It is odd, but I have been collecting militaria for well over ten years and although I have many unusual patterns of holster in my collection, until recently I did not have an example of the humble 1937 Pattern holster. Happily I have now corrected that oversight and added an example to my collection which finally allows me to put together a complete set of officer’s webbing.
Th official fitting instructions for the 1937 pattern set, published in October 1939, describe the holster, known as a ‘pistol case’ in British parlance thus:
Pistol Case- This consists of a woven article finished to accomodate the 0.38-inch revolver.
It is lined with smooth webbing and the flap is closed by a snap fastener.
Two double hooks are provided on the back for attachment to the waistbelt and a similar hook is fitted horizontally at the top for connecting to the ammunition pouch when that article is to be carried above the pistol case.
Further details to note, which aren’t covered in the fitting instructions, are that there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the holster:
And there is a small internal sleeve to hold a cleaning rod, on the left as you look into the holster when worn:
This particular example dates to 1942 and was manufactured by Finnigans:
Whilst the 1937 pattern holster is a very serviceable design, it can hardly be thought of as revolutionary as its basic design repeats Mills earlier designs on both the 1919 and 1925 pattern webbing sets that have both been covered previously on the blog and the commercially produced officer’s pistol sets available between the wars, however if a design works, why replace it? Now that I have a full set of officer’s webbing, expect to see it pop up on an impression in the coming months.