.30-06 Bandoleers?

I hope this thread is not stretching the scope of this forum, but since bandoleers are cartridge related, I hope you guys can help. I’m helping put together a WWII M-1 Garand display with period correct rifle, cartridges and accessories. I have a pile of various bandoliers, but want to know which is correct for WWII. I have plain, totally unmarked Khaki colored ones, Khaki colored with “SL 9001” in black ink stenciled on them and some OD green ones with caliber, type and lot numbers in black ink. I think the unmarked ones are WWII, but the “SL” marked one might also be? Are there any hard, fast rules to identify WWII M-1 bandoleers? Any help would be appreciated!


U.S. WW2 bandoleers were brownish khaki very early (say 1941) and thereafter for most of the war were a light greenish-khaki color with no stencil markings. This was from the traditional Army policy that bandoleers, clips and brass were to be returned and reused, and ammo lot information was provided on a printed card slipped into one of the pockets of the bandoleer. Thus facilitating reuse of the bandoleers (theoretically).

Sometime circa late 1944 it was decided to simply stencil the lot number (almost always with caliber and type as well) directly on to the front of the bandoleer, eliminating the printed lot card. Around that time the bandoleer cloth color changed to a brownish green.

Around late 1944-early 1945 the color of most cloth items changed to a green-OD color. Bandoleers continued the stencil markings.

Post WW2 dark green bandoleers often have the bandoleer maker and date marked on the back, but this does not seem to appear on WW2 bandoleers.