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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From the bench

Here's one I need some help on. This little pistol showed up looking for some TLC:
It also has some interesting markings on several places:
According to the net this is a Femaru, a Hungarian pistol made during Nazi occupation in WWII. But that is secondary to what I am going to ask for help on from my blog friends. It came stuffed in this:
This is also marked on the back:

With U.S. DOYT (or BOYT) 43. Anybody tell me anything about the holster? Seems to be missing parts and I would really like to know more about this holster and what should be in it if it is worth the effort!

19 comments:

  1. Actually, Hungary wasn't occupied when these were made; they were a very willing (albeit junior) partner in the Axis.

    That example was made as part of an 85,000 pistol contract for the Luftwaffe, who issued it as the P.37(u)

    What you've got there it a Boyt-manufactured U.S. M7 shoulder holster for the 1911, intended for use by vehicle crewmen.

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  2. @Tam,

    Thanks for the info on the Pistol, but I just tried to stuff a Colt Combat Commander .45 in the holster and it appears that this holster was not made for it. I can send you a pic, but were there any other handguns for this type of holster? I would love to be in Indy Sunday, but I have to work tomorrow and try to see if the Kel-Tek needs to go away at the range.

    I wish the Interwebs had a squelch filter, but oh well! (Ask roomie if you do not know what that is)

    K

    Thanks for your help and it does seem that the victors write the history!

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  3. It may be an M3 holster. I'm googling madly...

    I think they were also made for the Victory Model; got a K-frame handy? I'm not sure if shoulder holsters were made for the Colt Pocket Hammerless "General Officer's Pistol".

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  4. Look at:

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/993705746/Guns/Pistols/Military-Misc-Pistols-US/Other/WW_2_38_Caliber_Victory_Model_Revolver_w_Pilots_Shoulder_Holster.htm

    The M3 style was made for the SW Victory. I can't explain why most of them seem to have cartridge loops and your doesn't.

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  5. The revolver holster I've seen had cartridge loops in the vertical strap. I don't see them on this rig.

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  6. That really does look like a 1911 holster, you don't happen to have a 1911 with mil-spec sights do you?

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  7. Sure looks like the standard GI shoulder holster for treadheads and flyboys. I could get a Beretta in one, so I don't understand why a Combat Commander wouldn't fit...

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  8. Leather shrunk some over time?

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  9. @Tam,-- perhaps shrunk over time, but I also hear that these holsters also were made for S&W Model 13 revolvers. I will throw a pic up tomorrow with the Combat Commander and the holster. It appears that the buckle has been cut off of it.

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  10. @Joesph, I have that. It just appears that looking from the stitching and length of the holster that a .45 will not work.

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  11. I took another look and decided it is an M7 modified for the SW Victory. It is identical to my M7, which is in front of me, except for that extra row of stitching which, when you think of it, appears to trace the Victory profile. So, a standard 1911 shoulder holster modified to hold the Victory snugly. It leads to the possibility that the same expedient might have been used for the GO pistols.

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  12. Your holster is the .38 (S&W) revolver holster, I believe the cartridge loops were not put on until late WW2 or Korea. The stitching is wrong for the 1911/M-9 pattern. You are missing the buckle that goes on the long strap and loops through the d ring that should be on the folded side of the holster. I used to wear the WW2 auto pistol version for years because I did not like the newer double strap black model-I even dyed the WW2 version black so it would fit in. Yes I was a treadhead. Love your blog site and I hit it every day.

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  13. @Gary_J Thanks! It appears that I need to find an S&W Model 13? What should I do for this holster? repair or leave alone? Do you have a picture of how this rig should look? And thank you Sir for your service!
    K

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  14. The holster looks pretty good, the long strap should be about 36 inches long and the sewn loop on the folded side should have a d-ring. A bit of saddle soap should fix it up. Hope the picture of the Boyt 1911 holster works. The buckle is an oval with a stud protruding from the crosspiece.

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  15. Actually, the proper gun would be a USGI issue S&W Model 10 (AKA "Military & Police") -- the K-frame .38 Special. But a Model 13 should fit as well.

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  16. Really, the M3 shoulder holster was made for BOTH the 1911-type autopistol AND the medium-frame, 4" barrel revolver - - Usually a Smith & Wesson Military & Police with plain, unchecked stocks and sometimels termed the Victory Model. the same revolver M3 would (barely) accomodate the Colt Official Police and Commando models. This revolver holster has a stitching pattern in a graceful curve which follows rhe outline of trhe trigger guard, frame and barrel of the handgun. The strap was sewn to the back of the holster, immediately behind where the handgun butt would rest. This strap was specified as 42" in length, with adjustment holes. The oval buckle-with-a-stud Gary J describes above is called a Conway buckle. The long strap runs through a D-ring secured to the holster just forward of the rear sighrt area, folds back, and secures to the Conway buckle.

    The M3 revolver holsters are often found with a web cartridge slide on the shoulder strap. It appears that most of those with the loops sewn directly to the strap were "theatre modifications," done at the local airfield parachute shops.

    The M3 automatic pistol holsters with an identical strap configuration, but with stitching that included two acute, squared-off angles. This type was standardized in October 1942, originally for 8th Air Force aircrews. It immediately became popular with armored vehicle crewmen as well. The M3 for revolvers was standarized in 1943, and initial issues were to Navy aircrews. Both M3 versions were intended to be worm with the strap over the right collarbone area, across the chest, with the holstrer beneath the left armplit, or a bit forwarm, on the left chest.

    Tamara was nearly spot-on. The holster that accompanied the Femerau pistol was originally an M3 for the 1911-type pistol. At a later time, someone re-stitched it to revolver configuration. Also, at some point, a certain amount of leather was removed from the holster body and the shoulder strap was restitched.

    The M7 shoulder holster was similar to the M3 fore autopistols, but the main strap was adjusted by lacings to hang over the left shoulder. A separate strap, adjusted with a Conway buckle, ran around the chest to keep the holster on the shoulder. The M7 was adopted by the Army and USAAF in December 1944. I've never seen a holster, photograph or type-drawing of the M7 for a revolver. I HAVE seen M7 holsters for the Beretta M9 pistol. These were supposedly made before the full range of accessories for the Bianchi M12 web holster were available.

    Now, aren't you glad you asked? Keads, what you have is an interesting modification, and to me, it would be worth more in the current configuration than if re-modified. You'd never get the missing leather replaced anyway.

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  17. Wow! Ask and ye shall receive! Thanks to Tam for linking and everyone for the info. @JPG, yes I'm glad I asked!

    I'm going to clean it up and leave it alone and return to its owner (with the pistol too).

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  18. I believe that holster was meant for a .38 Special or what ever the going revolver was in those days. Most pilots and tankers were issued .38's for carry in case something happened that wasn't supposed to. They were issued this on through the war in Viet Nam, but past that I cannot say.

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  19. As far as field mods are concerned, how about the M1 Carbine slings made in the PTO in WW2 out of cloth M1919 belts! A .30 M1 cartridge will fit quite snugly in the loops...

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