to a couple of other kits:  Bundeswehr (OD Green), and a West Berlin Border Police (brighter Police Green).  You will see the lack of reinforcing line and how much the darker, BGS Green, color compares as well.  

Left to Right: BGS, West Berlin Police, Bundeswehr
BGS next to Bundeswehr. Notice color and reinforcing groove.

The oiler in this tin is the older, post-war version, of the old WW2 "syringe" type that was used in the 1930's and 1940's.  

The pull-chain is also a variation that is not encountered as often.  I consider this style of swiveled pull-loop chain to be an "upgraded part" and probably indicates that it was one of the earlier models.

You can read more about these post-war kits at this outstanding blog (as well as the earlier, WW2 versions as well).

All in all, I couldn't be more thrilled to finally have an original BGS cleaning kit to add to the collection!  It is easy to see how some collectors get hooked on these old kits and end up collecting one of every variation, color, and manufacturer!

Here is the photo album of this beautiful little Rg34 kit.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

East German, NVA, AK47 (MPi), 4 Magazine Ammo Pouch, Strichtarn Type 2 Camouflage, 1974

Today we'll be taking a look at the "last generation" AK47 ammo pouch from East Germany.  This is the pouch that you got a quick peak at in my last blog posting. 

This particular pouch is a four magazine ammo pouch in the last version of the Strichtarn camo pattern (rain pattern) used in East Germany.  This last version of camo has broader "rain stripes" and a darker background from the first version.  This Strichtarn Type 2 was used from 1968 until both Germany's were re-unified in 1990.

This pouch has the later style of "strap and D ring" fasteners.

It is dated 1/74, indicating it was made in 1974.  The stamping is inked inside the flap.

These ammo pouches were worn by all soldiers in the field who were carrying the East German AK47 (MPi).  Only one pouch was normally worn. 

There is not much else to say about these pouches, other than they are very well made and sturdy.  With four 30 round magazines, and 120 rounds of ammo, they are quite heavy!  With one magazine in the rifle, and a pouch full of 4 more mags, the total load-out was 150 rounds of ammo!

When East Germany adopted the newer AK74 version of the AK, the mag pouches were changed to a rectangular shape.  The smaller caliber, AK74 rifles went into production in 1985.  I would assume that production of the curved AK47 mag pouches ceased at that time.

Here are a couple of period photos that show these pouches in action.

Here is the photo album of this iconic East German mag pouch.