Jump to content

Mills 1913 rimless eagle mag. pouches


Recommended Posts

While posting the previous post, I remembered I had in my files some pictures of a Mills 1914 "transitional" pouch: first type stitching but rimmed eagles. It is not mine: I took these pictures from an old eBay advertisement. Very interesting piece...

Fausto

post-8381-1284102946.jpg

post-8381-1284102963.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fausto, I've always been a Mills nut and I have examined a lot of their gear (obviously most in pics) in these past years and you cannot put an exact date on the changes occurred in their stuff but there are at least six months or more where old and new are produced contemporarely. They didn't throw anything and if a lot of rimless snap was still available, they assembled it even if considered obsolete. After all these snaps did their job as the modern ones. To not mention of 1913s snapless belts retrofitted with rimmed snap. Anyway I think the most scarce M1912 pistol belt Mills (made possibly in 1917) is the pre WWI OD colour, 2nd type buckle and plain M1916 snap one. Up to now I 've seen only one and I bought it immediately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Fausto, I've always been a Mills nut and I have examined a lot of their gear (obviously most in pics) in these past years and you cannot put an exact date on the changes occurred in their stuff but there are at least six months or more where old and new are produced contemporarely. They didn't throw anything and if a lot of rimless snap was still available, they assembled it even if considered obsolete. After all these snaps did their job as the modern ones. To not mention of 1913s snapless belts retrofitted with rimmed snap. Anyway I think the most scarce M1912 pistol belt Mills (made possibly in 1917) is the pre WWI OD colour, 2nd type buckle and plain M1916 snap one. Up to now I 've seen only one and I bought it immediately.

 

 

Hi. Would you post a photo of the belt you mention?

 

Thanks to all for posting their early web gear photos. Fausto, you have a great collection of pouches and artu44 a great collection of belts. I like the drawer method of storage. Thanks again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my post n.13 is the one on the bottom. Here you can see a couple of very early M1912s with some central grommets missing (1913) and a couple of 1918 belts, one with the 2nd type buckle and one converted to NCO adding the sabre hanger. The last is an NCO snapless.

post-67-1284123805.jpg

post-67-1284123818.jpg

post-67-1284124807.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

That modification was made in order to avoid the fast wearing of the web because there is a very little room for the male when you fasten the belt. For sure it proved not successful cause you cant easily find such buckle on WWI era M1912s.

Link to post
Share on other sites
In my post n.13 is the one on the bottom. Here you can see a couple of very early M1912s with some central grommets missing (1913) and a couple of 1918 belts, one with the 2nd type buckle and one converted to NCO adding the sabre hanger. The last is an NCO snapless.

Regarding the early m-1912 belts without the center grommets. I believe that is referred to as the 1st type m-1912 belt? Evidently there are differences among the same type 1 as I see the lower belt has the center grommet installed at the 5th location but the top belt does not. When does the center grommet start on the first belt? Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello to you all !

Keith, I don't know when the interrupted central grommets turned out to uninterrupted version. Arturo surely will have a reply. After all he is our great specialist in WWI belts (not only...).

In the meanwhile, looking at so many fine WWI belts I couldn't resist and I'm posting one of my last purchases: an absolutely mint, untouched, fresh Mills November 1918. Nothing so special apart the unbelieveable condition of this belt. You can see the late type buckle. Actually the belt is more khaki than it appers in the pictures. Enjoy...

Fausto

Link to post
Share on other sites
last one...

That IS a beautiful belt! I will look for one like that. If I understood artu44 correctly his belt of that style is more the green color than the khaki? Thanks for the photo of the great belt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Keith, things are quite simple. I use to think to two "family" of M1912s, pre WWI and WWI era. And to detect differences there are few points to check.

Pre WWI (all of them are Mills made)

When they adopted the pistol M1911, the Mills Woven Cartridge Belt Co. – Worcester, of course hurry up to produce a suitable belt. Very smartly, they didn’t invent anything radically new but started from the “M1910 four pocket revolver belt” already adopted for the .45 cal. Colt M1909 simply avoiding to create the integral four ammo pockets. This belt was already equipped with the relatively new “T” closure and with the grommets for the 1910 hooked accessories. The result appears very much alike the M1912s we are using to see. But with some differences:

- Only one keeper

- Only one 1901 patent on the brass belt end

- Five or four central grommets are missing on female fastener side

- No provision of snap for magazine pouch

You can find this very early pistol belt in the 1914 Mills catalog (N.171) as “ Mills Army Model Pistol Belt” complete with its dedicate rimless snap magazine pouch. Our guru Webcat explained the rarity of these early belt with the hard conditions of the border duty where the most were destroyed.

All I saw with readable date are made in 1913.

I haven’t no exact indications of the date, but I think they did realize quite fast that costs could be reduced producing an endless belt with an automatic line. Consequently, maybe in 1914, it did appear a belt with all the characteristics of the previous one but with the central row of grommets complete.

The next modification was the “rimmed eagle snap” added in order to avoid the slipping of the magazine pouch. Note that it doesn't exsist a version with the rimless snap for the magazine, rimmed only. And more on the brass hooked belt end the 1907 patent was added and sometimes a second keeper. God knows why but these belts are no more in OD colour but "Mills pea green". My idea is that germans that year sent to Mills a defective batch of dying agent.

Mr. Dorsey think that most of these were previous snapless samples were retrofitted this way. It could explain the scarcity of snapless belts but we should have to find eagle snap belts with only one patent on the belt end no matter how many keepers.

In the 1917 the eagle snap was replaced with a plain glove snap (called M1916) and the characteristics of this final version of the M1912 Mills belt will be:

- Two keepers

- Two patents, 1901 and 1907, on belt end

- One M1916 snap for mag pouch

The only one sample I have is still OD but with a brownish shade tipical of that year.

 

WWI era (made also by - P.B. & CO ,- L.C.C. & CO.,- RUSSELL,- R.H.LONG)

 

Characteristic as above but all in khaki colour. Non Mills production has unmarked belt end.

 

In the era NCO were allowed to wear a sabre only during parades so a certain numbers of sabre rings and rivets were delivered together the belts and assembled at the regiment following needs. No one belt did leave the factory with the sabre ring.

 

The last M1912s ever made were the khaki snapless for the unarmed medic officer in 1932 and some USMC belt dtd 1939 and 1940 made by R.M.CO

 

In the pic (bottom) my medic M1912, the only one I ever saw. For sure an R.M.CO. being Russell Mills the only company still "alive" between wars

 

 

All above derives only from my observations and of course it's not the holy bible. Iìd like you guys would ad something more.

post-67-1284137867.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith,

thanks for the compliments about my belt. As far as I can see it is identical to the one of Arturo (Post 32, top of 2nd picture), which seems as mint as mine, just darker khaki, but this could be a flash effect (or due to the "life" of the belt: sun, humidity, dust, soiling etc.).

By the way, the field of O.D., pea green and khaki shades is an immense jungle where you are fatally going to get lost... As Arturo often says we could stop to worry about all these shades... Mills (and other contractors) used web coming from various sources and surely the dying process or chemicals used lead to different colours... What is certain is that all 1918 Mills stuff, after they turned to khaki colour, is quite identical all through that year and very early 1919.

Fausto

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys !

again with eagle snaps pouches...This time about the ones marked Mills but undated. Here two rimmed ones, both marked - as you can see - only with the Mills bullet logo. One is the older type, no pucker, while the other is the later type, with pucker. And this last one is absolutely identical to the one dated Jan. 1917. What do you think about? I know that Arturo has his own theory about consumed or broken stamps that, at one time or another and at random, were used by Mills while catching new stamps...That would mean that there were no Gvt. rigid orders about the year (month?) to be put on the stamps? Thanks to you all.

Fausto

post-8381-1284276742.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.