We take a look at another item of Australian 37 Pattern webbing today, with the 1908 and later 1937 Pattern Large Pack. This pack saw service with Australian troops for a longer period than perhaps any other piece of 1937 pattern webbing. In the early years of the Vietnam War Diggers wore the old 37 Pattern large pack as part of a mixed 1937 Pattern and M56 rig. The large pack was hardly ideal, but had a larger carrying capacity than most other packs in service at the time and until something better came along it had to sufice.
Features worth noting about Australian production include the slightly striped appearance of the webbing used for the body of the pack and the thicker brass buckles used on the webbing than that produced by the other Empire nations.
The pack also deletes the two eyelets added to the weather flaps that had been adopted by the British in 1922. Also worth noting is the slightly different shades of webbing between the sheets used for the main body and the straps used for the chapes on the rear of the pack:
The pack is stamped in black ink under the top flap:
Australian firms tended to use initials to represent each company producing the webbing, however often the stamps are poorly struck and hard to read, as in this case. Interestingly Australia was producing these packs as late as 1979 and often in quite lurid shades of green and an almost yellow colour, often with eye popping results!
In this 1970s image the old 08/37 Pattern large pack can clearly be seen being worn with later webbing by many of the troops.
Something interesting about a few of the flash eliminators on the FN’s in the bottom picture.
They seem to be white or silver rather than parkerized.
Some sort of ID system ? Blank Firing Adapters ? Grenade Adapters ? Tape or a slip-on cover to keep water out of the barrel ?
The white patch on the stock of one is probably for an Armoury or rack number but the white on the muzzle end is something I’ve never seen in a lot of years maintaining that rifle. We had muzzle caps but they didn’t look like that and nobody ever used them, there was even a dark blue rubber dome that stretched over the front sight to protect it but I never saw that used outside of the armoury or when packing for shipment.
Of course, it’s likely something specific to Australia but they don’t seem to be cut down into the ‘bitch rifles’ so there’s that.