L4 Magazine Box

The L4 light machine gun was an update of the old Bren Gun, re-chambered for 7.62mm NATO standard ammunition and with a chrome lined barrel for longer life. The accessories provided for the LMG were very similar to those used on the Bren with some important differences and we will be looking at some of these over the coming months. Like the Bren, the L4 had a metal transit case holding twelve magazines:imageThe box is made of pressed steel, with a single carry handle at one end:imageThe front of the box has the contents stencilled on it along with an NSN number:imageWhilst the lid is secured with a spring clip:imageOpening the box there are rows of lips to allow each of the magazines to fit into the box neatly:imageThese are simple metal tabs set at the correct width for each magazine:imageEach magazine slots in, front first:imageThe underside of the lid has a rubber pad that presses down onto the magazines and prevents them from rattling around:imageTwo different boxes were used with L4 magazines, ones such as this that were custom made for the magazines, and others were converted from older .303 Bren boxes with strips of metal or wood added to change the internal dimensions of the box to better fit the different magazines, whilst an early expedient, recommended to armourers was just to pack the space in a Bren box with cotton waste to allow the L4 mags to fit and not move around.

A full box of twelve magazines was very heavy and one L4 gunner commented he, “always felt for the N02 carrying the Ammo box full of magazines…”

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