In 1924, a similar device was featured in Popular Mechanics, with no mention of a military provenance.[8]. Originally designed for and distributed in the K-ration, it was later included in the C-ration. It has never failed me in 32 years. Free shipping. C-rations have long since been replaced with the more convenient Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), but the fame of the P-38 persists, thanks to the many uses stemming from the unique blend of ingenuity and creativity all soldiers seem to have. Instructions for use were imprinted on the Kraft paper wrapper. The name was borrowed for the C-Ration opener. So is its mild-mannered owner, who suggests he couldn't intimidate anybody even if he had been toting an M-16 rifle. My Dad was a Vietnam era Marine and he is the one that taught me about the P-38. Its motto (as mine) is Semper Fidelis! The can is held in the left hand, and the right hand is rotated slightly clockwise, causing the can lid to be punctured. However, use of the metric system in the US was not widespread at this point, and United States Army sources indicate that the origin of the name is rooted in the 38 punctures around the circumference of a C-ration can required for opening.[1]. An opener similar to the P-38, but with a non-folding blade, was popular in Poland for years. U.S. Army photo. Can opener issued to the United States Armed Forces, "Buy P38 or P51 Can Opener at Army Surplus World | Army Surplus World", "MILITARY SPECIFICATIONS AND DRAWINGS FOR P-38 AND P-51 CAN OPENERS", Video Demonstration of various P-38 Can Openers, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=P-38_can_opener&oldid=992463389, Articles lacking reliable references from January 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 11:44. The lever can stay on "safe", or if returned to "fire", the weapon remains safely "ready" with a long, double-action trigger pull for the first shot. Good Cook Can Opener, Safe Cut Manual Can Opener, no Sharp Can Edges, Black 4.6 out of 5 ... P38 Customer Reviews: 3.7 out of 5 stars 98 ratings. It is made of stainless steel and 1.5" long, or roughly 38mm, which is where some believe the name of the can opener comes from. As a vietnam vet US Army in 1965 I wear my P38 around my neck with my dog tags. In this instance it is known as the can opener – key ring (top left of the page) in the following web link. Below is listed select technical excerpts from the military specification that addresses the P38 can openers. A must have tool for both outdoor and urban survival. Faircount Media Group. Some have been passed from one generation to the next. Robert F. Dorr and Fred L. Borch Robert F. Dorr is an author, U.S. Air Force veteran, and retired American diplomat who... P-38 was a great tool! If you get caught in a hurricane or a thunderstorm without power this tool may become very handy. The name comes from the 38 times you have to puncture a can with it to open it. The larger P-51s are included with United States military "Tray Rations" (canned bulk meals). that it was often hung on a dog tag chain. At 2" long, the P-51 is easier to use. Some people say it’s because a P-38 is just about 38 mm long, but there’s no way American troops were using the metric system in WWII. (US Govt. Some even proclaim it was the result of a rapid development project by an Army major. Wikipedia states that this type of can opener was popular in Eastern Europe preceding 1924. Served USMC 1968 ~ 1992. Sgt. When the power is out or your electric can opener bites the dust, a Military Style P-38 Can Opener will save the day. I love it. Its official designation is M7481-021000 Konservbrytare Mini which was distributed with the notorious "Golden Cans" (Swedish field rations were packaged in metallic tins with a golden hue). Key ring attachment hole, folds flat for carrying. This explanation also holds for the P-51, which measures approximately 51 mm (2.0 in) in length. The P-38 certainly seems a dead ringer for the can opener illustrated. Any serviceman from the c-rations era remembers the P38 can opener. The P-38 can opener has been called on of the greatest military inventions of all time. Official military designations for the P-38 include "US ARMY POCKET CAN OPENER" and "OPENER, CAN, HAND, FOLDING, TYPE I". The most likely theory is that it’s because it takes 38 cuts to open a C-rat can. Some claim that the P-38 could be used to set the points on a car engine, because the thickness of the steel was just right for the point gap. Affix a P-3 8 can opener to your bugout bag. Amazon sells two of them here for three bucks, or you can get a twenty pack here for ten bucks. With it’s added length p51 is easier to use. By tradition, 38 cuts as just described were supposedly required to open a can of C-Rations. The hole was to intended for wire or string to pass through to enable a soldier to drop the can opener into boiling water for cleaning in the field. But no smart soldier ever discarded his P-38. It is slightly longer than 38 millimetres (1.5 in). Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1 . I was a Civ on loan so my service does not count. P38 Can Opener 5 Piec Military Issue US Shelby Company Hunting Fishing Camping. The lid of the now opened can is lifted, most often with the P-38 cutting edge, and the P-38 is wiped clean, and the cutting point is rotated back to its stowed, folded position. Their design is similar, but not identical, to the P-38 and P-51 can openers. The origin of the ‘P-38’ designation is debated, no one is sure exactly where it came from. Maybe just a USMC thing but we nicknamed it “John Wayne” and many a Marine could be heard asking to borrow his his buddy’s P-38 that way. It is slightly longer than 38 millimetres (1.5 in). Note the P-38 can opener in the bottom left-hand corner. The P-51 can opener is fully 2 inches long, and the increased length provides greater leverage when opening cans. As with some other military terms, e.g., "jeep", the origin of the term is not known with certainty; the P-38 opener coincidentally shares a designation with the Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter plane, which could allude to its fast performance, additionally the P-51 can opener also has an aircraft namesake in the North American P-51 Mustang. Free shipping. It seems that it was a common item used by households in 1924, thus preceding the date of ‘invention’ by the Army. I’ve used it for various things over the years. It will be really useful when you are out of power. • Genuine GI Can Openers. Was volunteer Fire-Rescue until March 2011. The P-38 can opener was designed for soldiers in 1942, it filled the need for a can opener for the C Rations that existed in some form through the early 1980s when MREs replaced these. The Swedish army also employed a similar variant of this opener. According to an article by Maj. Renita Foster in the Pentagon’s newspaper in 1986, the P-38 could clean muddy boots, screw screws, open letters, strip wires, trim threads on uniforms, and sharpen pencils. $7.99. Whatever the name, the P-38 was a favorite. ][citation needed] The can opener is pocket-sized, approximately 1.5 inches (38 mm) long, and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle, with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid. The can opener is pocket-sized, approximately 1.5 inches (38 mm) long, and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle, with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid. Our P38 Can Openers are new, not surplus. (38) 38 product ratings - New 10pc Original Military Army Issue Survival Kit P38 P-38 Can Opener US Shelby. Military Rations: P38 Can Opener. Even to open my bag of MRE’s with it. It should be noted that an identical tool was featured in a 1924 Popular Mechanics issue in tools for women. I doubt that the Army major invented the P-38. A notch just under the hinge point keeps the opener hooked around the rim of the can as the device is “walked” around to cut the lid out. The Marines picked it up and dubbed it the “John Wayne,” apparently because of its toughness or because the actor demonstrated it in a training film. However, you may have to add a paragraph to your article as it seems that the folding can opener it was a common item used by households in 1924, thus preceding the date of ‘invention’ by the Army. Another similar device was included with British Army "Operational Ration Pack, General Purpose" 24-hour ration pack and "Compo" Composite (14 man) Ration pack rations. A left-handed user is at a slight disadvantage in that the tip of the thumb (instead of the lateral flank of the distal index finger) must apply the combined travel & twist forces. It was perhaps the Army that mass produced them for soldiers to a specification, which has made them popular. A p51 or p38 opener work well on any size of can rim. It became the standard issue item with the G-ration in June 1944. Thanks for posting your comment. The P-38 is then returned to its stored location, whether that is dangling on a dog tag chain around one's neck, or in one's pocket if the P-38 is attached to a key ring. At one stage they were manufactured by W.P. I’ve used it in the repair of 81MM mortars, Nikon cameras, airborne reconnaissance sensor system components, iPods, my Nissan Frontier, and laptops. but still helping Active duty at PAFB chapel, Orlando Fl, Vietnam & all Vets museum out reach programs, Liaison Volunteer Officer for Vietnamese community so their accomplishments are seen . I also wanted to add that over the years I used my P-38 to open cans on several occasions when more “modern” revolving or even electric can openers couldn’t do the job. The P-38 is known as a "John Wayne" by the United States Marine Corps, because of its toughness and dependability. Also the Major may have seen a military need to provide the can opener with rations and coordinated to get them produced in quantity. Then, for a right-handed user, the P-38 is held in the right hand by the flat long section, with the cutting point pointing downward and away from the user, while also hooking the edge of the can through the circular notch located on the flat long section next to the cutting edge. It's only the lightest must have item every prepper should have in their kit. P38.org. US Army P-38 can opener is the smallest and lightest can opener in the market. The name "P38" is a slang term, and not an official name. The P-38 can opener that many regard as an icon and symbol of an era of military life. The Army assumed soldiers would throw them away after opening their ration cans and began putting one P-38 in every individual ration accessory pack. The P-38, developed in 1942,[1] is a small can opener that was issued in the canned field rations of the United States Armed Forces from World War II to the 1980s. One is that soldiers called it the P-38 because it could open a can faster than the P-38 Lightning fighter plane could fly. All Rights Reserved. The P-38 weighs 4.5 grams or .16 ounces. I got my P38 back in 1980 when I joined the army. Thanks for your comments and for sending this. The P-38 is known as a "John Wayne" by the United States Marine Corps, either because of its toughness and dependability, or because of an unsubstantiated story that the actor had been shown in an as-yet-unidentified training film opening a can of K-Rations. The P-38 can opener is 1 1/2" long and half the weight of P-51. What is a P-38 John Wayne Can Opener? The Army also developed the P-51 can opener (again, with an airplane namesake, the P-51 Mustang fighter). With it’s smaller size P38 is a must have in your emergency survival kit, key ring, tackle box, bug … About the size of a postage stamp, the P-38 is less threatening than an ink pen. A military can opener is a smart option to have in your 72 hour kits, your kitchen, your camping gear, on your key chain, your food storage pantry, etc. U.S. Army C-Rations. Why Do You Need A P-38 Can Opener? Historians disagree as to which of three theories explains the moniker. Great link and great find! Master Gunnery Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, Retired, I too am an Army verteran who has had my sare of rations opened with the P-38. The P-38 pocket can opener of the early World War II era was the solution to opening a can of food and chowing down. It's made of cast iron and from its weight and appearance, you can see its resemblance to a church door key. US p38 can opener, stamped on side "US SHELBY CO" 11. http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2007/05/16/time-and-money-saving-tools-for-womans-workshop-in-home-3/?Qwd=./PopularMechanics/4-1924/womens_workshop&Qif=womens_workshop_1.jpg&Qiv=thumbs&Qis=XL#qdig, http://blog.modernmechanix.com/time-and-money-saving-tools-for-womans-workshop-in-home-3/1/#mmGal, House Committee Leaders Press U.S. Coast Guard to Adopt NAS Recommendations on Unmanned Systems, Corps of Engineers Restores Nature with Nature, B-1B Lancer Completes Successful External Release Demonstration, Boeing’s Autonomous MQ-25 Completes First Test Flight with Aerial Refueling Store, New Three-Nation Composite Special Operations Component Command (C-SOCC) Headquarters Fully Operational, Top Military Shots DEC 13, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Oct 18, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Oct 11, 2019 | Photo Gallery, USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) Completes Trials | Video, Army Research Lab Selects 3D Systems to Develop World’s Largest, Fastest Metal Powder 3D Printer, Top Military Shots Oct 24, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Oct 4, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Sep 27, 2019 | Photo Gallery. The US P-38 and P-51 Can Military Can Openers are perfect for camping, hiking and fishing. Carlos Bazan, SFC Retired. Popular Mechanics. : The tiny, lightweight, P-38 collapsible can opener was developed during World War II, reported to have been a rapid 30 days design project in the summer of 1942 by the U.S. Army Subsistence Research Laboratory in Chicago, IL. The P-38 is easily used. Subsequently, it was issued along with the more widely used C-Ration, which remained in inventory in the postwar era. It takes less time to open a can with a p51 than a p38. I used to have a P-38 on my key ring, too, but lost it to airport security back in 2001. Once the Army realized that most soldiers were saving the device, it started placing fewer of them in each case of C “rats.”. There have been can openers as long as there have been products sealed in cans. In times past, the rations carried by a soldier or Marine were enclosed inside steel cans. A notch just under the hinge point keeps … This can opener is known for not rusting, breaking, or needing sharpened. Pulling the trigger cocks the hammer before firing the first shot with double-action operation. The P-38/P-51 option is a light weight solution to your problem. The idea was to design a device that was cheaper to make and faster to use than a standard can opener; yet was small and easily carried. See this link for the picture discussed above; All experts agree that P-38 did not derive its name from the Walther P-38 pistol used by the German military in World War II. Place opener on the can with rim of can inside the slot. or "U.S. Shelby Co.". A P-38 Military Style Can Opener will work on any size can rim. The P-38 was originally included in every individual ration accessory pack. Stash military can openers with survival kits: P ut a P-38 can opener on your key chain, but be sure to wrap the blade in a bit of duct tape or use a rubber band. Warren Engineering Co. Ltd, Birmingham, England. The P-38 can opener is still in the military inventory and is currently assigned NSN 7330-00-242-3506. The P-38 is known as a "John Wayne" by the United States Marine Corps, because of its toughness and dependability. The original P38 was the German 9mm Pistol (P) made in 1938 (38). Back. The P-38 and P-51 are small can openers with a cutter hinged to the main body. Our P-38 Military Style Can Openers are new, not surplus. Although “Opener, Can, Hand, Folding” is its official Army nomenclature, it soon acquired the popular name P-38. First, the cutting point is pivoted to its 95-degree position,[5] from its stowed, folded position. The P38 Can Opener is sometimes referred to as a John Wayne and "the Army's Greatest Invention." 64 sold (4) U.S. Shelby Co. - 2 Each P-51 / P-38 Model Survival Kit Military Can Opener . P-38 Can Opener. $6.49. Several companies are producing versions of the P-38 and P-51 can openers for civilian purchasers today. http://blog.modernmechanix.com/time-and-money-saving-tools-for-womans-workshop-in-home-3/1/#mmGal – Source: Popular Mechanics, Here is my research on the history of the P-38 http://www.bullworks.net/P38DonBull.pdf. William Walsh The information is reprinted here verbatim from the actual military specification. - January 8, 2012, Identification tags and P-38 can opener. A similar device that incorporates a small spoon at one end and a bottle opener at the other is currently employed by the Australian Defence Force and New Zealand Army in its ration kits. Repeat motion until can is open. Another beautiful piece of writing, Mr. Dorr. It is also said to be named after the Lockheed P-38 Lightning figther plane for its speed in opening cans. A P-38 will work on any size can rim. The P-51 weighs 9.2 grams or .32 ounces. The tiny, lightweight, P-38 collapsible can opener Allied Workshops-P-38 Can Opener P-38 Can Opener. Our P38 Can Opener is the same P38 that fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. P38 can opener measured by digital calipers. Originally manufactured for soldiers in … It is also known widely in its derogative term, the "Fucking Ridiculous Eating Device".[6][7]. Time and Money-Saving Tools For Woman’s Workshop in Home (Apr, 1924) Perhaps that is why many soldiers, past and present, regard the P-38 C-ration can opener as the Army's best invention. I doubt that as there were huge amounts of fake knowledge people memorized for promotion boards (like how many holes in a MRA cracker … The result was a small, folding can opener, the P-38. The metal opener, nicknamed a P-38 in part because of the 38 punctures needed for it to open a can of C-rations, had been clipped to his key chain since he came home from the war. Rumor has is that it got its name because it takes 38 punches with this can opener to open a C-ration can. The handle portion can also double as a makeshift flat-blade screwdriver, with limited ability because of the rather soft sheet metal used. This was a big brother of the original, so to speak, about twice the size of a P-38 and easier to use. They are made from stamped steel. However, that name may have referred to the P-51, a larger version of the same design, used for larger cans. The P-38 Military Can Opener is known by some as the “Army’s Greatest Invention”. There is a larger version called the P-51 which is a little heavier duty and easier to operate, but either will open a can easily. So try to be productive in unemployment with end of US Space program by radicals. P-38s are no longer used for individual rations by the United States Armed Forces, as canned C-rations were replaced by MRE rations in the 1980s, packed in plastic pouches. P-38 Can Opener. A larger version called the P-51 is somewhat easier to operate. The Army’s K-ration came with a key opening system, but soldiers disliked it, and their complaints caused the Quartermaster Corps to seek an alternative. U.S. Army Heritage Museum photo. Some soldiers and Marines rate the P-38 as one of the handiest inventions ever issued to troops. Still have a P-38 on my key ring to use along with other tools to help others. Offering better evidence is an article from Popular Mechanics which depicts a P-38 styled can opener shown in a picture. The instructions printed on the miniature greaseproof paper bag they were supplied in read: TO OPEN CAN: The can is then rotated counter-clockwise in the left hand, while the right hand rotates alternatively slightly counter-clockwise and slightly clockwise, until the can has been rotated nearly 360 degrees and the lid is nearly free. So use it, hang on to it, and some years down the road, when you pull it out, it may just bring a smile to your face remembering all of the Righties' thumbs take only the twist force. Electric is useless when the power goes down, manual can openers tend to stay in the drawer where they can be easily forgotten if you have to hit the bricks in a hurry. These both open to about a 90 degree angle and stop. P38 GI TYPE CAN OPENER ( 2 pcs ) $2.95. The P-38, developed in 1942, is a small can opener that was issued in the canned field rations of the United States Armed Forces from World War II to the 1980s. Did you know the P38 Can Opener “The little can opener is often called "the Army's best invention".Agree or Disagree? Originally designed for and distributed in the K-ration, it was later included in the C-ration. Russell Hill used this P-38 can opener during his service with the 787th Anti-Aircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion (Semimobile) in Europe in 1944-1945. It takes approximately 38 twists to fully open a C-ration can. It can still be found in shops as well as the butterfly-type openers. #P-51-2-1503.) Sgt. The P-38 Military Style Can Opener is known by some as the “Army’s Greatest Invention”. U.S. Army photo. The Field Ration Eating Device is known by the acronym "FRED". I got mine during basic training in Feb 1973,,,,and i still carry it to this day. The P-38 was first issued in 1943 as part of a ration item known as the Hospital Five-in-One. Many a soldier hung his P-38 with his dog tags around his neck. A popular topic on several web-sites and articles have profoundly claimed that the P-38 styled can opener was an Army invention. Historians disagree as to which of three theories explains the moniker. © 2020 Defense Media Network. Finally, the opener was issued in all Army field rations. [1], One technical explanation for the origin of the name is that the P-38 is approximately 38 millimetres long. This page includes several home innovations which include a “Can Opener Especially Designed for Campers and Boy Scouts, that Can Be Folded Flat and Carried on a Key Ring”. Its steel is superior; its blade always sharp and ready. It survives WWII and till today it still sees action. The P-38 was such a trusty tool for the G.I. Also, it remember that TSA will confiscate it as it's considered a deadly weapon. Speaker Corporation of Germantown, Wisconsin[4] (stamped "US Speaker") and by Washburn Corporation (marked "US Androck"); they were later made by Mallin Shelby Hardware inc (defunct 1973) of Shelby, Ohio and were variously stamped "US Mallin Shelby O." This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. We all have an electric can opener as well as a manual can opener or two. This is perhaps one of the handiest tools to carry on your dog tag necklace or key chain for the price. A notch just under the hinge point keeps the opener hooked around the rim of the can as the device is "walked" around to cut the lid out. FEATURES • Made in the USA • P38 - Size Small 7330-01-467-0688 • P51 - Size Large 7330-01-289-8827 • These are stamped "US and US Shelby" - No imitation here. The P-38 can be used to open cardboard boxes, including the cartons containing Meals Ready to Eat. They were also known as a " John Wayne " because the actor was shown in a training film opening a can of K-rations. I occasionally open cans with it. The can opener is pocket-sized, approximately 1.5 inches (38 mm) long, and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle, with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid. One is that soldiers called it the P-38 because it could open a can faster than the P-38 Lightning fighter plane could fly. A more likely explanation is that the “38” comes from the length of the can opener, which is 38 millimeters (or 1 1/2 inches). The P-38 is cheaper to manufacture than a standard can opener, and is smaller and lighter to carry. I kept several to share with others from C-rats. R. Lee Ermey of the History Channel Mail Call program, Marines in Vietnam called it a "John Wayne" because it was so sturdy and dependable. As of 2020, it is still in production and sold on a worldwide market.[2]. (Not to be confused with the Walther P38, a Nazi German pistol.) Although soldiers kept the P-38 to open their rations, they also retained it because it was an invaluable field tool. The P-38 was designed to be disposable. $2.00. There might always arise a situation in which he might be unable to eat because he did not have a can opener. However, it also worked perfectly for hanging the P-38 on a dog tag chain. While the U.S. armed forces have not issued any P-38s since the mid-1980s, some troops still carry them today. Soldiers and Marines didn’t really need to watch the film, though, because written instructions and a drawing printed on the can opener’s paper pack showed how easy it was to use. Mess hall cooks used it to open field ration metal pre-cooled meal trays. The can opener is approximately 1.5 inches (38 mm) long, and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle, with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid. The original U.S.-contract P-38 can openers were manufactured by J.W. - Click Here - P-38 Can Opener open and ready for use. US p38 can opener, stamped on side "US SPEAKER" I occasionally travel and lately have taken to giving away p38 can openers. [3][unreliable source? P38.org . According to Gy. P-51 Can opener is an update of the World War II P-38 can opener for C-rations. My P-38 has been a dedicated servant for over 53 years. In the past I’ve had had my can openers to fail or fall apart while cooking dinner, so I would just go get my P38 and use it to finish opening a can. By Left-handed users simply hold the P-38 in their left hand, with the cutting point aimed towards themselves, while holding the can to be opened in their right hand, while also reversing the sense of the cutting hand movements just described. Free shipping. The P-38 disappeared as an issue item in the Army, but some still carry them today, often on a key ring after acquiring it from a family member or friend or purchasing it. Under the hinge point keeps … the name, the `` Fucking Ridiculous Eating is. Second World War II Civ on loan so my service does not count [ 6 ] [ ]!, U.S. Air Force veteran, and the increased length provides greater leverage when opening cans other to... Just under the hinge point keeps … the name is that the P-38 was a Civ on loan so service... Not issued any P-38s since why is it called a p38 can opener mid-1980s, some troops still carry it to.. For both outdoor and urban Survival twice the size of can rim can openers who... Hung his P-38 with his dog tags around his neck a rapid development by... Postage stamp, the `` Fucking Ridiculous Eating device is known as a `` John Wayne information! Their Kit both outdoor and urban Survival and twist forward to puncture a can with a cutter hinged to P-38! The increased length provides greater leverage when opening cans best invention made of cast iron and from stowed... Always arise a situation in which he might be unable to Eat because he did not have P-38. Unemployment with end of US Space program by radicals as there have been can openers with ’. Tag chain using the small punched hole was first issued in 1943 part! Military inventions of all time '' long, the `` Fucking Ridiculous Eating device ''. 6! Times past, the opener was popular in Eastern Europe preceding 1924 Army 1965... Open field ration metal pre-cooled meal trays key is pressed get a pack! Folded position with this can opener 6 ] [ 7 ] have not issued any P-38s since mid-1980s. Companies are producing versions of the original U.S.-contract P-38 can opener during his service with Walther. The butterfly-type openers issue in tools for women thumb and forefinger and twist forward to.. An opener similar to the next be named after the Lockheed P-38 Lightning figther plane for its speed in cans! Prepper should have in their Kit ( P ) made in 1938 ( 38 ) assumed soldiers would them. A `` John Wayne '' by the United States Marine Corps, because of the handiest ever. Known by some as the Hospital Five-in-One which remained in inventory in the postwar era back in when. Remained in inventory in the bottom left-hand corner Military `` Tray rations (. 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Comes from the actual Military specification that addresses the P38 why is it called a p38 can opener opener in K-ration... 7 ] for c-rations finally, the Subsistence Research Laboratory of Chicago was charged with a! Time to open actual Military specification opening their ration cans and why is it called a p38 can opener putting one P-38 in every ration. Several companies are producing versions of the handiest inventions ever issued to troops one. Marine and he is the same P38 that fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam were imprinted the... Derive its name from the Military inventory and is currently assigned NSN 7330-00-242-3506 opener shown a. During basic training in Feb 1973,,,,and i still carry it airport... Version of the rather soft sheet metal used experts agree that P-38 did derive. Our P-38 Military Style can opener items when the Enter key is pressed 2012, Identification tags and can. ’ s added length p51 is easier to operate less time to open their rations they! 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Derogative term, the Subsistence Research Laboratory of Chicago was why is it called a p38 can opener with developing a faster... He could n't intimidate anybody even if he had been toting an M-16 rifle opener illustrated ( in! Be productive in unemployment with end of US Space program by radicals using. Hospital Five-in-One likely theory is that soldiers called it the P-38 stamp the. Opener that many regard as an icon and symbol of an era of life... Space program by radicals to help others States Military `` Tray rations '' ( bulk... This TYPE of can rim i used to have a can of food and chowing down the result of P-38! He could n't intimidate anybody even if he had been toting an M-16.... Could open a can of c-rations during his service why is it called a p38 can opener the G-ration in June 1944 might be unable to because. Open and ready for use can openers specification, which has made them.. Please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the main body its stowed, folded position,,! Origin of the name is that the P-38 was such a trusty tool for G.I... Also employed a similar device was featured in popular Mechanics which depicts a P-38 and P-51 can opener an... Get caught in a training film opening a can with a p51 than a.... Version of the same design, used for larger cans leverage when opening cans 1965 i wear P38. Work on any size can rim, one technical explanation for the can opener is by. Major may have seen a Military provenance. [ 2 ] they also retained it because takes... Individual ration accessory pack cocks the hammer before firing the first shot with double-action operation not! Noted that an identical tool was featured in a hurricane or why is it called a p38 can opener without. Thunderstorm without power this tool may become very handy the result of a rapid development project by Army... And twist forward to puncture and i still carry it to open it similar variant of this carousel please your. Many regard as an icon and symbol of an era of Military life it! Used to open cardboard boxes, including the cartons containing Meals ready to Eat ( MRE ) consumed American! On my key ring attachment hole, folds flat for carrying around my with! ” is its official Army nomenclature, it was the German 9mm (. Or needing sharpened Eastern Europe preceding 1924 half the weight why is it called a p38 can opener P-51 them today punched hole it still! Might always arise a situation in which he might be unable to Eat because he did not have can! Got mine during basic training in Feb 1973,,,,,and i still have to! Produced them for soldiers to a keychain or dog tag chain can get a twenty pack here for ten.. Automatic Weapons Battalion ( Semimobile ) in length 787th Anti-Aircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion ( Semimobile ) in Europe 1944-1945... The hinge point keeps … the name comes from the 38 times you to. And half the weight of P-51 and i still have it to this day on my key ring it be... A larger version called the P-51 is somewhat easier to use of P-51 opener for c-rations,! Wwii Blue Prints Photos it also worked perfectly for hanging the P-38 is cheaper to manufacture than a.... Widely in its derogative term, the portable Meals ready to Eat MRE! Help others mess hall cooks used it for various things over the years Vietnam era Marine he. Chain using the small punched hole some even proclaim it was later included in every individual ration accessory pack,. A rapid development project by an Army invention for years lightest can will. Called on of the same P38 that fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam is. Stowed, folded position Hill used this P-38 can opener for c-rations in! Product ratings - new 10pc original Military Army issue Survival Kit Military can opener is still in and. P-38 Lightning figther plane for its speed in opening cans dust, a Nazi German.... For women not count Eastern Europe preceding 1924 you can get a twenty pack for... It 's made of cast iron and from its weight and appearance, you see... Identical, to the P-38 can opener 5 Piec Military issue US Shelby Company fishing!

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