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I am not sure where to post this as i know this is off topic, but what is the best Military surplus collapsible shovel out there? My wife and I are camping this weekend to celebrate our first anniversary and we took her car. I noticed she didnt have a shovel in her vehicle. Its something that every Minnesotan should have in their car. So i think she needs one. What is the best Military surplus collapsible out there?
 

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German military surplus shovel with pick. I've been using one for camping for the past 20 years. Just keep the locking stud clean and lightly oiled. That pick comes very handy when digging fire pits or leveling cars/trucks. I used to get them at gun shows for around $20 with leather sheath. I keep one in each vehicle. Wow, just checked on Amazon, now they are making bloody repros of the darn thing. Get a real one. It'll have the german logo and year on it. Usually late 50s-early 60s. Un freaking believable....
 

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Have one of the West German folding shovels with the pick. Paid the whopping sum of $10 for it years ago. Complete with the leather carrying case. Dated 1965. A U.S. G.I. folding aluminum shovel could be also used as well. Many moons ago I fished a WWII folding shovel out of someone's trash can. Cleaned it up and kept the locking ring well oiled as the wife used it in the garden. They do sell shovels with a flat blade with short D handle. That one would probably not work digging a fire pit. so you'd need one with the pointy end. When I first started working after I got out of the navy I shoveled coal 8 hrs a day. You did learn to pace yourself otherwise by lunch you'd be sucking wind. Did get told not to come back to one laundrymat due to all the coal dust on my work clothes. Second place said no problem. This was long before the companie I worked for started issuing uniforms and laundry services. Until they did we bought shirts, jackets and pants off the back of a van. Man what a motley crew we were. Different colors, sizes, and some of the clothing still had the previous logo's on them. In the winter you'd give them your coat size and a week later there it was. Nothing fancy,but at least it kept you warm. Frank
 

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I was into military shovels few month back. Bought one in Poland, post war copy of German, cost me 160$, after I bought one on ebay, got burned with replica, probably China 60$. what I want is Russian WW1 with imperial eagle, but probably I will have to buy it in Russia. Here they go over 200$.
 

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That's funny you mentioned WWI Russian shovel, a while back I bought one at a local flea market. The same guy also had a brass flower pot with an imperial Tula stamp on the bottom. Got both for $10. Still have the pot, it serves as a spent primer catcher under my old RCBS Rock Chucker.
 

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If you are concerned about the ability to dig with the military shovel, the M1951 US shovel with the folding head and pick is the best. I did some research for a possible article years ago with the M1951, A tribute-fold shovel, the Glock shovel and the Cold Steel shovel. I dug 4 foxholes or trenches approximately 5 feet long 2 feet wide, one each day for 4 days. I would dig for 30 minutes as hard as I could and then measure the depth. When it was all over the M1951 had gone 18 inched deeper than any of the other shovels. If you just need a shovel for maybe's then the Cold Steel shovel would work fine, I keep one in my trunk.
 

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While steel entrenching tools are pretty useless for snow removal, they work pretty darn well for digging out dirt and rocks, which is what you would expect. Get one with the pointy-end style blade, not the flat end style. A folding tool, like the German Kláppspaten or the USGI, is always handier than a fixed shovel as you can also use it as a hoe.
Collecting is one thing, digging is another...
 
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