Original U.S. WWII Unissued M1916 .45 Colt 1911 Leather Holster by Warren Leather Goods Company

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice totally original M1916 holster in very nice condition. It is marked U.S. / WARREN LEATHER GOODS CO on the back, and embossed U S on the flap, indicating that this was a military issue holster.

The leather is a nice natural color and not the dark russet brown often encountered. This is the color they were produced in and having not been issued, it was stained or oiled, still retaining its original color. No major damage to the leather, all stitches still intact, all brass parts still present with a bit of verdigris, and a steel WWII style belt clip. The leather is still supple as well and retains the leg strap.

Just perfect for a high grade WWII issue 1911 .45 pistol.

Many .45 pistols were acquired by troops who were not officially authorized to be issued them as called for in their unit’s TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment). However, such regulations were rarely enforced in combat zones, and many G.I.s and Marines who could acquire a .45 did so, and considered themselves lucky.

A leather hip holster, the Model of 1912, was standardized soon after the M1911’s adoption. This holster had a swivel attachment to make it better adapted to cavalry use. Just before America’s entry into World War I, the Model of 1916 holster was adopted, which differed from the M1912 primarily in the deletion of the swivel feature. Both were fitted with wire hooks that attached to the grommets on the bottom of the standard webbed pistol belt or cartridge belt. There were sufficient numbers of World War I-vintage M1916 holsters to meet the demand until the U.S. became actively involved in World War II. The M1916 holster was put back into production and almost 3 million were made by 18 different commercial firms between 1941 and 1945. These holsters were embossed with a large “U.S.” on the cover flap, with the name of the maker and year of production on back.

A leather shoulder holster for the .45 pistol, designated as the “M3,” was adopted in 1942 for use by aviators, tankers and others who preferred carrying the pistol over the hip holster. An improved shoulder holster design was standardized in 1944 as the M7. The pistol was secured in the shoulder holster by means of leather strap with a snap fastener. The shoulder holsters were also embossed with a large “U.S” on the front, with the identity of the manufacturer and year of production on the back.

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