Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Swedish M07 Browning Pistol Holster, Holster Model 1908 M08, Andra livgrenadjärregementet I.5, Jämtlands fältjägarregemente I.5, (2nd Life Grenadier Regiment / Jämtland Rifle Regiment)

Today we'll be taking a look at another piece of Swedish Army field gear.  This time the item is a wonderful example of an early issue, Model 1908, leather holster for the Swedish Model 1907 pistol.

This particular holster is one of the rarer, early issue holsters that were first issued when the Swedish military adopted the Model 1907 Pistol (FN-Browning Model 1903 - Swedish Version).  The pistol was designated Model 1907 for the year it was officially adopted, and the holster was designated Model 1908, for its first year of issue.

The first leather holsters that were issued for the Model 1907 pistol  were made with one piece of  leather for the holster body, without a reinforcing band of leather around the muzzle end.  The next version of these holsters has the band of reinforcing leather at the muzzle.  The early, non-reinforced holsters are the hardest to find.  My holster is the early, first issue version.  You can see an example of the "second version" holster here:

A smooth leather version of this holster was made for the Swedish navy and designated the Model 1910.  

The Swedish Model 1907 pistols were in service from 1907 and into WW2.  In 1940, the Swedes adopted the Model 1940 Lahti pistol and most of the Model 1907's were pulled from service.  Some of the Model 1907 pistols remained in secondary service well into the 1960's.  
In the 1980's, Sweden adopted a more powerful cartridge load and they started experiencing damage and failures with the Model 1940 Lahti pistols.  When the Model 1940 pistols started to fail, the old Model 1907's were put back into service for a short time, until the more modern Glock pistol could be adopted in the early 1990's.

My holster is stamped with the large, early Swedish Single Crown stamp, as well as the small 3 Crown Stamp.  The Single Crown stamp would have been the original stamp, used up until 1942, when the 3 Crown Stamp was adopted.  Most likely the 3 Crown Stamp was applied with the holster was put back into service post-1942. 
The holster is also marked with the unit designation, I.5.  Having all three stampings on a single holster is very rare, and having them so clear and well placed on the flap is even rarer!

The I.5 stamp shows that the holster was issued to one, or both, of the following regiments:

Andra livgrenadjärregementet   I.5    
(2nd Life Grenadier Regiment)

Jämtlands fältjägarregemente    I.5   
( Jämtland Rifle Regiment)

The Andra livgrenadjärregementet (2nd Life Grenadier Regiment), used the I.5 designation number from 1816 to 1927.  This is most likely the unit the holster was initially issued to.
In 1927, the 2nd Life Grenadier Regiment was combined with the Jämtland Rifle Regiment.  The Jämtland Rifle Regiment abandoned their old unit number of I.23 and adopted I.5.  This unit used I.5 from 1928 until 1974.
So, now that we've muddled through all of that, we can see that this old holster has had quite an interesting run of service!

Let's take a closer look at this wonderful, old Swedish holster.

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