The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Like we said! Guns, Ammunition and Explosives!
Post Reply
User avatar
The Oracle
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:48 pm

The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by The Oracle » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:38 am

I was asked by a friend to recreate a WWII motorcycle scabbard. This led me to research the history and types of scabbards that were common in the U.S. Army. Although commercial saddle scabbards started to show up in the 1870s, the movies would have us believe that the rifle saddle scabbard had been in use in the military since at least the Indian war days or perhaps the U.S. Civil War. In reality, until 1885 the U.S. Army Calvary actually slung their rifles over their shoulders. In 1885, the Ordinance Department authorized the use the “carbine boot”. This boot allowed the trooper to sling the rifle carbine off to the side behind the troopers’ leg. By the 1890s scabbards were quite common. Then in 1891, the Army finally considered replacing the boot with a scabbard. In 1893, the Army Chief of Ordnance recommended the Fountain scabbard to be issued with the new Krag carbine. The U.S. Army eventually issued seven different models of saddle scabbards: the First and Second Model Krag, the M1904, the M1918, the M1938, the M1940, and the M1 Carbine. In addition, two canvas scabbards, or holsters, were issued for the M1 and M1A1 Carbines.

For this build, I was looking to recreate the M1938 M1 Garand Saddle/Jeep/Motorcycle Scabbard. These can be found in pictures throughout WWII. In my research, I found one item that stood out and that was the metal raised area that allows the charging handle to slide into the scabbard with ease. As I did further research, I found that on early models, this was actually a leather piece (it was reinforced with a metal band). So looking at pictures or the original, I tried to picture myself working in a U.S. Army Calvary tac shed and being presented with this new issue rifle and being tasked to create a rifle scabbard that would fit it. Because I do not have an original issue scabbard, I needed to eyeball the dimensions using my own M1 to ensure fit. I have not taken up metal work, so the metal reinforcement has not been done. Last, all of my research says that the military did not dye any of their leather goods, they only oiled them. The brown color you may see in pictures was a result of natural weathering. This continued until the Army changed over to black leather goods.

BTW, The M1 is not included so don't ask :lol:
file-12.jpeg
Making the pattern
file10.jpeg
Cutting out the pieces
file-101.jpeg
Wet molding
Last edited by The Oracle on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
The Oracle
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by The Oracle » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:42 am

file7-1.jpeg
Stitching the keepers
file6-1.jpeg
Stitching the belt
file5-4.jpeg
Completed belt

User avatar
The Oracle
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by The Oracle » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:46 am

file2-6.jpeg
Sewn end cap
file11.jpeg
Stitching it together
file4-7.jpeg
Checking the fit

User avatar
The Oracle
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by The Oracle » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:48 am

file1-6.jpeg
View from the top
file3-6.jpeg
Complete with straps

User avatar
n11pilot
Posts: 322
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by n11pilot » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:17 pm

Oracle, you are probably tired of hearing this but that is superior work! Extra credit for the research that you put into it, all around damn well done.

User avatar
The Oracle
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by The Oracle » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:10 pm

Thank you my friend. For me the backstory of a piece is part of the fun. Without a little history it is just making something. With a story it comes to life for me as the maker.

User avatar
Blackthorn
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:13 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by Blackthorn » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:11 pm

Great work, Oracle! Beautiful!
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything….Albert Einstein

User avatar
The Oracle
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by The Oracle » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:21 pm

Thank you my friend. So I put the finishing touches on it today. As we speak I have some leather conditioner soaking in and the scabbard is stuffed with newspaper to keep it open. I will take one final picture before I send it off.

On a side note this also continues a tradition that I started several years back. I have been making at least one Christmas gift each year. Some years they have gone to a family member, other years it may be for a friend. I think it is great to be a part of giving a gift that is not commercial, something that is one of a kind. Because my projects are hand made, even if I do the same thing twice, there is never two alike.

User avatar
n11pilot
Posts: 322
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: The U.S Army Saddle Scabbard

Post by n11pilot » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:43 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:21 pm

On a side note this also continues a tradition that I started several years back. I have been making at least one Christmas gift each year. Some years they have gone to a family member, other years it may be for a friend. I think it is great to be a part of giving a gift that is not commercial, something that is one of a kind. Because my projects are hand made, even if I do the same thing twice, there is never two alike.

Oracle, that is the best Christmas tradition that I've heard of this year. Excellent!

Post Reply