Saturday, September 17, 2011
Praxis: On the theme of "It's hard to fight with your britches down around your ankles." The lowly, but useful, M1950 Suspenders.
Back in the '90s when we were training up the 1ACR, I had a fellow jump up to move to the rear (we were practicing the retrograde, i.e. "Run Away With Style"). As he began to displace, his BDU Woodlands fell down around his ankles, tripping him up. I yelled, "You're dead!" and continued moving the remainder of the fire teams with covering fire to the rear.
Afterward, I counseled the boy about a vital piece of equipment.
Meet the M1950 trouser suspenders. The suspenders were originally designed to be used with trousers having suspender loops. They may also be used by attaching the hooks to a belt, thus making them useful to hold up any pair of pants, even those without suspender loops.
The olive drab shoulder straps and loops are made of cotton elastic webbing, which attach to hook tabs which are made of plain cotton webbing. The slide buckles are made from corrosion-resistant steel or brass, and the hooks are made from corrosion-resistant steel or round brass wire. The ferrules (bushings) are formed from stainless steel or brass. The slide buckles, hook, and ferrules have a black chemical finish and the slide buckles allow to adjust the length of the suspenders to suit you.
The olive drab suspender straps are scissor-back style (cross over in the back), and the suspenders have two slide buckles and two hooks which attach to the trousers (or belt).
These come in various sizes, like just about everything else in military clothing from small to extra large, but if you get some that are too small, just sew an extension to each side of the webbing.
I have seen folks start trying to use metal clip suspenders, only to have them fail or tear up their BDU pants, or even cut themselves on the sharp metal clips. The M1950 solves all those problems.
They have the advantage of being dirt cheap. These days a buck apiece is the most common price I see and they are found in just about every surplus store and all over the Internet.