MY web-fu isn't working out that well.....I just picked up a .50 BMG cleaning rod at a local thrift store. It is apparently USGI, has a handle, and 4 other sections, one being milled down with a slot for a patch. The end piece also has threads for probably a brush or jag.  (There was no pouch or other related cleaning items.)

  My question is, I am trying to figure out its age. One guy is selling one identical to it as an "early WW2" since it has an aluminum handle, and says they switched over to steel handles due to all the aluminum being used for airplanes.  This particular one has a recess in the handle with  "MINNKOTA CO" on one side and  B147612AB-5.- on the other side. 

Then another guy on another website has the exact same thing and says his is Korean war era.   I read where a solid aluminum handle without the recesses in the handles are Viet Nam and later.    So, there are evidently three variations- the first with a aluminum handle with the recesses, the second with a steel handle, and thirdly back to a solid aluminum handle. 

  I kinda pride myself in having enough contacts in the militaria clan to figure this type of problem out.....but apparently I'm not as hooked up as I thought.   Anyone here got the low down?

 

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