This weekend I acquired an original M1923 web sling. This is the first one that I have ever seen other than in pictures. Of course we all know that this is the sling that is specified in all of the WWII Thompson military manuals. (even thought the pictures in these manuals show the M3 or M1917 Kerr slings and the pictures in the Auto Ordnance Handbooks show the M1917 Kerr slings). I have found several pictures of 1st Special Service Force soldiers in Italy in 1943 with Thompsons that have the M1923 web sling attached. These are the only pictures that I have ever seen with this sling actually attached to a Thompson in use in a combat zone. All of the Thompsons are M1A1s.
The sling that I acquired is ink stamped S.M.Co and dated 1942. It is the light OD color normally seen on web gear of this period. The latter buckles and the keeper are the dark parkerized/black oxide metal normally seen on metal fittings of this period. The sling is in mint condition not showing signs of use. It was pricey but comparable to what the Kerr slings, and some of the M3 slings, bring on ebay so I don't feel that I paid too much.
Here is where it really gets interesting. On the underside of the metal keeper lock tab, there is an anchor stamping that is identical (in size and configuration) to the anchor stamping on the two Colt buttstocks that I own. I got out the magnifying glass and after close examination I have no doubt that they are the same.
Does anyone here have one of the M1923 slings with this marking? Also I wonder if this marking was on the earlier M1923 slings made in the 1920s.
Does anyone know the company S.M.Co?
M1923 Web Sling
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