• What the hell are EMER’s ? (by Peter Laidler)

    The following article is published with the kind permission of Advisory Panel Member, Peter Laidler. Capt. Peter Laidler is the senior Armourer in the UK Military, now retired, but based as a Technical Officer at the UK Military Small Arms School. On behalf of MILSURPS.COM members, we'd like to publicly thank him for his support of this forum, as well the broader Lee Enfield collector community in general.

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    What the hell are EMER’s ?

    Peter Laidler explains all…………


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    A good question in relation to Small Arms that was asked on one of the forums recently. I expect that it’s been asked by hundreds of others too. Well, if you’ve ever heard of ‘the Bible’ then EMER’s are to the REME what the Bible is to the rest of the world. And I can tell you this, that in the REME, especially as a young Armourer, Gun Fitter, Vehicle Mechanic or Instrument Technician apprentice at Carlisle, EMER’s were even MORE important than the Bible. In short, EMER is ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERING REGULATIONS. If you’re Australian and reading this, we called them EMEI’s. The I indicating INSTRUCTIONS

    EMER’s replaced the very old and ancient Instructions for Armourers and Equipment Regulations but have now themselves been replaced by something new – but are still EMER’s if you know what I mean! Each trade group has a category. So Vehicle Mechanics would have ‘WHEELED VEHICLES. Instrument Technicians had ‘INSTRUMENTS AND SEARCHLIGHTS’ while Armourers lived and breathed ‘SMALL ARMS AND MACHINE GUNS’ or just SA&MG.

    Well take just one EMER and this is SA&MG C-300 which relates to the RIFLE .303” No1 Mk3 and 3/1 or 3*…………. NO we won’t, we’ll jump forwards a few years and go to EMER, SA&MG C-500 to 509 which most of the old Armourers will, without even a second thought, think of RIFLE ‘303” No4 all marks.

    The EMER for the No5 rifle was C-510 - 9 and the No8 rifle EMER SA&MG C-160 - 9.

    So from this, you can see that and EMER SA&MG with a C prefix indicated a rifle.

    But it gets better – or worse if you’ve got to learn this, as we all had to for one of our early trade tests, because every EMER is split into 10 chapters which are:

    C-500 is the DATA SUMMARY. This just gives the brief details such as dimensions and weights, caliber etc etc. You know the sort of thing
    C-501 OPERATORS INSTRUCTIONS. These were very brief because Armourers already KNEW these and in any case, the operators instructions were available to the operator or user in the USER HANDBOOK
    C-502. This is the TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION. This is the important information for the Armourer. Or call it the Armourers equivalent of the Data Summary
    C-503. This is where it gets interesting because 503 was the UNIT REPAIRS and this lays down exactly what UNIT level Armourers can and more importantly, cannot undertake. These repairs are identified as ‘X’ repairs
    C-504 These are the more detailed FIELD AND BASE REPAIRS. This is where the repair schedules become complicated and use special tools, jigs and fixtures. These repairs are known as Y and Z category repairs
    C-505. PREPARATION FOR SPECIAL FUNCTIONS., The only one I can think of here, offhand was issued for the Sterling sub machine gun in order to fit the night sight bracket. I suppose you could definitely say that was a ‘special function…….’ Special waterproofing was also a feature of this section too
    C-506 PARTS LIST. Self explanatory but not included in the SA&MG EMER because separate parts lists were usually available in any case
    C-507 Lists all of the MODIFICATION INSTRUCTIONS, such as undercutting the bridge charger to prevent the loss of extractor springs
    C-508 Gives the INSPECTION STANDARDS the full technical details of the rifle from barrel angles to torque figures and so on
    C-509 Gives details of the MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUCTIONS. This included the fitting of Parker Hale sights to the No8 and L39 rifle.

    Each page would be numbered and endorsed with its date of issue. That way you could easily tell whether it was current or out of date

    From this simplified description, you can see that the instructions were very detailed. And an EMER was issued for every piece of equipment. And before you ask, if you have a Centurion Mk11 gun tank, there will be an EMER, tracked vehicle for it. And for the Co-Axial Browning .30 and .50 machine gun – yep, there’s even an EMER for each of those blighters too But taking that a bit further, you can see that every eventuality was covered. Even better was that the EMER’s were in loose leaf form so that if a section was updated or amended then regardless of where you were in the world, a new sheet or sheets would eventually find their way to you. The new sheet would have at the bottom something like ‘…..Page 7, Issue 2 dated Oct ’72. To replace issue 1 of June 64.

    There you go then, a simplified description and idea of just what these things are. Next time you read in these pages the clever clogs who bafflingly mention EMER’s, quoting verse line and chapter, you can nod along with the best of ‘em.


    Copyright ©2006 - 2011 by Peter Laidler and MILSURPS.COM


    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. Capt. Peter Laidler is the senior Armourer in the UK Military, now retired, but based as a Technical Officer at the UK Military Small Arms School. In addition to being a trained and highly experienced military "Armourer", he has authored two excellent books about the No.4(T) sniper rifles and their No.32 scopes. They are titled "An Armourer's Perspective: .303 No.4(T) Sniper Rifle", which he co-authored with Ian Skennerton and his own dedicated work, "Telescope Sighting No.32".

    If you're really interested in some in-depth learning about the No.4(T) sniper rifles and the No.32 series of scopes, their history, evolution, repair and adjustments for shooting, I'd highly recommend those two books, which are pictured below.
    ....... (Feedback by "Badger")


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    Note: The opinions expressed herein or statements made in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Military Surplus Collectors Forums, or the ownership and moderation group of this site. MILSURPS.COM accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein. Also, please note that neither the author nor MILSURPS.COM recommends that any member of these forums, or a reader of this article, try this type of experimentation without the proper knowledge, equipment and training.
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