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M56 Pistol Belt

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The M-1956 “Belt, Individual Equipment” or pistol belt differed little in form and function from the M-1936 pistol belt and would accommodate any of the pouches and equipment that would mount on the M-1936 belt. The M-1956 pistol belt had size adjustment hardware at both ends and a “ball type” buckle connector. The M-1956 pistol belt was manufactured of olive drab cotton webbing and was produced in two sizes: Medium, for waists under 30-inches, and Large, for waists over 30-inches. Earlier production M-1956 belts have horizontal weft while later production have vertical weft as seen in the example above. The belt has a blackened metal buckle and three rows of eyelets. Eyelets in the top row were usually used for connection of the suspender hooks. The middle row of eyelets accepts the size adjusting hooks. The lower row of eyelets was usually used for attaching accoutrements utilising an M-1910 double hook.

In 1961 an experimental quick release pistol belt was introduced (known as the Davis belt). It was almost identical to the previous model but had a stamped metal buckle in which a bent tab fit through a slot, and remained closed through friction. It was brought into limited service, but never replaced the previous belt by any means.