Lightning DOES sometimes strike twice in the same place!!!

Discussion in 'MSR - Mountain Safety Research' started by Doc Mark, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

    Dec 12, 2004
    Greetings, All,

    Once upon a time, there was a very nice fellow named Big Jim, @Jim Henderson. Big Jim is a Stovie, and though he loves his Coleman goodies, he's open to other things, too.

    One day, Big Jim was out and about, just enjoying the day, when he saw a very small Military Surplus store ahead. He had been in said store before, but not for a long time, so, Big Jim decided to stop and look around, to see what might pique his interest.

    After several passes through the little stove, Jim was getting ready to leave, when, he decided to ask the Owner if he had any stoves for sale. The owner asked, "Stoves, for what"? Big Jim replied, "for camping, and cooking". The owner thought for a few seconds, and then walked over to a corner of the store, Big Jim following close behind. After rummaging around with some clothing, and moving a stack of Military shovels, the owner reached in, and pulled out a bag......

    For those who saw the "teaser" thread over in the Stove Forum, here's what comes next. First and foremost, @snwcmpr is on the right track with his guesses as to what's inside the sack above!! Well done, Ken!!

    The stove that Big Jim found, in our Fairy Tale, IS one of the USMC Small Unit MSR X-GK EX Military stoves!!

    Now, some of you may wonder why I am posting photos of this stove, and Big Jim is not. Well, after he called me, and told me of his excellent find, I asked if he would share the location of the small store where he found it, and he kindly did so. I drove down the next day, for an eye exam in Los Angeles, and on the way home, stopped by the store to see if I could find another of these neat kits!

    My experience there was very similar to Big Jim's. After several passes around the store, I asked if the seller had any stoves, Military, or otherwise. He went into a store room, and came out with a NIB Coleman propane stove. After I told him that I was not really interested in propane, but rather liquid fueled stoves, he basically did the same thing as he did with Big Jim, only he went to another area, where he had clothing, and piles of ropes. After digging around under the ropes, he removed yet another of these wonderful kits, and I bought it, straight away! I also asked him if he had any more of these, as I had friends who would be interested in them. Alas, Big Jim's, and mine, were the last of the stash he had for sale!! More on exactly how he came to have any of these, a bit later. In any case, you are seeing my stove, which is identical to Big Jim's!

    Here are more shots of what's inside this bag, for those who haven't seen one of these before. I love the water-resistant bag in which the stove and parts are kept!



    And, now, the contents:


    I have all of the pumps that MSR have ever offered, and of these, only three are my favorites. Of course, the first version, square-knob, white pump is special, because, well.... it was the first commercial pump that MSR sold! The third version of the yellow pump is, IMHO, the strongest and safest of the yellow MSR pumps, and once it's rebuilt, I believe it is a strong and reliable pump. And, the most recent MSR pump, is, without doubt, the strongest and safest pump that they have ever offered! This is the pump that's shown here.



    Please note this interesting seal, which I've not seen on any other MSR pump offering. I would imagine that it helps keep the dirt and detritus out of the pump, and that it's sort of a "keeper", too. However, I would be interested to learn whether this feature was actually used, or if it was soon discarded, or lost.


    Another feature that has not been seen on any other MSR stove, except this USMC version of the EX, is this new type of simmering plate. Though I've not used one, I have heard that they do work, after a fashion. I wonder if MSR will begin including them with the regular X-GK EX at some time in the future, or if they will offer it as an available option for sale?


    And, of course, here are some photos of the excellent, top-of-the-line X-GK EX MSR stove!! I have loved this family of stoves, ever since I got my first X-GK, decades ago!! They are reliable in the extreme, and can burn many types of fuels, with little problem. The X-GK EX is, in my opinion, the best of them all!! It folds down to a small, easy to pack size. It is easy to work on in the field. The regular X-GK EX burns many different fuels, though this version is supposed to be for only JP8, and diesel. It is robust. It is powerful. And, with proper techniques, it can simmer, too. IF I had to choose just two stoves, the MSR X-GK EX would be one of them!!





    Here, you can see the simmering plate, insitu. I'm not sure I'll actually fire this stove, as I already have three other X-GK EX stoves, and this one is different enough that I will have to give careful consideration as to whether to use it, or keep it unfired! (Oh, I can hear the moans, disparaging comments, and yowls, already!!!) ;);) :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


    This stove also comes with it's rebuild kit, packed, and ready for the field.


    From the experiences of others who own and use this Military stove, the "XJ" jet is to be used when burner kerosene, or Coleman Fuel. I would only burn diesel in an extreme emergency, myself, as that is a nasty, noxious, and fouling fuel, in my experience!!


    Of course, this kit comes with complete stove and pump instructions.


    Hey, I was in the CA National Guard!! Does that qualify me to use this stove?? Yeah, I think so!! ;) :D/ O:)


    And, here's the "official" Military label found on the bag. Note the price that the seller was asking!


    In case your eyes are not that good, here's that price, again!! (I know.... "salt in the wound", and all that!!) ;):D/:lol::lol:


    Up above, I mentioned that I would relate just how the seller got hold of these stoves, and also some other USMC stuff. I asked him that very question, and he told me to look at a photo that was taped to the customer side of his cash register. That photo was of a young US Marine, looking quite smart in his dress uniform. The seller told me that this young man had worked for him, in years past, and that he had decided to join the Marines, which he did. He was, in addition to being a Rifleman, a cook. As his time passed, he began offering his "Top Sargent" some special comestibles, at chow time. It was much appreciated by this fellow, and as time passed, "Top" would bring in things to pass along to his "personal" cook, including regular new USMC boots, in the cook's size. He also brought in a case of the MSR USMC stoves, too! Though the young Marine had no particular use for the boots, and stoves, he accepted them, so as not to offend his "Top". Once he did his time in the Marines, the young man returned to his old place of employment, and offered his former Boss the boots, and the stoves, which were, of course, accepted, happily!! The store owner paid next to nothing for all his ill-gotten goods, and his price of $79.99 shows just how LITTLE he paid!! I would guess he paid around $10-$20 for each of the stoves, and so was making a tidy profit. Of course, Big Jim, and Ol' Doc, were both giddy to each get one of these kits for such a small price, especially since they go for far more than that, usually on "the bay", and in other places where you might find them!!

    So, thanks to the kindness of Big Jim, and for some interesting happenstance, otherwise, he and I have proved that, yes, "Lightning DOES sometimes strike twice in the same place"!!! And, for those who came to this thread via my teaser post in the Stove forum, "NOW, you know..... the REST of the story"!!! Thanks, again, Jim, and talk to you more about these stoves soon, when we meet up!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
  2. Robert Bruce

    Robert Bruce SotM Winner Subscriber

    Jul 22, 2007
    Springrange NSW Australia
    Hay Doc, that is a great find, and Big Jim. I do not have any MSR stove although I have restored one for a good friend, it was a long time ago, I think it ran on kero. The pump was the main problem, getting it to work, I now know from the forum it was probably one of the dodgy ones. The owner passed away a fiew years ago and I see his family a bit, I should see about that stove at least to caution about the pump. His son now has it I think.
  3. Jim Henderson

    Feb 9, 2005
    Good news, there is another.

    In preparation for CASG, I went by that store to see if they had a few odds and ends I might use for CASG.

    They just happened to have another NEW USMC MSR/XGK on the back counter. The bag is open but still appears new. The owner said he maybe has TWO of these stoves still in stock.

    The price is still $79.99 which is WAAAAY Less than this stove on eBay, even used.

    For someone in the San Bernardino Calif area this may be well worth the trip in to that store.

    Excellent write up by Doc Mark. I am glad you did it since all I might have done is take pictures and make a few uninformative comments since I have never owned a MSR product and know only what little I have read about them, mostly by Mark.

    So Thanks for the write up and there is still a chance for one or two others to get this stove for less than the usual $200+ price I have been seeing.

    From my PT to doc, here is the pertinent info...

    Uniform & Army Surplus

    Military Surplu
    • Address: 17741 Foothill Blvd, Fontana, CA 92335
    • Phone: (909) 357-2455
    • Website:
    They are perhaps the tiniest surplus store I have visited. Mostly uniforms and only a little equipment. Most equipment is all jumbled up and hard to pick thru. But I would suspect some buried treasure in there somewhere. Mine has certainly come as a shock. I was just looking for another military stove to play with. Corner of Foothill and Alder between Cedar and Sierra.

    Good Luck,

    Jim H.
  4. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

    Dec 12, 2004
    Hey, Big Jim, @Jim Henderson ,

    WOW!! That's outstanding news!! Somebody else is going to get lucky, I'm thinking!! Very unbeatable deal, IMHO!! Thank you, Jim, for your very kind words, and again, for sharing your great find with me, and not other CCS members!! Bring yours to the CASG #11, if you want to play with it!! See you soon, and God Bless!!

  5. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

    Dec 12, 2004

    Yesterday, I had errands down the mountain, and afterwards, I stopped by and bought another of those USMC sets..... not for me, but for a friend who had interest in them!! The seller had opened by bags, on the two he had left, but everything was inside, as I checked both sets out, to be sure. So, unless someone ventured down there today, there is still ONE set left, for any interested parties! You can't beat the price, Gents and Ladies!! Just sayin'...... Take care, and God Bless!