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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Barracks (Moderators: Delmonico, Pitspitr)  |  Topic: Belt weight 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Holsterguy
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« on: December 09, 2017, 07:13:53 am »


Mornin gents
For those of you that do leather work, could you please answer a question? I'm in the process of making a 1870's era leather belt with the two pc. US buckle. Does anyone know what weight leather the originals were? I've done about every google search I can think of and keep coming up empty. From pictures I've seen, it looks to be around 5-6 oz.
Thanks
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Trailrider
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2017, 01:02:59 pm »

Howdy, Pard,
What follows may not be the definitive answer you are looking for, but I will give you my opinion and what I use:

According to Stephen Dorsey's excellent references, most of the 1870's era waist belts, sword/saber belts for enlisted men were made of "collar leather".  Unfortunately, Dorsey does not describe what that term means. It might refer to leather used in horse collars, although there is another term for "bridle leather".  It also depends on what belt you are making. I use 8 - 9 oz. (1/8" - 9/64") thick leather for the 1-7/8" wide waist belts and sword or saber belts for enlisted men, with either the Pattern 1851 Eagle belt plate with applied silver wreath or the M1874 "US" belt plate. 

Note, that many officers who were CW veterans preferred the enlisted belts and Eagle plates with the silver wreaths, rather than the gold-washed plates with the matching wreaths and much lighter, folded construction belts. However, during the Indian Wars campaigns, I doubt many officers wore the U.S. plates. They probably used the 1851 Enlisted pattern belt plates.  Hope this is of some help.

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Holsterguy
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 03:36:37 pm »

Thanks, Trailrider. Actually just got back from a local gun show. There was a guy there that had an original with the US plate. Had a, I
think it's called, McHeever cartridge box ( the one that's hinged at the bottom).
Fairly thin leather, but then again it's 130 yrs. old. I know the size adjusting hook wasn't what I thought. Thought they were sheet brass like CW saber belt, but it looked like heavy brass wire.
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Trailrider
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 11:19:58 am »

Per the photos in Dorsey's book both the Pattern 1872 Enlisted Infantry and the Cavalry belts and later belts did have the heavy wire brass adjusting hooks rather than the sheet brass types of the pre- and CW belts. With the McKeever pouch, that belt is probably of the later type.  No doubt the wire hook was easier to fabricate as all that was necessary was to flatten one end of the wire, bend the hook end and round the tip.
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 02:15:58 pm »

8-9oz might be a little heavy for an accurate repro of the 1870's US enlisted belt. All of them I've handled were probably more like 6-7oz. and yes the adjusting hook was a flattened wire.
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 07:08:50 pm »

8-9oz might be a little heavy for an accurate repro of the 1870's US enlisted belt. All of them I've handled were probably more like 6-7oz. and yes the adjusting hook was a flattened wire.
I'll make 'em either way.  Your choice.  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 09:33:07 pm »

I tend to make mine too heavy as well. They stand up better for the games we play.
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 01:16:22 pm »

I tend to make mine too heavy as well. They stand up better for the games we play.
Yup!  The reason there are so few surviving original leather holsters, belts and accoutrements is that they were pretty flimsy to start with, and field use and lack of proper care and care materials made the average life about three years!  I doubt that buyers today, at today's prices for the reproductions would want to replace them that often.  Roll Eyes  At a recent gun show, I had a few of my "store samples" on display. A gent walked up and offered me $10 for a full-flap, slimjim style holster I made for my own repro Walker Colt!  Shocked  I told him, I couldn't buy the basic leather for that holster for anywhere near that amount of money! Anyway, I wasn't looking to sell it, just to show the quality of my wares.
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Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 09:35:10 pm »

Yup!  The reason there are so few surviving original leather holsters, belts and accoutrements is that they were pretty flimsy to start with, and field use and lack of proper care and care materials made the average life about three years!  I doubt that buyers today, at today's prices for the reproductions would want to replace them that often.  Roll Eyes  At a recent gun show, I had a few of my "store samples" on display. A gent walked up and offered me $10 for a full-flap, slimjim style holster I made for my own repro Walker Colt!  Shocked  I told him, I couldn't buy the basic leather for that holster for anywhere near that amount of money! Anyway, I wasn't looking to sell it, just to show the quality of my wares.

Gunshows bring out some of the dumbest gunowners.
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