SAS 58 Pattern Shoulder Brace

A few weeks ago we looked at an altimeter pouch that had been designed for use by the SAS. There were a number of different pieces of specialist 58 pattern webbing produced for Britain’s special forces and tonight we are looking at another example. The 58 pattern yoke was a comfortable piece of equipment that was well padded and generally well liked by troops. It was not however designed to be worn with the large A Frame bergans popularly used by members of the SAS. The thick padding was uncomfortable under the bergan and the metal stud for attaching a pick axe helve interfered with the fit of the metal frame. Early modifications to the 58 pattern yoke included removing this metal stud which helped to some degree, but in the end a dedicated pair of shoulder braces were introduced to be used by the SAS and it is one of these we are looking at tonight:imageThe shoulder brace is quite reminiscent of a 37 pattern strap, with a wider portion 2” wide in the centre where it passes over the shoulder, thinning to 1” at each end of the brace. As the 58 pattern belt was never designed for use with traditional shoulder straps, simple loops are fitted to pass a belt through. At the fixed end of the strap there are two of these, one above the other:imageThe opposite end of the strap is plain and a separate loop with a buckle is provided to go over the belt:imageThe plain end of the shoulder brace goes through this buckle and allows the length to be adjusted easily for comfort. The strap is an official piece of webbing rather than a piece made at unit level. The straps had an NSN number of 8465-99-130-0246 and this was stamped on the strap, although it is very faint on this example:imageThe straps came as a pair, one plain like this one and a second with a loop on the back to allow the straps to be worn crossed. Sadly I don’t have a complete pair yet, but like any SAS related equipment this strap is quite scarce and commands high prices on the collectors market. The prices for SAS related objects often have as much to do with the cache of the Regiment than any actual relationship to their scarcity. Often far rarer items sell for much less because they do not have the association with Special Forces. Happily for me, this strap came as part of a general job lot and was a pleasant surprise when I finally managed to identify what it was for!

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