I was prompted to compile this quick at-a-glance guide because of some discussions / questions in some recent threads. It’s by no means definitive, but is just an overview of some of the most commonly encountered components which are frequently mis-identified and even mis-represented as being “original US...” on eBay and in various seller’s lists. Hopefully, it will help prevent less experienced collectors from making bad purchases! I’ll use the generic term “Euro” for the non-US parts unless the country of origin is actually known.
Firstly, perhaps the most commonly encountered Euro component is the Belgian liner chinstrap. This is very similar to the original US design but there are several significant differences. These will be quite obvious in the comparison pics but, by rule of thumb, they will be of a thicker/coarser grade of leather in a light tan shade and the hardware will be of unmarked brass. These are commonly used as substitutes for missing US chinstraps and, at a glance, look ok. US chinstraps are of a finer grade of dark russet leather with impressed “tramlines”, blackened hardware and maker marks are usually stamped on the buckles and /or rivets. (the US chinstrap is at the top)
Edited by Bugme, 14 January 2014 - 03:21 PM.