Recently, I wrote about my WWII reproduction web gear for around the house carry. The short of it is that I really like it. It is adjustable enough, it is comfortable.
Later this week, I’ll have a period correct medical pouch to go with it. All of this means I’ll have a functional, modernly equipped, WWII rig.
The suspenders are cool. They aren’t adjusted correctly yet because of other issues. When I stand up, I don’t feel like my belt and holster will hit the floor. The load is nicely distributed. They are nice enough that I will likely get a second pair to attach to my cartridge belt. 80 rounds of 30-06 in enblok clips is a charming option.
The mag pouch is a slight problem. It will not hold extended magazines, so I’ve used it with 7 round magazines that match WWII issue. That’s fine. The pouch has two pockets, each pocket will hold two magazines.
This is pretty impressive for the time. It means that an officer with just a side arm was carrying 29 rounds of .45 ACP into battle. Just on their belt.
For me, the location of the pouch is an issue. It slips over the web belt and then snaps to hold it in one location. The pouch is always in the same location, it is not a horrible reach, but it isn’t “right”.
With my modern gear, my magazines are carried on my weak side such that my arm comes back, grabs a magazine and in a smooth motion comes up, presenting the mouth of the magazine to the firearm. Fast and easy.
With the WWII pouch, the movement is to the front left of centerline. Opening the pouch is fast enough, though not as fast as a tension retained magazine. The issue for me is that the motion from there to the pistol is not fluid. There is a twist and jerk that sort of happens. Mostly because the magazine is perpendicular to the magazine well instead of being parallel.
In addition, my dun-lap-over covers the pouch when I’m sitting. I can still get a mag out, but no way I’m getting a mag back into the pouch while seated.
The holster is nice. It seems well enough constructed. It is universal enough to carry just about any type of full-sized pistol.
Now we come to the downside. The bleeping web belt itself.
Do NOT buy a reproduction belt for anything except standing and marching for short periods of time.
It was too thin, it was far too flexible. This meant that the hooks holding the holster to the belt came loose while the belt was attached. More than once, I have stood up, or gotten out of the car, only to find the holster dangling from just one hook. It looks bad and there is a real risk of it falling off entirely. I do not want that to happen.
The second problem with that thin belt is that the holes punched into the canvas for the eyelets will stretch under the load of holster plus 1911. Add to that a bit of torque while sitting, and I’ve had multiple eyelets rip out of the belt after less than two weeks of wear.
I’m now searching for sources for higher quality web belts. I think I’ve found one, but the cost is much higher than I’m ready to pay today.
Original WWII M1936 Webbing Canvas Pistol Belt with M1911 Colt Holster and .45 Colt Magazine Pouch is the version I purchased. Yeah, what was I really expecting for $42?