Study of the screws and nuts of the Pickelhaube

KAGGR 1870

How to identify screws and nuts used on infantry Maanschaften Pickelhaube.
Notice: This study only deal with screws and nuts used on foot troop helmets.

This study have two parts
I-Screws and nuts for mounts and wappens .
II- Screws and nuts for chinscales.

The reproduction of the wappens and the mounts by use of original die or “galvano” technique are more and more close to the originals.
So it becomes very difficult to distinguish the authentics and the fakes ( or copy).
The only place where we can, again, make difference is the nature of the screws
This, at the present time , show big differences with old screws.
So, the main problem is to know these differences to avoid fakes and restored helmets.
(Many helmets have a mixing of original and reproduction mounts parts)

I- Screws and nuts for mounts and wappens .

A- 1842-1915 period
Before the model 1895 we find screws, always brass made, on all mounts and wappens of the helmets except the Prussian model 1867 (this have no screws).
Bade and Saxon M67 helmet have, them, screwed wappens.
For M.95, except the small screw, brass made, located on rear spine at the level of the neck cover, we find only this screws on the extrahelm and Eigentumsstück (private purchase helmets).
Exception: Hessian helmets which have his mounts with screws (except the wappen with loops).
Whatever the model, all these screws have a special threading, very different from modern ISO metric thread and , as yet, it was not reproduced except by molding; but, in this case, we can see difference: the thread have no raised pattern and diameter is weaker.
Original screws have 3,4mm diameter with 10. metric old thread .
(3,4 mm is a middle of 18 measures)
The end of the screw have, more often, cutting marks ( this show that this screws was made from long brass threaded rod and cut with cutting pliers)
Here are, to illustrate, some examples of original screws with ,every time, for comparison, one screw with modern ISO thread and equivalent diameter.
1 - Screw of wappen M42, M60 and M71
2 - Screw of the rear spine M42, M60, M71
3 - Screws for M95 " eigetumstück " or Extra Helm
4 - Screws for hessian M95 helmet
5 - Screw of the rear spine M95
6 - Screw of the rear spine M15






B- M15 model:
This have only one iron screw at the level of the rear spine (neck cover).
Often with flat end. (mechanicals screws) or with cutting marks like brass screws.
We can find varied thread but very different of the old 10. thread.
I have observed:
- Diameter 3,2mm thread 0.6- (close to modern ISO metric thread 3/0.6)
- Diameter 3,5mm thread 0.9

C- Modern threads
The closest ISO metric threads, used on modern screws are:
Diameter 3mm thread 0.5 or 0.6
Diameter 4mm thread 0.7 or 0,75

D- Screw nuts
We can observe various types of nuts
-1- Brass nuts with loop, with diamond-shapped base, cast made and always present casting burrs.
It is the standard model observed on the old models (M42, M57, M60)
-2- Brass square nuts, with variable sizes, located on rear spine base ( at the neck cover level).
The oldest are thicker than M95 (This one have standardized shape)
-3- Iron square nuts found on Bade and Saxon M.67 wappens, Prussian M.71 helmets and later models, M15 rear spine and ersatz helmets



II-Screws and nuts of the chinscales .
Its appear on M.1842 chinscales with convex scales .
They are big screws, brass made, with very long head (I have no pic to show you)
This chinscale is modified in 1856 ( flat scales instead of convex scales)
with brass nuts and iron screw with round head;
this model will not change, any more, until 1887.
At this date, it disappear, except for guard and grenadier regiments, where it persists with a new system M.1891without screws. (This chinscales was worn only in parade).
On M.56 chinscales, we can found several types of nuts and screws

-A-The nuts
-1- Nuts in cast brass with full base (1th. type)
To my opinion, its are the oldest, salvaged from the M.42 type.
They are slightly conical with 7,5mm diameter on the base and 6mm to the top
Length 15mm; mounted with iron screw with small head.
-2- Nuts in cast brass with hollow base (2th. type) with a same diameter, mounted with iron screw with big head .
The hollow base help along the execution of the internal threading for the screw.



-3- Iron nuts, with full base ( M60): they are made, like nails, by press die-forging but never lathe made (we can see on the inner base metal burrs);
They are, thus, cylinder-shaped with 7 mm diameter.
There are two lengthes of nuts:
One short , on the left side, with 12,5 mm length and one longer with 15,7 mm length on the right side; this to counterbalance the thickness of the cocarde.
These nuts are observed on helmets M60, M67 and later pattern.
Interresting point: only once, I found on one of my helmets, never unsettled, this:
to prevent the wear of the leather, the base of the nut was covered by a small slice of dark blue cloth (see pic below)


-B-The screws
They are always iron made with round head;
Size: 4,5mm diameter, 10. thread. Total length 15mm.
We observe two types of round heads:
1 - Small head with 10,4mm diameter, the oldest (M56).
2 - Big head with 11,5 to 11, 8 mm diameter; the most common


Modern screws:
The closest have 5mm diameter with thread 0.9.

Regards (and sorry for my english mistakes)


Active member
What another great study! I am looking forward to tackling private purchase helmets and veterans helmets. Great job.

KAGGR 1870

To complete this study here is one short chapter (to add after D-Screw nuts ) about the screw washers

E- Screw washer
All screws (M.42- M.57 and M.60) have originaly washer, located on the inner side of the pickelhaube, to prevent the screw to sink in leather.
They are always made in thin iron sheet zinc coated (this zinc coat is rarely preserved; see red arrow)
They have 16mm to 17mm diameter and 0,5mm thickness
The shape is more or less hallow, due to the screwing on the leather.
The hole is generally centered and it widens with the succesive dismantling.
The thinness of the metal (once the zinc cover disappeared), makes these washers very brittle.
So very often this washers are missing and replaced by leather or modern iron washers



Active member
What size are the threads on the post for a private purchase style Ulan Tschapka mortarboard caplines hook?

In examining a decayed officer-style Tschapka I found a tiny square nut behind a patch of very thin leather secured with what appears to be shellac putty. A slim wire brad was used to prevent the hook from turning. Like the hook post, the wire brad goes all the way through the mortarboard; the spread prongs are concealed with the oblong leather patch that covers the post nut.


New member
I was wondering if any of these examples listed by KAGGR 1870 applies to G.D.C. and G.K.R. parade eagles? I have been looking into parade eagles for EM helmets lately. I have seen many different examples but I have attached two examples that seem to be the most different in comparison. It would be great if some of you who own these could post some of your examples for comparison. These kind of details are mentioned rarely in reference books and aren't easy to find on the internet. Seems like another example of how complex the study of nuts, bolts and washers can be.




Well-known member
This post has been helpful to me countless times in the past. When I purchased my 1853 Kurassier, for example, I thought the chin scale mounting fixtures were incorrect. The explanation and photos of the type 1 proved me wrong.
Thank you for the research and wonderful detail in this post.

John :notworthy:


Staff member
Yes, a very detailed and excellent post, it is great to see it being revisited. I am very glad the pictures were immune from Photobkt.


Active member
This is a study witch has to be looked in details or so it seems, but very wel explained
Very good that you can compaire an original one with what seems a new one
Its al in the details,thanks bernard👍👍👍


Active member
Vaguely remember reading an article on how to replace a missing Wappen threaded post with 'bicycle thread', to match the surviving one - and also on making replacement nuts with the same thread - anyone remember this? Can't find it with the search facility.
Thanks in advance.


Active member
This thread seems to me a very valuable resource for ongoing study, does anyone know if KAGGR 1870 is still a member? Whoever it is perhaps he might still have the original pictures on file to replace them here? I for one would be very grateful.
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Staff member
Yes a valuable thread, it is a shame we have lost his photos. I don’t recall seeing any recent posts from "1870". :(


Active member
Thank you Sandmann, I'll try to find that and use my limited language skills.
Brian, kaggr 1870 last visited here 6th November.

Peter B

Active member
On the link Sandmann provided you can print (to paper or .pdf file) so I do not think I am breaking any rules or the spirit of the site by uploading a .pdf version I "printed". If anyone think this does break the rules I will remove the file.

Still in French but easy to download.



  • Cet article traite des vis, rondelles et écrous utilisés sur les casques de troupes à pied....pdf
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Active member
Thanks Peter, I really think this article is too valuable to just let go. I may assemble my own copy offline, placing the pictures from the download into the english text from here to make my own Word doc. 'handbook'.
Cheers, Steve


Well-known member
Thanks Peter, I really think this article is too valuable to just let go. I may assemble my own copy offline, placing the pictures from the download into the english text from here to make my own Word doc. 'handbook'.
Cheers, Steve
That‘s the way you should do it. I did the same and translate it into German language, if anybody is interested.


Well-known member
In my experience, more than eight types have been used. There are large discrepancies due to the inaccuracy of the manufacturers making the tools. I am sending pictures of the two original threading tools. The manufactories produced their tools.


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