Monday, October 17, 2011

Praxis: The UM-84/M-12 Holster & a "whatever works" improvised combat harness using modern & antique components.

Picked up one of these in near new condition for a needy newbie at the gun show this weekend for $15. It is an Army-issue M-12 made by Cathey Industries. I have owned a UM-84 Bianchi-made item since I put my first bastard combination M1956/ALICE harness together in 1992. It accommodates my Chinese 1911-clone "Shanghai Surprise" or the Hungarian FEG Browning Hi-Power clone that I bought my son in 1995 equally well.

AN ALICE LC-2 Type II belt with M-12 holster.

As the video above states, this is an extremely durable and very versatile system. There is only one drawback that I have heard about the holster and it that is that the full flap, while perfectly serviceable and desirable for most situations where protection of the piece from dirt and mud is more important than speed, CQB operators have dubbed it "The Widowmaker." Here's another video which deals with an easy fix for guys who spend their days room clearing:

Also, during my search for a good M-12 image image, I ran across this improvised Garand harness using a mix-and-match of old and new components.

The owner took an LC-2 Type I belt, hung it from an pair of World War II M1944 combat suspenders, attached a civvie pattern canteen and cover, a pistol in an M-12 holster, a Garand bayonet and two post-Vietnam era ALICE M16 pouches. He comments:

Nothing special. Used for Pistol and Rifle competitions.. I use a WW2 cartidge belt when just doing Garand competitions. This beltkit is designed around carrying junk for my M1 Garand.

Two Vietnam era ammo pouches. They can hold 6 enblocs each. That's 12 total enblocs. Which is 96 rounds of M2 ball ammunition. Bayonet is carried between the two ammo pouches. M9 in a M-12 holster with pistol lanyard. and some random cheap canteen I have. I use old ww2 suspenders to keep the baby up. An abomination? maybe. I like how it looks.

I have written before about web belts and how they can mix-and-match with other components --

In the 1990s and on into the 21st Century the men and women of my unit, 1st Alabama Cavalry and other constitutional militia formations, were most often accoutered with some combination of these largely interchangeable pieces of load bearing equipment. Often the ALICE clips were used only long enough for the trooper to determine the best arrangement of gear on their belt and then the clips would be substituted with nylon 550 cord, which is much quieter, never rusts and doesn't dig into your flesh when subjected to stress when worn.

Anyway, if you spot a holster like the one above, or another piece of web gear for cheap, pick it up. If you can't use it, chances are someone will happen along who does, sooner or later.

On that theory, I also bought one of these for five bucks:

This is a Romanian PSL/FPK magazine/optical sight pouch. Now I don't have a Romanian PSL, nor a Dragunov, but I know a fellow that does. He will be happy for the pouch, I think.

I also picked up for five bucks each two butt packs, one an M1956, the other an ALICE.

Useful little boogers, those.


Anonymous said...

I would not trust the thumb strap to secure my sidearm. If I had to deploy with it, I would opt to firmly lash a lanyard to the pistol.

It is better to use the original design, which is an excellent piece of kit for hard use.


Scott J said...

Not sure if my comments from my phone made it but the M12 will fit the 4" S&W K-frame just fine (the model 10 and its brethren).

I've even used my M12 sans flap with the CZ 75B in IDPA.

Pericles said...

We still use the M12 with MOLLE gear:

Anonymous said...

My UM-84 even fits my Glock 21, though its a bit snug.

Unknown said...

a little large but the um 84 holds either my glock 17 or my glock 22.