These are original Lee Enfield cleaning kit tins (complete with contents).
Originally SMLE's and No4 Rifles carried the only cleaning kit deemed necessary, consisting of an oil bottle and a pullthrough, within the butt of the rifle. The advent of the No5 Jungle Carbine, where there was no provision for carrying these in the rifle butt, made it necessary to come up with another neat way of carrying a cleaning kit. These tins were the answer.
Initially these were only issued with the jungle carbine, however their issue soon became standard for No4 Rifles, and eventually also for the 9mm Sterling sub-machine gun, where they soldiered on until these went out of service with the advent of the SA80.
These cleaning kits are from a WW2 contract - as evidenced by the manufacturers code of the tin maker inside many of the tins (see photos). These tins were made by Midlands factory 617 (M617), which is Illingsworth & Co. Ltd of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Although all of these came from the same stores packs not all of the tins are marked, suggesting that the tins were packed by a separate contractor and others were made by other concerns.
The cleaning kit consists of a .303" pullthrough with steel or brass weight, a Mk5 black plastic oil bottle, 2 pieces of wire gauze, a nylon filament 'flicker' brush and a length of flannelette barrel cleaning cloth (4x2).Some of the 'flicker' brushes have been recycled and whilst serviceable, may have marks or staining to the handles or ferrules.
The tins are in unissued condition, although comensurate with their being now some 70 years old they may have scuffs or very minor rust patches from years of storage, and a few minor creases or dents where the original packing may have left something to be desired! See pictures for average condition.
Unit of sale; 1 tin complete with contents as listed above.
British Army Part No; B2/SM6A
Stock No; USERTOOL66.
Please note; Originally a similar tin was issued with the L1A1 SLR, however the contents differed and SLR cleaning kit tins do not have the soldered slide in the lid for the gauze or the clip for the flicker brush.
Lee Enfield Cleaning Kit
- Manufacturer: Lee Enfield
- Product Code: USERTOOL66
- Availability: 8