This one's going to require a lengthy disclaimer, so sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the read.
So, I ordered these as "Russial Shovels" from a supplier in Europe. These people are very honest and good at selling actual military surplus items, and separating reproductions. So, when these arrived, I was a bit confused. From research and experience, I know that the standard MPL-50 Entrenching tool is exactly a half-meter in overall length to be used as a field measuring tool as well as an E-Tool. Well, these handles are longer, bringing the overall length to 24 1/2 inches, or 62Cm...So what exactly do we have here then?
After I posted a video showcasing the new inventory we got a while back, I included these in the end. I asked if anyone knew what they were, as the heads appeared to be standard MPL 50 heads, but the handles were brand new and longer. So, there are a couple of theories on these puppies...
Theory 1: The heads were sitting in a warehouse and forgotten about until after the Cold War ended. Someone discovered them and they were fitted with new-made longer handles to be used in vehicles.
Theory 2: These are reproductions (though I disagree with this assessment as the heads appear to be authentic).
Theory 3: My theory. These are original heads, with longer handles that were either intended for a special purpose, or to be sold on the surplus market.
Any way you look at it, these are definitely fantastic E-tools. Being an ogre myself, the extra handle length really makes these a breeze to use, and I kept one to use in my jeep. The heads are not sharp, so if you want a chopping tool you'll have to sharpen an edge. Because I don't know really what these are, and there have been no straight answers, we'll just classify this as a really cool item that might be super rare or just something that's useful with some neat history.
Condition: These appear to be un-issued, but that being said, they do have slight wear from storage and being moved around and shipped halfway across the world. Dates will vary.