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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member chosenman's Avatar
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    L42A1 Soft Case

    Cover, Sniper, B1/1005-99-961-9515, L42A1

    Commonly found in the two patterns as illustrated.


    1) Standard No4 carry case converted by Remploy.
    The basic standard conversion to all cases for the L42A1 sniper rifle added a further six inches to its length to accommodate the longer heavy hammer forged barrel along with a basic adjustable web shoulder strap. The illustrated case also has a “fillet” added to accommodate the rifle installed with its scope fitted, a very tight fit otherwise and was a problem first encountered by users of the case with the No4 T some thirty years earlier, however the problem continued un-rectified even into the L42 era as when the Remploy conversion arrived, a juncture at which you might think perfect to make all the necessary improvements the opportunity was missed. Not sure if the “fillet” was official or a unit modification as many other cases I have seen don’t have it and others have had the extra length added in leather and others have had a more elaborate shoulder strap fitted. Unit modification is feasible. I know from my own experience here in Colchester the garrison tailor’s shop was more than capable of such modifications.


    2) Springfield pattern.
    The No4 converted case got the L42 sniper rifle in to service with a soft carry case, however a second improved version was needed and was found in the form of the US Springfield type carry case. The Britishicon take on this case is in fact identical to the original US pattern as illustrated below except it was produced in a 58 pattern green and unlike the No4 converted case it carries the makers mark, year, NSN and acceptance broad arrow. One other give away is the finishing tip to the fastening strap on the hood which is the brass tip with two punched holes commonly found on much of the British web equipment since 1908. The US pattern has a smooth metal tip that has no perforations at all and strangely it is this US model that is featured in the user handbook and the sniper training pamphlet.
    The US manufactured case is, unlike either of the L42 variant cases easily sourced and is usually available in a light beige colour with some having limited to no ordnance or acceptance marks.



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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    I never saw one of the later cases, only the early (?) modified No4 length case. There was an EMER under the 'preparation for special purpose' (I think that this was section 6 or 7) for the conversion. There was a similar one issued to converty the Bren spare parts wallet as many of you are aware. This was to be done at the equipment repairers shop, usually in the A&G section (that's Armament and General - as opposed to Vehicles, Instruments or Small Arms......) where they had the kit/machines to modify this heavy drab cotton webbing. It involved pulling the case inside out and sewing in the extra bit or as I seem to recall, if the muzzle end was already damaged, then simply replace the muzzle end

    The whole L42 programme was really done on the cheap! I'm not sure that the Garrison or Regimental tailor could sew this stuff CM!!!!! The equipment repairers workshop had all the webbing straps on the roll as well as the buckles etc etc. They even had rolls of the sling material for the old rubbish L42 nylon slings which was also the same used on the milan firing post. The Equipment repairers also used to renew the woprn out L42 sling material and buckles. They didn't have the Irvine clamp buckle or the sling clips. If they were knackered, it was a new sling. Otherwise they were repaired. This was because once in the workshop, the rifle and CES had to go out complete and to CES. Sorry if I've gone off tangent



    Incidentally, it was always a point of discussion exactly what that pocket was for! Too big for most stuff like a cleaning kit. Sandwiches perhaps......... Nope, I never heard of a good suggestion

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    I have what looks to be the centre one (in the picture of three) but - Sand coloured
    Britishicon 'brass ends' with two holes



    The one at the bottom (of the three) appears to have a different shoulder strap as well (having a loose-end for adjustment), and , the hood buckle looks to be 'going the other way' compared to the centre one.
    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Really Senior Member chosenman's Avatar
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    Alan, I don't believe the bottom example was ever an MOD purchase, it has no acceptance marks or NSN to link it to the L42. The no4 conversion has the obvious alterations to accommodate the L42 rifle and its has the standard ww2 marks you would expect to see, dated 1942 in this case. The second example was a purpose made soft case for the L42 bearing the NSN as listed in the illustrated parts catalogue and CES. My point to some degree is to illustrate the two known and accepted carry cases for the L42 sniper rifle and to also illustrate the "Trojan" that is regularly passed off as "an L42 slip". The green example of the same pattern partly being to blame for the confusion. I think if the MOD had purchased these US manufactured carry cases they would have at the very least the crows foot arrow denoting MOD acceptance.

    The US case has a three bar type buckle however it is attached to the strap by an outer bar allowing the fastening to be done in a reverse fashion opposed to the strap being attached to the centre bar allowing the strap to fasten in the traditional way. (hope that makes sense).

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    I must be having a bad night as I'm still not clear on what is and what is not.

    The first one is a modified No4 case, and IS an L42 case, the second one (in colour green) is an accepted / original / purpose built L42 case, and the third one is just an American case 'passed off' as an L42 case.

    Are you saying that the only correct version of the 'purpose built case' is colour Green ?

    Basically - is mine a 'correct' L42 case ?
    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Senior Member Gnr527's Avatar
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    Chosenman

    There was an example of your bottom case (I think)went for over £100 on e-bay the other week.

    Unfortunately I have deleted my watch - anyone else save it?

    John

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    Really Senior Member chosenman's Avatar
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    Alan,
    The modified no4 case is the original case which came into service with the L42 but it would seem the main inherent fault, the rifle not fitting properly with the scope attached to the rifle was still handicapping the user. Some cases including the one illustrated had a "fillet" fitted to accommodate the scope but not all appear to have this modification.

    Enter the Springfield pattern carry case. The Britishicon manufactured case answered all the short comings of its predecessor, the Remploy modified no4. The new case is of the 58 pattern canvas similar to the 58 pattern load carrying system (58 webbing) and is finished with typical British brass furniture. This case was essentially a new piece of equipment and carries the same standard marks as all other issued kit. NSN, Year of manufacture and maker. Incidentally most of these cases I have seen carry a date of 1973.

    The third example is simply a surplus American Springfield rifle case but due to the pattern being the same as L42 case, version 2 it has been widely assumed its is an L42 case. I would suggest not so.

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Thanks - that helps, and presumably the 'Springfield Pattern 58' was available in 'sand' / 'beige' or 'green' canvas
    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Really Senior Member chosenman's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnr527 View Post
    Chosenman

    There was an example of your bottom case (I think)went for over £100 on e-bay the other week.

    Unfortunately I have deleted my watch - anyone else save it?

    John
    Didn't see the listing and I don't know if it was an L42 owner who bought it. However I suppose it depends on how accurate you want to be, I personally like to be spot on, but, you should know what it is your buying in order to make the choice especially at £100 plus. Just because the seller says its an L42 case doesn't necessarily make it so. This thread is being offered as guidance as knowledge is power!

  16. #10
    Really Senior Member chosenman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan de Enfield View Post
    Thanks - that helps, and presumably the 'Springfield Pattern 58' was available in 'sand' / 'beige' or 'green' canvas
    Alan, Britishicon web equipment of the day was green. Binocular cases, compass cases, Browning 9mm holsters, back packs, load carrying equipment, the lot. All made from the same material. The new L42 case was no exception and all kit of that period was stamped with routine markings previously described. I think the whole thinking behind equipping the British army at that period was about facing the Russians in Europe. This train of thought extended right up to us entering the first Gulf War when British troops where in the desert wearing temperate DPM. I've not seen a sand coloured case personally but obviously that doesn't mean they don't exist. Does your case carry the stores markings?

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