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M3 and M3A1 Cleaning tools

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    M3 and M3A1 Cleaning tools

    Now that Bill Ricca's great web site is no longer available I thought I would post a few tools that he highlighted in his historical reference section. I do not collect these, but as with most of us, we end up with odds and ends over time that end up in a drawer as a curiosity etc., hence they are not in top condition as most collector's would search for only the finest specimens. Like Bodyman's notes on bore mirrors here are a few tools from my holdings. For brevity purposes and lack of redundancy I will only post the ones I don't see that often. I'll try to go earliest to latest, etc. First up are a couple from the GT era. One is a fully numbered tool with cut out in the blade, the other is exactly the same except the chamber cleaning tool is not numbered (transitional?)
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    Here are three in progression that all have drawing numbers. Note that all three have milled handles. While different contractors and SA made these tools I believe the top is SA, the middle WRA, and the bottom is self evident. Notice how you can see a progression or different style in the handle and milling. Later M3 tools that I believe were made by SA without drawing numbers have forging numbers cast in them. Of note and one of the reasons (no proof) and only an assumption I make about the middle tool being WRA is that it has distinct milling marks and all the tools that I have all have a punch mark. While not fact, and probably easily debunked, they share characteristics with other WRA garand parts. The last pictures display; early SA, two AR's, the WRA(?), and a typical late SA with forge marks. From the side you can see they all have distinct characteristics.
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    Last edited by CCyooper; 05-02-2019, 01:19 PM.


      Here a couple that I believe could be WRA as they were required per Canfield to provide tools with there rifle. Note milling marks, early screwdriver style and punch marks.
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      Last edited by CCyooper; 05-02-2019, 01:22 PM.


        Then the M3A1 was developed. They are all kind of standard in the beginning to fit the standard single slot screw; however, there is an anomaly in the group that still maintained the long screwdriver and as a result it had to have a notch to fold completely. It is an uncommon tool, and Bill was not certain if it was an early tool or tool that was made from leftover parts. The rest are typical tools, all manufacturers are basically the same but you can see characteristics if you examine them closely.
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          Next, I believe Bill concluded that the screwdriver blade was altered to fix the new poppet valve screw. I don't think he substantiated that but by contract information he determined that they were not modified tools as is a common belief. Correct me if I am wrong on this as I am going off of memory. As you can see the screwdriver blades all have a different pattern that fit nicely in the poppet valve while the early flat screwdriver does not. To throw a curve in the mix I'll show pictures of tools marked W-M and W-M-M. Without Bills notes I am a little sketchy here but I believe he thought they could have been made by Mossberg. Something to think about, somewhere in Canfield I believe he mentions that Pugsley indicated that a new tool had to be made when the shift to the new valve was being made ( cannot find it now, go figure but I have it in my notes). Could this also be a WRA tool made for them by Mossberg hence W-M and W-M-M for the brush too. The brushes are marked by the manufacturer (PK) on many if you look closely. I only make that SWAG because on one of the tools there is a Serif A like found on WRA parts to denote Amola steel. The timing is about right for them to be using up the rest of that steel. Just a thought to stir the pot.
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            The rest are basically the same but as always there are a few that are different. One is a late one (There are other variants) with a part number and then there is the AMCO which has the long screwdriver. Because it was numbered it may have been included with a kit according to Bill. The last tool is a modified M3 tool with a chamber brush, it is not very common either. Some were even modified to facilitate bolt disassembly.
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            Last edited by CCyooper; 05-26-2019, 09:17 AM.


              While not the point of this thread I will post a teaser that I may expand on later. Most everyone is familiar with the M10 tool, but many have not seen the Marine Corps tool that is very similar. There is a tool that predates both developed during WWII that is even more uncommon. I need to do more research but I may post my conclusions in a thread here when I'm finished. Here a few pictures of the USMC version as seen in Canfield. That's a wrap. If I wasted your time with something you already knew, I apologize. Regards,
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                Curt, Excellent presentation and photos, few collectors even thought about Winchester M3 tools ! I was introduced to the M10 tool as a armorer