This website is dedicated exclusively to providing and collecting information about the cleaning kits used by the Germans in the Second World War from the point of view of a simple collector.

This blog has no sympathy or support to the Nazi regime that devastated Europe on the 40's. Also personally, when I see one of these kits manufactured on the war years, I think of the possibility that maybe it was made by a foreign forced worker under harsh conditions.


A soldier manipulating the floorplate of a K98k rifle.
  The Hülsenkopftwischer or "receiver head cleaner" is also known today by collectors like floorplate takedown tool, push tool, or just simply as the spoon. This was the only piece of the Rg 34 that was designed for to be used exclusively on a particular model of weapon, the Karabiner 98.

The Hülsenkopftwischer.

  This tool consisted in a handle with an opening or eye at one end and a punch or pin at the other. With the help of several cleaning strings inserted in the eye, the tool was used for to clean the chamber end of the k98 receiver. The pin was used only for to remove the floorplate of the k98 magazine. The very early version of the tool -manufactured in 1934/35- lacked the pin, and today are very rare.
Two tools made by G.Appel in 1935, the very early version -blued- without pin on top.

A close-up picture of the markings.

Tafel 4 from german manual H.Dv.256 of 1936 showing the two uses of the Hülsenkopfwischer.
  It appears that the takedown tool was manufactured and incorporated in all the Rg 34 -except in the Rg34 für Kal.5.4 mm kits- through to the end, although today often these tools are not present in the kits.
  The takedown tool also suffered slight modifications during the war. Basically, were manufactured two types of tools: one with the wrapped handle and a later flat version. It seems that the flat type tool appeared in the Rg 34 from the year 1943, maybe something later in the kits made by G.Appel.
The two main types of Hülsenkopftwischer: The pair from above are with the wrapped handle and the pair from bottom are flat. Note also the differences in the opening or eye of the tools.

The back of the tools shown above.
   Practically all producers of the Rg 34, in addition to some subcontractor, manufactured the Hülsenkopfwischer. Normally, the tools were marked on top by the maker until the mid war period, and from the point of view of the collector, every manufacturer has its own peculiarities on markings and manufacture.

Several soldiers cleaning their rifles at the Eastern front. The soldier seated at right is using the Hülsenkopfwischer.

Gustav Appel tools:

  Gustav Appel manufactured both types of tool and it marked normally with their firm's name (sometimes with the year), the number code "64", and later with the letter code "cnx" and - commonly - the Waffenamt "WaA20". The very late war tools don't show any stamp. Also there are some unmarked tools - with the wrapped handle - that are supposed to be of commercial fabrication.
  The flat tools manufactured by G. Appel are very similar to the post war tools.
A pre war "G.Appel 1937" marked tool.
An unmarked tool made by G. Appel. Possibly commercial manufacture.

A mid war tool, marked with code "cnx"  and WaA20.

A late war "cnx" marked flat tool, no Waffenamt.

A very late unmarked tool manufactured by G. Appel.

A very late war unmarked flat tool manufactured by G. Appel.
A flat tool with long pin, found in a very late kit assembled by G.Appel. Note that it's very similar - except the pin - to the post war made tool. Personally, I have observed tools like this one in at least two late war matching kits, although is quite possible that are from post war manufacture and were later added to complete these original kits. Remember that many kits were used officially after the war.

Two flat tools with the long pin.

Hawig tools:

  Hawig manufactured both types of tool and it marked the tools with their firm's name - no year -, and later from 1941 with the "cmr" letter code. Mid- and late war tools show no markings.

A tool with the handle wrapped type with the code "cmr" marked. Found in a "cmr 41" kit.

An unmarked flat tool made by hawig. Found in a "cmr 43" kit.

Mundlos AG tools:

  Mundlos AG manufactured both types of tool and it marked the tools with their firm's name and year, and later with the "ab" code and the last two digits of the year - from 1940 to 1943 -. There are "ab43" marked tools of both types. Late war tools show no markings.

A pre war "MUNDLOS 1938" marked tool.

A mid war "ab42" marked tool. Note that has lost the pin.

A late war unmarked flat tool made by Mundlos. Found in a "ab44" kit.

KH/Ky tools:

  It seems that Aktien-Maschinenfabrik Kyffhäuserhütte marked their tools with the letters "KH" in 1935 and later from 1936 to 1940 with "Ky" and always incorporated the year of manufacture. Also generally the tool until 1937 showed a Waffenamt. All points that Kyffhäuserhütte firm  from 1941 continued the manufacture of the tool - like a subcontractor - very possibly until the end. Kyffhäuserhütte only manufactured the tool type with the handle wrapped. It marked the tool with their "ayw" letter code and only the last two digits of the year, although there exist some "ayw1941" marked tools - most likely very early production -. I have observed marked tools until 1942, the unmarked ones are from later. (see below: Subcontractors)

A "Ky1937" marked tool with WaA442.

A closeup of the Waffenamt WaA442.

Kyffhäuserhütte made tool of 1938 with no Waffenamt.

Braunschweigische Blechwarenfabrik tools:

  It seems that Braunschweigische Blechwarenfabrik manufactured only tools with the wrapped handle and marked their made tools with their letter code and last to digits of the year until the end. Markings observed on the tool are: arr42, arr43, arr4, rco45.

A mid war tool, marked "arr43"

A closeup of the "arr43" markings.
A late war "arr 4" tool.

A closeup of the markings. It is clear that was used the same stamping die of the year 43, but with the number "3" removed - note the marks after number "4"-. Very probably same thing happened with the markings on the Behälter.

Peter Schlesinger tools:

  All the Peter schlesinger tools observed are of the handle wrapped type and have the "ftd" letter code marked.

The tipical "ftd" code of Peter schlesinger firm.


  Known subcontractors for the Hülsenkopfwischer were:
  •  Aktien-Maschinenfabrik Kyffhäuserhütte (vorm. Paul Reuß) (Artern).
  • Polte AG, Armaturen- u. Maschinenfabriken (Magdeburg).
Two Hülsenkopfwischer of 1941 and 1942 made by the Kyffhäuserhütte  firm.

Another "ayw42" marked tool.

A late war unmarked tool made by Kyffhäuserhütte.

A "aux" marked tool , made by Polte AG, Armaturen- u. Maschinenfabriken. A very unnusual tool. 

A closeup of the "aux" markings

  ( There is some controversy among collectors about this Hülsenkopfwischer. This tool could be a variant of the wrapped handle type, with flat end. The kind of the eye of the tool indicate a mid-  or late war manufacture.  Made by a subcontractor ? )
  Lately, many tools like this one with the flat end have surfaced - from the same source !-. Everything indicates that are not from recent manufacture, but almost certainly were manufactured after the war - look at Post war kits section !-..
-February 2013-