There are a number of local stores in my city that have some military surplus items — everything from ammo cans to paracord and zip ties.
Lol almost all of it.
Its cheap, durable and most of it can easily have multiple purposes. Downfall it is usually heavier than civilian products
These days mainly ammo cans and sleeping bags… but when I was a kid I had tents, boat oars, cantines, belts, a machete, bug repellant… a great deal of my bean walking money went to Huey’s Surplus in Champaign IL
P-38 can opener. Have had one on my key chain for decades and it has saved the day on more than one occasion.
I took my p-38 can opener off after snagging my pants and causing trouble at a metal detector. I had a security guard working a metal detector tell me “I know what that is, I’ll let you go this time, but don’t bring it back”…
I have both the Army P38 and a P51 openers, but mostly because I can’t afford the Air Force version of the P38 and P51.
Does it count as “Army surplus” if it’s just something I never turned back in?
That is considered a gift @Ouade5. My Gortex rain jacket was a gift.
Of course, it came out of your pay. I “lost” a few items in my day. A raincoat and field jacket liner.
I like the poncho more than the rain coat. It looks goofy, but it’s very versatile. I have it sitting in the closet with my other emergency items.
Poncho makes a good shelter half in a pinch as well.
I had been tipped off by a friend so I went in to Supply and asked what I owed them. They said, “Gee, Captain, we can’t find your record, so we’ll sign you off.”
Of course you turned everything back in, @Ouade5… somehow it just found its way back to you?
I spent time in the Air National Guard after my time in the Marines and when I left I was told to return anything I hadn’t worn so I took some time to “wear” all the gear they gave me.
When I was a kid there was a Military Surplus and C & R Arms store fairly close to my house (well close enough to ride bicycles there)…it was called Antique Arms.
As kids around 8-10 years old… my neighborhood buddies and I would ride bikes there about once a month just to be in awe of all the “really cool” stuff they had. The two guys who owned the place never had many customers and were bored out of their minds most of the time. They enjoyed having us kids show up just so they had some entertainment in picking on us!
They had an old wooden half barrel sitting in front of the counter and it was full of old antique swords, daggers and bayonets for sale.
There was one bayonet in that barrel that I wanted sooooo bad and one of the owner guys knew it.
One day while we was there “shopping”, he says to me if I give him $5, he will sell the bayonet to me. Well being around 8 or 9, $5 might as well been a million dollars…cause there was no way I could get that much money that far away from Christmas and my birthday…when I might get that much in a card from Grandma…
I must have dreamed about how I could get that much and buy that bayonet about a gazillion times. I talked about getting it endlessly…so much so that my buddies threatened to beat me up if I didn’t shut up about it.
Then it happened!
While riding our bikes around the self service car wash on the other side of town (another one of our favorite hang outs), I found a folded up $5 bill on the ground by the changer!
I was ecstatic…we couldn’t pedal fast enough to get across town to Antique Arms!
As soon as we got there, we dropped our bicycles and blew thru the front door. I ran over to that barrel and grabbed my prize possession…that old bayonet!
The owner guy was chuckling as I handed him the $5.
He rang up the charge and then said…“I need another 23 cents!”
I quickly began to argue with him reminding him he SAID FIVE DOLLARS for it…then he says, “Yeah for the bayonet…but you have to pay Uncle Sam!”
I was heartbroken…I knew I didn’t have any other money and neither of my buddies did either…they still owed me money for candy bars I loaned them money for…
After letting me sulk for what seemed like eternity (but was probably only 5 minutes)…the owner guys says, “Tell you what. I’ll sell you the bayonet now and you bring me the tax the next time you come in!”
Then he says for me to dig down in the barrel and get a scabbard that fits it. After pulling out several wore out leather and canvas ones…I found a metal one and it fit PERFECT!
I was one happy kid that day…and for months afterwards.
Several years (more like decades) I got that old bayonet out and began looking it over…I realized it had the Nazi Reichsadler eagle stamped in it on the handle butt…the Reichsadler holding a swastika in its claws was Hitlers official national insignia of the Nazi Party during WWII.
After doing further research on it, I found that it was made at the smelter factory in Saarbrücken Germany in 1939 and would have been fitted to a German K98 Mauser.
Turns out that the metal scabbard I grabbed that day actually WENT TO that bayonet and has the same insignia and matching serial numbers under the belt clip hook!
Now here is the really cool part…I STILL HAVE IT…some 50 YEARS LATER!
And that $5.23 investment (Yes I took the owner the remaining 23 cents for tax)…is now worth about $150!
And here it is!