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Auto Ordnance Advertised Web Belts


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#1 The Moor

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 10:15 AM

The Auto Ordnance catalogs and handbooks before 1936 all showed a web belt (I presume it was made by Mills) that has the eyelet attachment holes on one edge of the belt and the smaller eyelets in the center of the belt. I wonder if this belt had the female snap for attaching the .45 pistol magazine pouch male snap.
If the belt was made by Mills, then did they mark it with the "Mills in bullet" logo and 1921 date? Does anyone know what the markings and/or dates were on this belt? Mills was making web belts similar to this in 1918 and they were marked and dated accordingly but they had eyelets on both edges and middle of the belt.

In the 1936 catalog, the "normal looking" web belt appeared. I say normal because it has the attachment eyelets at both edges of the belt and the smaller eyelts in the center of the belt.
Did this belt also have the female snap for attaching the .45 pistol magazine pouch male snap?
Was this belt marked with the US ink marking like the military belts?
Were these belts maker marked and dated?

It appears that Auto Ordnance had someone make a special run of web belts in the early years. Would they have had a special run of web belts made in the 1930s or purchased belts from the same vendors that the military was using, with the same markings and configuration?


What type of web belt would have been delivered as a result of a commercial order from AutoOrdnance in the late 1920s?
versus
What type of web belt would have been delivered as a result of a commercial order from Auto Ordnance in 1936-1939?
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#2 colt21a

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 11:35 AM

rusco made them, mill's made them,and i am sure the standard belt was ready prior to the thompson coming out.they just had a agreement for the cell pouches and thing's............three cell four cell five cell.and the shot mag pouch.........

i went through all the pouches and belt's i ever want to see................but at the time it was a market for somebody.........are you doing the "tell all canvas book on thompson's".......???or just gathering info...........some has been lost to the age's,and some don't care........they just want that nice pouch or mag or sling.or whatever to complete something..........


funny thing for years i hoarded it all..............now just a few thing's keep me happy............as you will see it can be very addictive...........wink!!

i wish i could give you more exact info..........but at the time i did not write much down on item's.i was more concerned with the condition and price........

and years later did not plan on any book or anything......and still don't............lost interest in that end of it.......

well good luck in the research.it will keep you up many night's ask gordon!!!

take care,ron
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#3 The Moor

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 03:37 PM

Ron,
I'm interested in making a collection of all of the accessories listed in a particular catalog. Like the 1929 catalog or the 1936 catalog. To do this requires research, so I guess I'm doing both collecting and researching.

If I were a person living in 1929 and ordered a web belt from Auto Ordnance, I wonder what exactly I would have gotten and what markings would have been on the belt.
Likewise if I were a person living in 1936 and ordered a web belt from Auto Ordnance, I wonder exactly what I would have received and what marking would have been on the belt.

It appears that the belts would have been different in appearance but I wonder what markings would have been on the belts. The curious thing about the belts in the early catalogs is the lack of the eyelets on one edge of the belt. I have never seen one of the belts and would love to be able to examine one.

You are right, Thompson collecting sure is adicting.
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#4 colt21a

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 02:28 PM

i understand looking for everything.its fun and alot of research and constant upgrading.........but remember when you find the mint stuff buy it first.don't ever make the mistake of waiting and selling something less grade to upgrade to better.because the chances are while you are doing that somebody else is already sending the funds...............everybody is always in a different money position then some.

i am hoping to get more kits.i had five and thought i would have them a month or so,they went in 24 hour's.......

so search around.the problem you face tho on a board like this is chances are the same item's are wanted by ten people at one time.........

as i am sure the twenty or so drum's will go quick here.........

good luck on the search if i turn up more nice item's i will let you know.......the early stuff is getting really hard to find in super cond.i had it all but sold it over the past ten years.....................so who know's after many sales the shape it might be in.{still in wrap's} wink!!

take care,ron
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#5 The Moor

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:55 AM

Just received a book on web belts and using it I believe the web belt pictured in the Auto Ordnance 1936 catalog can be identified.

The key is the belt T-Closure device and the curved shape of the bars of the male and female side of the closure. Look at the catalog picture closely and you will see that the closure bars are curved. The T part of the closure is shaped quite differently than the closure on the M1936 pistol belt that was widely issued during WWII. While rare, I have seen one M1936 pistol belt with the curved shape of the closure bars, but the T part is still very different. The M1936 pistol belt is the one most collectors use with their military drum and stick mag pouches and with a military Thompson.

The belt pictured in the 1936 catalog and in my opinion the belt that would be a correct accessory with commercial/law enforcement Colt Thompson of the 1930s era, is a Model 1912 pistol belt with the "second type T-Closure. According to the reference book, the belt would have been woven cotten web with a horizontal weave and tan in color, darkened brass fittings, one adjustable end with M1912 adjusting hook, one M1911 magazine pocket snap, darkened brass fittings, and straight sewn seam at female portion of the closure.

I have seen a lot of M1912 pistol belts made by several different manufacturers but most all of them had the first type T-Closure. I did see one with the second type (curved) closure recently and wish now that I had purchased it. The blackening was almost all gone from the brass fittings, the belt was somewhat stained but still had plently of the yellowish tan color left and had a very clear Nov 1918 MILLS in bullet logo marking. I believe this belt would be correct for a Rusco, Mills or unmarked stick and/or L drum pouch.

I haven't had a chance to look at the remainder of the book, but while thumbing through I saw a belt that looked like the earlier belts pictured in the 1920s era Auto Ordnance catalogs. If anyone is interested I will post what I find on this one as well.
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#6 The Moor

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:39 PM

QUOTE (The Moor @ Jun 16 2004, 10:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Auto Ordnance catalogs and handbooks before 1936 all showed a web belt (I presume it was made by Mills) that has the eyelet attachment holes on one edge of the belt and the smaller eyelets in the center of the belt. I wonder if this belt had the female snap for attaching the .45 pistol magazine pouch male snap.
If the belt was made by Mills, then did they mark it with the "Mills in bullet" logo and 1921 date? Does anyone know what the markings and/or dates were on this belt? Mills was making web belts similar to this in 1918 and they were marked and dated accordingly but they had eyelets on both edges and middle of the belt.

In the 1936 catalog, the "normal looking" web belt appeared. I say normal because it has the attachment eyelets at both edges of the belt and the smaller eyelts in the center of the belt.
Did this belt also have the female snap for attaching the .45 pistol magazine pouch male snap?
Was this belt marked with the US ink marking like the military belts?
Were these belts maker marked and dated?

It appears that Auto Ordnance had someone make a special run of web belts in the early years. Would they have had a special run of web belts made in the 1930s or purchased belts from the same vendors that the military was using, with the same markings and configuration?


What type of web belt would have been delivered as a result of a commercial order from AutoOrdnance in the late 1920s?
versus
What type of web belt would have been delivered as a result of a commercial order from Auto Ordnance in 1936-1939?





Fellow Thompson Enthusiast,

After getting additional information on this old topic, I though I would respond to my own questions now that I have some of the answers. Hope this is not too boring and that someone out there is as fascinated with these Commercial web accessories as I am.

The belt was made by Mills and is Marked with MILLS in the bullet logo below "FEB 1921". The belt did not have any provision for a snap attached pouch (unlike most all of the other pistol belts made by Mills around that time period). It is not the same belt as the M1918 belt made by Mills and the eyelets on the one edge and center of the belt are not placed all the way to either end of the belt. Although I have not held the belt in my hands I have seen some excellent photos of the belt and provenance that gaurantees its' authenticity.
It appears that Mills made this style of belt exclusively for Auto Ordnance. There are probably documents in a private collection somewhere that would show how many of these were ordered by Auto Ordnance from Mills. I would assume that quite a few were made and sold although I have only ever seen ONE actual picture of ONE of these belts. Where are all these belts?

The MILLS in bullet logo under "FEB 1921" marked L drum and 4 mag XX pouches are rare as hens teeth but I have seen several pictures of several examples of both of these and actually own one of the L drum pouches. Even the double shot mag pouch has been seen more often than this belt. If there are other collectors out there that own one of these belts, I would love to hear from you and, if possible, get a picture or two of the belt. Also , if there is someone out there that has one of these belts for sale, please let me know. I think it is safe to assume that an order placed with Auto Ordnance for a web belt in the 1920s would have resulted in the delivery of one of these belts.



Now I still search for answers on the belt pictured in the 1936 Auto Ordnance catalog. Specifically, does this belt have the female eyelet for attaching the male snap on a pistol mag pouch?, Does it have the letters "US" ink marked on it?, Is it maker marked and dated? We can tell by the picture in the 1936 catalog (specifically the buckle ends) that it is a model 1936 pistol belt. This model of pistol belt was made by several companies for the Military. I have several of these in my collection (some marked RUSCO or RM Co with no date and all with the "US" marking) but not a one marked as being made by MILLS. Again, I wonder if Auto Ordnance bought overruns (from a government contract) of this belt or had their special version of the M1936 pistol belt made. Maybe someone has a set of web gear that shows provenance that it came from this Auto Ordnance 1936 catalog. This would help in solving this mystery.

Best Regards,
The Moor
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