Colt Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need some help identifying a Colt 1911 Holster that I have to date never seen ( or can't remember) another example of. It came to me along with a Model 1909 G&K holster 1917 dated. The two holsters came from an estate and their color and texture is almost identical.
The only markings on the 1911 holster are "XX1708 45". It has the leg strap but the belt loop is like none I have ever seen and is certainly original.
One opinion I have been given is that it was an "experimental holster" that either preceded the 1912 or the revised 1916 model.
Any help would be appreciated.
Dave
709743

709744

709745
709746
DSC01246.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,385 Posts
I have no idea what it is but I like it and would have bid for it myself. Great grab on your part. The experimental
aspect sounds right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,196 Posts
It looks like the private-purchase ones made by H.D. Folsom - they were aimed toward the civilian market and were never issued.

An issued holster would have an Inspector's mark, as well as the mark of the Arsenal producing it - whether it was for issue or as an experiment, and this has none.

The color and 'soft' appearance is the result of one hell of a lot of oil being used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It looks like the private-purchase ones made by H.D. Folsom - they were aimed toward the civilian market and were never issued.

An issued holster would have an Inspector's mark, as well as the mark of the Arsenal producing it - whether it was for issue or as an experiment, and this has none.

The color and 'soft' appearance is the result of one hell of a lot of oil being used.
Well, to my knowledge (albeit limited) the Folsom holster were marked as such and did not have the US brand on the flap. The only ones I have seen for the 1911 have the belt loop attached entirely differently and like the Audley holsters. The lettering and numbering also reflects much older stamps than on the Folsom and Audley holsters.

Great input and I appreciate your comments. I sure wish this holster could talk.
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
14,893 Posts
This is likely a private purchase holster made for an officer.
Before WWII it was common for officers to have local leather shops make them better quality "dressier" holsters for the 1911 pistol.
These were often lined or made from better quality leather with better workmanship.
These almost always were not exact copies of the Model's 1912 Mounted, Model 1912 Dismounted, or Model 1916 Dismounted holsters.

From the looks this one was a version of the Model 1912 Dismounted holster.
Note the leather and workmanship appear to be better quality then a USGI holster of that era.
The US stamp is better struck and does not appear to be the exact US stamp as used on USGI holsters, and it's not properly centered on the flap.

So, best I can guess is that a US officer NOT in the Cavalry had a Model 1912 Dismounted holster copy made for him by a local leather shop.
If he was Cavalry he would probably have had a replica of the Model 1912 Mounted holster with the swivel made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This is likely a private purchase holster made for an officer.
Before WWII it was common for officers to have local leather shops make them better quality "dressier" holsters for the 1911 pistol.
These were often lined or made from better quality leather with better workmanship.
These almost always were not exact copies of the Model's 1912 Mounted, Model 1912 Dismounted, or Model 1916 Dismounted holsters.

From the looks this one was a version of the Model 1912 Dismounted holster.
Note the leather and workmanship appear to be better quality then a USGI holster of that era.
The US stamp is better struck and does not appear to be the exact US stamp as used on USGI holsters, and it's not properly centered on the flap.

So, best I can guess is that a US officer NOT in the Cavalry had a Model 1912 Dismounted holster copy made for him by a local leather shop.
If he was Cavalry he would probably have had a replica of the Model 1912 Mounted holster with the swivel made.
Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge. My thoughts were an experimental Dismounted model of sorts. It does not have the web belt attachment and I have not seen another one like it. Even being private purchase the "XX1708 45" confuses me.
Thanks again for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Lots of great input from you guys! The more I look at the markings on this holster the more I believe they are "model markings" and if that is the case there had to have been a more than one made. I do believe it was made as an answer to the M1912 Dismounted holster. Still hoping someone out there has seen another of these.
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
14,893 Posts
A typical feature of non-issue 1912 holsters was that they had no belt hook.
They were intended to be worn on an officer's leather "garrison" belt or the officer's dress belt like Patton wore with the interlocking buckle.


Later, the Model 1916 holster was available with a leather belt hanger mount that the holster's wire hook could mount to.
This was used for dress and for MP's to wear on a leather garrison belt.


That your holster has the stamped marking does indicate that more then one were made, and probably by a company, not a local leather shop.
Why the company didn't also stamp a name or if made by the government why the arsenal didn't stamp it's name as was done with the Model 1912 models made by Springfield and Rock Island.

These types of holsters turn up from time to time but very seldom do we see more then one-off's, with no other's exactly alike.
I would assume that if these were mass produced we'd be seeing more of the same, but this is the first I've seen.

Another mystery that probably comes down to "Who knows"??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,534 Posts
As DF6 posted, it is a private purchase holster. They will be found with U.S. and U.S.N. flap markings, as well as plain with no marking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
It appears the mystery has been solved. The holster was offered by Sears Roebuck in their 1917 Military Equipment Catalogue. The example found did not have the US stamp on the flap but did have the same markings as on the back of my holster. There was also a picture of the holster in the catalogue showing it sold at the time for $3.20.

My thanks to everyone who offered their opinions and help!
 

·
*** ColtForum MVP ***
Joined
·
14,893 Posts
Nice research job.

With this level of skill you might want to do an investigation into the disappearance of Judge Crater.
I had no idea Sears even HAD a military catalog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks! Sometimes you just can't let something go.....Here are a couple of photos of the catalog
711246
711247
711248
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,445 Posts
Well, to my knowledge (albeit limited) the Folsom holster were marked as such and did not have the US brand on the flap. The only ones I have seen for the 1911 have the belt loop attached entirely differently and like the Audley holsters. The lettering and numbering also reflects much older stamps than on the Folsom and Audley holsters.

Great input and I appreciate your comments. I sure wish this holster could talk.
I just got one, will arrive soon.
711249
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,534 Posts
The catalog page shows quite a bit of Mills canvas gear. Mills had government contracts, but also offered woven canvas gear to the public.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top