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US Military G.I. Issue P-38 Can Opener (4-in-1 pack)

Price: $5.30

  • Model: P38
  • Weight:25.08g
  • Availability:In Stock
  • Brand:Others


NSN 7330-00-242-3506

This P38 is the classic design from WWII, a greatest tool from the military, coincidentally shares a designation with the P-38 'Lightning' fighter plane, which could allude to its fast performance.   P-38 Can Opener is a key chain sized and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle (and also a screwdriver to the resourceful), with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid.  Can be used for dozens of jobs, can opener, cutting edge, groove cleaner, screw driver, clean finger nails, open seams and many more practical uses.  1.5'' long, quoted price includes 4 P-38 in a pack.

• 1.5" stamped steel tool
• Can be attached to your key ring or dog tag chain
• Ultimate multi-tool - 39 uses for P-38
• Made in USA

About P-38  (extracted from Wiki)
Originally designed for and distributed in the K-ration, it was later included in the C-ration.  During the WWII, Korean and Vietnam Wars when hungry GI's were ready to dive into their delicious meals they used their trusty P-38s to open the cans. No it wasn't the famous WWII fighter plane or a German pistol, it was an amazingly simple little piece of 1-1/2 inch stamped metal that was developed in just 30 days during the Summer of 1942 by the Subsistence Research Laboratory in Chicago.  P-38 is also known as a "John Wayne" by the U.S. 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 can opener is pocket-sized (approximately 1.5 inches, 38mm, in length) and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle (which doubles as a flat-blade screwdriver), with a small, hinged metal tooth that folds out to pierce the can lid.  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.  P-38s are no longer used for individual rations by the United States Armed Forces, as canned C-rations were replaced by uncanned MREs in the 1980s.  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 (also known by the acronym "FRED").

This handy tool is easily used. First, the cutting point is pivoted to its 95-degree position, from its stowed, folded position. 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 back toward 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. The can is held in the left hand, and the right hand is rotated slightly clockwise, causing the can lid to be punctured. The can is then rotated counter clockwise in the left hand, while the right hand rotates alternatively slightly counterclockwise and slightly clockwise, until the can has been rotated nearly 360 degrees and the lid is nearly free. The lid of the now opened can is lifted, the cutting point is rotated back to its stowed, folded position; then, it is returned to its stored location. Left handed users simply hold it in their left hand, with the cutting point aimed away from themselves, while holding the can to be opened in their right hand, while also reversing the sense of the cutting hand movements just described.   By tradition, 38 cuts as just described were supposedly required to open a can of K-Rations.

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