Original British WWI Lewis LMG Clearing Plug – No. 2 Modified
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Original Item: In British nomenclature, this was referred to as a ?clearing plug.? If a cartridge case ruptured, leaving the forward part of the case in the barrel chamber, this tool was inserted into the chamber and the stud extending from the elbow of the tool was tapped forward. This caused the machined ridges on the exterior of the tool to grab the broken shell from the inside. The handle of the clearing plug was then rotated forward, levering the broken case out of the chamber. After many clearing plugs had been manufactured, a directive was issued to modify them to permit use as a stuck cartridge tool. The end of the handle was curved and machined to provide a grip for the rim of the .303 cartridge. The modified clearing plug was identified as the No. 2, and the unmodified tool became the No. 1. At the same time, newly made clearing plugs were manufactured with the stuck case tool in the handle. These were also identified as No. 2. Consequently, there are three general variations of the tool:
1. The original clearing plug with unmodified handle.
2. The original clearing plug modified to include the stuck case tool.
3. Newly made clearing plugs with the stuck case tool built in.
Examining the markings on variations 2 and 3 of the tool will indicate whether the tool was modified from the original configuration (No. 1)…