Military holsters are their own category of themselves. Unlike many traditional styles, military styles had to meet specific requirements for design and regulation. Originals can be quite expensive, due to their scarce and rarity but there are great reproductions for today’s enthusiast. Tactical-life and World War Supply have selected a list of top offerings.
U.S. M1917/1942 Military Holsters
The US military had adopted the 1885 belt holster by the mid 1880’s. It used a half-flap variation of the earlier full-slap design; it rode high on the waist belt for comfort in the saddle. Roughly 163,000 were produced for the U.S. military from 1917-1919.
U.S. Secretary of War, Jacob M. Dickinson approved the Colt Model 1911 as the “U.S. Pistol, Automatic, Calibre .45, Model 1911”. With a new standard hand gun issued, a new holster was required. The holster was simple and well constructed to fit multiple belt types and coverage.
During both WWI and WWII, officers used the traditional “general officer’s sidearm,” which was customarily the Colt’s Model 1903 Hammerless .32 ACP semi-auto or .380 ACP Model 1908. It was made of fine grade leather holster and was primarily made for the US government.
M7 Should Holster
Roughly 500,000 M7 shoulder holsters were made by Enger-Kress during WWII, and many originals still survive to this day. Simply made and easily worn over the shoulder, the bottom of the holster could be cinched to the wearer’s belt with a snap loop.
Britain’s Classic Webley Holster
Its contoured shape to the Webley revolvers, a sewn-in toe plug, a short, high tail flap and a reversed closure strap distinguishes the Webley design. Additional to the holster’s design was a double-stitched belt loop that went though a keeper and latched down over a brass stud.
Walther P38 Holsters
Very few guns and holster are recognizable as the Walther P38 Holster. Prior to the U.S. and WWII, the brilliantly designed Walther DA semi-autos were being imported into the U.S. through A.F. Stoeger. The design was quite different in Germany, which was being carried by German soldiers in April 1940.
PPK Carry Holster
Just as U.S. general officers were issued smaller caliber sidearms, German officers had the option of carrying a PPK. The holster was a simple and traditional leather flap design, but with a sewn-on spare magazine pouch on the front of the holster and a channel inside the pouch to hold a cleaning rod.
To learn more about these great holsters, check out Top 8 Wartime Holsters.