One of the great improvements the Canadian 82 pattern webbing set brought over its predecessor, the 64 pattern set, was that it finally reintroduced a dedicated ammunition pouch: that the 64 pattern did not have one is still frankly baffling. The new set was heavily influenced by the US ALICE system and in the end two distinct variants of the pouch were produced, an original plain ammunition pouch and a later development with a pair of grenade pouches fitted to either side:The pouches held two magazines for the service rifle, with a pair of lifting tabs to help pull them out of the pouch:The user’s manual illustrated how to use them:A top cover was provided to keep the elements off the magazines, secured with the standard plastic and webbing tape quick release buckle:The back of the pouch has the usual plastic tabs to engage with the eyelets on the 82 pattern belt:Velcro then passes over them to help secure it further:Drainage holes are fitted to the base of the pouch to allow water to drain off:The second pattern pouches have two grenade pockets on either side of the main pouch body. I do not have a Canadian grenade available, but this British training grenade illustrates the principle:Variants of this pouch can be found to fit FN C1 magazines and C7 magazines, with slightly larger examples available to house FN C2 magazines. The pouches were generally well liked, the most serious complaint being that the stitching sometimes broke and became loose, the go to repair being to patch them up with heavy duty tape.
This week’s Canadian webbing post is the 82 pattern canteen carrier. The 82 pattern set continued the plastic canteen of the earlier webbing sets, but introduced a radically different webbing carrier:This is made from a dark green nylon with a shaped lid that fits over the neck of the canteen. This is secured by the plastic quick release tab typical of this set. This opens easily to allow access to the canteen within:The 82 pattern manual illustrates this component nicely and shows that the pouch is designed to have enough room to hold a cup fitted around the base of the canteen as well:On the rear are the usual plastic posts for attaching the pouch to the belt of the 82 pattern system:Full canteens, like ammunition pouches, are one of the heaviest items on a webbing set and as with other pieces we have looked at, a large piece of Velcro is provided to wrap around the belt to aid with supporting the canteen:Sadly the manufacturer’s marks for this piece are not the clearest, but I believe they indicate the pouch was made by Manta in April 1993:Although commonly seen with the plastic canteen, the carrier could also hold later patterns of Canadian Army issue thermos flask- essential for carrying hot drinks in a cold Canadian winter. Unfortunately the thermos bottle was too large to fit a cup around it so troops had to choose between the metal cup or the hot drink!
The British Army never had an official pouch for Sterling SMG magazines, soldiers just placed them in the standard 58 pattern. The Canadians did things rather differently and issued a dedicated pouch that could take three magazines for their version of the gun, the C1. Tonight we are looking at one of these pouches, designed to work with the 82 pattern webbing set. The pouch is designed to hold three magazines and is made from a dark green nylon fabric:The top flap is secured with a plastic quick release buckle and webbing tab:The back of the flap has two plastic fasteners to attach it to the 82 belt, with Velcro to help secure them:Each individual pocket has a loop of nylon webbing inside that helps draw out the magazine:You pull these upwards and they draw the base of the magazines vertically up so they can be gripped and pulled out:As is usual with these sort of pouches, drainage holes are fitted at the base of the pouch:The C1 SMG used different magazines to the British Sterling, so British magazines do not fit into these pouches. There were a number of differences between British guns and Canadian examples:
- C1 had a one piece bolt, the UK one had a two piece
- different recoil springs
- Canadian magazines had a basic follower (10 and 30 round capacity), UK ones a roller which was far more reliable.
- trigger groups and shape of the trigger gurards are different
- rear butts are slightly different (the UK one is lighter with more holes in the strut)
- mag releases are different
- front and rear sights are different (C1 SMG used the same front sight as the FN C1 and C2 family of small arms, and the front sight adjusting screw was the same as the arctic trigger guard retaining screw on the C1 and C2.
- different bayonets are used (FNC1 on Canadain guns and the No5 jungle carbine bayonet on the UK ones)
- end caps are different
- on some UK versions the protective surfaces were painted, while the C1 SMG was phosphated
Tonight we are starting our detailed look at the first of our Canadian 82 pattern webbing components, the belt. Ironically the belt owed a lot to a design dating back more than seventy years before the set was introduced. The three inch wide belt of the 08 pattern webbing was particularly good at distributing weight and being comfortable for the wearer. Canada adopted the same particularly wide belt for its new 82 pattern webbing:If the width of the belt was based on a very old design, the rest of the design was far more up to date; with a large black Fastex buckle being used to secure the belt:This buckle was both strong and secure, but also easy to undo if needed. The belt itself was made of a cotton webbing, left plain on the inside for comfort:And with a waterproof nylon layer on the outside to make it more waterproof:Note the reinforced eyelets along the entire length of the belt, these allow the components of the set to attach to the belt with small plastic hooks, as detailed in the post here. This was the weakest part of the belt’s design, as recalled by one user: The biggest problem you will find is that if you remove the equipment from the belt a lot either to wash or re-position it, the grommets will pull off of the belt and stay stuck on the tabs. This ends up so that only the Velcro holds on the equipment. Not a big deal if you can turn it into QM for a new one. There were three sizes produced, as referenced in the accompanying manual, each with its own unique stores code:
Following last week’s look at the Canadian 64 pattern set here, tonight we are taking an introductory overview of its immediate successor, the 82 pattern set:As with last week’s post, my thanks go out to Andrew Iarocci for his help in supplying me with these sets of webbing- they are not common on this side of the Atlantic! The 82 pattern set was the first modern nylon set of webbing adopted by Canada, and it draws heavily on contemporary US designs with the accompanying user manual almost a word for word copy of its US equivalent. The design is a vast improvement on the 64 pattern design and is built around a broad 3” wide belt and a padded yoke assemble. Pouches and packs are then fastened onto the belt with plastic tabs and Velcro:A large variety of pouches were available, with various modifications undertaken to them over their service life, we will look at these in more detail as we study each component in turn. There were four different standardized set ups for the kit; Fighting Order, Battle Order and Marching Order:The basic layout of my 82 pattern webbing is set out below:The 82 pattern was generally welcomed by the infantry, although it was not without its shortcomings- the plastic fasteners to attach the various pouches were liable to become brittle and break at low temperatures, something Canada is famous for! One user Dean O, reports:
82 Pattern!!! I really hated that crap, on the belt the grommets sometimes would pull out, the plastic “bars” on the equipment bits, would break off at the top and or bottom in extreme cold weather ( and remember we have that here), and what a pain to adjust it to make it fit over parkas or make it smaller for summer, again, the buckle would break in very cold weather .and that back pack!!!?? What were they thinking?? I could never get it to fit correctly, and, again to adjust it took a lot of time and everything had to be moved to keep it even, and as everything “locked” into the belt, it took time and never seemed to ride correctly on shorter people like myself.
Despite that, the set remained in use well into the 2000s, and saw service out in Afghanistan before being replaced with more modern systems. As ever we will be looking in greater detail at the components in the coming months.