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Colt Era Long Cleaning Rods

How to tell an original

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#21 TD.

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 10:47 PM

We have made some progress. I have edited the first post by naming the three ebay auctions by number. This will allow us to refer to the auctions by number and allow everyone to be on the same page. I also added a few more pictures to what I have labeled ebay auction no. 2.

 

DLansky posted some additional information on the J. Curtis Earl rod. Where else can you find this information!

 

1921A provided some great information. When he has pictures ready to post I am sure we will learn a lot more.

 

SIG pictures are very helpful. I am going to ask SIG to post some additional pictures in the near future.

  • The top picture of Gordon's reproduction rod shows a great reproduction rod.
  • The middle picture appears to show a slot with one squared end and one rounded end. We need to explore this further. I also note what appear to be a small bump on the end of the shaft at the loop end. We need to verify this. I believe I can tell where the large or jag end is pinned to the shaft.
  • The rod in the bottom picture looks a lot like the pictures of the rod posted by ineverlistentofm, above. Perhaps, inever will comment when he responds to my first questions. I am also curious if ebay auction no. 1 is the same rod he posted above from the Connecticut police department.

Now everyone can tell why this has not been done before. It is very hard to get enough different types of long cleaning rods together for examination. Perhaps this is something we can compare at this years TATA and TCA shows. For now, pictures are our best source of information.


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#22 TD.

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:55 PM

I heard from 1921A. He should have some pictures of his rods in the near future. He also mentioned my earlier post regarding a dealer named "Roger" and told me that may be Roger Small of Brentwood, TN.  Roger owned a company called Automatic Weaponry years ago. According to 1921A, Roger and Terry Williams were good friends so there may be a connection with both of them selling reproduction long cleaning rods. Perhaps this will jog someones memory on the Board.

 

I have a few pictures I am posting of what I believe to be a reproduction long cleaning rod. I believe it very similar if not identical to the one posted by aut-ord-co and possibly like the one in ebay auction #2. The history of this rod is unknown. If someone has one that is identical that they know to be a reproduction please let us know (and post some pictures if possible). While we may not be able to identify every original long cleaning rod variation, it would be great to be able to identify some of the reproduction rods sold years ago. I consider this a learning exercise. I am very open to someone being able to post a picture of this same rod with some absolute provenance that changes my/our thinking. In the end we each have to make our own decisions when offered a buying opportunity for a long Colt era rod. You will not find this information anywhere else.

 

To that end I am hoping some one will post a bunch of close up pictures of Gordon's rod, one still available in the market place. Please include close-up pictures of the loop end and the pin that holds the large end or jag onto the rod.

 

The below rod is 20.25" in length. I cannot find a pin that holds the large or jag end onto the shaft. It is possible this is a one piece rod or the large end is somehow glued or cemented on the shaft. It is possible the large or jag end of all original rods were pinned to the rod shaft as that is how things were made prior to World War II. It makes sense a cheaper method to make a modern cleaning rod would be to make it one piece or simply glue or cement the large end on the rod shaft. Of course, Gordon's reproduction rod is pinned, but Gordon went to great pains to duplicate an original rod as closely as possible (and  did an excellent job).  Here are the pictures:

 

Attached File  JG Jag and slot.jpg   284.83K   33 downloads Attached File  JG Jag or large end.jpg   257.9K   41 downloads

Attached File  JG Jag or large very end.jpg   164.51K   33 downloads Attached File  JG loop end.jpg   269.51K   35 downloads

Attached File  JG slot rounded corners.jpg   234.08K   28 downloads

 

 

 

 


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#23 bmarvin

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:49 AM

I'll have to check but I believe that I have a cleaning rod from Automatic Weaponry from Nashville TN.

I bought it with 2 other cleaning rods from a long time collector. They are all packed away waiting

to be sent to the new owner

Brian


Edited by bmarvin, 06 March 2014 - 09:44 AM.

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#24 TD.

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 02:21 PM

Brian,

All pictures would be very much appreciated. All other Board members with long cleaning rods please think about getting out your toys and taking a few pictures. We have enough information on the Board right now to make you feel pretty good about your rod...or make you start to wonder. We can resolve a lot of questions if everyone will jump in and help.

 

Greg Fox sent me some wonderful pictures to post. The pictures include a Terry Williams reproduction rod, four Michigan State Prison rods and a rod of unknown origin. First with the known Terry Williams reproduction rod:

 

Attached File  T.Williams Loop .jpg   84.88K   19 downloads Attached File  Williams Jag & Slot marked #7.JPG   48.58K   23 downloads

 

The picture on the left shows the Terry Williams loop. Note the rounded end on the loop.

The picture on the right shows the Terry Williams jag and slot. Note the rounded corners on the slot. It is also marked with a number 7. The reason for the numbering is unknown but I would not expect to find all T Williams reproduction rods numbered.

 

The next picture features the Terry Williams reproduction rod and and the one of unknown origin. The rod on the left is the Terry Williams rod; the rod on the right is of unknown origin:

 

Attached File  Williams and Unknown.jpg   93.96K   52 downloads

 

The last picture of the Williams rod included the one of unknown origin and the Michigan State Prison rod, each one marked for easy reference (Thanks Greg)

 

Attached File  Long Rod Loops.jpg   112.32K   62 downloads

 

SEE Post Below for more on 1921A's rod of unknown orgin.

 

It appears to me we have conclusively identified a reproduction long cleaning rod. The rods owned by Greg (1921A) and Bill (aut-ord-co) were purchased as reproduction rods many years ago and appear to match. One is known to be from Terry Williams, a known seller of reproduction long cleaning rods years ago. In addition, the rod from ebay auction No. 2 and the pictures of the rod of unknown origin I posted pictures of also seem to match Greg's and Bill's rod. The key to identifying this rod to me are the rounded end on the loop end and the lack of a pin holding the jag onto the rod. It appears to be a one piece rod. I welcome all comments. I especially welcome someone who has a rod like this with some known provenance that casts doubt on my comments. We are in this to learn.

 

Greg also supplied pictures of three cleaning rods from the Michigan State Prison, rods he obtained years ago, probably before any reproduction rods were on the market. Please note the jag can be removed from one of the Michigan State Prison rods.

 

Attached File  SPSM (no bump).jpg   93.33K   60 downloads Attached File  SPSM Jag & Patch Slot.jpg   162.39K   38 downloads

 

Attached File  SPSM Jag (rivet).jpg   77.52K   44 downloads Attached File  SPSM Jags & Slots.jpg   105.12K   37 downloads

 

Attached File  SPSM Long Rods.jpg   81.04K   41 downloads Attached File  SPSM Rods O.A.L..jpg   51.91K   24 downloads

 

What I noticed right off is the lack of a metal bump at the loop end that was found on some of the known originals posted above. I also noted how the slots are not absolutely square but are not absolutely rounded (like the Williams reproduction rod). It looks a lot like the middle rod posted by SIG, above, or the one he obtained with a police hard case years ago. I would like to know if SIG's police case rod has a metal bump at the end of the shaft. Better pictures of the slot on SIG's police hard case rod would also be helpful. One of the pictures clearly shows the rivet holding the jag on the loop shaft and how the rivet has been ground and polished into an irregular shape. I believe this is the sign of an original rod.

 

Without a picture of the jag or slot on Greg's rod of unknown origin, we really do not have enough information make a valid comparison with anything. Perhaps Greg has some additional pictures of this rod to share in the future. It is also impossible to tell if it has a metal bump at the end of the loop end. 

 

Thanks again to everyone who has participated in this thread. Let's keep it alive with some new information and pictures. 


Edited by TD., 16 March 2014 - 12:11 PM.

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#25 GUTTERRATT

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:06 PM

QUOTE

Seller says "not a reproduction" but it has the exact same features as a replica long rod produced in Tennessee in the 1980s. The end of the closed loop has a radius, known originals do not. The patch slot is round at both ends. Known originals are broach cut (squared ends). The profile of the jag tip is noticeably larger than the originals, most replicas were patterned from a brass military rod.  
 
With original rods bringing 1K plus and reproductions from the 70's and 80's known to exist, it's buyer beware!  The intent here is not to trash the seller but rather to educate the buyer.  Looks like TD's "cleaning rod" thread was timely.
QUOTE


There are a fair amount of respectable OWNERS that claim to have original long cleaning rods with round patch slots unless they came both ways...For example refer to post 11

Edited by GUTTERRATT, 13 March 2014 - 08:17 PM.

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#26 TD.

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 09:48 PM

GUTTERRAT,

Excellent observation. I too have heard that all the original Colt era long cleaning rods have slots with square ends - but I have never seen that statement in print and supported by some type of study or documentation. I bet some members are learning that for the first time by reading this thread. And I don't know if it is true. I would bet that no one has ever done any long term research on this topic. Some of the long reproduction cleaning rods on the market today may have been manufactured over 30 years ago. 

 

The rod shown in post #11 by Board member ineverlistentofm certainly appears to be an original long cleaning rod with a slot with rounded ends. I have asked him for additional pictures; hopefully, he will post some soon. The Michigan State Prison cleaning rods owned by Board member 1921A do not have slots with perfectly square ends. Depending on the angle of the picture you can make the slots appear more rounded or square - but the slots do not appear to be perfectly shaped one way or the other. The middle rod posted by SIG, from his police hard case, also appears to have a slot that is not perfectly square or rounded. That is why I asked both of these members for additional pictures. 

 

What we need are more Board members to post pictures of their long cleaning rods and provide any provenance that can aide in helping us sort all this out. I feel pretty confident the long reproduction cleaning rod identified above as being sold by class three dealer Terry Williams (as a reproduction) has been identified. But I am open to someone posting pictures of an identical rod with some provenance that will make us rethink this position.

 

In a nutshell, I don't know how many types of original long cleaning rods exist. I have a feeling that more than one type exists, but we will only be able to make that judgment if we get a lot of participation.

 

All good stuff!


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#27 TD.

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 10:08 AM

Greg (1921A) is going to send me a picture of the jag for his rod of unknown origin. I will update the post when I receive the picture. Hopefully, we will be able to make some comparisons.

 

Shown below are some pictures from Board member DLansky of his mystery long cleaning rod - appropriately named. I believe it to be a Terry Williams reproduction rod but encourage all comments and discussion.

 

Attached File  Mystery 2.jpg   151.75K   19 downloads Attached File  Mystery 1.jpg   52.24K   19 downloads

 

I was asked the value of a Terry Williams long reproduction cleaning rod. I would assume somewhere under $100 as that is the price of a Gordon long repro cleaning rod. Let the Board know your thoughts on this.

 

 

 

 


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#28 TD.

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 01:05 PM

Greg Fox (1921A) sent me a picture of the jag end of his rod of unknown origin. I am going to post the two pictures above and this new picture so we have all three pictures of this rod of unknown origin in one thread. Greg may be providing additional pictures and information. If so, I will update this post.

 

Attached File  Williams and Unknown.jpg   93.96K   12 downloads Attached File  Long Rod Loops.jpg   112.32K   18 downloads

 

Attached File  Unknown Rod Jag & Slot.jpg   19.9K   21 downloads

 

A careful review of the pictures indicates this rod of unknown origin is very similiar to the rod shown above in ebay auction No.3, the long cleaning rod listed as a reproduction rod by the seller. Of course, the seller could be wrong about it being a reproduction...or not. I am posting another picture of the unknown rod jag and slot, this time with an arrow pointing to the part of the jag that has my attention:

 

Attached File  Unknown Rod Jag & Slot with arrow.jpg   21.3K   19 downloads

 

Note how this section of the rod appears shorter and somewhat larger than the original rod posted by aut-ord-co and the Michigan State Prison Rods owned by 1921A. A quick review of the pictures of rods posted in this thread revealed a similarity to the following rods:

 

Attached File  ebay reproduction a.JPG   118.4K   21 downloads

ebay auction No. 3 - described as a reproduction rod

 

Attached File  Dec 2013 a Top Original.JPG   114.69K   33 downloads

ebay auction No. 1, top rod, described as original

 

Attached File  Tips 1.jpeg   56.72K   28 downloads

Rods posted by SIG, bottom rod from the Warren Kreiser collection

 

I welcome everyone's thoughts about this rod. We really need more pictures. And more rod examples. However, it does appear we have identified another definite rod variation. The question remains - is it original? Or is it...

 

I would like to know if Greg and SIG can find a pin that holds the jag end on the rod shaft. Or is this a one piece rod? I only posted the jag end. If you will go back to the original posts you will note there is a pretty good gap between the loop end and the shaft. Of course, the slot ends are perfectly rounded. This should give everyone some good characteristics to look for when comparing it with that long cleaning rod in your hard case. Who has a rod like it with impeccable provenance?

 

Comments???


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#29 TD.

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 10:12 PM

Board member ron_brock supplied the below pictures of his Gordon Herigstad reproduction long cleaning rod. This is a beautiful cleaning rod, a quality reproduction. Note the tarnish and the start of some patina. I predict these long cleaning rods will cause a lot of problem for future collectors in the years ahead.

 

Attached File  Gordon 1.JPG   25.09K   15 downloads Attached File  Gordon 2.JPG   85.88K   21 downloads

 

Attached File  Gordon 3.JPG   394.57K   24 downloads Attached File  Gordon 4.JPG   35.23K   23 downloads

 

Attached File  Gordon 5.JPG   43.79K   24 downloads Attached File  Gordon 6.JPG   48.64K   24 downloads

 

Attached File  Gordon 7.JPG   49.76K   24 downloads Attached File  Gordon 8.JPG   294.36K   52 downloads

 

Pay special attention of how the jag is pinned to the rod shaft. It is a blind pin; the finish of the pin head mated to the jag is perfect. Go back and view the original rods posted earlier in this thread and see how the finish of the pin head is irregular, certainly not perfect.

 

Shown below are some pictures of an original rod and a Gordon repro rod provided by Board member DLansky. Note the finish of the pin head on the original rod.

 

Attached File  Lansky 1.jpg   52.14K   69 downloads Attached File  Lansky 2.jpg   84.94K   71 downloads

 

Attached File  Lansky 3.jpg   61.27K   48 downloads

 

A big thank you to Ron and David for helping all of us learn about this Colt era accessory...and modern day reproduction.

 

 

 


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#30 Peckgds

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 04:59 PM

All this info is extremely helpful but one measurement is not noted. What are the diameter measurements of the originals?


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#31 firearm

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 11:42 PM

I was talking with TD today about some cleaning rods that I found in all this stuff around here.  He noted that this subject was ongoing and really never resolved, so I thought I might post some pics and info on three original cleaning rods (I think) that I have.  All three came from weapons that I bought many years ago.  All three were in hard cases with weapons, but I can only remember the serial number of one for sure.  That is #9760.  I probably should have done a better job of tagging them but I didn't.  I will describe them per the tags. 

 

The one with the orange tag (#1) is one that GH tried to buy from me for $800 way back when.  Confirmed that it was an original.  20.25" in length.  Patch slot is "squared".  Small "bump" on the end of the rod where it is looped to the main shaft.  Tip is pinned to the rod.  Can't remember which case it came in. 

 

#2 is the rod with the white tag on it.  It came out the case that housed Colt #9760, the Texas Ranger weapon that was auctioned off in May of 1984.  It has been in the case so long that you can see the mark that the leather strap left on the handle / loop.  Also 20.25" in length with a squared patch slot.  The end of the rod on this one where it loops against the main shaft is smooth.  No "bump".  The tip is also pinned to the rod. 

 

#3 is a cleaning rod that I got out of an old case as well.  No tag.  It is 16.5" in length with a square patch slot.  Tip is pinned to the shaft and the loop that comes around against the main shaft has the same "bump" as rod #1.  This "bump" was created when the brass rod was cut off in a lathe as was #1. 

 

Can't tell you why #2 does not have this bump unless it was saw cut, ground or polished off after it was cut from round stock.  BTW, all three were cut from .25" brass rod.  Other observations are that the very forward end of flat area (OD) of the boss of the cleaning tip on rod #1 is .25" (1/4").  The other two are .3125" (5/16") and are identical.  Another observation is that on both of the 20.25" rods is that the back end of the cleaning tip is .50" from the square slot.  On the shorter 16.5" rod, it is .325" from the back end of the cleaning tip to the squared slot.  The last observation is that the cleaning patch slots are not exactly 100% square.  They all three seem to have a small radius on the patch slot.  Just a very small radius.  I didn't have a micrometer so I used a tape measure and the SWAG method for the dimensions that I am giving you.  Jpegs attached.            

Attached Files


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#32 john

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 08:29 AM

I found one on EBay back in 2005 (?) and bought it. It was 21.25" long, had the bump in the loop end and a squared slot. It has a visible pin through the patch jag end and appeared a bit more rounded at the very tip. As stated in this string, the tips may have worked loose on some as this tip has been fluxed and sweat-soldered on. It also has visible rifling marks, having been used a bit.

Not sure if it was original, I brought it to the TCA shoot at Tracy's that year and after looking at it closely, he said he fully believed it was an original.

I recall speaking with Gordon Herigstad about it at the SAR show in Phoenix in 2007(?) And he told me that based on his research, the patch slot was cut with a mill bit and then broached square at both ends, one end at a time (this to better hold the patch and prevent it from slipping out of the slot). Guess it's easily possible to believe that one end may have been skipped or a few for through with both ends rounded if made toward the end of the day or on a Friday ;) but he didn't elaborate on that theory. Also possible to believe that the square broach cuts could have been dropped to cut production costs?

Not owning a '21, I sold it a short while later to fund another gun purchase.
I am headed out of town for a 3 week road trip today but I do have a picture file archived somewhere and will dig it out when we return.

john

Edited by john, 22 June 2018 - 08:32 AM.

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#33 firearm

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Posted 22 June 2018 - 10:37 AM

"It also has visible rifling marks, having been used a bit."

 

You know I didn't think about it until you stated that.  I thought someone had buffed the OD of the cleaning tip a little or polished it somehow.  Those marks are from the rifling in the bore.  

 

Thanks


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#34 Motorcar

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 04:30 PM

 We have enough information on the Board right now to make you feel pretty good about your rod...or make you start to wonder. 

 

That's funny right there. Sorry.


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#35 gijive

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 03:14 PM

Here are some additional pictures of a rod with the thicker diameter "Jag" and rounded patch slot as shown in some previous examples (See TD Post # 28).  This rod also does not appear to have the "dimpled" end where it was cut and also has the "Jag" pinned to the rod.  I purchased the rod off an Internet site several years ago that advertised it as having been found in a large lot of WWII brass rods.  It appears to me to be identical to some of the earlier examples shown here.

 

Attached File  Cleaning Rod-1.jpg   102.05K   11 downloads  Attached File  Cleaning Rod-3.jpg   82.75K   10 downloads  Attached File  Cleaning Rod-2.jpg   62.96K   11 downloads  Attached File  Cleaning Rod-5.jpg   65.81K   11 downloads  Attached File  Cleaning Rod-6.jpg   75.04K   11 downloads

 

        Pinned Jag                                                   C/U Pinned Jag                                          Rod End                                                      Rod End                                               Herigstad Reproduction for reference.


Edited by gijive, 26 June 2018 - 05:07 PM.

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#36 TD.

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:26 AM

The latest additions to this thread are excellent. Thank you!!! This is one project I started and did not finish. I was waiting for some pictures of some cleaning rods from a federal law enforcement organization that never came. While waiting, I moved on to other things (Great Britain - The Tommy Gun Story) and never returned. I do plan on working on this sometime in the future. However, there is a lot of information very useful to Board members already posted. 

 

If you have a long cleaning rod with some great provenance, i.e., known to exist long before the reproductions started to appear, please post pictures. The important parts are the length, loop end, especially at end of the loop, jag end (length and pinned???) and slot shape. Look at aut-ord-co's post number 5 & 7 for examples of the picture information needed.

 

One thing I have observed that may or may not be relevant or true at the end of this study is the Herigstad reproduction rod is almost too perfect. I believe Gordon believed there was only one original long rod type. If you know that Gordon believed otherwise, please let us know. While I was very disappointed Gordon did not mark his reproduction cleaning rods (or Spare Part Kits), I do miss him.

 

In addition, and Board Member firearm touched on this, above. If you have a short cleaning rod (16.5 inches) whose known provenance extends before World War II, let us know and post some pictures. Yes, I believe AOC sold or included the "short" cleaning rod with each Thompson sale long before what we call the long cleaning appeared.

 

Search your collection. What do you have that would add to the story? 


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#37 Merry Ploughboy

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 11:26 AM

FWIW, the Roger Cox, "Thompson Submachine Gun" book on page 35, under "Cleaning Rods and Oil Cans" with recites, in part, "Original brass cleaning rods, manufactured by Colt, are solid brass.  Two models exist, a long model which will fit into the top of a hard case and a short model which fits the canvas carrying case.  The long model is by far the rarer variation.
The military procured brass and steel Thompson cleaning rods during World War II.  The brass rods are standard short model rods which are impossible to distinguish from Colt rods of 1921."
 
On page 40, in the lower right there is a photo captioned, "Thompson cleaning rod variations,...(1) long model brass commercial, (2) short model brass commercial, (3) steel military model."

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#38 gijive

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:59 AM

All,

 

Bumping this back up as a result of recently obtaining a long rod which was being offered on Ebay at a "Buy It Now" price I couldn't pass up.  It was worth the price just for research purposes.  When I received it, I measured and found it was exactly 21 inches long, 3/4" longer than the other rod I pictured in Post # 35, which I believe to be original.  It has the "bump" on the loop end where it was cut, has rounded ends to the patch slot and has the slimmer contour "jag", although with no visible pin.  It has some of the characteristics of rods previously shown in this thread, but some of the rods weren't measured for length.  I wonder of some of the other rods pictured are 21" in length.  Below are pictures for comparison:

 

 Attached File  Long Cleaning Rod-21 inches-1.jpg   49.04K   11 downloads       Attached File  Long Cleaning Rods-Length Comparison.jpg   53.37K   9 downloads

 

Long cleaning rod 21 inches                             Comparison of long rods, 21 inches and 20.25 inches

 

Attached File  Long Cleaning Rod-21 inches-2.jpg   48.93K   7 downloads         Attached File  Long Cleaning Rod-20.25 inches-Pinned Jag.jpg   43.74K   11 downloads

 

21 inch cleaning rod "jag" end detail                  20.25 inch cleaning rod "jag" end detail

 

Attached File  Long Cleaning Rod-21 inches-3.jpg   57.43K   10 downloads         Attached File  Long Cleaning Rod-20.25 inches-Closed Loop.jpg   65.79K   9 downloads

 

21 inch cleaning rod with loop end bump           20.25 inch cleaning rod with closed loop end

 

Attached File  Long Cleaning Rods-Jag Comparison.jpg   69.83K   7 downloads

 

Long cleaning rods "jag" comparison

 

Seems there are several variations of the long cleaning rod.

 

 


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