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Field Modified Cavalry Shoulder Belt for Smith Sling
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This is a great bit of Civil War soldier field modification. This is a regulation issue buff shoulder belt from a cavalry saber belt that was taken off by a trooper and used as a carbine sling on his first model Smith carbine. This carbine pattern is often still referred to, incorrectly, as the artillery model, but was in fact the earlier pattern issued to cavalry. Its salient characteristic was the use of two sling swivels for a conventional style sling rather than a side bar and ring for a cavalry carbine sling.

This was taken off a Smith carbine that came into a Gettysburg shop years ago and sold separately. It could be put back on a buff cavalry belt to complete it, the shoulder straps are often missing, but it would be a shame to turn it back from a unique example of soldier field modification into something generic. In any case, it is full length, 45 inches exclusive of the two hooks. The surface shows staining, the usual oxidation to brown from black, and some wear that has rubbed down the raised buff surface in stretches. In mounting the belt on the carbine the trooper put in four adjusting holes for the hooks midway along the strap to let him tighten it to about 22 inches. This is not a mint unisssued example by any means, and appreciating it for what it is, is something of an acquired taste, but it is a very cool example of field worn cavalry gear.

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