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MODEL 1896 RUSSET LEATHER PISTOL CARTRIDGE POUCH – ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL DATED 1904  - SCARCE MODIFIED POUCH FOR WEAR ON THE WOVEN PISTOL AND POCKETED CARTRIDGE BELTS:  This Model 1896 Pistol Cartridge Pouch, manufactured in russet leather per the 1902 change from black leather, is in very good condition, featuring bright legible arsenal markings on both the pouch reverse and on the wooden cartridge block insert.   

Especially notable is that this pouch was one of the relatively few modified by the army for issue with the revolvers still in service.  By removing the leather belt loops from the rear of the pouch and instead, mounting a Model 1910 style wire hanger through brass grommets which were installed to reinforce the holes, the pouch could be worn on any of the woven pistol and pocketed cartridge belts as seen on the right side of this period photograph shown below.  While the number of these pouches which were modified is not known, it appears they were done in limited numbers and surviving specimens are scarce today, particularly in the condition of this example.     

This pouch has survived in very good condition.  The leather retains an even caramel color with no heavy darkening from oil or other treatment and no signs of wear.  The front flap bears a strong legible “US” in the oval and the reverse is stamped in the earlier style with the full arsenal name “Rock Island Arsenal”, with the date “1904”, and the inspector’s initials “H.E.K”.  The leather is smooth overall and all the seams are intact.  The original wooden block is present, drilled to accept the.38 pistol cartridges and the block also has the desirable “RIA 1907” stamp on the lower face.  The holes are all intact with no chips, cracking or splits.  The block can be removed from the pouch, as intended, so .45 caliber cartridges could be carried instead of .38, depending on the pistol the soldier was issued.   

This is a very good, well marked example that would be a nice addition to your belt.  Matched with a holster of equal condition, and using one of the Mills web equipment slides, this pouch would make an impressive set on a one of the Model 1910 Officer or NCO Garrison Belts, or paired with a holster it would make a good addition to any of the 20TH Century woven belts which are fitted with grommets along the bottom edge.  (0807)  $175



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