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MODEL 1912 CAVALRY GARRISON BELT RIFLE BELT RING FOR THE MODEL 1903 SPRINGFIELD RIFLE – AS ISSUED WITH THE MODEL 1912 ENLISTED MAN’S TRIAL SADDLE – UNIT MARKED, COMPLETE AND IN EXCELLENT CONDITION:  As issued with the Model 1912 Horse Equipments, this Model 1912 Rifle Belt Ring was issued for wear on the Model 1904 Russet Leather Garrison Belt, 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 was a component of the unique, and somewhat complicated, system of interrelated equipment which defined the Model 1912 Trial Equipment.  The Rifle Belt Ring was located over the soldier’s left hip – whether it was this ring which was mounted on a slide which fit the leather garrison belt, or the ring permanently attached to the Model 1912 Mills Pocketed Cartridge Belt which was worn in the field.  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 specimen 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, it retains a medium russet color, is not oil soaked and it exhibits very little wear.   

The depending strap which attached to the rifle’s trigger guard and the reverse of the base pad both bear unit inventory stamps, “1 B 7” indicating this assembly was issued in the 1ST Regiment of Cavalry, Troop B, to soldier number 7 on the inventory roles.    

This is an excellent specimen of a fairly scarce piece of the Model 1912 Horse Equipment and would be a nice addition to display on your Model 1904 Enlisted Man’s Garrison Belt. (0414) $850

NOTE:  The Model 1904 Sabre Belts on which to display this ring are available in a separate listing on this site.  CLICK ON THIS LINK



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