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Steel Cleaning Rod - Mills Spare Parts Pouch


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#1 The Moor

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 09:20 AM

Saw an original FBI hardcase that a C3 dealer recently acquired. He is very reputable but has limited knowledge of Thompson details. Inside the case there is a long steel cleaning rod and a canvas spare parts and cleaning pouch. He will not tell me from whom he purchased the case but said it came from the widow of a deceased gentlemen who owned a Thompson.

The rod has a small loop (not large loop like most of the cleaning rods that are seen) and is straight the entire length with the threads actually being inside of the rod. It is similar in appearance to the rod pictured in Hill's book on page 351 except it the loop is smaller and there is no patch slot in the rod. It appears to have been in the case a long time as the leather strap at the loop is formed to fit the curve of the loop.

The canvas parts pouch is marked FEB 1921 and MILLS in the bullet logo. It is extremely dirty but is the yellowish tan color. It has the brass chamber brush and brush with brass thong. The spare parts are wrapped inside of a "new looking piece" of brown greasy paper with green stripes on either side of the paper. The firing pin appears to be a used Colt (it is not marked and no evidence of polishing, grinding or sanding to remove markings), the extractor appears to be a used Colt with no markings (same as above), the hammer pin is blue/black in new condition and the rest of the springs are there and appear to be new condition.

Finally there was a brass bristle brush loose inside of the hardcase. A standard GI WWII era bristle brush will not fit into the rod as the rod threads are back from the tip about a 1/4" or so and the end of the brush must be small enough to go up inside of the rod about 1/8". The brush, that was loose in the case, fits the rod and threads up snug as the end with is small enough to go inside the rod. Most of the original Colt Thompson catalogs list a "removable wire bore brush" that comes with the rod but I have never seen one that was identified as original.

He is interested in selling the whole outfit and although I'm sure the hardcase is original, I'm not sure about the rod, brush and spare parts kit. I just haven't had the exposure to these items to make a decision on their originality. Any seasoned collectors have experience with these items.
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#2 Sig

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 11:15 AM

Cleaning rod being steel is military and not worth much, an original should be brass.
Canvas spare parts kit sounds original.
Be careful on the case there are many reproductions.
Michael
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#3 colt21a

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 03:07 PM

and the question is:will "Thompson Greed"set in on this historic sale????will bodies tumble??will blood be spilled??will there bea knock down drag out to fight to buy it??check in at nine for the full report...........dan blather reporting..................all the news that's fit to print!!!wink!!

you saw it at thompson board first....................

Ron
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#4 nobra81

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 06:06 PM

Every hard case i've ever seen will look it's age. When you open it will usually have a old muskie smell. I would not think the rod is worth much. The canvas parts kit sounds original. I don't believe they have ever been a hot item. I'd get the case and not worry about the other two items. Save my money and try to find a metal spare part kit. But i know they are hard to find

Good Luck
Steve
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#5 full auto 45

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 08:01 PM

What is the greedy/not so greedy price of the kit?
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#6 colt21a

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 08:29 PM

i would pay $500.00 for the pouch and kit,i don't believe in {Thompson Greed"}in buying or selling.............you can keep the rod and case.......................wink............

this way you will have $500.00 in your pocket to start the deal...................


now the bidding will begin...................devine oh!! momma

Ron
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#7 The Moor

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 04:43 AM

Hmmm. Interesting.
The military brass rod will not fit the leather straps in the case. Much too short. An original long Colt brass rod does fit nicely. The steel rod that came in the case is about the same length. I have never seen a military steel rod this long or made like this one. As I mentioned above there is no question that the hardcase if original. What is unusual is that there are indications that the steel rod has been in the case for a long time. When I put my Colt long brass rod in the case you can tell that the form of leather strap does not match the radius of the loop. The case lining shows no indentation that matches the head of the Colt rod but does match the steel rod (rod is straight the entire length - not larger at the tip). And there is no indication of the corrosion (green stuff) on the leather securing straps that is usually seen when a brass rod is stored in a case for a long time.

So there were canvas kits marked with the FEB 1921 MILLS marking? I had never seen one before, all of the ones that I had seen were marked MILLS in the bullet logo only. It does seem to match the case by showing age (extremely dirty) and seems musty. The only issue that appears wrong is the new looking grease paper that the parts are wrapped in (and two of the parts - firing pin and extractor - appear used).

What about the bristle brush? Anyone ever seen one that can be identified as originally delivered from the early Auto Ordnance Corp.?


Oh, there will be no greed involved in the selling of the stuff. The dealer is my friend and I expect him to make a profit as that is why he is in business. He will not try to get rich from the sale. He is not that interested in Thompson stuff but he knows that I am.
On the other hand, I admit that I, if I buy, will hoard the stuff. That is because I don't have two of everything yet (don't even have one of everything yet). Once I get two of everything then I can stop hoarding. Wink!!!!

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#8 The Moor

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 05:02 AM

Oh shoot!!! I don't know how I overlooked this but there is a picture in Hill's book that shows a cleaning rod that appears to be identical to the rod that I have been describing. The picture is black and white so I can't tell if it is brass or steel. It is on page 354, figure 409. Notice the length of the rod and that the rod is straight the entire length and the loop is smaller than the other rods pictured in the book.
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#9 TD.

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 06:16 AM

You may also want to check out pages 38, 39 and 40 in Roger Cox's book. I am not sure the canvas spare parts kit is the "rarest," but the pictures will answer many of your questions and concerns. I would describe what you have as an excellent find. Congratulations. Tom
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#10 The Moor

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 09:47 AM

QUOTE (TD. @ Apr 12 2004, 06:16 AM)
You may also want to check out pages 38, 39 and 40 in Roger Cox's book. I am not sure the canvas spare parts kit is the "rarest," but the pictures will answer many of your questions and concerns. I would describe what you have as an excellent find. Congratulations. Tom

Wish I had Cox's book to reference. Haven't been able to get a copy of it. Missed the copy for sale last week for $275. Will not pay $500 ebay price for the book. Would you care to enlighten me as to the information on the pages that you referenced?
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#11 LIONHART

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 11:38 AM

Moor, I've owned the Mills/Rusco and the Unmarked Canvas Spare Parts Canvas Kits. All were complete. However, none were marked with a date.

Edited by LIONHART, 12 April 2004 - 11:39 AM.

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#12 colt21a

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 12:44 PM

yes spare parts kit came marked,and some did not, i had both version's or maybe three because....if i remember had three pouches,one two had dates and mills and one was blank,there was a guy in pa.who had alot of these his name was george,

a nice guy.about 8 years ago......and was selling them from 500.00 to 800.00 somehow in a pa.prison system,he found the mother lode.......

now of course all sold off..............i prefer the metal one myself...................and those will be ready soon........
{ i always hated spending a grand or more on the metal one's.........had over 6 of those}it was just like leaving cash in a case to stare at.................

now i like to have cash to enjoy................other things,

well don't make a legend out of the cleaning rod.its no big deal.and hope you get it...............and no {"Thompson Greed"}is involved.wink!! take care,ron
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#13 1921A

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 12:53 PM

The cleaning rod sounds like it might be for the Reising SMG. Metal rods like you describe have been found in the commercial Reising hardcase.

Greg Fox
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#14 TD.

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 09:27 PM

The Moor,
I will be glad to describe what Roger has in his book:

Page 38: A picture of the complete Metal and Canvas spare parts kits.

Page 39: A paragraph titled: Spare Parts Kit
The very rarest Thompson accessory is the spare parts kit. There are two variations: a metal box model and a canvas pouch.
The standard spare parts kit is simply a small metal box painted flat black, originally containing an extractor, firing pin, spring, hammer pin, sear spring, sear lever spring, trigger spring, brush and thong and breech cleaning brush. This box is the same size as a Type XX magazine and fitted into the top of a hard case or the magazine pouch of a canvas case.
The canvas spare parts kit was a piece of canvas folded around the standard components of a spare parts kit and tied with a thong. Only one has been observed, making it the rarest of all.
These kits were priced at $13.50 from Auto Ordnance, but just didn't sell. Law enforcement agencies probably felt that if they needed a part they could simply order it from the company.
No one has ever been known to produce an imitation or phony spare parts kit, despite their high value to collectors.

Page 40: A picture of the three Thompson cleaning rod variations. Number 3 is a "steel military model."

Hope this helps. Remember, this book was published in 1982. Tom

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#15 wolfer113

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 02:55 PM

i've seen original cases go on ebay for 800 to even a crazy 1600!! wish i had a truck load of them myself
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#16 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 03:05 PM

Cox then revised the notion of the rare spare parts pouch in his 1986 suppliment since an importer had located a stash and brought a supply into the U.S.

Difficult to truly authenticate an original pre WWII FBI/Police case, but there are dealers asking $2000-$2700 for them so $1000-$1500 on the much maligned ebay is not such a bad score.

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#17 Sig

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 05:21 PM

Can someone direct me where in Cox's supplement this bounty of canvas spare parts kits was mentioned?

Arthur? Anyone?
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#18 TD.

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 09:38 PM

Sig, I looked in the Cox Supplement and did not find the comment Arthur made reference to, above. Perhaps this information is in another publication. Tom
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#19 Sig

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 04:58 AM

Thanks TD that is what I thought as I looked myself and could not find it. I was worrying about having in my hands a bogus reprint or something of that supplement. Now that that is clear.

I would have to agree with Arthur some supply was found of these canvas spare parts kits because I have heard from other board members similar comments either in posts or emails. I also have heard that these kits went for way more $ then they are now. I just do not remember reading from any specific author such as Cox, Hill, Herigstad or Richardson, about some cache of canvas spare parts kits showing up.

michael
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#20 colt21a

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 12:57 AM

i said it in the posts,i bought a few of these.........about 8 years ago.sometimes i do wonder what to post,then when i do nobody listen's wink!!


i'm going back to play with my saw/m249......................ron
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