Original U.S. Pre WWI Era Rare Experimental Mills Web Holster With Eagle Snap Belt, Double Magazine Pouch and Rare M1906 First Aid Dressing Pouch - All Tagged With Same Retailer Tag, Harding Uniform & Regalia Co.
Original Items: Only One Set Available. Now this is an excellent Mills belt rig that features some rare items! The set includes a beautiful experimental M1911 holster, M1906 First Aid Dressing Pouch, Double Mag Pouch and the belt itself. Truly a spectacular array of items already set up to display! A board was assembled to examine infantry field equipment both from the standpoint of the lessons learned in Cuba and the Philippines, and in regards to producing a cartridge belt compatible with the new rifle. The old pattern double-loop cartridge belt could not be used to hold the five-round clips needed for the proposed rifle.
New pattern equipment was approved with production to begin in 1904. The new equipment consisted of a drab woven cotton nine-pocket cartridge belt with a bronze wire interlocking buckle. Each pocket could hold two five-round clips of .30 caliber rifle ammunition, and had a flap secured with a bronze metal eagle snap fastener which looked like a small Pattern 1902 general service button on the outside.
The items in this group:
- M1911 Pistol Experimental Web Holster by Mills: Constructed of heavy woven fabric consisting of three major component parts, the body/flap, hanger and hanger loop. All the edges are bound with a lighter weight cloth to prevent fraying. The hanger is attached to the holster body by two brass rivets and the hanger loop is attached to the hanger by a large brass swivel. The pistol rest, inside the holster, is made of felt, stitched to the back of the body. The stitching on the body is reinforced, at the trigger guard area, with two brass rivets.
The end cap is brass and held in place with six rivets. The hanger and snap closure are also brass. All brass parts have a blackened finish called "Mills Bronze" by the company. The fabric color is olive drab or khaki. A cloth leg strap (missing) with brass buckle is attached to the holster through a two-position brass eyelet riveted to the back of body. The end of the muzzle cap is stamped with the Mills trademark.
On September 7, 1911, approximately six months after the adoption of the Model 1911 pistol, the Mills Woven Cartridge Belt Company wrote the Chief of Ordnance.
"It would be of great assistance to us to have a sample of the holster made at Rock Island Arsenal for the new automatic pistol. We desire to submit to you a sample holster in woven fabric made on some new lines. If practicable, will you kindly direct that one of these holsters be sold to us?"
No holsters were yet being manufactured at Rock Island and the Mills Company was so advised. On February 7, 1912, however, one was shipped to them at a price of $1.55. Shortly thereafter, the Mills Company again wrote the Chief of Ordnance.
"We send you under separate cover a sample holster of woven fabric intended for carrying the new Colt.45 Automatic.”
- M1906 First Aid Pouch by Mills: In lovely condition with signs of faithful service wear without extensive damage.
- Double Magazine Pouch by Mills: In lovely condition without any extensive damage. One of the more interesting features of this pouch is that the butts of the magazines left a visible imprint on the inside of the top flap.
An incredible set that comes more than ready for further research and display.
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