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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Small Arms Chests


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How were SMLEs packed during the Great War? I have found this snippet from an unknown manual listing Chests, S.A. in different sizes but as evidenced by the PIAT chest listed at the top, this is a WWII list. Were the same chests in use during WWI, or were there different chests, and what was their designation? Any pointers to the actual specifications or dimensioned drawings for them would be great as well, I know finding originals of the larger chests is unlikely here in the States but I'd like to make a couple to make storage and transport easier & safer.


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Some basic pics of the set up here. Somewhere I have a book with pics but I can't remember which one - I'll look....


I do remember reading that one of the objections to the "fatboy" stock as originally fitted to the Pattern 1914 rifle was that it was two wide to fit in the standard transport chests so perhaps I can find something by following that route!

I'll have a look



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OK there are numerous entries in the List of Changes: The one for the SMLE MkI is LoC 11808 Chest, rifle short MLE (Mark 1)  Wood with fittings to contain 20 rifles, sword bayonets and scabbards

This was for the P1903 bayonet - it was later modified to contain the P1907

  • Overall Length 50 3/8 inches
  • Width overall 21 1/8 inches
  • Depth overall 17 3/8 inches
  • Made of deal with elm ends and provide with cleats and rope handles. The lid is secures with screws. The inside fittings are of deal, coated with paraffin wax

Later there is an all rifles model described and  illustrated:




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