Yesterday we looked at the belts used for the gun team that supported the BAR gunner in its early years. Let’s go back even further to the days when the US Army still rode around on horses.
Everyone has seen the normal cartridge belt seen mostly in WW2 on every rifleman issued either an M1 Garand or M1903. There was an earlier issued version of that belt for the Cavalry. The horse cavalry.
The belt was specially made for the rifleman who would be riding a horse for his main transport. With the standard pockets to hold 2 stripper clips of 5 rounds of .30 caliber rifle ammo, it also had mounting hardware for the rifle.
Of course on horse back slinging the rifle is not very easy. Not easy to get into action or to sling when not using. One way the Army cooked up to solve that is seen above.
The belt came with a leather lanyard strap with hook to attach to a point on the rifle. The belt had a metal and leather donut to drop the rifle down into muzzle down when not in use. To its right is a leather extended attachment point for the leather M1911 cavalry holster. Since the belt is set up for a pistol, the front of the left side of the belt also has a space t mount the double magazine pouch for the M1911.
Above the bracket in its up position for use.
A view of the back side of the belt shows how the hardware was attached.
The “doughnut” was apparently not very popular or well liked so most of them were removed. The leather strap lanyard being more practical for not dropping your rifle while being shot at while under full gallop.
It didn’t take too many more years before all this was deemed irrelevant as you can imagine.