ATF MP40 Pouches
New generation, exact reproduction MP38/40 pouches. There are no other reproductions equal to these. The Chinese, Indian and even the Czech copies are not even remotely similar to these. As with our MP44 pouches, these are made exclusively by us, and all materials are custom matched to original samples. Nothing is improvised or "made do" with. Yes, they cost more, but with a bit of wear and tear, you will have pouches that are very hard to distinguish from authentic Wartime ones.
Original MP40 Pouches
Above are pictured some of the WWII MP pouches we currently own. We will be making some of these styles, but not all- as well as a few not pictured. True "Tropicals" (olive canvas with tan straps) are more rare than MP44 pouches and I have to work from photos. It's also obvious that the "exact repros" sold for $29 don't really resemble real ones very well...
Notes about MP40 pouches in WWII: There were many other variations than what I have pictured here. There are numerous combinations of canvas and strap color- gray, green, olive, tan, khaki, blue, and fieldgray pouches exist. Some used rayon canvas, others had flaps made from 4 cm HBT webbing, and the straps could be black or brown leather, gray, green or tan web, or a mix. Gray pouches weren't necessarily Luftwaffe- conversely, Luftwaffe units sometimes wore green pouches.
Web straps were used throughout the War- they weren't exclusively "tropical". Look at photos from the invasion of Russia in 1941- most MP40 gunners were wearing pouches with web straps. This style was made throughout the War. The originals in the pic, top left, were made in '44.
This list of variations goes on and on...
Truth in advertising?
Most dealers claim their products to be "copied from originals". Few can prove it. So why does most reproduction German fieldgear look (and often smell) like something just ejected from the bum of a sick cow? Nearly all other companies simply order their products from a wholesaler (like Sturm or Depeeka) and say "yeah, yeah, just like the real thing..." and go on about their day. They are made by workers in Asia who have no clue and no interest in what the item is, how it should look or what it fits. How many vendors actually post photos of originals beside their products to prove they got it right?
I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on original items, and I'll show them to you. All of our higher-end fieldgear is either made here, or, we acquire the materials in the US or Europe, design and cut them in our shop and send them overseas for hand-sewing. And when I do the designs and make the patterns, the original example is right beside me on the workbench. Lastly, in the case of mag pouches, we test fit every one with real magazines to be sure they are right.
Why do I think the the "reasonably priced pouches" are so bad? Just look. For the comparison above, I dug through my real MP40 pouches and found an Otto Kolberstein that is as close to the Sturm pouch as I can find. The Sturm pouches are the most common ones on the market and they are awful- cheesey chrome hardware, nasty urine tanned water buffalo leather (that's why it stinks), bright nylon stitches and no hand-sewn leather parts- which means the belt loops will eventually pull loose. It's not obvious in the photo, but I had to fight with them for 10 minutes and pull with everything I've got to get the flaps closed over the magazines. (I wanted to show them both with mags in them for a fair comparison.) Originals close firmly, but you can indeed close them.
Still worse than these are the products from China or Pakistan with the neon-green canvas and brass studs. We needn't waste bandwidth addressing those abominations.
Why do ours cost more? Because they cost more to manufacture. Much more. Our canvas is custom made in the US or Belgium. The leather and web are US made. Here in our shop, we spread, stack and cut the canvas, dye, finish and cut the leather, assemble the hardware, and pre-assemble the flaps and loader pouches- and inspect it all. Then we ship it all overseas, pay inbound duties, and have our contractor do the hand sewing. Then he ships them back to us, we pay pay US duties (about 15%), then we re-inspect, test fit and finally mark the pouches. So, we have US and European materials, international freight charges (x 2), customs duties (x 2), plus our own labor. It would be a lot easier just to call Sturm or email China wouldn't it? The truth is that I will not sell clown gear like that. I may be crass and tactless, and maintaining some shred of authenticity may be a lost cause, but I'm stubborn.