Model 1886 Infantry Equipment
The Infantry regulations of 1886 introduced a new set of accoutrements designed for use with the Remington Rolling Block rifle. It would be adopted, with some detail differences, by most dismounted branches of the regular Spanish military. For the Infantry and Light Infantry, all components of the equipment set were manufactured in black leather. A soldier's basic equipment consisted of a belt with a rectangular, clipped corner brass plate displaying the number of the owner's regiment or, in the case of the Light Infantry, a hunter's horn with the battalion number in the center of the twist. Two cartridge boxes and a cartridge pouch held the soldier's ammunition. These were each of different designs and gave the equipment an asymmetrical appearance. A cartridge pouch with a rounded bottom, side gusset and interior loops to hold 20 rounds, ten front and ten back, of .43 cal. Remington cartridges ready for use, was worn on the wearer's right front. On his left front was a cartridge box that also held 20 rounds in two packages of ten. A reserve cartridge box holding an additional 20 rounds was attached to the center back of the soldier's belt. Two narrow suspender straps attached to "D" rings on the reserve box and crossed in the back coming over the shoulders to hook into rings on the back of the front pouch and box, supporting the weight of the ammunition. These suspender straps had brass hooks and frame buckles to adjust their length. A bayonet frog for a socket bayonet completed the ensemble.
Foot Artillery and Engineer troops were issued the same accoutrements but with white buff leather belts, suspenders and bayonet frogs, and their own branch of service belt plates.
Image of an Artilleryman stationed in the Philippines in service dress showing white buff leather belting with the Model 1886 equipment. Image from the late 1880's published in Álbum Recuerdo de Manila.
Small variations in details of pattern and construction will be commonly observed when examining different pieces of the Model 1886 equipment. Slight differences in overall size, flap shape and brass hardware are normal. Bayonet frogs, especially, come in a wide variety.
Image courtesy of the Museo de Historia Militar de Castellón
Plate from the original 1886 Infantry Regulations showing the Model 1886 Equipment.
Front and rear view of a set of the Model 1886 equipment completely assembled.
To be added soon.
Model 1886 Front Cartridge Pouch
Front and back views of the cartridge pouch showing the stitching of the interior cartridge loops, the wide single belt loop and brass ring to attach the pouch to the suspenders. A maker's stamp can be seen below the belt loop.
Side view showing the gusset that forms the sides and bottom of the pouch.
Interior views. The front set of cartridge loops have been remove on this example.
Detail of the manufacturer's stamp; "EMILIO HERMIDA / CORUNA".
Model 1886 Front Cartridge Box
Front and back views of the cartridge box showing the wide single belt loop and brass ring to attach the pouch to the suspenders.
Model 1886 Reserve Cartridge Box
Front and back views of the reserve cartridge box. Note the belt loop is raised above the flap so that the box rides below the belt and is flanked by brass rings to attach the pouch to the suspenders.
A view of the suspenders showing how they attach to the reserve cartridge box.
Two examples of suspender variations with different brass hardware. The strap with twisted wire buckle and hook is part of a pair documented to have come from the Philippines.
Artifact courtesy Minnesota Military Museum
Straight sided black leather frog with buckle as depicted in the 1886 regulations.
All material is Copyright 2008 by William K. Combs. No portion may be used without permission.