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Lee Enfield Rifle case


nemesis
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Can I ask the members to confirm that this is a Lee Enfield carrying case, its certainally the correct size length wise.

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Certainly looks like one.

Regards

TonyE

thanks for info, was interested in the general use of these cases, any transit pictures I have seen with troops en route to the front from the UK always showed rifles uncovered, it would be fair to say that in France the rifles would be uncovered . i have never seen a case like this in use

thanks

max

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Hi Max

This is interesting to me also.

Whilst I have seen lots of WWII versions (generally without the leather trim and with an outside pocket) This is the first WWI dated one that I have seen that looks right.

If anyone turns up any references or picutures of this (or similar) in service in WWI I would be interested in seeing them too.

Chris

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I did have a 1915 dated one, the only difference is it had no carry strap, or ever had one.

I have seen quite a few In N.Z all British made and /l\ stamped.

Dates ranging from 1914 -1918

I do have a photo of a NZMR trooper with one of these covers on his rifle in his rifle bucket somewhere will try to find it.

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Hi Max

This is interesting to me also.

Whilst I have seen lots of WWII versions (generally without the leather trim and with an outside pocket) This is the first WWI dated one that I have seen that looks right.

If anyone turns up any references or picutures of this (or similar) in service in WWI I would be interested in seeing them too.

Chris

Ditto to that. Over the years I have probably owned half a dozen WWII types as described by Chris and used them to carry rifles to and from Bisley, but cannot recall ever seeing one in a contemporary WWII photograph.

Does anyone know when they were used?

Regards

TonyE

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I have always believed them to be used on limbers for Artillery details. Great War dated examples are seen with leather or cloth binding.

Chris Henschke

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Can I ask the members to confirm that this is a Lee Enfield carrying case, its certainally the correct size length wise.

Hello, From the photos, it certainly appears to be a correct WWI example - a scarce piece. I wish I had one! Regards, Torrey

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I understood that the leather bound canvas cases were used for sniper rifles, as I recently saw one up for auction with the deac rifle and scope in it, couldn`t afford it !!!

The normal rifle cover, I believe, was a cotton sleeve which only covered the barrel and action and tied behind the trigger guard. I have a picture of a soldier carrying a rifle with a cover like this on it. Will post if I can find it.

Martin

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I understood that the leather bound canvas cases were used for sniper rifles, as I recently saw one up for auction with the deac rifle and scope in it, couldn`t afford it !!!

The normal rifle cover, I believe, was a cotton sleeve which only covered the barrel and action and tied behind the trigger guard. I have a picture of a soldier carrying a rifle with a cover like this on it. Will post if I can find it.

Martin

Thanks to all members for the outstanding response so far. The wealth of knowledge in this forum is the best . It would be great to see pictures of the case in use

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Nemesis,

There is a plate in Osprey Warrior series British Tommy 1914-18,which shows the short version rifle cover I refer to in prev post, it is plate D.I thought that these were standard issue and the full canvas slips that you have an example of were for sniper rifles and other special issue.I can`t imagine they were for general issue due to cost.

The photo I can recall is of a group of soldiers standing at a rail station in uk either going on leave or returning from leave, can`t find it at the mo.It shows at least one of the group with a short sleeve cover.

Martin

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Hello all,

I have just read through the interesting postings on this thread and would offer the following:

These cases were issued for the carriage of Rifles on limbers and other transport as Chris Henschke has correctly pointed out. As issued they were not fitted with carrying straps and these have been added later. As has been pointed out by both Tony E and Chris, there is a near identical version in webbing which was produced during WW2, again for transportation purposes on vehicles. These quite often turn up with 'aftermarket' carrying straps attached. Like Tony I have used, and still do use, these webbing versions for the carrying of firearms.

They are most definitely not for 'sniper rifles and scopes' For one thing all telescopic sights were issued in fitted cases, not least because they were very expensive precision items. The idea that they would be placed, attached to the weapon, in a fairly flimsy canvas bag is a bit of a non starter. I think this has developed from creative marketing by those trying to sell these cases. I have often seen them described as 'sniper' cases by dealers.

I have had 6 of these cases over the years and only one had a strap attached which was clearly a later addition.

They were introduced respectively, The Mark 1 for the long rifle, November 1910 LofC 14651, and the Mark II for the SMLE, in May 1911 LofC 15471.

They differed in length only and were described as being 'for the protection of rifles when carried on vehicles'

Regards

Tocemma

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Another one to add. Shows a different maker, but the inspection stamp:
/|\
13
appears to be common to this item, despite the variety of makers


Inspector's mark, no.13, with 'RMA Co 1915'

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Tocemma

Do you know the LoC Para. for the cotton cover that Martin refers to? I have had a quick look but could not find it.

The LoC Para. 14651 you quote refers back to Para. 12774, and I do not have a copy of this. I presume it was the introduction of the original cover for the long rifle.

Thanks

TonyE

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Many thanks for that, it explains why I could not find it in the LoCs.

I knew of the snow covers though.

When you post the pictures of your example I must have the boss run me one up for my SMLE!

Thanks again,

TonyE

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He mentions in his diary that the picture was taken at Victoria Station.

This raises a question that occurred to me earlier. Were individual soldiers in transit within the UK required to cover their rifles?

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Not as far as I know. There seem to be plenty of photographs of individual soldiers waiting at stations or arriving home on leave with their rifles slung in the normal way.

Unlike today. A couple of years ago the police arrested an Military Policeman who was on traffic duty guiding an army convoy through a west country town for having a firearm in a public place.

Regards

TonyE

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Hello Siege Gunner,

There doesn't appear to be any set practice. Have a look at photos of troops arriving at Victoria Station. You will see all sorts of things being done. No doubt some units had Standing Orders covering it but most did not seem to bother. It seems to have been left to individual whim, weather conditions, availablility of issue covers etc. Later in the war I would imagine most had at least the breech covered with an issue cover.

Regards

Tocemma

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A couple of years ago the police arrested an Military Policeman who was on traffic duty guiding an army convoy through a west country town for having a firearm in a public place.

They had probably just been watching The Battle of the Bulge ...

For continuing interest, were soldiers on leave required to put the magazine in their pocket or otherwise reassure the public that their rifle was 'safe'?

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All the pictures I have seen show the rifles complete with magazine. Perhaps the public thought our boys knew how to be safe with a rifle!

Following from that, it would be interesting to know how many negligent discharges there were amongst troops in training.

Regards

TonyE

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Hi Tony,

Rifle cover in red brown canvas used by Private Warren 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Also fits a Long rifle.

Sorry for the rubbish photos.

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Regards

Tocemma

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