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dahermit
December 25, 2012, 11:50 AM
I am making a Sam Browne belt complete with shoulder strap (but on the strong side to support the weight of a holstered handgun). I have got a set of brass fittings that have been salvaged from a British Sam Browne belt, circa early 1900's. I am wondering what the purpose of the "sword hook" is. From watching movies of American Cavalry, and how they slung their sabers from straps on their belts resulting in having to hold the saber with their left hand while dismounted, I suspect that the hook may be for hanging the sword on that hook when the British officer was dismounted, freeing his left hand. But, that is conjecture. Can anyone tell me how that was intended to be used?

MLeake
December 25, 2012, 12:21 PM
On my ceremonial sword belt, the hooks were used to set the carry angle of the scabbard.

dahermit
December 25, 2012, 12:33 PM
Your belt has "hooks", plural? The British Sam Browne belt has a single hook.

MLeake
December 25, 2012, 09:13 PM
The USN swordbelt had two.

obiwan53
January 18, 2013, 12:52 AM
It is indeed used to carry the saber higher while dismounted. Simply hang your sheathed saber from the sword hook by the scabbard's top ring. You see, normally a cavalryman's scabbard straps would be set to a length which works fine while mounted but the scabbard chape could drag on the ground when dismounted. If you are tall it doesn't usually drag, but it's still going to hang at an obtrusive angle. It's rude to bump people with your scabbard. The sword hook resolves that problem easily, although the scabbard will still bang against your leg if you start moving around much. When hung from the hook it hangs pretty close to vertical and is far less likely to cause offense. People that never wear the saber on horseback often simply shorten the top strap enough so the scabbard chape doesn't drag and the weapon hangs politely without using the hook -- but then they're not wearing the cavalry saber in true cavalry fashion.

Years ago I used to be a Civil War cavalry reenactor, so I speak from some experience.

dahermit
January 19, 2013, 11:27 PM
Thank you Obiwan. I thought that is what it was for, but was not sure.