M1971 ABL field gear

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    Wolverine
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Wolverine on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:45 pm

    Thank you for this information - did you know Corporal Mervis personally?
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by flashesandovals on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:07 pm

    Wolverine wrote:Thank you for this information - did you know Corporal Mervis personally?

    Yes I did - I was there between 1992 and 1997
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Wolverine on Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:24 pm

    Great, thanks - it is rarely possible to attach some specific history like this to a piece of equipment coming from army surplus.
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Antarmike on Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:04 pm

    Finally got a Belgian Folding Shovel .  There is no evidence anyone has ever dug with it.



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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Antarmike on Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:25 am

    Does this FNC magazine pouch class as M71 web gear?  FNC was not adopted by ABL until 1989, so the pouch is unlikely to be earlier.  If not M71 what pattern would it be classed as and what would be an approximate date for ths style of pouch. TIA.



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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Wolverine on Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:07 pm

    Nice pouch. I haven't been able to find one with that style of closure, but I do have some with the ALICE-type closure. I believe that FNC pouches were also made with the twist-lock closures as well. I am not sure if they were manufactured in a particular order, or if some were for trials. But one would assume that the twist-lock style would have come first.

    I would consider this part of the M71, as it was an updated pouch to go with the new rifle, in place of the old FAL pouches.

    If you have spares with the Spanish-style closure, I would be interested in trading.
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Antarmike on Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:14 pm

    Wolverine wrote:Nice pouch. I haven't been able to find one with that style of closure, but I do have some with the ALICE-type closure. I believe that FNC pouches were also made with the twist-lock closures as well. I am not sure if they were manufactured in a particular order, or if some were for trials. But one would assume that the twist-lock style would have come first.

    I would consider this part of the M71, as it was an updated pouch to go with the new rifle, in place of the old FAL pouches.

    If you have spares with the Spanish-style closure, I would be interested in trading.

    No spares I am afraid, I presume that the hook on the yolk strap that normally goes to the belt, is shotrened and attaches to the top of the pouch itself (ie to the eyelet on the rear?
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Wolverine on Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:05 pm

    Yes, it is the same on my pouch with the ALICE closure.

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by michelwijnand on Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:50 pm

    Hm, just found one like that today, now I have 4 different ones...
    Really a weird thing since the clips of the M71 pack can't attach to it, since there's no wide metal ring.



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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Antarmike on Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:24 pm

    They do not need a wide ring to attach to M71 webbing. assuming of course that I am making the right presumptions as to how they would be rigged.

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by michelwijnand on Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:14 pm

    Yes, the webbing is not the problem, the backpack, which is part of the webbing is.
    It has the wide steel clip that normally attaches to the rectangular steel ring at thetop of the magpouch, which this doesn't have.

    Here at the left you can see the regular type pouch with the ring.




    Also, with the regular pouches, the webbing isn't supposed to be attached to it like that. Instead it passes through the upper web loop just behind the ring, and then attaches to the belt.
    Here's also shown how the backpack attaches to the ring.


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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Antarmike on Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:47 pm

    michelwijnand wrote:Yes, the webbing is not the problem, the backpack, which is part of the webbing is.
    It has the wide steel clip that normally attaches to the rectangular steel ring at thetop of the magpouch, which this doesn't have.

    Here at the left you can see the regular type pouch with the ring.




    Also, with the regular pouches, the webbing isn't supposed to be attached to it like that. Instead it passes through the upper web loop just behind the ring, and then attaches to the belt.
    Here's also shown how the backpack attaches to the ring.



    The pack can fix to the wide loop at the top of the yolk, where the wide shoulderpad narrows down to the thinner webbing. (off to take some photos, Back shortly)


    Last edited by Antarmike on Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Antarmike on Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:01 pm

    My misunderstanding of what you were saying. I do not have a definite proof of how this apparent problem was solved but I have one possible solution.

    I assume that the backpack can in these circumstances will be attached to the large loop on the yolk itself, (where the wide shoulder strap narrows down to the narrower webbing.)




    I know it is not in the imstruction book, but could possibly be how it was done (if indeed back pack was used with these pouches.)

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by michelwijnand on Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:54 am

    Forgot about that loop, but damn, the pack is already the worst factor in the whole webbing, but if worn that way it's even shittier Razz
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Antarmike on Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:27 am

    The crappy material the pouches and pack are made of is the shittiest thing about the webbing, That and the fact that the press studs tend to tear out of the material as you try to open them......
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Wolverine on Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:07 am

    It seems that the Belgians copied a reasonably sound US design, but chose their materials poorly. The vinyl does not wear well, and becomes quite inflexible at cool temperatures. On the other hand, they were probably aiming for a material that was easy to decontaminate, and perhaps this was the best (or cheapest?) available in the 1960s/70s.

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by abefroman on Tue May 01, 2018 10:19 am

    Antarmike wrote:Does this FNC magazine pouch class as M71 web gear?  FNC was not adopted by ABL until 1989, so the pouch is unlikely to be earlier.  If not M71 what pattern would it be classed as and what would be an approximate date for ths style of pouch. TIA.




    Anyone ever seen pictures of these in use in the field? It looks like a bunch were recently dumped on the Surplus market but they all appear to be brand new.

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by michelwijnand on Tue May 01, 2018 12:40 pm

    I haven't, then again, I've seen more photos of US Alice pouches being used by that time, than actual Belgian pouches

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    M71 equipment - evolution

    Post by tkurt on Thu May 10, 2018 4:47 pm

    Here are some pictures of the 'M71 individual equipment' in my collection, showing some variations.
    Earlier plastic canteen and cup ('70s dated) and later plastic canteen and cup (late '80s dated), note the difference in colour of the plastic
    and the new pattern of cup handle. The different pouches for the FAL, FNC or Vigneron mags. Two variations of the shoulder suspenders (slightly different weave of the webbing and slightly different colour). Two variations of the bayonet holder. Two variations of the ammo bag. The three patterns of shovels and carriers: pattern 1 with the ww2 pattern folding shovel (this example is a late ABL one from the '70s, note the two grooves in the blade and the screw),
    pattern 2 with the belt hook and with the new folding shovel (earlier type dated 1979) and pattern 3 with the belt clips and with the new folding shovel (later type dated 1985 - note the screw).



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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Wolverine on Thu May 10, 2018 5:00 pm

    This is a nice selection - do I see in the picture a variant of the FNC magazine pouch with twist locks?

    I had not seen that style of nut on a bi-fold shovel before. Any idea where that shovel was manufactured?

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by tkurt on Thu May 10, 2018 6:11 pm

    Yes, these pouches for FNC mags with twist lock are made out of nylon instead of PVC.
    Backpacks also exist made out of the same nylon.

    The ABL bi-fold shovel that is shown is probably belgian made, this is the late model (late '60s-'70s) equipped with the bolt and nut
    so that it can be stripped for refurbishing (which was done regularly on these shovels).
    It is very difficult to find a mint, not repainted or refurbished shovel, as these were is service for about 30 years.
    Some years back I had the chance to examine a large lot of these bi fold shovels just released from belgian army stocks.
    To my knowledge there are 4 types:
    - ww2 shovels ex us army surplus (US marked and dated 44 or 45)
    - close copies of these but belgian made (no markings at all)
    - shovels that are noticably heavier and with more rounded blade (no markings at all)
    - the type of shovel shown, with the two grooves in the blade and the bolt and nut.
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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by Wolverine on Fri May 11, 2018 11:19 am

    Yes, the first three types I have in my collection, but the type shown above was new to me.

    I have one of the packs in nylon material, but have never come across the magazine pouches. Are there any other pieces that were made with this nylon instead of PVC?

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by abefroman on Sat May 12, 2018 3:43 pm

    Great pictures and information. Anyone know if the FNC pouches withe lift tab were ever used through photo evidence?

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    Re: M1971 ABL field gear

    Post by tkurt on Sun May 13, 2018 7:05 am

    So far I have only seen the backpack and these mag pouches in nylon.
    For the backpack there are several variations, either with turn closing or with press studs,
    with two holes for attaching the early entrenching tool pouch or later on with 2 slits to attach the later entrenching tool pouch.
    These backpacks exist in PVC and nylon, and curiosly also in canvas (same style canvas as the pre M71 backpack used by the para-commando regt),
    but these are definitely much later as they have two slits (instead of holes) to attach the later style M71 entrenching tool pouch.

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