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.


frosty2 said...

Very useful indeed. Besides there intended use I have used them to hold up waders while fishing by adding some drops of 550 cord and made a holster rig for a light trail gun. I keep a few pairs around. Loops of 550 cord can be added to any pants with a few minutes of needle and thread work. Snap buckle suspenders always break at the worst time.

Bad Cyborg said...

Pants on the ground
Pants on the ground
You can't fight a war with your
Pants on the ground

Walter Zoomie said...

In my nearly 49 years of life I have never felt the need to wear a set of suspenders. I wear a belt. ;)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as long as you're short...I'm middling tall (6'3) with most of my height in my torso and these are too damned short.

Anonymous said...

Please join me in trying to get a Fast and Furious question asked at the Fox News GOP debate. Go to Fox news - click on GOP Presidential Debate - go to ask a question - search Fast and Furious - add a question, or vote for a favorite.

You don't need to denounce me to der fuhrer's gestapo at AttackWatch, I'm on the pretty sure I'm already on the list.


Fielder George Dowding said...

I remember these suspenders and field pants. The field pants went over the fatigue pants and were held up with these suspenders. I dimly remember being instructed to have the hook facing out to prevent being un-hooked accidentally.

The Trainer said...

These are very, very helpful when wearing layered equipment.

Example: Small survival kit in your cargo pocket; smaller combat knife on your belt, multi-tool, and a pistol on your belt that never leaves your person provides enough weight to pull your pants down to the point that your movements can be inhibited even with a belt. LBV/LBE is worn on top of those "last ditch" equipment/tools.

Stay in the field training long enough and you'll value these or the more expensive SpecOps brand type (more comfortable, but you get what you pay for - for the price, the USGI can't really be beat). Especially on long term field operations where you start to lose a pound or two....seen it, done it.

Word to the wise!

Sean said...

I remember wearing my suspenders w/ field pants, working like a slave on an FTX, many times in 72hr stretches, and getting it done. Satisfaction is socking it to the opposing forces, then snapping your suspenders, en garde.

Semper Fi, 0321 said...

Duluth Trading Co. has updated this design and you can also get them in other colors and clip on designs for your street pants. Pretty nifty, eh?
We too used these in the Corps, they were used to help hold up our cold weather gear(field pants?), great design actually.

Anonymous said...

There is no other choice, IMO, when wearing layers in the Arctic. These are just about indispensable with gore-tex pants over a polypro base layer.

I have several of them, and once the poly pros go on, so do these. Every time I dig through a box of "stuff", I seem to come up with another.

When wearing lots of layers and moving, a belt just doesn't cut it. Not unless you want to cinch it too tight, or dig through layers and layers to adjust it.

I always wear these guys in the field, whether it's hot or cold.

Take care of them though. If they get too old or brittle, they'll break, and that really sucks, especially when you're on an extended foot movement. ;-)