U.S. military ammunition bandoleer adopted in 1909


#1

Thought this might be of interest. It dates the adoption of the familiar style of cloth bandoleer to 1909, replacing an earlier type which was sewn shut. Likely the sewn design was probably necessary since Krag ammunition was issued as loose rounds packed 10 to a pocket with a cardboard insert having grid type partitions to keep the cartridges in position. M1903 ammunition was issued in 5 round stripper clips which were not likely to work their way out of the overlapped pockets, while loose rounds packed the old Krag manner would.

With minor changes in materials and size to fit newer calibers, the 1909 style bandoleer remains in use today.

U.S. Ordnance Department, Annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance, 1909.

Bandoleer.- A new form of bandoleer has been designed which is cheaper, and answers all requirements better than did the old form. In the old form the pocket opened at the top. It was closed by a seam which also held a strip of tape whose ends protruded from the pocket. It was opened by tearing the tape. In the new form the pocket opens at the side, and the material overlaps at the opening in order to hold the clips in the pockets until it is desired to remove them.”


#2

“Bandoleer.- A new form of bandoleer has been designed which is cheaper, and answers all requirements better than did the old form. In the old form the pocket opened at the top. It was closed by a seam which also held a strip of tape whose ends protruded from the pocket. It was opened by tearing the tape. In the new form the pocket opens at the side, and the material overlaps at the opening in order to hold the clips in the pockets until it is desired to remove them.”

Interesting, this is a type I’ve not seem before, I’ve only seen ones {old and new} that open from the top? Or am I missing something?


#3

John

That’s an interesting reference. Thanks for posting it.

Guys who collect cartridge belts and bandoleers refer to them as the"1909 Pattern". But, I’ve seen one reference that called them the “M1906” although I don’t know if that’s an official designation or not. The later WW2 version was referred to as the “M1”.

The cardboard inserts (which are correctly called “cartons”) can be a collecting specialty on their own. I grabbed 4 different ones from my meager collection and I’m sure there are others.

FWIW, even some of the Cal .30 National Match ammunition was issued in bandoleers. I have one holding the 1929 “Three-Star Hennessy” NM cartridges in clips in cartons.

Pete - I’d say the reference to opening at the side is either a typo, or maybe they meant at the top side?

Ray


#4

Covered here with pictures: usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ … 1903-1910/

Brian


#5

Thanks Brian, I guess you could call that a side. Still exposes the top but what do I know, I was Air Force! Ray had it right too with “Top- side”.


#6

In my opinion the designations used in the U.S. Militaria Forum post are not correct. Regarding the “1909 Pattern”, this design is specified in two different FA drawings and it is always designated “Model 1906”. The first one is dated April 5, 1905 (revised December 14, 1915) and does not include a reference card, while the second shows a June 12, 1917 revision date and includes the reference card and allows the possibility of using a strap made of a double thickness of bandoleer cloth if webbing is not available. Curiously, the cardboard insert is simply designated “Box”.

In the same way, the so-called “1903 Pattern” is specified in another FA drawing dated February 15, 1905 (revised December 14, 1915) where is designated “Model 1898”. Given that it was meant to be used with .30 Model 1898 and Model 1903 cartridges, the original title was amended at some point because below it you can barely see that it used to read “for U.S. Magazine Rifle Model of 1898”.

Regards,

Fede


#7

Fede,

Clearly there is a design (pattern) change in bandoleers. So a “1918 dated bandoleer” that is identified as a “Pattern 1909” is shown in the U.S. Military Forum post without giving a Model designation. What should the Pattern/Model designation be for this 1918 dated bandoleer?

I’m confused (nothing unusual about that)!

Brian


#8

Very interesting information on a sublect and items so often overlooked!

I too thought that “side opening” was odd or incorrect at first. After some thought an looking at the bandoleers, it made sense. The Pocket openings ARE on the side, even though it is the upper side to the pocket and you remove the cartridges through the TOP of the opening…

Thanks for an interesting post!

AKMS


#9

Brian, the “Pattern 1909” designation originates from the 1909 report, but this model certainly existed in 1905 considering the FA drawing. It is likely that at this early date it was an experimental design -for the Mod. 1903 cartridge- and it was later amended to become the official drawing of the Model 1906 bandoleer. A 1909 date is not mentioned as a revision, however, but the drawing with a 1917 revision shows an example of the reference card dated June 14, 1909. This may be a clue of the adoption date, or just coincidence. In any case, according to the drawing the proper designation for a “1918 dated bandoleer” would be “Model 1906”.

Also, here is a compilation of notes on the first type of bandoleer for Model 1898 and 1903 rifles (used with .30 Model 1898, 1903 and 1906 cartridges):

Description and Rules for the Management of the U.S. Magazine Rifle, Model of 1903, Caliber .30. March 3, 1904: Bandoleer is not described.

Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1904: “Bandoleer.-The experiments referred to in my last report, made to develop a cheap cloth bandoleer having six pockets, each containing 10 cartridges, have been completed and hereafter all caliber .30 models of 1898 and 1903, will be packed and issued in bandoleers instead of pasteboard boxes.”

Pitman Notes Vol. 5: “Adopted July-August 1904.” (for Mod. 1903 Rifle)

Pitman Notes Vol. 4: “First made October 1904.” (for Mod. 1898 Rifle)

Description and Rules for the Management of the U.S. Magazine Rifle, Model of 1903, Caliber .30. March 3, 1904. Revised April 18, 1906: Bandoleer is described (for Model 1903 cartridges).

FA drawing dated November 24, 1906: “Bandoleer for Mod. 1903 Ball Cartridge.” (except for size of pockets, markings and size of cardboard inserts it looks identical to the Model 1898 bandoleer described in the 1905 drawing).

Said this, I don’t know how a “Pattern 1903” designation fits here.

Regards,

Fede