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Thread: Mills 35 Loop Cartridge Belt - Real or Repro?

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    Member sigman2's Avatar
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    Mills 35 Loop Cartridge Belt - Real or Repro?

    Guys, I purchased this off e-Bay. It was listed as an original Mills 35 loop 30/40 Kragicon cartridge belt. I have serious doubts as this this being an original.

    First, the belt is in too good a condition to be 100 years old.
    Second, the fabric has no old smell to it. It actually has a rather new smell.



    The metal fittings are brass and the loops are woven into the belt, not sewn but I just can't believe this is an old, original belt.

    How can I be 100% certain before I contact the seller?
    Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

    https://imgur.com/a/T3sn6Ub




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    I would like to know for certain if it is original or repro,
    sigman2

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...too good a condition to be 100 years old..." That'd be my first reaction. That fabric isn't even faded or frayed in the least. I have W.W. II vintage stuff that is faded more than that.
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    It is without any doubt genuine. The original looms these belts were woven on do not exist anymore. This is critical, because unlike typical loop cartridge belts, Mills belts have integrally-woven loops, by which I mean the yarns of the main weaving of the belt run out to form the loop and back into the belt. The loops are not stitched on in a separate operation like with traditional cartridge belts.

    There should be a number stamped on the inside of the belt. If you can tell me what that number is, I can tell you what cartridge that belt was made for, because Mills belts were made with loops sized for specific cartridges. They weren't universal fit loops.

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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It is without any doubt genuine. The original looms these belts were woven on do not exist anymore. This is critical, because unlike typical loop cartridge belts, Mills belts have integrally-woven loops, by which I mean the yarns of the main weaving of the belt run out to form the loop and back into the belt. The loops are not stitched on in a separate operation like with traditional cartridge belts.

    There should be a number stamped on the inside of the belt. If you can tell me what that number is, I can tell you what cartridge that belt was made for, because Mills belts were made with loops sized for specific cartridges. They weren't universal fit loops.
    Appears to be "MILLS 18"
    Mills 30/40 Krag 35 Loop Cartridge Belt - Album on Imgur
    BSN from the Republic of Alberta

    http://www.cartridgecollectors.org/

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    According to the table in my Mills catalog reprint, the loops of that belt are sized for the .38-55 cartridge. The .30-40 Kragicon isn't listed in the table, as that catalog likely predates the availability of that cartridge. Though, numbers 25 through 30 are unassigned. It was likely given one of those numbers in later editions.
    Last edited by Big Al; 05-28-2019 at 09:43 PM.

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    Really Senior Member Woodsy's Avatar
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    Looking at the detail on the other photos makes me think you are on to a winner with this belt. Not only is the weave correct but the detailed photos of the buckle are showing the high quality of an original. Knock-offs of such items come from Asia and just don't have the quality of yours. I think you are bloody lucky!

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    No one is currently reproducing the Mills No 118 cartridge belt. I search high and low for such things constantly.

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    While researching a WWI Mills cartridge belt a couple years ago, I found an article saying that the original looms these were made on had been sold and shipped overseas to India, I believe it was. The article warned that we might see reproductions made on the original machines in the future. I agree that the buckles, etc. look correct, but the fabric sure looks new. Is there any truth to the story about the machines being sold overseas? - Bob

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    The only reproduction Mills belts I am aware of are an unknown quantity of pea green eagle snap M1910 dismounted cartridge belts made for Schipperfabrik some years ago, after which the I believe the looms broke down and were scrapped, or something like that.

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