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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have struck out so far in finding copies of ordnance drawings for the "machine rifle ammunition chest M1".
I received one this week from ebay and it's a restoration project. It's lacking the 2 wooden dividers for the magazines as well as the woolen felt type material as padding in the lid and floor plate.

I'd like to know from anyone that may have a physical example they own what the dimensions are of:
1) wooden dividers...height rear, height front, circular cutout, thickness of wood
2) felt material..... approx thickness in lid, on floor, is the felt glued, is the floor pad one long length and the dividers press down upon it or is the pad cut into 3 lengths to fit between the dividers that sit on the metal floor, is the lid padding flat against the lid or is there a central spar underneath that causes the material to touch the magazines down the centerline.
Any advice on what modern felt material might mimic the original padding as best as possible ?

I only have very small thumbnails of a RIA drawing sheet provided by "embalmer" but it can't be zoomed in without all the words and numbers blurring.
The browningmgs.com site now seems to be taken off the internet so I can't access information from armorer (Tom Chial) that was stored there on WWII ammo boxes/chests.

Here is a photo of my M1 chest, I have now removed the lid rivets to attach a new leather strap to the brackets while I await info on the internal parts.
Thanks in advance for anyone's help, info, advice, measurements or drawings
Respectfully,
Andrew
Box Chest Trunk Furniture Wood
 

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Well here are some figures on the M1 Machine Rifle Chest'

The wood dividers are;
Hight: back 5-1/4 inch (wood is 3/4 below the back edge when installed)
Hight: front only a little shorter maybe only 1/8 shorter. [correction more like 1/2 inch} Kind of hard to measure as mine still has the felt liner. in the bottom

Thickness 1/2 inch
Width front to back 3-1/2 measured front to back of inside of box.
Circular cutout: Kind of hard to measure. It starts to taper about 1/2 inch from the wood divider top both sides.
At the widest point the cutout is 1-1/2 inch wide and almost exactly 2 inches deep and round at the bottom.


Felt top (I refer to this as ruff carpet material} Approximatly 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches wide. It is the same length as the inside of the lid. It appears the liner on the bottom the box is somewhat thiner.

I believe all felt parts were glued in. There is no central spar in the lid. However mine came with a separate piece of felt material about 1-1/4 wide that maybe was for that purpose. It showed evidence of having been glued in place at one time.

The chest was adopted with drawing D3930 date May 17, 1927 and was originally issued for the M1922 machine rifle a short lived version of the BAR.A later version of the drawing was from May 9, 1939 and another one dated Jan 25 1943 changed the drawing number to D41484.

Yes I am the guy that wrote the article you refer to. Too bad the site is now somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's awesome Armorer, Thank you !
that gives me some good measurements to go by and just tweak things according to my particular M1 chest, along with visually looking at the smaller thumbnail of the drawing sheet zoomed in for shapes, curves etc.

just out of curiosity, do the 2 wooden dividers appear to, according to your description... be affixed to the inside of the chest via their screws (front and back) resting on a full length of thinner padding ? or does the wood bottom out on the steel floor and 3 sections of padding fit between them. I could go a couple different routes in buying felted wool in smaller squares (to piece it in on bottom) or a longer sheet (if full box length for the bottom piece)

the reason I asked about a central spar under the lid felt is because in the arsenal drawing it appears there is a thicker built up piece under the full sized padding sheet, so you having a 1 1/4" strip seems like it matches my theory and the drawing.
when you get a chance could you let me know the thickness and length of that felt 1 1/4" strip please ?
Now I understand why you got a measurement of 4" for the top pad, because it needs to lay over the center strip and still make contact with the lid to be adhered.
i'm not sure what role that strip plays, unless it's to apply pressure along the centers of all the Mags lined up....though i'm not completely sure how the mags were arranged inside...floorplates up ? floorplates up staggered angle forward - angle back, follower up, etc... the floorplates upall angled forward could explain the extra strip apply pressure as they angle downward.
Text Line Font Diagram Parallel

I just saw an email from you earlier today coming to the same conclusion about the layout of the lid felts:thumbup:
 

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The 1-1/4 strip of material is 17 inches long just a little longer than the inside of the lid and appears to be about 3/4 inch thick. Keep in mind this stuff is over eighty years old and some may have shrunk or stretched. By the way it is backed by a mesh of white string material to hold it all together. The felt material is more like hair as it is all stringy and brown. The wider piece is 17 inches long and four inches wide. When I got this box I was going to throw the material away as it looked dirty and I didn't think it originally came with the box. The guy i bought it from said he thought it was an ammo box that someone had modified for some type of optical equipment, But it was totally original with all the parts.

It appears that the wood dividers rest on the thin material on the bottom. That made it a little hard to accurately measure the length of the wood pieces but I think I got it right. It is hard to tell without taking it all apart. But they could be separate pieces but fit real tight.

I think those fabrics strips did apply pressure on the magazines and kept them from shifting. That would make noise and remember the box was probably designed for cavalry. Another purpose would be to keep dust out as the Army had not figured out that a rubber gasket would work far better. Compared to the WWII boxes this one almost had a nineteenth century look about it.

Also what may look like rust in the inside of the lid is probably the remains of the glue that held those strips in.
 
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