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Hello All
Pictured below is a photo of thee brass Zig-Zag cleaning rods.
Mr. Tom Armstrong was kind enough to exaimine the top one last February and believed it to be genuine.
The one in the center is a recent edition that I got from a fellow who did not know it it was original or a repoduction, so he sold it to me as a repo. The funny thing is it is almost identical to the top rod, only it does not have the C/M stamp on the end of the barrel, but does have a very heavy coat of tarnish on the shaft.
The lower rod is a reproduction (maybe from the midwest)as the wood barrel is a slightly smaller diameter,the six grooves are thinner and the jag portion lacks the machining marks and pattern of the others and the width of the flats on the jag are thinner as indicated by the arrows.


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Comments are always welcome
 

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All,

I have observed maybe 200 zig-zag rods in the past several years and based on this somewhat limited sample, I have reached the following conclusions:

a. On almost all examined, the dimensions of the rod shaft and zig-zag cuts were identical

b. On almost all fakes, there was a distinct lack of patination or obviously faked patination and occasionally paint on the rod shaft

c. On NONE of the fakes was the barrel correct. The barrel was too thick and did not possess the taper present on genuine pieces

d. Only on original rods was the patination uniformly consistent on all of the metal surfaces, including the zig-zag teeth. This patina resulted in an almost olive drab color, which was uniform on the shaft.

e. Imperial proofing is not a guarantor of originality.

Tom A.
 

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Hi Bob,

That is a tough question as so few originals surface for sale in a public forum. I would speculate that anything under $6-700 would be a steal.

I will happily pay that for an original in good-Exc (-) condition any day of the week. If it is crown M proofed, add $100 or so; if the proof is on the rod shaft add $175 or so.

Your mileage may vary.

Tom A.
 

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I believe this one to be original as it came as part of a somewhat tired rig. Tried to take pictures of the 4 sides. No proof marks. About 8 inches long with 6 lines on the wood portion. Only one I have ever owned and I know very little about them and send it along in hopes it adds something to the discussion.

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