L4 Spare Parts Wallet

The L4, like the Bren before it, had a dedicated spare parts wallet containing items that were used to clean the LMG and make simple field repairs to keep the weapon in action. The wallet was very similar to its predecessor, but with different pockets and contents to reflect the different needs of the L4. The wallet was made of webbing, pre-dyed green:imageThe wallet rolls up and is secured with two staples and tabs:imageA number of pockets are inside the wallet to hold the various contents:imageInside the wallet are a number of different accessories:L4 Spares WalletLike the earlier Bren wallet, there is a pocket for the oil bottle:imageAn un-flapped one for the pull-through:imageOne pocket for the takedown tool:imageAnd one for the spare parts tin:imageThe spare parts tin is now made of plastic rather than metal. The big change from the earlier design however, is that there is a pocket to carry the multi-piece cleaning rod:imageThe L4 had a chromed barrel so no spare was carried and the spare barrel bag often ditched in favour of just the spares wallet, hence the need for a multi piece cleaning rod in the spares wallet to allow it to be maintained with just the smaller wallet.

The 1978 army pamphlet on the L4 lists the contents as:

Spare parts wallet

Top left – Combination tool

Centre – Oil can containing rifle oil

Top right – Pull through, flannelette and tube of graphite grease (if carried)

Bottom – Spare parts tin

Inside flap – Cleaning rod in two sections for cleaning the barrel and chamber.

Spare parts tin. This contains the following items:

Extractor, extractor stay and extractor spring.

Firing pin spring

Clearing plug

In addition the following SLR spare parts may also be carried in the spare parts tin:

Extractor, extractor spring and extractor plunger

Firing pin

Gas plug

2 comments

  1. As a former LMG user, despite protests that the holdall wasn’t needed, we continued to carry it complete with the (usually leaking) second oil can; the ancient (usually split) never-used tube of graphite grease, and the seldom-used cylinder cleaning rod along its nylon and wire brushes, and mop attachments (as covered in a previous post) even though they may have been obsolete by the 1980s.

    I’m reasonably certain that there was also another phosphor-bronze brush of a wide diameter which screwed onto the cleaning rod for the gas cylinder.

    The LMGs we had did have a spare barrel, but the only time changing the barrels was done was when conducting Model Aircraft Target System shoots due to the volume of rounds fired combined with long bursts of fire.

    • Thanks Rich, that’s really interesting and sounds very typical of the military mindset- the pam says you need it so you will carry it, even if its completely useless!

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