I have had an Inglis made Browning Hi Power for quite a few years now and although I have a wide selection of different post war holsters for it, one thing I have lacked until recently was a correct wartime pattern of holster to go with the pistol. There are actually a number of different holsters that were used with the Canadian Hi Power during the war. Initially they were issued with a holster that had been designed for the Chinese, these were found to be unsuitable in service though as they were an excessively tight fit so it took too long to put a pistol into them and draw them out. A new pattern was created that used a double flap arrangement to hold the pistol in and was a vast improvement on the earlier design. It was not perfect however and so further tweaks were needed, which leads us to the example we are looking at today, which is the improved version:
Two outer flaps fold over each other and are secured with a quick release tab fitting into a metal loop and staple arrangement. Note also the phenolated resin tip to the tab, typical of late war Canadian production:
Pulling the tab allows the holster to be opened to access the pistol carried within:
The holster carries both a cleaning rod and a spare magazine in addition to the pistol itself:
The change that came about between the first pattern and this, the second, was the addition of a webbing flap over the spare magazine so that the trigger guard of the pistol did not become scraped and damaged on the magazine. The magazine itself is held in a simple tin metal sleeve that prevents it from becoming damaged.
Turning the holster over we can see how it attaches to a belt:
As well as a pair of brass C hooks to attach it to 37 pattern webbing set, there is a simple belt loop to allow it to be carried on any belt the user might prefer:
The holster’s markings are all under the top flap and include the letters ZL&T, Zephyr Loom and Textile, the manufacturer, a /|\ inside a ‘C’ indicating Canadian ownership and the letter TPL:
TPL indicates that this holster had been treated with an antifungal agent for use in the Pacific War where it was expected the Canadians would be deployed in 1946. The atomic bomb meant that this was not needed, but the holsters with their treatment remained.