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    304K WEBBING SET

    CRjackson37
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    Post by CRjackson37 Thu Nov 16, 2023 11:46 am

    I picked up this basic set of the 304K, and thanks to this forum I got the right canteen. Is there any more to this set beyond maybe that rucksack, a bayonet and flashlight? The set seems so sparse. Are bayonets difficult to find, I hear that Sweden is strict with weapon exports. I have a metal mess kit and a plastic one too.

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    Jaysgear


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    Post by Jaysgear Thu Nov 16, 2023 12:14 pm

    Hi, I'm in the UK and collect Swedish gear 1970-1990. I have the same set as above. I have the gas mask in its bag (skyddmask) and the Medic first aid kit which I have both seen attatched to the 304 webbing. As well as the Bayonet there is a small tool loop which goes on the belt and can be used to carry items like the entrenching tool (spade). I have seen a red handled Morakniv being carrried on the belt but that's not standard. As for the flashlight it will slide on the belt but but it wasn't carried there, it was in a pocket or a pouch, it can also be attached to a button.
    If you find somewhere that will send a bayonet from Sweden, let me know as I'm looking for the same one (AK4).
    I have some Swedish metal mess kits but not seen a plastic one? "Whats it look like?
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    d99wipe
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    Post by d99wipe Tue Dec 05, 2023 12:11 pm

    Bayonets appear regularly on tradera.se or egun.de. They are around the £80 mark. Bayonets are traded legally in Sweden.

    For the nerdy, they were produced during 3 years by two manufacturers. 1967 with a polymerized wood scabbard by bahco, 1968 with a plastic scabbard by bahco and 1975 by eickhorn, in principle the same as the 1968. The 1967 ones command a premium. A swedish ak4 bayonet will have the blade finished bright so they are easy to identify.

    The 304k is indeed very sparse. Tool carrier beltloop or the older leather strap and carabiner. The ABC-mask bag 03 can be attached with the carabiner thingies you have attached to eyelets on the suspenders. As you were taking the belt on and off regularly, while you weren't supposed to ever be without the ABC mask, most preferred to carry it in its strap. With the 304k it was supposed to be carried with the strap around the waist as opposed to over the shoulder.

    Other things that could be added could be a flare gun holster, one of a number of radio pouches, mainly the r135-pouch that would replace one mag pouch. A lensatic compass in its leather pouch would be worn on the left shoulder by those with artillery observer training, which included a lot of the coastal rangers.

    There is a very rare binocular case of a similar design to the pouches. I think this may have been a trial thing. Another trial thing was a small day sack that attached to the suspenders at the back. I think it had 3 attachment points and seemed very unstable. It was trialled by the coastal jaegers, maybe others.

    Mora knives were mostly banned to carry without securing the knife in the sheath for obvious reasons. These were often carried in the trouser belt which would fit the slots in the strap, but you could always tape it anywhere. Due to the untidy appearance of this it would be rather unlikely to be allowed.

    It was supposed to be used with the lk35 backpack or the lk70 if you were a jaeger or scout. In battle the backpacks were supposed to be in the vehicle or in a hideout. There was a trial in around 1982 with quick release shoulder straps for the lk35.

    I'm guessing by canteen, the bottles are referred to, the plastic bottle or the aluminium m/27 bottle, both are accurate for this kit. When it comes to cookware, it is the messkit m/40 in stainless or aluminum. It is used with a combination utensils and plastic cup (Kåsa, pronounced cause-a) and "ragata" wash sponges. The jaeger regiments had a traditional spirit burner stove m/63. These were all generally carried in the backpack.

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    CRjackson37
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    Post by CRjackson37 Tue Dec 05, 2023 2:34 pm

    Jaysgear wrote:
    I have some Swedish metal mess kits but not seen a plastic one? "Whats it look like?
    I checked and found out my plastic mess kit is a commercial item. It came with my plastic cup, I thought it might have been an issue item.



    CRjackson37
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    Post by CRjackson37 Tue Dec 05, 2023 2:49 pm

    d99wipe wrote:Bayonets appear regularly on tradera.se or egun.de. They are around the £80 mark. Bayonets are traded legally in Sweden.

    I'm guessing by canteen, the bottles are referred to, the plastic bottle or the aluminium m/27 bottle, both are accurate for this kit.

    Thank you for letting me know, I thought weapon control was more strict. Do you know if black furniture for the AK4 can be purchased and shipped overseas? Genuine Swedish furniture ain't easy to find in the states.

    The webbing set that came before the 304K, I'm not sure of the destination. About when was that phased out? Is the 304K still in service in any capacity

    Thank you for the information and any future insights.

    - Chris Jackson
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    d99wipe
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    Post by d99wipe Tue Dec 05, 2023 7:35 pm

    Swedish furniture is pretty much unfindable over here too I'm afraid. But perfectly legal to trade. The illegal parts in sweden are barrels, (upper) receivers and bolts, in any condition, ie deactivation does not make them legal.

    The trial wepons were however kept and used in the years following adoption. You can see the black german stock with the 3 holes in presentation materials around the time of the adoption and a friend of mine who was with the K4 norrland jaegers saw the wooden furniture in their arms room. I have heard some stories indicating that they prefered the wood as the plastic would become brittle in cold weather, which might explain that weapon.

    The swedish handguard is very similar to the german black one. The black one has a rubberized coating while the swedish one is massive. The stocks are of identical material but the swedish one is about one shoulder plate longer which massively affects the weapons wieldability. Not to mention what happens when you put the special shoulder plate for the optics on it! It has 2 hole-rivets while most germans have 3. There are german length stocks with 2 holes, maybe commercial, that look quite OK. Some of the original stocks were shortened to german length but it looks different from one made that way from the start. It is known as a girl stock, but it was popular among most once the armour made it into service. The paratroopers used a standard german retractable stock from 1975.

    The 304k was used from 1981 to a few years beyond 2000. I don't know of any exact phase out date. The previous rig was called stridssele S (combat yoke S). It came in 1958 and was in service a few years into the 90's. From the late 70's a lot of them were changed to 304k specification, the C-clips on the pouches were moved to the upper band of the pouches so they hung low like the 304k and the yoke and buttpack was removed. No suspenders were used in this configuration.

    The stridssele S has a few variants. The first ones are really rare and feature a rather hard and glossy rubber coating. Then there is the matte rubber coating version. Then came the canvas pouches, and this had 2 variations as it later got the hooks on the belt replaced with small D-rings, with the furniture on the side straps changed to match. All these variants came during the 60's and all variants were used throughout, but the canvas variety gets more common as time goes by, and the glossy one was never common.

    A variant might be mentioned here, the K4 jaegers and possibly the I22 jaegers attached big metal D-rings to the side of their belts by means of thick leather straps riveted over them. I've seen this done to stridssele S belts but I guess the prachice must have been continued with the 304K. These D-rings were for pulling pulks. I have heard that these were also used by some scouts while undergoing winter education.

    Between 1952 and 1990 the doctrine was that trials should be made where the equipment was to be used, so trials and trial gear makes these kits really interresting. You have to figure out what trials were carried out at a certain regiment during the time you are portraying. The 304k was trialled as the fm/76 belt which had 4 pouches, 2 grenade pouches and 2 single mag ak4 pouches or k-pist pouches almost identical to the adopted pattern. These were trialled at the regiments I17, I15 and K3 at least. The stridssele S was trialled in a huge number of variants from 1951 to 1958.

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    Post by CRjackson37 Thu Dec 21, 2023 2:09 am

    Hello,

    I was able to aquire a set of Stridssele S in canvas, and the waist belt has hooks. I also got a metal canteen with wool cover and a camouflaged shelter quarter.

    My webbing set came with green leather lashing straps. Are they used to attach the shelter quarter to the rear pack?

    I like to collect rifles to compliment the webbing sets. Since an AK4 isn't available to me, would and m/96 rifle or Ag m/42 rifle with corresponding bayonet be appropriate in the early to mid 1960's? The m/96 is much easier to get here in the states.

    Do Swedish manuals state, the items to be packed in the webbing or did individual commanders dictate what was carried?
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    d99wipe
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    Post by d99wipe Thu Dec 21, 2023 8:53 am

    The green leather lashing straps are an option to the otherwise more common canvas strap of of similar material and with similar furniture to the rig itself. They are mostly used to lash cargo, such as the rolled shelter half, ground pad, snow suit, reindeer hide, above the buttpack.

    Well, the rig came out in 1958 (actually maybe 1960, yours maybe 1961) but the AK4 was first issued in 1966, so there is an overlap with the ag m/42 and your specific variant of the stridssele. The mauser would have been rare at that time, but it remained in service with the home guard almost all the way up until 1990. The stridssele was introduced in the home guard at a date later than the army, I don't know the exact one. I'm not sure whether they would've avoided issuing the stridssele together with a mauser either, but if there is an overlap it would most likely be the home guard. Actually, a home guard would be rather likely to be able to get one if he would have liked to, but I would expect him to figure it too large to spare the room for it!

    As for bayonets it is the mauser m/96 bayonet. It was issued also with the ak4 and kpist even if it couldn't be attached. For the kpist there was a special barrel shroud that could take the longer cavalry carbine bayonet or the even longer navy carbine bayonet but this barrel shroud was not general issue. The AK4 bayonet only made its first appearance in 1968.

    If you do get an m/96 bayonet make sure that you get the frog adapted for use with the stridssele. They drilled out the rivets and made the channel larger, so you can identify them by the leftover rivet holes.

    What was carried is a little bit flexible in the manuals. The swedish army could be very detailed with where things could be put and what each pocket should be used for, but the Stridssele is an exception where the manuals give the soldiers a lot of leeway. The front pouches are not mag pouches but utility pouches, which could, in addition to carrying magazines, be used to carry hand grenades, flare guns, pistols, radios and boxes of ammo. In the buttpack you would carry a sweater, the mess kit, your field portion, extra socks, spare ammo, personal items. I think the general thought governing the use of the stridssele was mission specific adaptations.

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    CRjackson37
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    Post by CRjackson37 Thu Dec 21, 2023 11:48 am

    Reindeer hide? I gotta know more about that.

    Thank you very much. The part about the m/96 bayonet is a great tip, I wouldn't have otherwise known. I'll keep my eyes peeled for an ag m/42, they're not cheap but they are usually readily available.

    Did Sweden ever atempt to adapt the stridssele or 304K pouches for modern use? I'm referring to adapters like are seen with the USGI MOLLE II set, that allows Older items that use metal clips or M1910 wire hooks. Are you familiar with those?

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    Post by d99wipe Thu Dec 21, 2023 2:48 pm

    Reindeer hide was used as a sleeping pad for service in the north replacing a more traditional foam one. At least among the elite regiments. VERY warm and comfortable if rather frail.

    In the third picture you can see the then world champion of boxing, Ingemar Johansson.

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    The AG m/42 is not only a handsome rifle but exciting in the sense that it is separate line of semi rifle from the common ones. Semi rifles that were in general issue arent all that common. Very soft shooting an accurate but a little finnicky to handle. The term AG-thumb was a term in the military back then and you wouldn't want one. I'd get an ag in a heartbeat if it was possible.

    I've never seen pouches used later. Although not strictly impossible, the pouches on the later vests were good and the hard pouches from the 304k are rather unwieldly in comparison. Especially when worn on top of a flak vest.

    They were send in quantity to the baltic countries where they were used for a few years so there are some additional options for usage!

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    Post by CRjackson37 Mon Jan 29, 2024 5:35 pm

    I got my Stridssele S set up with the metal cans with wool cover. I also picked up some other items, I'm not sure if they go with the Stridssele, 304K, or something else.

    Green leather lashing straps (1 pair)

    Stove with brass alcohol burner, plastic bottle and nesting utensil set.

    Two pairs of grey woolen mittens with finger holes.

    A camouflaged shelter quarter

    An M26 helmet with what Im guessing is a later upgrade. I understand that these were used by civil defense forces, is that correct?

    I'm considering buying a pair of long john trousers and M59 shirt. I'm not sure if they are items that would be carried in the pack. I'm still working toward the m/37 helmet, gasmask, bayonets, full size packs and other items to include the rifles.



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    Post by CRjackson37 Mon Jan 29, 2024 5:38 pm

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    d99wipe
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    Post by d99wipe Mon Jan 29, 2024 6:53 pm

    Green leather lashing straps (1 pair)
    It is possible that these or something similar would be used on occasion. Originally it would be supplied with a set of straps of similar materials to the rig, as you know.

    Stove with brass alcohol burner, plastic bottle and nesting utensil set.
    These guys go in the buttpack! It would all be silenced with a plastic bag with "ragata" brand wash sponges.

    Two pairs of grey woolen mittens with finger holes.
    Ordinarilly carried in the right back pocket of the coat.

    A camouflaged shelter quarter.
    I like these. They are rolled up and lashed over the buttpack.

    An M26 helmet with what Im guessing is a later upgrade. I understand that these were used by civil defense forces, is that correct?
    Yep, and I'm not sure the 1965 lined ones were ever issued.

    I'm considering buying a pair of long john trousers and M59 shirt. I'm not sure if they are items that would be carried in the pack.
    According to the manuals, apart from the cookware that you already have, the buttpack should also contain a spare shirt, so that'd be good. Nice shirts they are too. A woolen knit sweater, likely the green one with a zipper, a p38 type can opener, and a pair of socks. Finally you'd put your rations in there.

    I'm still working toward the m/37 helmet, gasmask, bayonets, full size packs and other items to include the rifles.
    Full size pack? Like the backpacks? The stridssele S would not be worn while carrying a backpack. The 304k belt could be though.

    Other items that might be worth your attention is the parka, or coma coat as they are known. It is to be rolled and carried together with the shelter half.

    The bottle is in its proper place, good work. THe bayonet and the intenching tool go on the other side. There is a holder for the intrenching tool that might be worth looking for. It is a wide cotton canvas belt loop with a short leather strap and buckle attached. The intrenching tool would later be carried he-man style hanging over the cross strap of the yoke, blade to the outside. I dislike carrying it at all as it tends to rub against stuff.

    The mag pouches are actually utility pouches and you would put other things in there such as tools and spares for the weapon, flashlight, flare gun, pistol, all depending on mission needs. There would also be other things that you'd have to figure out a way to carry such as the snowsuit, spare ammo for the machine gun and carl gustaf recoilless rifle, etc. What I state above is what the manual mandates but there would be adaptations.

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