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MODEL 1912 EXPERIMENTAL CAVALRY POCKETED CARTRIDGE BELT –COMPLETE WITH THE RIFLE BELT RING FOR THE MODEL 1903 SPRINGFIELD RIFLE – AS ISSUED WITH THE MODEL 1912 ENLISTED MAN’S TRIAL SADDLE - COMPLETE AND IN EXCELLENT “LIKE NEW” CONDITION:  As issued with the Model 1912 Horse Equipments, this Model 1912 Experimental Cavalry Pocketed Cartridge Belt was issued in conjunction with the Model 1912 Rifle Carrier Boot to carry the Model 1903 Springfield Rifle when the soldier was mounted on the Model 1912 Enlisted Service Saddle.   

The Model 1912 Rifle Belt Ring mounted on this pocketed cartridge belt was a component of the unique, and somewhat complicated, system of interrelated equipment which defined the Model 1912 Trial Equipment.  When the belt was worn, the Rifle Belt Ring was located over the soldier’s left hip – whether it was permanently attached to these Model 1912 Pocketed Cartridge Belts which were worn in the field, or the ring which was mounted on a slide which was worn in garrison on the russet leather Model 1904 Sabre Belt.  The Model 1912 Belt Ring was designed to set at a right angle to the soldier’s body when in use supporting the rifle, and when dismounted, the soldier could fold the ring down against his body and “out of the way”.  When the soldier was mounted, the rifle was carried upright, with the muzzle passing through the ring until the forestock rested in the leather padded belt ring, and butt stock of the rifle was inserted into the Rifle Carrier Boot which was attached to, and hung below, the left, or “near” side of the saddle.   

The strap depending from Belt Ring assembly was snapped through the trigger guard, and with the rifle secured with the forestock through the ring, the rifle was effectively attached to the soldier’s body – for better or worse.  A retaining strap on the Rifle Boot kept the boot upright until the soldier dismounted and as he dismounted, the boot’s retaining strap would feed out; allowing the boot to pivot away from the horse and the butt stock of the rifle would be drawn out of the boot.   

If you are somewhat confused at this point, you’re in good company – the soldiers all must have experienced the same bewilderment at the mind which was capable of conceiving this system.  Nonetheless, this method of carrying the rifle was not only introduced for trial, but apparently was used to considerable extent, most notably during the Punitive Expedition into Mexico.  To fully appreciate how this system of equipment was employed, see the photograph below of the mounted soldier, taken from the 1916 US Army manual, "Description and Directions For Use and Care of Cavalry Equipment Model of 1912". 

This Model 1912 Experimental Cavalry Pocketed Cartridge Belt, manufactured by the Russell Manufacturing Company of Middletown, Connecticut, is in excellent, “like new” condition, and is complete with the Rifle Belt Ring, the leather tool frog, and the original matching Model 1911 Magazine Pouch, also manufactured by Russell.  The belt exhibits no evidence of issue or wear.  The pockets are all complete with the flaps, fully functional lift-the-dot snaps, and the clip retaining straps with their respective snaps.  All of the hardware retains the original blackened finish and functions properly.  The belt retains the fully legible Russell Company manufacturing ink stamps on the reverse of the Model 1911 Magazine Pouch and on the inside surface of the flap on the front right hand rifle cartridge pocket – “RUSSELL 1918”.   

The Rifle Belt Ring assembly and the tool frog both present in likewise new condition, showing no signs of use or having been oiled – retaining a bright “pink” color.  The Belt Ring assembly is complete with a fully functional folding metal support frame for the leather lined ring, the full length security strap fitted with a snap hook that attached to the trigger guard on the rifle, and the small retention strap which secured the ring assembly in the closed position – a piece normally found broken and/or missing.  The leather is strong and pliable with a bright shiny surface.   

This is an excellent specimen of a fairly scarce piece of the Model 1912 Horse Equipment and would be a nice addition to display with your early 20TH Century cavalry equipment collection.  (0413) $1350


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