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Cartridge Belt, cal. .30, Model of 1910 (Mounted), Style B

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During the twenty year period between the Spanish-American
War, and the Great War (1898-1918), the American army
underwent a revolution of modernization: from mule pulled
wagons, to motor driven trucks; from balloon observation,
to maneuverable aeronautic fighters. A board was convened
to field test and to evaluate web gear that would come to
be known as the 1910 equipment.

While many are familiar with much of the approved items
that were adopted and issued en mass, there are some items
that only existed in small numbers; and taken with destructive
consumption over the years, many collectors are not familiar
with these articles beyond some black-'n'-white photos from
old equipment catalogs, or some general text in equipment
allocation tables.

This is one of two cartridge belts authorized for mounted
troops; both were produced by Mills and both designated
"cartridge belt, cal. .30, model of 1910 (mounted)". Mills,
in their catalog, distinguished between the two by calling
one "style A", and the other "style B"; it seems, however,
the army did not draw a distinction between the two which
creates both difficulty and confusion when reading period
documents to determine which is being referred to.

This post concerns "style B", which is the more rare between
the two.

 

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The casual observer may be forgiven if he assumes that
this is the "cartridge belt, cal. .30, model of 1914
(mounted)" Upon first glance, they do appear almost
identical; however, this belt pre-existed the adoption
of the M1914 and its design by Rock Island Arsenal.

 

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In a Government document produced by the US Ordnance
Department titled: Description of the Infantry Equipment
Model of 1910
, published Mar. 11, 1912, revised Jul 02, 1914

On page 15 may be found the following:


CARTRIDGE BELT CALIBER .30, MODEL OF 1910 (MOUNTED).

(Plate VII.)

SPECIFICATIONS.-The specifications for the cartridge
belt, caliber .30 (mounted), are similar to those for
the cartridge belt, caliber .30 (dismounted), except
as follows:

The left pocket section shall have four pockets of
the required size for holding two United States rifle
cartridge clips and in front of these a double woven
web pocket for carrying two magazines for the automatic
pistol, caliber .45, model of 1911. This pistol magazine
pocket is manufactured separately, and is provided with
a loop on the back through which the end of the cartridge
belt passes. This pocket is slipped on the belt and held
in place by the belt fastener which is difficult to pass
through the loop on the back of the magazine pocket. The
pocket is provided with a single flap which is furnished
with two glove fasteners similar to those on the other
pockets of the belt.

All metal trimmings shall be of brass or bronze, of dull-
finished bronze color of the same shade as that prescribed
for the buttons of the service uniform of the United States
Army.


The salient portion of Plate VII showing the belt, as
well as its nomenclature is included below.

 

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Since this post is about "style B" of the Cartridge Belt,
Cal. .30, Model of 1910 (Mounted), it may be of assistance
to the novice collector to contrast it with the "style A"
Cartridge Belt, Cal. .30, Model of 1910 (Mounted) which
may be seen in the photo below:

 

 

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The terms mounted and cavalry are not synonyms; they cannot
be used fungibly. Mounted troops used horses for mobility, or
to draw artillery and transportation wagons. They dismount
when engaged in combat actions; cavalry fight from horseback.

Infantry troops who were mounted in the 1910 period included,
but were not limited to:

Mounted Orderlies, Supply Companies, and Machine gun Companies.

It was while researching M1910 Mounted belts that I came
across the Infantry Equipment Manual (1914) produced by
the War Department and published by the Government Printing
Office.

Within were allocation tables, the numbers of which serve
to quantify the relative scarcity of the mounted belts versus
the unmounted. Please remember, these numbers reflect 1914
peace time troop strengths.

A regiment had a strength of 918. This regiment total
includes provisional organizations: HQ Co., MG Co., Supply Co.

755 dismounted M1910 cartridge belts were allocated per
regiment. In comparison, only 19 mounted M1910 cartridge
belts were allocated, and all of those were issued exclusively
to the Headquarters Company. Accompanying the mounted belts,
19 magazine pockets (web double) were exclusively issued to the
HQ Co.

The term magazine pockets refers to the two sided pouches for
holding two magazines for the pistol, model 1911. Although
it should seem that 19 is a small allocation for a regiment,
I discovered that under the allocation of pistol belts (M1912)
w/ and w/o saber rings that each belt was issued with a magazine
pocket as a single unit.

It must be remembered, by late 1913 those mounted M1910 belts,
style A, were being modified by the removal of at least one pair
of .45LC revolver pockets to adapt the belt to hold the magazine
pouch for the 1911 .45 ACP. Those which were arsenal modified
were re-designated cartridge belt, cal. .30, model of 1910(M) -
the "(M)" meaning modified.

At this point, each belt would have been accompanied with a
magazine pouch thus making it difficult to distinguish one from
the other in documents. As a collector, I can say that from
observation that style A belts, uncommon on their own, exist
in greater numbers than the style B displayed in this post.

In brief, I would characterize this item as either very scarce,
or (to use an oft' abused term) rare.

 


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In a previous post, USMF forum member Dragoon, posted a photo
(re-printed) that included his style B, M1910 Mounted cartridge belt.

In this re-post of his photo, from the top down are:
Cavalry cartridge belt, cal. .30, model of 1909
Cartridge belt, cal. .30, model of 1910(M), a modified mounted style A
Cartridge belt, cal. .30, model of 1910 (Mounted), style B

 

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In final summery I am posting images of the Cartridge belt,
cal. .30, model of 1914 (Mounted) for visual comparison.

Aside from minor construction differences, the quick identifying
feature of the early M1914s is rimmed eagle snaps versus the
rimless eagle snaps of my M1910.

 

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The WWI era produced M1914 mounted belts w/ lift-the-dot fasteners
produced by Mills and Russell exist in large numbers making them
quite common.

 

These are outside the intended discussion and should be left to a

separate post.

 

 

END POST

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Great post. Fantastic photos and a very clear description of the different models of these early belts. Thank you for posting.


Please visit my website at http://www.bbmilitaria.com for a wide selection of quality military antiques!
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This is an outstanding find and you are lucky to have it in your collection. Congratulations!!! I have a 1916 dated Model of 1914 Mounted belt, and if memory serves it has the snap to hold the .45 ammunition pouch in place where yours does not. This may be another difference between the two belts.


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Great addition to the collection and great informative post for the forum! Thank you for taking the time to educate us, well done.


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Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.

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Thanks again for another informative post, this time on such a scarce belt. I was unaware on exactly the numbers involved with regards to them being issued. As you will know from my post I have owned mine for quite a few years and do not recall seeing many others, perhaps one other but no doubt there are other survivors so if anyone has one it would be nice to see. Well done on finding such a rarity and in such good condition

 

Kurt

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UPDATE

 

This belt would originally have been issued with a Magazine Pocket, Web, Double, so with a little searching

I found an appropriate 1st pattern, 1913 dated specimen, with rimless eagle snaps and in similar condition

with which to pair with this belt.

 

 

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