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Canvas Spare Part Kit

MILLS RUSCO unmarked

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#1 TD.

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 07:34 PM

I have begun a study on the very rare canvas Spare Part Kit (SPK). As we all know, the existence of this kit was highlighted in Roger Cox's now classic 1982 book. Only a few original SPKs are known to exist. Unfortunately, this very rare Thompson accessory was faked and copies sold many years ago.

 

Pictures of a few variations of these rare canvas SPKs and information on the faker can be found in the below thread:

 

http://www.machinegu...showtopic=21457

 

A big thank you to Nick for sharing pictures of his canvas SPKs on the forum. I believe I have found something noteworthy with these canvas SPKs but need to examine via pictures a few more. If you have one of these canvas SPKs in your collection, marked or unmarked, fake or not or not sure, would you reach out to me via PM so we can start a dialog. I have spoke to several members on this forum and they have been most cooperative. If you have a canvas SPK, please send me a message or post on this thread.

 

Thanks!  


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#2 lpedersen

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 09:39 PM

Here are pictures of the reproduction spare parts pouch that I purchased several years ago. As the pictures show it is really dirty with some oil stains. Material is a yellow canvas. The spare parts are Savage and they came in the green sticky moisture proof wrapping. Kit also came with the two brushes. Really the craftsman of the pouch is pretty good and it has held up well after all these years.  It was priced around 20 or 30 bucks when I got it.  Reproduction or not haven't seen too many others.

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Edited by lpedersen, 27 January 2020 - 09:52 PM.

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#3 TD.

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 12:58 PM

lpedersen,

Thank you for sharing your MILLS marked canvas spare parts kit (SPK) with the forum. You got a great price for a very rare item - reproduction, fake or real?

 

This really helps with my research. Are there any other members with the canvas spare part kits? Or do you know of other kits owned by enthusiasts that do not frequent the forum. I am especially looking for the RUSCO and the unmarked canvas SPKs.

 

Thanks again!  


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#4 Rimcrew

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 02:15 PM

This kit recently sold on GB.pix592366164.jpg


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#5 colt21a

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 04:12 PM

A number of those got put together over the last 20 years {over ten years ago maybe longer some even had ww2 parts in them and not Colt firing pins or ejectors and extractors.. with a little dirt and grease and oil to complete the package. Kind of like what some guys did well over 20 years ago on mags. Wrapped them up and cosmo them up.

 

I remember at one show well over 30 years ago a guy had a stack of 20's and 30;s and while going thru them another guy said hey i sold that guy those mags years ago light patina and some wear. now all wrapped up and oily. the new vendor just did a  upgrade on them and wanted ten bucks more each.For the amount he said he had guess it was worth the effort he wanted well over a $1,000.00 more for wrapping paper and ww2 Cosmo.

 

so a number of these Spare parts kits went out there the same way. in a number of different tan pouches. with a mix of part's.I have only had one of the cloth. and 6 of the metal.The Unused new one in wrap went to Jerry, he probably still has it in his collection can't remember who i sold the one from Steve McQueens hard case to but its been well over 15 years now. Not even sure who has that gun now. But it did exist. Before he passes away he was planing on doing a WW1 movie on a WW1Ace. this is him in cali. with a person i knew showing him his Sopwith Camel at the hangar RON K. 

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  • Attached File  f2a.jpg   32.98K   57 downloads

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#6 colt21a

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 04:19 PM

another on the field

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#7 TD.

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 11:04 PM

Rimcrew and colt21a,

Thank you for all your assistance. The forum members here are simply the best!


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#8 anjong-ni

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 07:37 PM

Ron, are those two "Fairy Gannet" aircraft with the Camel? What's the connection?....Phil


Edited by anjong-ni, 31 January 2020 - 07:38 PM.

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#9 colt21a

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:38 AM

No connection it  was for showing Steve The Sopwith and talking about a upcoming script for him to portray a WW1 ACE, Movie never happened. And as we know Steve Became sick soon after. I have a few more photos And the plane never ended up in Phx like some said. it was located in Tucson.RON K.


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#10 TD.

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 10:46 AM

I have identified a few more canvas Spare Part Kits thanks to the great members of this forum. I am sending this back to the top in hopes of finding a few more.

 

Thanks again for all your assistance


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#11 hughlong

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 11:54 PM

I have a Mills marked SPK with colt parts and the proper pull through and chamber brush

I will post some pics for your feedback

Am thinking of selling it.
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#12 hughlong

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 11:56 PM

Attached File  0DC719E8-0573-45DB-95B8-7264A5A7D5EA.jpeg   116.27K   33 downloads
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#13 TD.

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 03:35 PM

hughlong,

Thank you for the picture of your canvas spare part kit. I am trying to catalog as many of the different types of these canvas marked and unmarked spare part kits (SPK) that I can locate. Unfortunately, years ago an unscrupulous dealer from the Pennsylvania area ruined the market in this area by selling fakes. This has been discussed previously on the Thompson forum. It is believed the "FEB. 1921 MILLS" marked canvas SPKs are fake because of the short time frame MILLS actually used this marking. The RUSCO marked canvas SPKs are also believed to be fakes because thus far none have been found with any documented provenance. In addition, the light type material of the FEB. 1921 MILLS and RUSCO canvas cases are very similar and usually have a dirty appearance.

 

An original MILLS canvas SPK was found in the Oscar Payne Collection and is now part of the American Thompson Reference Collection. This removes all doubt there was a authentic MILLS marked canvas SPK. Prior to the Oscar Payne discovery, Forum member philasteen posted a picture of a canvas MILLS marked SPK he had located. I have attached a comparison picture of the Payne MILLS marked SPK taken at a recent All Thompson Show & Shoot and the philasteen MILLS marked SPK. They appear identical. I also know of one other MILLS marked SPK owned by a forum member that appears to be identical to the philasteen and Payne SPKs.

 

Attached File  philatseen & Payne MILLS canvas SPKs.jpg   261.11K   15 downloads

 

I have seen several "MILLS" marked SPKs like yours that do not appear to be made of the same durable material with a slightly different construction and MILLS stamp. These do not match the known originals.  Most of this type trace there way back to the unscrupulous dealer from Pennsylvania. There is still a lot to learn in this area. Another reason I am trying to catalog all the canvas SPKs I can find, especially the unmarked "military" (collector term) canvas SPKs.

 

Roger Cox started the canvas SPK phenomenon with the publication of his 1982 book. If you look closely of the canvas SPK he found and pictured, you will note that it is not marked. This is a very rare original item. I believe the fakes have some value due to the scarcity of this item. Nick Tilotta or firearm posted a number of pictures of his canvas SPK collection a while back. Those interested in this subject should look up that thread.

 

Again, thank you hughlong. My search continues. Any others out there?       


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#14 colt21a

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 04:48 PM

Good info all around on this item. The Metal one is still it.  When J Curtis passed. he still had two in his collection.one was in his Shell and casing room in the left side cabinet by the door last shelf. And another was in his green cabinet  that he kept a number of drums in their cases, And also a pair of shot shell magazines in the Mills two cell pouch. that i had Sold him around 1975/76 

 

When i did the interview tape with him. For the upcoming Thompson story which i never did. He mentioned only having a few Spare parts kits over the decades. And was one item that never seemed he found a lot of.Like Shot mags and the pouch for same. 

 

Out of all the 21's i went thru over the decades. the only Documented Original was the Bristow Ok. 1921.

 

that had its hard case. correct cleaning rod, Spare parts kit four mag. and n.y. drum. with proper Manual, and inside cover flyer and envelope. I Also had seen a few Mills soft case guns also shipped to pd's. with four 20 round mags. and also cleaning rod and n.y. drum.

 

Sad thing over that period of many decades.Many got mags exchanged. drums sold off and rods and manuals worn out or destroyed.It is a rare find today for any collector to have a true unmolested  1921 a 1921ac or overstamp. along with a Spare parts kit metal or canvass.

 

Since so many when sold off got parted out in trades. Or the sellers thought i can get a few more bucks to just sell the gun only.Or many a P.D. had a few that had people who kept a memory of a manual, or 20 round mag or drum.  I remember one story  a local cop kept the spare parts box to keep fishing hooks and weights in.in his garage junk drawer. And tossed the brushes and parts years ago to a friend who wanted them for a six pack of beer.

 

Just little pieces of History split up forever that has probably been done hundreds of times.

 

I kind of regret now when Fred was selling his Thompsons that he had customers wanted GUNS and the wood stocks did not always always match up. I said change them up for them.Said with Humor and sarcasm.

 

Hopefully that did not happen.  RON K.

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Edited by colt21a, 12 February 2020 - 05:09 PM.

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#15 hughlong

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 03:03 PM

My mills case and a rusco case came with a 21 Thompson sn#75xx from the Jefferson County Alabama sheriffs office
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