The M3 holster was standard issue during World War II for Americans carrying the Model 1911 .45 caliber pistol. This particular 1911 shoulder holster was widely used by those who served in aircraft and tanks because they wore one-piece suits that lacked the belt required for a traditional holster, although paratrooper and ranger units as well that officers and NCOs could be seen wearing this holster as well. Whether you have an original genuine leather WWII collectible or a modern replica, you can easily adapt and carry your M3 holster.
Assemble the shoulder holster
1 Buckle the vertical shoulder strap, which connects to the back of the holster and runs around the front of the holster where there is a metal ring. Buckle the vertical strap in the center notch unless you are particularly tall or short framed.
2 Buckle the horizontal side strap, which connects to the vertical shoulder strap on the back of the case and runs to a carabiner that connects to the metal ring on the front of the case. Again, the side strap buckle in the center notch unless you are particularly tall or short framed. The carabiner at the front of the side horizontal strap is used when taking the holster on and off.
3 Unload the gun, then place it in the holster to be sure the fitting allows for a natural draw. Don’t forget to button the pistol securely into the custom leather holsters.
Mount the case to your body
4 Disconnect the carabiner at the front of the side horizontal strap and pull the vertical strap over your left shoulder. At this point, the holster should hang under your left armpit with the pistol grip forward and the barrel pointing down.
5 Reach behind your back and grab the horizontal side strap that hangs down the back of the case, somewhere around your left back pocket. Pull the side strap around your right side and under your right armpit and connect the carabiner to the metal ring on the front of the case.
6 Snap the optional belt loop at the bottom of the case around your belt. This step is optional because many users of this holster have chosen not to connect the snap around the belt loop for better ease of movement in confined spaces.
7 Reach for the pistol grip with your right hand to see if it hangs too low or too high for a comfortable draw. Take note of where the custom leather shoulder holster hangs from your shoulder, as well as how tight or loose the side strap is under your right armpit. The gun should be easily accessible at the end of the magazine though resting just below your heart, but any shoulder rig holster should be comfortable as well.
8 Remove the carabiner from the front of the holster and take the M3 off to adjust the vertical and side webbing loops to improve the position of the gun holster and allow for a comfortable, natural draw.