Model 1886 Improved and Model 1895 Equipment
1890's Improvements for the Mauser Rifle
With the adoption of the 7 mm Model 1993 Mauser rifle, the Spanish military authorities turned their attention to new equipment to meet the requirements of this modern weapon. Initially, the Model 1886 cartridge pouch and boxes were altered or newly manufactured with the suspender ring changed to a rectangular loop to accommodate the wide hook of the improved equipment suspenders. Predictably, due to the nature of the clip held Mauser ammunition, a new design was needed. A Royal Order dated July 8, 1895 introduced new black leather rectangular cartridge boxes, worn as a matching pair on the front, and a larger rear reserve cartridge box.
A soldier of the 43rd Infantry regiment with improved Model 1886 Cartridge pouch and box worn with the improved suspenders. Note the numbered belt plate and the extra cartridge clips stuck into the suspenders.
A soldier with a too small hat proudly shows off his new Mauser rifle. His is accoutered in the Model 1895 equipment with matching front cartridge pouches. A clip of 7 mm ammunition can be seen in the open bolt of his rifle.
Front and rear view of a set of the Improved Model 1886 equipment with heavier suspenders and Mauser cartridge boxes.
Improved Model 1886 Front Cartridge Box for Use with Improved Suspenders ca. 1894
Above is a front and rear view of a left side improved Model 1886 cartridge box. It remained identical to the standard M1886 with the only change being the brass wire rectangular loop that fits the wider hooks found on the improved suspenders.
A note glued to the interior of the flap. It is mostly illegible but it written in Spanish.
Model 1895 Front Mauser Cartridge Box
Front and back views of the Model 1895 cartridge box. These were worn in matching pairs on either side of the belt plate.
Model 1895 Reserve Mauser Cartridge Box
Front and back views of the reserve cartridge box. Note the belt loops is raised above the flap so that the box rides below the belt.
Model 1886 Improved Suspenders
Introduced around the early 1890's, these suspenders replaced the narrow individual cross straps used with the Model 1886 equipment. Made of black leather in a unified "Y" pattern. The increased width helped to better support the weight of the ammunition load and the wider brass hooks made the connection with the cartridge boxes more secure. A set of three loops, formed by a leather patch and copper rivets, was place high on the rear shoulder area to attach a knapsack to the suspenders by means of a metal rod, a copy of a system used by the Austro-Hungarian Army during the same period. Adjustable narrow under straps, missing from the example shown, were attached by a brass double button to the front of the suspenders to support the bottom of the knapsack. This particular knapsack pattern does not appear to have been widely used in the colonies and the narrow straps were often removed, a practice well documented in period photographs.
Three images showing details of the loops for the knapsack connecting rod and the front and rear hooks.
Several variations of frogs for the Mauser bayonet. For more information click here to visit the edged weapons frogs page.
All material is Copyright 2008 by William K. Combs. No portion may be used without permission.