The M1911 Cartridge Pouch

Trough both world wars the Mauser karabin98/gewehr98 was the standard shoulder weapon of the german soldier. It utilized he 8x57 mauser round wich had to be carried by the soldier. For this they needed pouches. Die patronentaschen was virtually unchanged since they were introduced in 1909. Personnell in combat or frontline units received 2 pouches, rear units received one. When wearing one aufschibeschlaufen (belt D-rings) were used to attach the Y-STraps. The Pouches were worn on the belt 3cm from the buckle on both side. If one was worn it was on the left or right side depending on other equipment carried by the soldier. 

In world war one there was 2 different types different by the depht of the compartments. One lighter version for cavalry with three sections containeing two clips each and a pouch with three section with three clips each.


The pouches was made either of smoothened or pebbled leather. The leather was blackened. There are several variations. Some are only blackened at the front, some are entirely blackened. The D-rings and metal parts also varies. The pouches are sown with a bend so they go around the carriers waist. A natural leather version exists made for the North Africa campaign, but these are rare and only produced in the beginning of the war. Variations to the belt loops also exist. In the early years they were marked with name of manufacturer, place and year on the back. Later in the war, for security reasons, they were marked with RB or RF numbers. 

Patronentasche from 1936. Before the war they often stampet the unit id inside the lids of the pouches. This was worn by the Flak Ersazts abteilung 14. 06 techn... Probably technischer. For obvious security reasons this practice was ended as the war started. 

Makers mark on the same pouch. This practice gave the enemy the location of the factories producing various equipment for the army and was therefore also discarded due to security reasons

Picture shows the variety of pouches. The lower one is made in Rinneberg 1941 and showing the belt loops attached to the studs under the pockets. This was not usual on later models to save leather. The one in the middle has rivets on the belt loop tops and sewn on the loops at the bottom. The d-ring is field grey painted steel. The aircraft industry had the priority on lighter metals as aluminium.

The one at the top also has greypainted steel D-ring. Both top and bottom of the belt loops are riveted. This pouch is stampet with RB number instead of makers mark.

K98 pouch makers marked and dated 1940. This also has the field grey painted steel D-ring. Belt loops attaches to the studs under the pockets. This pouch is in very good condition. Note the rivets are not painted black. It is only the colored leather. The seams also have the color of the thread. This is normal and shows that the pouch hasnt been tampered with or refinished to look better on the market. Some early models have Light metal D-ring, but often they also were made of steel on the early models as well.

A 1939 Hamburg made Pouch. It is blackened only at the front. Has the D-ring made from aluminium. Early pouches were in fact made in brown but later they were colored black. This is a pouch blackened after it was made. The markings are often very hard to see/read due to the pebbled leather. A trick found on a forum was to put flour or some powder on them to easyer read the markings.

Is it all good?

This K98 Pouch was found for sale at a dealer in Europe. Compare the backside to the pictures above. The thread is black, same with the rivets. These rivets on the belt loop gets filed against the wearer. It might be original, but is something to look out for and compare to the condition otherwere on the pouch. It the top lid are worn and the rivets and seams are black, either this soldier was inside a house his whole career or it has been refinished at some time. Note that it is said that the late war version used black thread, but so did the DDR made afterwar pouches. 

The K98 pouches were never waa marked as, opposite to e.g mp38/40 pouches they werent cataloged as weapon items but personal items. If a nice K98 Pouch with nice Waa acceptance stamps turns up, it is a fake. We also encounter restamped pouches to increase the value, something to look out for. As the prices on the pouches until late has been low there wasnt much to gain in newly made fakes. The biggest danger is remodified, refurbished and restamped. There should be no D-rings made of brass.

ATF made pouch. This is very close to the original, but have some giveaways wich will be covered in the fakes section. This is a reproduction, not a fake. So why dont they stamp "Repro" inside the lids? With artifically aging or in a long time from now these repros will fool someone. Then they use it as a reference for original item, and there we go. Some fakes has been identified as the leather is not pebbled but pressed into look pebbled. a magnifiing glass is a good tool.

K98 pouches post war

Million of Mauser K98 rifles was produced when the Third reich collapsed. These weapon soon found their way into afterwar use in many countries. The need for accessories was still present and many countries using K98's in their armed forces made pouches. As of many ww2 items in east germany, they just kept producing them in the same factories. In addition we have the turkisch, argentinian, swedish mauser etc etc

The polish ones have deeper pockets, usually made of brown leather and stamped inside the lids. The ones spotted has a D-ring with a kind of roller on top.

Be aware thet the Bundesgrenzschutz was equipped with Karabiner98. For their use, new pouches was made after the wartime standards. They are almost identical to wartime production, but mostly marked with year or bundesgrenzschutz.