View Full Version : 45-70 cartridge belt
9175917691779178My friend has had this cartridge belt since the early 1970's, could anyone tell if it is original or not ?
I would say it's o.k.. There wasn't a lot of fake stuff back then.
Nice belt. Is real.
I'm pretty sure it's original. There were repro US buckles in the 70's, but this isn't one of them. It has the correct width to the buckle unlike the repro's which were wider and it hasn't the textured background behind the U.S. either. It fits the bill for an original.
How many loops? Your buddy's belt screams original Spanish-American War .30-40 Krag ammo belt. Somehow 'only $395' is a bit mild. Condition, of course, is everything, but your buddy's belt is in near mint condition. Tell him to not even think about doing anything to the buckle. Excessive force would be authorized. Up to and including a stick with a nail in it. snicker.
"...wasn't a lot of fake stuff back then..." Lots of assorted reproduction stuff. You could buy a solid brass CSA buckle at any flea market.
The cartridge belt has 45 loops, 45-70 fits nice but so will 30-40 !
There may have been a lot of Civil War stuff, which seems to have been more popular, but not a lot of Indian War or Spanish American stuff. I started re-enacting in the late 70's and had to use a lot of original equipment just because there wasn't a lot of reproduction available. Uniform cloth was nearly impossible to find. ten years later the situation was changing. Today you can find tons of high quality uniforming and accutremants all over. Nice for re-encting, tough on the collector.
The original Mills belts have the loops woven into them. Cheaper belts had them sewn on. Russell also had the ability to weave them. I haven't checked them but am now curious - are the reproduction ones woven or sewn?
The Mills company was sold to the Brits after WW1. The last "Mills" cartridge belts are WW2 MECO ones made for the US. Still woven.
Wasn't really sold to the Brits, Mills just opened a factory over there. Had a bloody hard time convincing the War Office that webbing was better than leather equipment.
Going back to the Boer War,Mills provided cotton bandoliers for that. Now we all know a bandolier is only meant for ONE TIME use. BUT due to shortages they were used over and over. The result being ammunition was falling out of the cheap cotton and the Boers often resupplied themselves by following behind British columns
Oh by the way, given the colour, that belt is definetly Span Am.
I'll split the difference with you John. Anson Mills. Serving US Military officer who perfected his belt while on duty. Per the 1883 Statute he technically couldn't profit from the US government as, in order to get the patent, he'd have to assign them free usage. His solution was simply to put the company in his brother-in-law's name (Orndorff). Leather promotes verdigris and that was what inspired Mills. Leather promoted verdigris and sewn belts didn't hold up. He had the loops woven integral to the belt. Much stronger.
The doom of the Mills company was twofold - the M-1903 and WW1. Yes, they opened a British arm to support the adoption of the gear by the Brits. Pattern 1908 wasn't it? By that time the writing was already on the wall for the US parent - Mills sold his interest. $12,000,000 is the number which comes to mind. The M-1903 used clips and thus the loops weren't needed. Due to a number of factors the woven Mills belts survived into WW1. The great expansion of WW1 forced the ordnance department to buy sewn belts. Mills and Russell wove them but Plant Brothers and Long, among others, simply sewed them. The cost of the sewed belts was significantly less and they held up as well. The last dated Mills equipment, in US service, that I am aware of is 1919. I'm going to say "1928" as that springs to mind. The remainder of the US arm was sold to the Brits. The Mills company survived in England to at least 1972. So, yes, they opened a factory there. They were also sold to the Brits in the end. During WW2 all US belts were sewn (various makers but they're all different from the WW1 ones) with the only woven belts being supplied under "reverse lend-lease" by MECO in England. Mills Equipment Company, LTD.
Back to the SpanAm belts. I was curious, never having seen one, whether they were woven as the originals were. One is up on eBay. 390297221635. From what I can see the loops are sewn - not woven. So the answer is "nope" to the woven question.
There were a number of canvas magazine and drum pouches, carrying case and web belts with the MILLS logo and 1921 date manufactured for the Model 1921 Thompson too
Hey, that's interesting information. Thank you for that.
Somewhere around here I have the date for the liquidation of the US arm but 1928 still springs to mind so it's possible for some even later gear to be out there but there is a cap not terribly long after those belts.
I remember thinking that they folded even before the Great Depression hit. Hence the 1928 sticking.
I wonder if the machinery to weave belts with integrated loops even still exists? That was a pretty specific application. I guess cloth MG belts wouldn't be that different though so maybe not.
FYI: Dixie Gun has several repo 45-70 loop belts in their catalog. Price is in the $50 to 90 range and look new. No mistaking these.
Just an add. Co.. Anson Mills U.S. 5th Cavalry stationed at Ft. Lowell, Arizona Territory Which is a few blocks from my house!
Not a whole lot left as when it was shut down the locals stole every stick of wood in it. Only the Adobe is left. Only complete building is the officers quarters. They recently aquired some buildings some buildings across the road that were being used by a sand and gravel company.
The Fort was a supply depot for Southern Arizona.
Now going back many years, I had a lot of that stuff. Spiked helmets sold for $9.95 and Plumed helmets were $12.95. Even had an Indian Scouts plumed helmet that cost a bit more. (red and white horsehair plume and it was longer than the others)
You are forgetting the .45 magazine pouches.
Oh by the way, Col Mills, U.S. Fifth Cavalry, was stationed at Ft. Lowell, Arizona Territory. The remains of the fort are a few blocks from my house. Just a funny. I have the book on the mills equipment and aside from the belt, there was a web bracelet for 45-70 rounds. Never saw one of those, so it must have been a prototype.
I am new to this site. Are you telling me NOT to go after the blue belt on this site? http://www.19thcenturyweapons.com/111/other/45loopbelt.html
I am new to this site. Are you telling me NOT to go after the blue belt on this site? http://www.19thcenturyweapons.com/11...5loopbelt.html
There is nothing wrong with that belt - it's a woven Mills.
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