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Thread: Need ID on early WWII leather "Enfield" rifle sling

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    Contributing Member Steve762's Avatar
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    Need ID on early WWII leather "Enfield" rifle sling

    Back in 1968 I acquired this leather rifle sling from an American mail order company. In all my years looking at milsurp rifles I have never seen another one. Any info the forum can provide would be appreciated. It was described as: NOS, WWII, Enfield Rifleicon sling, leather. The item is marked P. W & Co Ltd 1940. Many Thanks, Steve

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    leather slings

    I have two rifles with leather slings, one second from right side is dated 1913 (very faint) the other one far left, I can not read the date. Also have one dated 1940 like your sling but do not have anything for it. I would guess the 1940 date is the last and special purpose rifles might have used the US Model 1907 leather sling later on.

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    Really Senior Member Seaforth72's Avatar
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    It is a Pattern 1914 sling. Note that it is NOT specifically for the Patt’14 rifle but used on SMLE (later in 1926 called No.1 Rifle), Patt’14 (in 1926 renumbered No. 3 rifle) and later No.4 rifles. etc. Apparently the Britishicon could not make enough webbings slings and so reintroduced this design, which used to be made in white buff leather in the 1800s. These Pattern 1914 slings were also made in Canadaicon but the two I have from 1916 are thicker leather. Against the beginning of WWII, the British reintroduced the Pattern 1914 again. I have one dated 1940.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seaforth72 View Post
    I have one dated 1940.
    So is his Colin... He wanted to know who made it.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member gew8805's Avatar
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    While I cannot identify the maker of the P14 sling shown, I can say that it was actually part of the leather P39 leather equipment set of Britishicon WW2 service. The P39 set was a copy of the British standard P37 web gear. The P14 set of WW1 was intended as a substitute for the P08 web gear and was to be used for training only, however P14 gear is seen in photos of troops on front line service in combat on the Western Front as well as in Palestine from 1915 through the end of the war in 1918. During WW2, the leather P39 set was supposed to be in use only in training and that was pretty much the case, none is seen in photos in combat worn by Commonwealth forces. Aside from training, however, it did see service with the the Home Guard, Garrison Battalions, Non-Field Force Units, Young Soldier Battalions, Infantry Training Centers, Machine Gun Training Centers, Infantry Officer Cadet Training Unit, and O.C.T.U., Sandhurst. It is also seen in use by Allied troops serving alongside Britain, particularly Polish forces along with some Belgian and Frenchicon units. It can be safely said the the leather rifle slings did not see combat use during WW2 and that is why the WW2 dated slings are so often seen in very clean and near new condition.
    Last edited by gew8805; 03-01-2019 at 09:07 PM.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    The P14 leather slings were predominantly issued to Home Guard units for their P14/17's in WW2.

    They also used leather belts instead of the 37 pattern examples.

    I have a Cole Brothers 1916 example on my 1917 SMLE.

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    Really Senior Member Strangely Brown's Avatar
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    My understanding of the nomenclature is that the rifle sling was not included in the branding of 37 Pattern; instead becoming, "Sling Rifle Webbing" which included the much later green nylon slings of the 1970's & 80's.

    Pedantic...Moi?
    Mick

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Good point Mick, in fact as the canvas and brass fittings sling appeared during WW1, it can't possibly be P37 equipment....

    So, when did said sling first appear, I would guess late 1915 ??

    As you say, it had a very long life, swapping brass and canvas webbing for steel and Nylon.

    Got to love this anorak stuff, I'll be hanging around train stations next recording Steam train sounds with a microphone if I'm not careful!

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    Really Senior Member gew8805's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strangely Brown View Post
    My understanding of the nomenclature is that the rifle sling was not included in the branding of 37 Pattern; instead becoming, "Sling Rifle Webbing" which included the much later green nylon slings of the 1970's & 80's.

    Pedantic...Moi?
    Pedantic? Not at all, quite correct actually. Collectors often mistakenly call the Britishicon web sling either P08 or P37. The web rifle sling - correctly called "Sling, rifle, web, G.S. (Mark I) First Issue" was adopted for use by L. of C. §10442, approved 31st January 1901, with a secondary date of 7th February 1901. It was modified in the L. of C. §12060, dated 13th November 1903 and 1st January 1904 as the "Sling, rifle, web, G.S. (Mark I) Second Issue", to have a 1/2 inch longer brass catch or hook attached by rivets rather than the first issue sling's eyelets. The British web sling was on issue from 1901 to 1991.



    For an accurate review of British rifle slings, see the outstanding reference site "Karkee Web" at:

    Weapons: Slings
    Last edited by gew8805; 03-09-2019 at 08:22 PM.

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