Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Praxis: The Double A Reinforced Enfield Cartridge Belt

The U.S.G.I. M1923 Cartridge Belt designed for .30-06 Springfield 5-round stripper clips and Garand 8-round en-bloc clips.

Anyone who has tried to adapt an M1923 Cartridge Belt to Enfield .303 or Mosin-Nagant 7.62x54R five round stripper clips has discovered that the pockets are not large enough to accommodate two clips per pouch. Plus, any surplus belts you find these days are a. worn-out and b. too expensive. Even reproductions are pricey.

So, what's a surplus bolt-gunner to do?

A trip this afternoon to my favorite local surplus store, AA Army Surplus, Leeds, AL, found the proprietor Darryl Baxter (a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, hence the moniker "AA") having just completed a mod of this belt:

Front view of the khaki belt.

Behold, an Indian-manufacture 10 pocket Enfield cartridge belt. Made of cotton canvas it is in its original state adjustable to 58". It has a quick release Fastex-style buckle instead of the various metal fasteners of the original M1923s. As I said, there are ten pockets, each with double snap closure -- one internal, the other for the flap. They are available in Olive Drab, Black, Khaki.

But the most important thing is the pouches are ROOMY and will accommodate .303 and 7.62x54R strippers, two per pocket. Better, the internal snap closure can be used to retain one clip while the other remains easy to thumb out. Thus if you pop a flap on the pouch, and remove one clip, the other will not bounce around (or worse, out on the ground) when you are shooting and moving. When you have need of the second clip, just pop the retaining strap's snap and it becomes immediately available.

Rear view of the olive drab belt.

Now, as they come from the manufacturer, the belt that connects the two five-pocket segments is made of extremely flimsy canvas. It is so flimsy that when the belt is fully loaded it becomes a problem.

Darryl, having a roll or two of stout olive drab webbing, removed the thin connecting belt and replaced it.

The result is a very serviceable cartridge belt with pockets roomy enough to accept two of any caliber of five round strippered rifle ammo. The pockets will even accept three rounds each of 3" or 3.5" 12 Gauge buckshot or slugs.

And here's the best part: Darryl is selling the mods for just $17.50 plus shipping.

You can contact Darryl by calling 205.699.4209 or you can write him at:

AA Army Surplus Store
8216 Parkway Drive
Leeds, AL 35094.


PS: And no, I don't get a cut of the sales of this handy little item. But it sure does fill a niche need for some constitutional militia folks.


Scamp1776 said...

I have had one of these for years - holds 10 en-bloc clips and rides great - I wore one at the muster at Ft. Gravelly - the only mod I have done is to tape the belt into the correct belt size as it tended to work loose - from a 34" to 36" which was awkward as I did not want my ammo at ankle level in the middle of a soire.

jjet said...

I had a belt very similar to this and made in India when I had my M-1 Tanker Scout (sold it-someone kick me, please).

Short story long, the dye (?) corroded the enbloc clips.

I'd recommend throwing it in the washer a time or two to remove whatever nasty chemicals are in the fabric.


Son of Liberty said...

I have a similar setup-

it also holds M-1 carbine mags. one per pocket, with the flap snapped on the upper snap.and the divider tucked down into the pouch.

FYI if you have an M-1 mousecarbine

Scamp1776 said...

Haven't seen that problem yet - I did wash it before I started using it... maybe once is enough?

Ahab said...

Called the number you left, Mike. Had to laugh as Darryl put me on hold while he talked on another line to another customer for those ammo belts. Bought five of them, some for me and the rest for my other shooter buddies. I must have been an early caller, because when I asked how many he'd sold as a result of your tip on that belt, he indicated only nine, so far.

Still trying to find five round stripper clips for the 7.62 NATO rounds. Can't even find stripper clips for .30-06 rounds for the Sprinfield 1903A3, as those will work for the .308 round just as well. Yes, did find 10 round clips; but, they're simply too big for the bandoleers I picked up, and for this ammo belt, of course. Any tips for 5 round clips would be greatly appreciated.

JHardin said...


A few years back Aussie 7.62x51 surplus was sold on 5-rd stripper clips in bandoleers. Post some want-to-buy notices for the stripper clips on places like FAL Files and Rifle Company and you might get some hits.

Sharp Chedder said...

Southern Ohio Guns often sells bandoleers of British Radway Green 7.62x51, 5 pockets, each holding 15 rounds on 5 round stripper clips.