Russian Spetsnaz MPL-50 Entrenching Tool
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This is the Russian special forces entrenching tool.
Spetsnaz receive special training in using this implement as a close quarters weapon.
This is the ORIGINAL MPL-50 military shovel with belt pouch.
The MPL-50 has a total length of 50 cm (20 in); the steel blade is 15 cm (5.9 in) wide and 18 cm (7.1 in) long. It is sharpened on its working edge and often on one side, for use as an axe. The wooden handle is not painted, but polished with sandpaper and fire singed to create a smooth surface that does not slide in the hand. The blade carries the manufacturer's seal, which indicates the production year and distinguishes original products from primitive forgeries.
The main purpose of MPL-50 is entrenching, which is carried out at a rate of 0.1–0.5 m3/hour depending on the soil type and physical condition of the soldier.
The spade can also be used as an axe, and one side of its blade is sharpened for this purpose, or as a hammer, with the flat of the blade as the working surface. It can serve as an oar for paddling on improvised rafts, as a frying pan for cooking food, and as a measuring device, as its length and width are standardized.
Soviet Spetsnaz units had advanced training with the MPL-50, which they mostly used not for entrenching, but for close quarters combat. The spade is well balanced, which allows it to be used as a throwing weapon.