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Thread: Wartime No5 Cleaning kit brush?

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Wartime No5 Cleaning kit brush?

    Does anyone know when the small black plastic handled cleaning brush, found in No5/SLR cleaning kits, first came out, please? Were only wood handled brushes found in the No5 rifle cleaning kit during WW2 with the black plastic handle version coming out post WW2? Or did the black plastic handled version actually come out during WW2? I suspect that only the wood handled version of the brush was available during WW2 but I don't really know one way or the other? I ask this question because I have found the black plastic handled version of the brush in Wartime No5 rifle cleaning kits but these could have been later replacements. I do realise that there was also a later grey plastic handled version of the brush found in SLR cleaning kits.



    Many thanks.
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    We always understood that the wood handle ones were issued for the tropics because the insect repellent simply melted the plastic handles and by the time you had brushed the sights clean the handle had stuck to your hands. The insect repellent was made by a chemical firm in Jockland called BAOchem. In Oz, we said it stood for Britains Agent Orange. To be honest, the blanket stackers at Ordnance in Singapore didn't care what they sent out

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    the insect repellent simply melted the plastic handles
    Ours too. Very harsh stuff but I personally need to bathe in it as the biting insects affect me badly. I swell like a bee sting. The bug juice ate everything...dissolved it.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    ...the insect repellent simply melted the plastic handles...
    I recall the evil liquid repellent was useful only for starting a wet hexamine tablet in the jungle as it was wonderfully flammable (or perhaps degreasing a transfer case access cover on a Series 3 Rover...?)

    Anyone in their right mind that wished to be free of mozzies, leaches, midges, flies, bats, drop bears and spiders was sensible enough to buy and use commercially available repellent called RID.
    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

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    Contributing Member muffett.2008's Avatar
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    I loved the stuff, saturate the cuffs of your greens trousers and shirts, kept all the creepy crawlies away....and after a week in the donga without a change of clothes, no worries about washing when you got back to base.
    Straight to the Q for a reissue as the ones you were wearing just fell apart at the seams.

    Also great for removing texta marks off maps and other bits that shouldn't have been scribbled on.

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    Some really good answers guys but the question was about the issue date of the brushes not that the plastic ones dissolved in insect repellent, can anyone answer the original question.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    I'm going to hazard a guess at wood originally with the No5 cleaning kits, as modern plastics (especially of the deet melting variety) weren't widely available until the 1950's.

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    weren't widely available until the 1950's.
    Jeez this makes Muff older than dirt.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 22SqnRAE View Post
    for starting a wet hexamine tablet in the jungle
    Quote Originally Posted by muffett.2008 View Post
    for removing texta marks off maps
    I had forgotten that stuff...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buccaneer View Post
    the issue date of the brushes
    My thought is...DID they actually issue a cleaning kit for the #5 carbine? I wouldn't have thought so and have never heard of it until this thread. Is this conjecture or did they?
    Regards, Jim

  16. #10
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Good point Jim, surely the No4 kit worked for both, seems like pointless duplication considering Wartime austerity.

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