Monday, August 14, 2017

Swedish Fältspade KLAS, Short Light Attack Shovel, "Reproduction" M58 by Mil-Tec

I've had my eye open for an original, Swedish Army, M58 folding shovel, for quite some time.  They are tough to find here in the US, if not "impossible" to find.  There are a few originals available in Europe, but not at an attractive price when you factor in shipping, so I finally gave in and picked up a "replica".

I found a company in the UK that is selling these new-made "replicas" for $28.00 and free shipping to the US.  How could I pass that up?  I didn't!  

These shovels were commissioned by Mil-Tec, and were manufactured to the original Swedish Army specifications.  They are exact in every aspect, with the exception of a couple of very minor ones.  The weight, measurements, materials, are exactly the same as the original Fältspade, or as it is better known in Sweden, as the KLAS, or Kort Lätt Attack Spade (short light attack spade). I looked up the original specs, and compared them to this new version.  They all matched, even the overall weight.

I believe these were introduced in 1958, when Sweden modernized their equipment load out, better know as the M58 gear.

These new made shovels have an improved blade hinge bolt that has an Allen head and a nylon insert, locking nut, as opposed to the original's standard bolt and nut.  

Another slight difference is the peened ends of the blade rivets.  The originals had rounded, peened ends, and this new made version has mechanically pressed ends that are not peened (flat ends, not rounded).  A very slight difference, but technically different.

The paint color is the correct Dark Swedish Green, that matches the old Model 1958 equipment, but I suspect that it may be a bit too glossy.  Most of the originals that are encountered today have been repainted with thick, OD Green paint, so I can't really say for sure if the glossy green is 100% correct or not.

Since I plan on using this shovel as a "Daily Digger", these differences are so slight as to not really make any difference at all.  If I really wanted to, I could replace the hinge bolt, round out the rivet ends and give the shovel a brushed coat of thick OD Green and you would never know it was "new made" !  These new copies are that good.

These KLAS shovels are the toughest, and most user friendly of all the folders that I have ever seen (and I have more than a few in the bunker!).  The handle is bent in an ergonomically correct angle that really lends itself to proper digging, without discomfort or injury.  They may be a bit heavier than most military folders, but if you plan on doing much digging, then the added weight is well worth the "penalty".

The blades have a flat lip around the edge and two holes that are punched on each ear.  This is so that the aluminum "snow shovel" attachment can be added to turn this into a proper "avalanche shovel".  I'll definitely need to pick up one of those now as well!

I am very impressed with this "Mil-Tec Reproduction", and I can't wait to get out there and use it for exactly what it was designed for, digging!  
If you get the chance to buy one of the original Swedish Army issued shovels, then grab it, but if you can't locate one, or can't find one that's affordable, then this Mil-Tec version is the perfect substitute.

Now let's take an up close and personal look at this heavy duty shovel.

Monday, August 7, 2017

US M-1910 Pick-Mattock, WW2 Issued, Warwood 1943, M1910

I have added another pick-mattock to the collection!  I picked this beauty up a couple of days ago at a local yard sale.  I spotted the pick before I even got out of the Jeep.  I couldn't bail out fast enough!

This pick is a WW2 issued, M-1910 Pick-Mattock.  These WW2 versions are the same as the earlier, WW1 versions, with the exception of makers names and dates.  You can see my postings on my WW1 pick here: 

I have been on the lookout for one of these WW2 dated picks for quite some time.  Now I have a full entrenching tool, "WW2 load-out",  shovel, hatchet and pick assortment.  The best part is that I picked it up at a "yard sale price"!  Now I'm on the active hunt for a WW2 dated, canvas, pick-mattock carrier.

This pick was manufactured by the Warwood Tool Company and is marked WARWOOD on the side of the pick end.  The Warwood Tool Company is still in operation and is a 100%, "Made In The USA", family owned company.

The pick was produced mid-war, in 1943.  It is stamped "43" next to WARWOOD.   With the pick being mid-war produced, it is safe to say it saw some action.

Most of the paint has been worn off of the handle, but there is still some of the original paint on the pick head.  It appears that it was once painted WW2 OD Green, with a possible layer of black paint under that. There is also a fair bit of the old green paint on the upper portion of the wood handle.  It's a bit faint, but it's there.

The wood handle is in remarkably good shape for it's age.  When I found the pick it had an "eye screw" screwed into the butt end of the handle.  The screw has since been removed, but the hole remains.

There's not much more to say about this pick, so let's take a closer look at it.