I’ve got a handful of the U.S. Army’s M-1950 stove. I acquired most of them last fall. According to the cover of the Department of the Army Technical Manual (TM 10-708), dated October 1951, this stove is called Stove, Cooking, Gasoline, M-1950 One-Burner. Copies of the original manual are available, as I have one and I know you can find them on ebay.
The M-1950 stove was made from 1951 through 1987 by companies such as Coleman, Rogers, SMP, Fiesta and I believe a few others.
The M-1950 stove’s seal which stops the fuel flow is in the lower part of the valve assembly. Because this is a difficult to service item it is frequently bad and needs to be replaced. When I received this stove everything seemed to work okay until I went to shut it off and discovered that the fuel kept coming out. To check your, pump it up thirty or more pumps and the tern the valve off and then on. If fuel still comes out or if you still hear air leaking, this may be the problem. The only way to replace it is to remove the whole valve assembly. The original style gasket is no longer available (as far as I know) but a fuel-resistant O-ring of the right size and inserted into the fuel needle will work.
Dis-assembly can be accomplished at your own risk, but here’s what I do. I use a strap around the tank and an adjustable wrench on the valve assembly. Be sure that the eccentric stem body is installed or you will risk deforming the valve body making it difficult, if not impossible, to re-install the valve stem later.
There’s not a lot to go wrong with the valve assembly other than it getting dirty or clogged from old fuel, rust or the on/off gasket. A good cleaning with denatured alcohol or vinegar, or both is in order before re-assembly. It’ll look good as new when you’re done. The vaporizer should at least get a cleaning, though sometimes the screen is so corroded that it’s easier to buy a replacement.
The burner shield or windscreen came in at least three styles, these are cross-hatch pattern, stippled and smooth. My 1951 Coleman stove came with the cross-hatch pattern, and the Rogers stoves I have all had the smooth surface. I’m not sure which stoves originally came with the stippled pattern. I soaked the ones in the photo with vinegar over night, then washed them with a toothbrush and soap and water. After that I cleaned them with some metal polish and they came out great. Others were badly rusted and needed more attention.
The 1951 Coleman stove was painted green and only had one silver label. I bought a replacement from OldColemanParts and it looks great. The Rogers and other later models seem to use two labels. On Green tanks there is one silver label and one red label. On Olive Drab tanks there is one gold label and one red label. Canon Joe told me this and typically has replacements available on ebay (go to ebay and search for M1950 stove and you should be able to find some). See the photo below for an example of a single silver label and the gold/red/olive drab example.
The stove typically has an aluminum storage/cooking canister with it, but not always. Since they can be used with AGM M1941 stoves, late-war Coleman 520s and M-1942 Mountain stoves, I have a few and just use them for whichever stove I’m using that day.
For colors, check my previous post on paint colors. There seems to be basically two for this stove. Green and Olive Drab.
Valve knobs, vaporizer screens, vaporizers and burner bowls, can be bought from any number of people. I’ve found them at OldCOlemanParts and on ebay from Lanternking and Canon-Joe. I’ve had little luck finding replacement preheat cups.
The pump assembly is similar to the M-1942 design. There are two gaskets. One is the check valve gasket and one is the filler cap gasket. Both will likely need to be replaced if they are original. If either is rotted and leaks, you can catch your stove on fire.
I’ve fixed up three so far; 1951 Coleman (Green), 1963 Rogers (Olive Drab), 1965 Rogers (camo-pattern) and also a 1981 Fiesta (camo pattern) which I converted to a spare fuel tank. To make the tank into a spare fuel tank I needed to fabricate a plug to replace the valve assembly and a custom fuel cap.
So far the stoves work pretty well as boilers and I’ve used them on a few outings. Fixing them up and learning about them was a good hobby for the winter.
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