The following information was found on a web page at the link listed here:
I would have otherwise provided credit to the author, as well as the book he/she
published; however, the posting cited is only identified as coming from a user
of that web site identified by the name Alibi; the name of the book was never
BEGIN QUOTED MATERIAL
Trial web rifle slings, canteen and haversack straps, 1901
What follows is mostly an extract of the entry in my book regarding these sling/
straps as they relate to the canteens and the special hooks assembled to the
canteen that were sent for trial in the Philippines (there is no record of any
sent to Cuba or anywhere else). The reports from officers commanding units that
tested these sling/straps quoted here were representative of many more that were
received and reviewed by the Ordnance Department.
The modified canteens and haversacks were probably turned in to the Manila Ordnance
Depot and serviceable canteens and haversacks rebuilt with the standard strap loops.
The rifle swivels had to have been substituted in the Philippines and no doubt the
original sling swivels were restored. The swivels sent for trial with the web sling/
straps were probably discarded. Since the authors of the two primary source books
on the Krags were unaware of the special swivels issued the swivels must be an
extremely rare item, and without documentation of them any that still exist would
probably not be recognized for what they are.
[...] (Text Omitted)
Extract from the Proceeding of Board of Ordnance and Fortification, Washington, D.C.,
May 8, 1901., (RG156 E28 O.O.36496):
The Board resumed consideration of a letter, dated February 20, 1901, from Thomas
C. Orndorff, submitting samples of a woven gun sling, canteen and haversack straps,
and requesting that a number be purchased for test. Gen. Anson Mills, representing
Mr. Orndorff, appeared before the Board and explained the advantages claimed for the
form of strap, calling attention to the necessity of so modifying the present wire
loops on canteens and haversacks and swivels on rifles as to facilitate the attachment
of the woven straps. It is recommended that there be allotted from the appropriation,
Board of Ordnance and Fortification the sum of $1,200, or so much thereof as may be
necessary, for the purchase of a sufficient number of these straps to completely equip
one of the infantry regiments serving in the field. The expenditure under this allotment
to be made by the Chief of Ordnance. A report as to the merits of these woven straps
should be forwarded to this office as soon as practicable.
The Ordnance Department on June 11, 1901 ordered from The Mills Woven Cartridge Belt
Co. 3,900 woven web adjustable and interchangeable canteen or haversack straps or gun
slings. Sample strap/slings were sent to R.I.A. July 6, 1901, with instructions for
preparing the loops on trial canteens and haversacks. Extract from Memoranda concerning
experimental stores., (RG156 E203 p25):
Straps - Canteen-haversack 1300 invoiced to Manila Aug. 13, 1901 (with split loops)
V-285 Rock Island Arsenal 26116-4, C. of O. End. Aug. 2, 1901
Maj. Stanhope E. Blunt, Ord., CO, Rock Island Arsenal reported to Brig. Gen. Adelbert
R. Buffington, Chief of Ordnance, on August 12, 1901, that 1300 special canteens, 1300
special haversacks and 2600 woven canteen and haversack straps were shipped to the
Chief Ordnance Officer, Division of the Philippines, Manila, P.I.
The reports from officers of the First U.S. Infantry Regiment were all unfavorable.
Report of Capt. Francis E. Lacey Jr., Inf., CO, Company A, First U.S. Infantry Regiment,
Catubig, Samar, Philippine Islands, August 13, 1902, (RG156 E28 O.O.36116-16 Enc.1):
I have the honor to submit the following report upon woven gun slings, haversack straps
and canteen straps as required by endorsement from your office dated November 7th 1901.
These articles were issued in Company “A” for use April 15th 1902. They have not been
tested in active operations as they were received here when such operations had ceased.
The only good feature of these articles so far as has appeared is that they are
interchangeable. The objections are as follows:
1. Difficult to keep clean and to cleanse when soiled
2. Tendence [sic] to swell and get stiff when wet.
3. Canteen and haversack straps are too narrow across the shoulder being thus inferior
to new Haversack-straps and canteen straps [Canteen-haversack strap] issued by
4. Gunsling is difficult to adjust.
In my Company the leather straps and slings are prefered [sic].
Report of unidentified First Lieutenant, CO, Company B, First U.S. Infantry Regiment,
Laguan, Samar, Philippine Islands, September 15, 1902, (RG156 E28 O.O.36116-16 Enc.2):
I have the honor to submit the following report on the web slings and split hooks issued
to Co. “B”, 1st Infantry for trial. My experience with these articles has proven to me
conclusively their unfitness for use in the field. The slings become dirty very soon,
then tend to fold and become stringy and then cuts into a mans shoulder. The slings on
the guns are hard to adjust and all of the slings become rotten very soon, when exposed
to bad weather. They also wear out quickly. Even in Garrison they appear to me to be no
improvement on the leather sling.
Comments: The straps were identical and interchangeable as canteen straps, haversack straps
or rifle slings.
Mills production for commercial sales is likely and it is unknown if existing examples
are from the Army trials. Straps with double brass hooks assembled to adapt them to the
regulation canteen and haversack loops may be condemned Army contract or commercial sale
items. It is reported that the straps with double wire brass hooks were sold by Bannerman,
New York. An unidentified circa mid-1900s, military goods catalog has an illustration of
web canteen and haversack straps that are consistent in width. Extract description from
this catalog, “Woven web shoulder slings for carrying canteen and haversack. Slings and
belts are made of heavy drab-colored woven web by the Mills Cartridge Belt Co. under
contract to the U.S. Govt.”
I have copies of all the documents related to these trial slings/straps except final
disposition which was apparently surplus sale. The attached documents were the final
correspondence regarding this item.
Edited by US Victory Museum, 04 November 2015 - 02:19 PM.