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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning Gents, I've Posted this particular Shoulder Rig here before, but I thought that perhaps it needed a new presentation to hopefully elicit a few Replies, maybe ? Its 'Background' is as follows; It came along with my DWM 1920 dated P.08, Serial # 2977n. This Luger appears to be straight up Weimar Heer issue, without any of the possible / potential extra Safety devices, as in Sear, and or Magazine Safety's, which of course would indicate Polizei use at one time or another. I've looked over it for any potential clues leading to possible origin, but to me it appears somewhat generic, basically similar to other examples we've observed over the years ? The few actual 'facts' I've determined are; 1) It's very similar to many others encountered from the overall era of 1940 - 1960 +/-. 2) Its workmanship is beyond reproach. 3) It fit is absolutely perfect for your basic 4" barreled P.08, including n the magazine pouch portion. 4*) I could not observe any stamps, markings, or anything to indicate the manufacturer.

*NOTE: Although it definitely accompanied the above noted Luger, it does not exhibit any visible wear marks / patterns to indicate frequent usage ? The P.08 was inside the his Holster when I obtained it, but the Magazine wasn't in its pocket, but rather remained in the weapon.

Soooooo, Has anyone here ever come across anything similar to this Holster, either in person, & or in a publication ? I would naturally love to have an idea as to its period of manufacture, & of course who produced it, although I do realize those questions may be extremely difficult to answer definitively ! If anyone happens to have 'any' information, & or ideas pertaining to this Rig, I'd deeply appreciate hearing from them !! THANK YOU,

Best, Dom P.



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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
THANKS My Friend for your reply ! I do know that we as collectors have struggled with these Shoulder Rig types for years now. Are they WW2 production, or perhaps of late 1945 manufacture & later ??

Best, Dom
 

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THANKS My Friend for your reply ! I do know that we as collectors have struggled with these Shoulder Rig types for years now. Are they WW2 production, or perhaps of late 1945 manufacture & later ??

Best, Dom
It is an interest of mine as well. I would say this is a pre-1945 piece for sure. The one thing I’m not sure about are the buttons. I know that there are some particular ways that they should be fashioned . I am not completely familiar with the buttons this point. But the buckles look really good, I would say world war two era styling and stitching. These holsters typically were available for a private purchase and not issued to any organized units. But this is again just research that I’ve been doing 😊
 

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I’ve handled a number of 1911 shoulder holsters that were private made in both Europe and Asia for the US troop market. These came out of vet estates with service from the 1940s-Vietnam.
This holster was for 100% sure not a “factory” produced product much less made under production contract arrangement. I realize no one is claiming that but just getting that possibility off the table. That leaves us with something made by a very small leather shop, cobbler or even “hobbyist” in the field. IMO the holster fittings are German and are WWII era. I also suspect the holster is German made. Most of all I suspect it was made after WWII and possibly as late as the mid 1950s when after that timeframe the military went to black leather for boots and equipment.
a Luger, P38 and 1911 magazine and it the guns themselves can be tried in the holster to see what fits best.
I am sure that I have seen over 100 German made shoulder holsters with mostly bringbacks in them since around the mid 1970s when I started paying any attention to such things with the guns. I have never seen any evidence either in wartime photos or the in the holsters themselves that Germans during WWII used shoulder holsters. There are known commercial model shoulder holsters for various German handguns (mostly Walthers) illustrated in pre war German catalogs and some of these holsters are around, sure probably a few were used by some body during the war and we know some very few LW pilots can be seen in what appear to be shoulder holsters, maybe captured from downed US air crews but it’s inconsequential. Probably at least 6 German officers held Japanese samurai swords during WWII but that does not mean that the Germans carried samurai swords during WWII.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
THANKS Guys for all the kind replies so far !! As I said earlier, this Rig was included along with the Luger I bought. Sadly, the Seller claimed to know nothing about either the pistol or the holster, & you can rest assured I did grill him about it. ( Sometimes that little bit of information they might recall can send you down the right path. ) IIRC, When I first inspected it in was in the holster, but without the Magazine being in the mag pocket. The overall fit appeared perfect for an P.08 so I inserted the mag into the pouch to check that fit too. And again, IIRC, it fit perfectly. Once I had sufficiently confirmed the fit, I just assumed that they belonged together & I filed them away together. But, now that I'm looking into the matter again, I won't rest now until I've rechecked the fit of each, the gun & the magazine just to confirm if I was right to begin with. It has been quite a while since I obtained them, circa 1996 or so. And, as far as date of manufacture is concerned, I honestly can't be sure either way, pre or post 1945 ? As we well know, numerous USGI's had these Rigs made for themselves either before their return to CONUS, or for their own use while stationed overseas within the U.S. Army of Occupation. My own Uncle related the story of how he had one made for him in Luxembourg during the Ardennes Campaign as he obtained a little Mauser 6.35 he carried under his arm, just in case he said. Probably tomorrow I'll perform a recheck on it, & Post photos of the gun & magazine in their respective sections. Perhaps that might assist someone amongst us to better determine at least the question as to what if was originally interior anyways ? Please stay tuned Folks !!

Best, Dom
 

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There were some standard commercial shoulder holsters, usually advertised as the 'Reichsbank' and 'Bock' models, in the old German catalogs. This looks a bit like a mix of both.
 

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One could write a book and or build a large and interesting collection just focusing on the GI modifications to captured guns and leather during the occupation period. This would include items like shoulder holsters and “cigarette” guns made from captured materials and left over parts. Guns found with all manner of custom grips and GI trench art grips (plexiglass mostly) engraved guns, nickel plated guns, modified military holsters, insignia embellished holsters and guns really an endless list. From what I’ve seen shoulder holsters were very popular with GIs during the early occupation period. There were many problems and many regulations issued to address the problems of soldiers carrying souvenir guns especially off duty during this period, that issue is another book. I’ve had a number of German friends, mostly passed now, who were involved with their families in making such things for GIs and the local immediate post war economy including one who recut leather from a massive mound of pistol holsters to make pieces for children’s shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
10-04 on everything you've stated above. U.S. G.I.'s were notorious for seeking out anything which might be construed as an souvenir. As you also mentioned, they frequently personalized their souvenirs, be them weapons, or other items, primarily because they did so simply to forestall boredom during down time, but perhaps more importantly to differentiate their weapon from another. How very many times over the years have we either read about, observed, & even owned such 'personalized' variants. I personally never truly cared for them, unless of course that personal touch included a means in which to identify the former owner, which naturally I would have be elated to find !! And, there's yet another seldom mentioned, & or referred to reason why some U.S. & or other Allied Personnel chose to procure & wear a Shoulder Holsters to carry concealed their recently liberated 'Friend'. During the Post V.E. Day, very early Occupation period Germany, & the rest of Europe tended to be awash with an assortment of nefarious individuals, ranging from D.P.'s, Criminal Gangs ( both organized & the moronic types ) Ex-Nazi's, Former SS members 'on the run', & so, so forth. Suffice to say, the E.T.O. prior to mid 1946 was an extremely dangerous place for everyone & anyone. Also to note was the fact that the then unemployed German Citizens would do almost anything for the very small amenities the American GI's could provide with relative ease. Such items consisted primarily of food, coffee, cigarettes, soap, & or the basic little things that make our everyday lives a bit easier. So, for someone familiar with working with leather goods, the G.I. could have the Holster of his choice hand made for perhaps a package of cigarettes, or even less. In closing here, I do note that someone, at some time attempted to very crudely add what appears to have been a belt loop, in which to secure the Rig from the associated 'flopping' which can occur upon any quick, or running motions. This modification obviously was not performed by anyone skilled in leather work, & probably occurred much later than its time of manufacture ?

Well, I guess it's up to me know to Post up a few photos of both the Luger& Magazine fitted within their respective places in this Holster. Hopefully, that will assist 'us' to make some kind of determination as to its possible date of manufacture, location of, & or whatever else we're able to discern ? THANK YOU Guys !!

Best, Dom
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK Guys, Here are a few photos of the P.08 No. 2977n which accompanied this Shoulder Holster. I was too lazy to re-install the grips as I usually remove them when securing the gun in the safe. Hopefully it shouldn’t be an issue regarding the overall fit, but if it’s necessary I will install them, just let me know. IMHO, it’s an absolutely perfect fit, no sloppiness, undue flopping around when inserted, etc. Magazine appears also to fit just fine, as was created for it. Yet, I respect everyone’s opinion here, so please advise as to what you Folks think ? And, I too am a bit concerned regarding the color, as most, but not all examples I’ve observed were brown as opposed to black as is this one ? Yet, that might or might not be important here, as there were indeed numerous black German/ Axis holsters all over the place. OK Gents, I await any & all input, & seriously appreciate it !! THANKS

Best, Dom P.


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Good Morning Gents, I've Posted this particular Shoulder Rig here before, but I thought that perhaps it needed a new presentation to hopefully elicit a few Replies, maybe ? Its 'Background' is as follows; It came along with my DWM 1920 dated P.08, Serial # 2977n. This Luger appears to be straight up Weimar Heer issue, without any of the possible / potential extra Safety devices, as in Sear, and or Magazine Safety's, which of course would indicate Polizei use at one time or another. I've looked over it for any potential clues leading to possible origin, but to me it appears somewhat generic, basically similar to other examples we've observed over the years ? The few actual 'facts' I've determined are; 1) It's very similar to many others encountered from the overall era of 1940 - 1960 +/-. 2) Its workmanship is beyond reproach. 3) It fit is absolutely perfect for your basic 4" barreled P.08, including n the magazine pouch portion. 4*) I could not observe any stamps, markings, or anything to indicate the manufacturer.

*NOTE: Although it definitely accompanied the above noted Luger, it does not exhibit any visible wear marks / patterns to indicate frequent usage ? The P.08 was inside the his Holster when I obtained it, but the Magazine wasn't in its pocket, but rather remained in the weapon.

Soooooo, Has anyone here ever come across anything similar to this Holster, either in person, & or in a publication ? I would naturally love to have an idea as to its period of manufacture, & of course who produced it, although I do realize those questions may be extremely difficult to answer definitively ! If anyone happens to have 'any' information, & or ideas pertaining to this Rig, I'd deeply appreciate hearing from them !! THANK YOU,

Best, Dom P.



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Many years ago a buddy found an AC41 p38 with two matching magazines. It was in a holster of good quality kind of closely patterned like this - brown leather and utilized a 98k sling with a set up just like the issue gi 45 shoulder holsters of the day. It was an absolute original piece with the seller only noting it was his late dad's from the war and that is all he knew. The buckle on that holster was an aluminum M35 chinstrap buckle with the balance of the chinstrap used to hold the P38 in that holster. The sling used as a strap was marked clg 41 if memory serves me right. I have seen a few others all kind of similar to this pictured example and the one my buddy had. These were all made no doubt at a unit level - for tank or aircrew ...dunno.
A dear friend had a P38 his dad as an infantry captain found on a corpse in a shellhole in italy in 1944. He encountered the recently deceased soldeir in a big shellhole and he saw the holster...was empty. He checked body for papers and noticed a leather "bootlace" around the kia's neck. He pulled on it and pulled it out of the man's jacket and there was a P38 attached to it. Why the german was wearing his pistol on a home made lanyard down his blouse only he could say. Anyhow I digress.
 
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