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Thread: M1923 Sling Back in Production - in an original, WWII US Factory!

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Col. Colt's Avatar
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    Thumbs up M1923 Sling Back in Production - in an original, WWII US Factory!

    Many here know about the M1923 sling as an interesting collectors item. It was designed as part of the M1923 web gear update for the US Army as a cheaper, lighter alternative to the M1907 sling, but never produced in quantity until WWII, since the supply of WWI slings for M1903 and M1917s was more than adequate between the World Wars. It was put into production when WWII started, and was the standard sling for the Thompson Submachine Gun, was in the US Supply System and used on many Lend Lease M1s, M1903s and M1917s.

    It was included in the Field Manuals for the M1903 and the M1 - but I understand that in some cases the description of assembly was written up incorrectly and frustrated the new troops - and the "Old Guard" doing the training wanted nothing to do anyway with a "cheap, complicated cloth sling" when they were raised on the more elegant, leather M1907. It looks complicated at first glance - but really is simple if you are instructed properly. The Army blew it, and a superior piece of equipment got back burnered and unjustly maligned.

    In truth, the M1923 is just a canvas version of the M1907, using buckles instead of hooks to adjust length - and having used the M1907 and the M1 web sling since I was 11 years old (over 60 now) the M1923 is THE Better Mousetrap. Try it on a rifle at the range and I think you will retire your M1907! But up 'til now they were rare and expensive collectors items. Well, the M1923 Sling is BACK!

    RCIStarlight (musical instrument maker - drums) owns the original WWII American Canvas Co. factory in Connecticut, that made canvas web gear for the US Army in WWII - and has spent the time and money to tool up and remake the buckles and very high quality WWII style webbing. I have three original M1923s, two used lighter khakis but also including a brand new late OD green "MRT 1951" to compare to - and the re-introduced M1923 is, if anything, Better Quality than the originals. They even duplicated the stitching patterns! And they are $69.00, brand new - not over $200 like an original NOS. They are carefully marked with both the original and American Canvas marks to prevent people from misrepresenting them as original USGI. Here's their website. They will also be producing different colors, etc.

    M1923 Sling American Made RCI Starlite AFC



    I have no financial interest in the company and no association - but I like to promote good, Made In USAicon products in our hobby. And I think the M1923 sling got a raw deal - and is really the BEST shooting sling eve made. I sent an email to CMPicon Competitions asking it be added to the "Issued and allowed" US Military Sling list - because it WAS USGI Issue! Give it a look. CC
    Last edited by Col. Colt; 09-27-2018 at 12:40 AM.

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    Senior Member twh's Avatar
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    Wasn't the Kerr sling the standard sling for the Thompson sub machine gun?

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twh View Post
    the Kerr sling
    Matter of fact it was...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Doesn't negate the fact that this company bringing back a faithful reproduction of the M1923 is pretty cool!

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    Really Senior Member Jason60chev's Avatar
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    I have an original M1923 web sling installed on one of my M1903 rifles. Bought several years ago at a Gun show in Birmingham, I think.

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    Senior Member Col. Colt's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Matter of fact it was...
    Go to the Starlight website listed in my original post and look at the Thompson Catalog picture of the M1923 sling listed as a Thompson accessory - but perhaps that was only for Commercial Sales? CC

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Colt View Post
    Go to the Starlight website
    Yes, I saw that. A posed photo to show it's compatibility I think (See? It fits, this is how it will look)... It'll work but not the same. Try to find ONE picture in service where a Thompson of any description is wearing a M1923?
    Last edited by browningautorifle; 10-03-2018 at 01:21 PM.
    Regards, Jim

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    I have an original Kerr dated 1945 on my Savage M1A1icon TSMG. All I can think about is how many soldiers got killed from that thing rattling out on patrol. Of course, disciplined and well trained troops probably removed them or taped the hell out of them. They have to be the worst example of bad noise discipline design I've ever seen which is essential for Infantry ops. You see the Brits and Commonwealth troops using P'37 web slings on their Thompsons. The original silent sling.

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    The Kerr sling for the later Thompson is shorter than the Kerr rifle sling

  14. #10
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Yes, there are three sizes, one for the M1917s, shorter for the M1903 and shorter still for the M1928 and ilk... We had a discussion about them here one year too.
    Regards, Jim

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