I am not exactly a collector of WW2 gear, but being a devoted worshiper of the Colt M1911, I have always had a love for the old nostalgic web belt, brown leather holster and accessories that came with the issuance of the 199 during the war. the belt was set up with what you needed to support the pistol in garrison or the field and more was added to it as needed via the 1910 wire hangers most of the gear used at the time.
The belt and pistol was a sign of authority and prestige, When you saw a soldier with the gun and belt, it was most likely an officer or a SGT; He was the guy who had the authority of command at least on some level. The set up was also used by anyone who could get it of course and was a huge comfort to men who had main weapons slow to deploy or useless at close range, like a mortar or bazooka. And of course every paratrooper could use one when their M1 was taken apart in a jump bag and they found themselves in the vulnerable moments after landing on the DZ.
While current products that fill the same role are better, the attraction I have for the old ” pistol belt and 45 automatic ” is still strong and I often will wear it with a plain Gov model M1911 when hiking or doing chores around the property just for the fun of it and the feeling of history it give me.
I have had this original J.A. Show belt since the 80s, Purchased from an old widow at an estate sell. The 1st aid kit is original as well. Recently I hit the jack pot with the WW1 era mint, never issued, 1918 magazine pouch. This pouch was widely used in WWII as well as the other model with a single push the dot snap often seen. While I have both, the 1918 model really is my pride, Being the Colt was adopted in 1911 and used shortly after in WW1. I like the idea of the canvas gear being as close to the guns birth in time. I can not put a finger on why, but I do.
The 1918 pouch was carefully stored in some government depot for who knows how long, and is mint. It has the snap to connect it to the pistol belt and keep it in place. The drab green/khaki color matches the belt nicely. the original US stamp is still sharp and clear on the belt as can be seen.
Above. the picture shows how the two 7 round GI issue mags set in the pouch along with makers mark, model and date stamp on the inside flap still bright and clear. The brass metal fittings still have the black finish that cuts down on the shine of the brass. It won’t be there for long since I use this stuff often. The combo of the items is classic and iconic in my mind, seen in hundreds of movies about killing nazi scum bags or commie north Korean human waves or older still, charging across no man;s land in France trying to make it to the krauts trench system.
I don’t have a lot of original WW1 gear as I said, but what I do gather has a lot of value to me and meaning.