Original U.S. Spanish-American War Model 1892 New York Contract Experimental “Ropes” Pattern Holster for Colt .38 Long Revolver

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is a rare piece of history! This “Model 1892” holster is a New York contract “Ropes Pattern” experimental holster featuring the “Mexican Loop”, as used with the Colt .38 Long Barrel Revolver! The holster design was attributed to Captain James M. Ropes as the result of his many years of practical experience in the US military, and reflected both his experience in the Civil War era volunteer army cavalry and in the later Indian War era regular army.

The black leather holster has the tapered body and full flap of a late Civil War Army pattern revolver holster with two unique features. It has an extended belt loop/skirt attached to the body and is referred to as a “Mexican Loop”. The Mexican Double Loop holster probably originated in northern Mexico or the American Southwest during the 1860's when cartridge belts became popular. The holster was cut from a single piece of leather, folded to create a belt loop and skirt behind the holster to fit over the cartridges in the belt. The second unique feature is the 11 .38 caliber cartridge loops attached to the mouth of the holster and fully covered by the flap.

The condition is excellent for the age but there is a bit of cracking in the finish, making any markings that would have been present difficult to find. There is however a marking on the front that is an embossed NY for New York contract and was used by state troops and police. A Lot of the stitching is still present but there is stitching loss present and the riveted/stitched closure tongue is is held on by a few thread which was an old repair done to ensure the two pieces stayed original to each other.

Other than the stitching loss, this is still an extremely attractive holster, one that is rarely encountered.

Comes more than ready for further research and display.

Colt M1892
The M1892's counter-clockwise cylinder rotation tended to force the cylinder out of alignment with the frame over time, and this was exacerbated by relatively weak lockwork used to "time", or match individual chambers to the barrel. In 1908, Colt improved and strengthened the lockwork, and changed the cylinder rotation to a clockwise movement.

A Model 1892 revolver was recovered from the USS Maine after it exploded in Havana Harbor in 1898. It was presented to then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, who would later become President of the United States. Roosevelt brandished this pistol to rally his Rough Riders during the famed charge up San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898. This revolver was on display at Sagamore Hill and was stolen from there in 1963, recovered and then stolen again in 1990. It was recovered in 2006 and returned to Sagamore Hill on June 14, 2006.

This revolver was thought of as a decent handgun for its time, but complaints arose from the military concerning the revolver's cartridge chambering. Beginning in 1899, combat reports arose from the Philippines campaign regarding the poor performance of the M1892's .38-caliber ammunition. Specifically, users complained that the .38 bullet repeatedly failed to stop charging Filipino rebels at close ranges, even when hit multiple times. The complaints caused the U.S. Army to hurriedly issue stocks of .45 caliber revolvers, and played a central role in its decision to replace the M1892 with the .45 Colt M1909 New Service revolver in 1909.

In the rush to furnish arms to the rapidly expanding Army and Navy after the United States entered World War I, surplus stocks of these old Colts were inspected, refurbished as needed, and then issued to rear-echelon Army troops and Navy officers as a substitute standard side arm.

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