Posted is a revolver cartridge belt developed for the Colt New Model Double
Action Army in caliber .38 Long Colt for service in the US Navy.
Mills also produced versions with Navy buttons in both khaki/tan (c. 1905), as
well as drab (c. 1907).
The decorative buckle suggests use by officers; however, Mills revolver belts
could be ordered with any optional buckle, or clasp.
It remains to be documented whether these (dark) belts were personal purchase
items procured by officers for their use, or whether some belts were ordered
from Mills by the Navy to accompany their direct purchases of revolvers from
Smith & Wesson for Navy use.
Mills provided their canvas holsters for evaluation for Government contracts;
however, the services retained leather as their material of choice. Nevertheless,
Mills made them available for personal purchase in their supply catalogs.
Both Mills and Russell revolver cartridge belts appear in many early photographs,
and many belts in collectors' possession are marked to military units indicating
service ownership, not personal ownership.