1939 Pattern Second Issue Holster

The 1939 pattern holster was originally issued with a complicated leather yoke on the rear with a buckle at the top to connect to the pistol ammunition case. It was a complex part to manufacture and its use was difficult when the two elements were connected together as the ammunition case interfered with the easy removal of the revolver. This meant that often the pistol case was worn on one side of the belt and the ammunition pouch on the other so the design could be simplified to speed up manufacture and reduce costs by replacing the fittings on the back with a simple pair of belt loops. These were also lengthened slightly to allow the belt to pass through without first needing to be disassembled which was a drawback of the first pattern where they were too narrow to allow a complete belt to be fed through. This updated pattern of holster is sometimes called the ‘1940’ pattern by collectors but does not seem to have been so named whilst in service. The holster itself is made of brown leather and mirrors the 1937 pattern design with a large top flap to hold the revolver securely inside and prevent it being exposed to the elements: 

This top flap is secured by a single brass press stud: 

The back of the holster is plain apart from the two belt loops: 

These are each secured by two pairs of copper hose rivets: 

Inside the holster, a leather channel is sewn in to provide a place to secure a cleaning rod to maintain the pistol: 

These holsters clearly saw some service during the War, although photographs of soldiers wearing them are not easy to find. One would assume that they were issued to the same second line units as the other items of 1939 pattern equipment were, however as photographs of men equipped with that set are scarce as well, it is not surprising that examples of pistol equipment seem to be almost completely absent from the photographic records. 

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