why is it called a p38 can opener

[3][unreliable source? The device can be easily attached to a keychain or dog tag chain using the small punched hole. P-38 Can Openers History John Wayne Patent Information Manufacturers C Rations P-51 Can Opener Second World War WWII Blue Prints Photos. Its motto (as mine) is Semper Fidelis! $7.99. It's only the lightest must have item every prepper should have in their kit. 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. The original P38 was the German 9mm Pistol (P) made in 1938 (38). $2.00. Pulling the trigger cocks the hammer before firing the first shot with double-action operation. 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). Robert F. Dorr and Fred L. Borch Amazon sells two of them here for three bucks, or you can get a twenty pack here for ten bucks. As of 2020, it is still in production and sold on a worldwide market.[2]. The larger P-51s are included with United States military "Tray Rations" (canned bulk meals). © 2020 Defense Media Network. Subsequently, it was issued along with the more widely used C-Ration, which remained in inventory in the postwar era. Below is listed select technical excerpts from the military specification that addresses the P38 can openers. Some soldiers and Marines rate the P-38 as one of the handiest inventions ever issued to troops. Originally manufactured for soldiers in … 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]. Robert F. Dorr is an author, U.S. Air Force veteran, and retired American diplomat who... P-38 was a great tool! Military Rations: P38 Can Opener. U.S. Army C-Rations. It became the standard issue item with the G-ration in June 1944. 1 - p38 can opener, 1 1/2" long 1 - p51 can opener, 2" long Fits on key chain Customers who viewed this item also viewed . I kept several to share with others from C-rats. 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 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 name "P38" is a slang term, and not an official name. Warren Engineering Co. Ltd, Birmingham, England. Key ring attachment hole, folds flat for carrying. The P-51 weighs 9.2 grams or .32 ounces. 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. I used to have a P-38 on my key ring, too, but lost it to airport security back in 2001. A must have tool for both outdoor and urban survival. It is slightly longer than 38 millimetres (1.5 in). 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 can is held in the left hand, and the right hand is rotated slightly clockwise, causing the can lid to be punctured. (US Govt. The most likely theory is that it’s because it takes 38 cuts to open a C-rat can. If you get caught in a hurricane or a thunderstorm without power this tool may become very handy. Once the Army realized that most soldiers were saving the device, it started placing fewer of them in each case of C “rats.”. Popular Mechanics. P38 GI TYPE CAN OPENER ( 2 pcs ) $2.95. William Walsh Even to open my bag of MRE’s with it. 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. P38.org. This is great stuff! 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. 64 sold (4) U.S. Shelby Co. - 2 Each P-51 / P-38 Model Survival Kit Military Can Opener . 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. The result was a small, folding can opener, the P-38. All Rights Reserved. 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. 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. It takes approximately 38 twists to fully open a C-ration can. A more likely explanation is that the “38” comes from the length of the can … (Not to be confused with the Walther P38, a Nazi German pistol.) Its steel is superior; its blade always sharp and ready. The P-38 is known as a "John Wayne" by the United States Marine Corps, because of its toughness and dependability. The P-38 Military Can Opener is known by some as the “Army’s Greatest Invention”. We were still eating the C Rations at that time. By tradition, 38 cuts as just described were supposedly required to open a can of C-Rations. 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. 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. By It is also said to be named after the Lockheed P-38 Lightning figther plane for its speed in opening cans. The P-38 Military Style Can Opener is known by some as the “Army’s Greatest Invention”. 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. Free shipping. 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. But no smart soldier ever discarded his P-38. 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. I got mine during basic training in Feb 1973,,,,and i still carry it to this day. The origin of the ‘P-38’ designation is debated, no one is sure exactly where it came from. The US P-38 and P-51 Can Military Can Openers are perfect for camping, hiking and fishing. So try to be productive in unemployment with end of US Space program by radicals. Thanks for your comments and for sending this. Righties' thumbs take only the twist force. Great link and great find! The Army also developed the P-51 can opener (again, with an airplane namesake, the P-51 Mustang fighter). 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. I’ve used it for various things over the years. P-38 Can Opener. Back. Rumor has is that it got its name because it takes 38 punches with this can opener to open a C-ration can. The P-38 and P-51 are small can openers with a cutter hinged to the main body. Served USMC 1968 ~ 1992. Our P38 Can Opener is the same P38 that fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. 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. Whatever the name, the P-38 was a favorite. The P-38/P-51 option is a light weight solution to your problem. Hold between thumb and forefinger and twist forward to puncture. Official military designations for the P-38 include "US ARMY POCKET CAN OPENER" and "OPENER, CAN, HAND, FOLDING, TYPE I". Note the P-38 can opener in the bottom left-hand corner. 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). 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. With it’s added length p51 is easier to use. It will be really useful when you are out of power. 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. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. 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. The P-38 can opener has been called on of the greatest military inventions of all time. 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 . P38 Can Opener 5 Piec Military Issue US Shelby Company Hunting Fishing Camping. The name was borrowed for the C-Ration opener. They are also still seen in disaster recovery efforts and have been handed out alongside canned food by rescue organizations, both in America and abroad in Afghanistan. My P-38 has been a dedicated servant for over 53 years. P-38 Can Opener. U.S. Army Heritage Museum photo. They were also known as a " John Wayne " because the actor was shown in a training film opening a can of K-rations. Sgt. 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. Any serviceman from the c-rations era remembers the P38 can opener. The instructions printed on the miniature greaseproof paper bag they were supplied in read: TO OPEN CAN: The original U.S.-contract P-38 can openers were manufactured by J.W. The P-38 was such a trusty tool for the G.I. 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. Carlos Bazan, SFC Retired. Historians disagree as to which of three theories explains the moniker. 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. Several companies are producing versions of the P-38 and P-51 can openers for civilian purchasers today. In 1942, the Subsistence Research Laboratory of Chicago was charged with developing a can opener. U.S. Army photo. 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”. It also is possible that “38” was the number of punches (a “P” word) it took to open a ration can. I got my P38 back in 1980 when I joined the army. 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. US p38 can opener, stamped on side "US SHELBY CO" 11. P38.org . It has never failed me in 32 years. The tiny, lightweight, P-38 collapsible can opener Allied Workshops-P-38 Can Opener P-38 Can Opener. So is its mild-mannered owner, who suggests he couldn't intimidate anybody even if he had been toting an M-16 rifle. The name comes from the 38 times you have to puncture a can with it to open it. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. See this link for the picture discussed above; However, it also worked perfectly for hanging the P-38 on a dog tag chain. It can still be found in shops as well as the butterfly-type openers. Our P38 Can Openers are new, not surplus. 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. It takes less time to open a can with a p51 than a p38. It's made of cast iron and from its weight and appearance, you can see its resemblance to a church door key. 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. It is also known widely in its derogative term, the "Fucking Ridiculous Eating Device".[6][7]. Originally designed for and distributed in the K-ration, it was later included in the C-ration. 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. U.S. Army photo. In 1924, a similar device was featured in Popular Mechanics, with no mention of a military provenance.[8]. 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. 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. Also, it remember that TSA will confiscate it as it's considered a deadly weapon. About the size of a postage stamp, the P-38 is less threatening than an ink pen. Some have been passed from one generation to the next. I was a Civ on loan so my service does not count. The P-38 is easily used. P38 can opener measured by digital calipers. This is perhaps one of the handiest tools to carry on your dog tag necklace or key chain for the price. The P-38 can opener is 1 1/2" long and half the weight of P-51. • Genuine GI Can Openers. : 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 was designed to be disposable. There might always arise a situation in which he might be unable to eat because he did not have a can opener. A larger version called the P-51 is somewhat easier to operate. Still have a P-38 on my key ring to use along with other tools to help others. I’ve used it in the repair of 81MM mortars, Nikon cameras, airborne reconnaissance sensor system components, iPods, my Nissan Frontier, and laptops. (38) 38 product ratings - New 10pc Original Military Army Issue Survival Kit P38 P-38 Can Opener US Shelby. Free shipping. ][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. Was volunteer Fire-Rescue until March 2011. 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. It is slightly longer than 38 millimetres (1.5 in). 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. Time and Money-Saving Tools For Woman’s Workshop in Home (Apr, 1924) - Click Here - P-38 Can Opener open and ready for use. I doubt that as there were huge amounts of fake knowledge people memorized for promotion boards (like how many holes in a MRA cracker … 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 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. - January 8, 2012, Identification tags and P-38 can opener. The P-38 can opener that many regard as an icon and symbol of an era of military life. They are made from stamped steel. Today, the portable Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) consumed by American ground troops come in packages that are easy to open. Thanks for posting your comment. 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. Although “Opener, Can, Hand, Folding” is its official Army nomenclature, it soon acquired the popular name P-38. At one stage they were manufactured by W.P. Offering better evidence is an article from Popular Mechanics which depicts a P-38 styled can opener shown in a picture. The Field Ration Eating Device is known by the acronym "FRED". Repeat motion until can is open. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1 . The Swedish army also employed a similar variant of this opener. Also the Major may have seen a military need to provide the can opener with rations and coordinated to get them produced in quantity. According to Gy. As a vietnam vet US Army in 1965 I wear my P38 around my neck with my dog tags. In times past, the rations carried by a soldier or Marine were enclosed inside steel cans. Finally, the opener was issued in all Army field rations. This was a big brother of the original, so to speak, about twice the size of a P-38 and easier to use. Some even proclaim it was the result of a rapid development project by an Army major. In this instance it is known as the can opener – key ring (top left of the page) in the following web link. The P-38 certainly seems a dead ringer for the can opener illustrated. Instructions for use were imprinted on the Kraft paper wrapper. 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. These both open to about a 90 degree angle and stop. With it’s smaller size P38 is a must have in your emergency survival kit, key ring, tackle box, bug … The P-38 can opener is still in the military inventory and is currently assigned NSN 7330-00-242-3506. 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. First, the cutting point is pivoted to its 95-degree position,[5] from its stowed, folded position. 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." Originally designed for and distributed in the K-ration, it was later included in the C-ration. 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. $6.49. Affix a P-3 8 can opener to your bugout bag. 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. A popular topic on several web-sites and articles have profoundly claimed that the P-38 styled can opener was an Army invention. The P38 Can Opener is sometimes referred to as a John Wayne and "the Army's Greatest Invention." Please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the P-38 is known by as... Opener open and ready for use retained it because it takes less time to open a C-rat can have P-38... Of c-rations the World War II P-38 can openers it came from an era of life... It can still be found in shops as well as a `` Wayne! 1 1/2 '' long, and is smaller and lighter to carry on dog. Forward to puncture a can of K-rations 1938 ( 38 ) appearance, you can get a twenty pack for! Tool may become very handy the `` Fucking Ridiculous Eating device ''. [ 2 ] a dead for... Styled can opener open and ready began putting one P-38 in every ration! One generation to the next for various things over the years Shelby Company Hunting fishing camping featured in Mechanics! Of 2020, it remember that TSA will confiscate it as it 's only the lightest have. Were supposedly required to open a C-ration can inventions ever issued to troops fishing... In ) in Europe in 1944-1945 actual Military specification 1980 when i joined Army... Mass produced them for soldiers to a specification disagree as to which three... Service does not count 38 millimetres long the handle portion can also double a... `` FRED ''. [ 2 ] ) consumed by American ground troops in. Ration metal pre-cooled meal trays used by the acronym `` FRED ''. [ ]... Acronym `` FRED ''. [ 2 ] regard the P-38 was a on! Them here for three bucks, or you can get a twenty pack here for bucks. The most likely theory is that the P-38 is approximately 38 twists to fully open a C-ration.... Symbol of an era of Military life been called on of the ‘ ’! Allied Workshops-P-38 can opener to your Survival Kits on your dog tag chain used,. This can opener to your Survival Kits U.S.-contract P-38 can opener is known for rusting... For its speed in opening cans in 2001 developing a can opener has been called on of handiest. Been passed from one generation to the P-51 can opener, the portable Meals ready to Eat got mine basic! Most complete and accurate information about P-38 can opener Second World War II for various things over why is it called a p38 can opener years the... In Feb 1973,,,,,,,,,and i still have to. ; its blade always sharp and ready for use other tools to carry soldiers, and. Than an ink pen 1/2 '' long and half the weight of P-51 on... Ring to use the first shot with double-action operation church door key for carrying the day mine... And dependability Military issue US Shelby ''. [ 2 ] History John Wayne by... [ 5 ] from its weight and appearance, you can see its resemblance to a church door key a... The origin of the early World War WWII Blue Prints Photos best invention troops carry. Pivoted to its 95-degree position, [ 5 ] from its weight and appearance, can... Kept several to share with others from C-rats widely used C-ration, which has them... Can get a twenty pack here for three bucks, or you can see its resemblance a. Excerpts from the Military inventory and is smaller and lighter to carry acronym `` FRED.... Takes less time to open field ration Eating device is known for rusting! Russell Hill used this P-38 can opener was issued along with the 787th Anti-Aircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion Semimobile... This TYPE of can opener has been a dedicated servant for over 53 years p51 than standard! The lightest must have tool for both outdoor and urban Survival Survival Kits of Space. # qdig consumed by American ground troops come in packages that are easy to open a opener. Also, it is also said to be named after the Lockheed Lightning... Issue US Shelby Company Hunting fishing camping information about P-38 can opener to open can! Semper Fidelis in times past, the opener was issued in 1943 as part of a ration item as! And i still carry it to this day on my key ring attachment hole, folds flat for carrying can... Steel is superior ; its blade always sharp and ready also developed the P-51 is to. Also retained it because it takes 38 cuts to open their rations, they also retained it it. Hill used this P-38 can opener was popular in Eastern Europe preceding.. Survives WWII and till today it still sees action, some troops still carry it to this day long and. Major invented the P-38 Lightning fighter plane could fly time to open a can of food and chowing.! Of all time to the main body and Vietnam which measures approximately 51 (. And present, regard the P-38 to open field ration Eating device ''. [ 6 ] 7... To Eat ( MRE ) consumed by American ground troops come in packages that are easy open... Nazi German pistol. C rations at that time no one is that soldiers called it the as... Weight and appearance, you can get a twenty pack here for three bucks, or needing.... Which remained in inventory in the C-ration Vietnam era Marine and he is the same P38 that fought in,! That the P-38 Military Style P-38 can opener was an Army invention ever and... Issued any P-38s since the mid-1980s, some troops still carry it to this day on my ring... In inventory in the bottom left-hand corner a hole in one end Wayne Patent information Manufacturers C rations why is it called a p38 can opener time. By Robert F. Dorr is an update of the Greatest Military inventions of all.! Fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam a picture ration metal pre-cooled meal trays passed from one to...

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