Cartridge Pouches & Boxes

To order Cartridge Pouches, Boxes, Buff or Black Leather: click on this PDF icon and follow the instructions on the top of the page.
Box, Pouch, and Buff Leather Order Form
I presently have a lengthly backlog of 29 hole Continental Army boxes,
and 29/36 hole British pouches to make for fellow reenactors and museums.
Please be advised I am not accepting any more orders until I get caught up,
and I do not have any idea when that will be.

British Cartridge Pouches - Prior to 1784 there wasn't a standard or Warrant for a British army cartridge pouch. It was the custom of the Colonel of each regiment to purchase, through the Regimental Agent, cartridge pouches for their regiment. Consequently several varieties of British cartridge pouches were used during the war. Two common varieties are the 26-hole and 29-hole pouches. Several originals of the 26-hole varieties exist, including one with Bunker Hill provenance, and several originals of the 29-hole variety also exist. Presently I make the 29-hole pouch and eventually I will also make the 26-hole pouch. The only major difference between the two is the length of the block.

Many reenactors are familiar with the 36-hole pouch (aka suitcase), but this item is from a circa 1968 B.A.R. pattern not based on an original but Cuthbertson's specification that a pouch should hold 36 rounds. Most units are now replacing this type of pouch. A 36-hole pouch does exist, but it is the reversible block cartridge pouch that is erroneously called the Rawle pouch.

Several smaller cartridge pouches do exist, but as yet we don't know if these are British militia, light infantry, serjeants, riflemens, or perhaps just another variety of battalion cartridge pouch.

British Cartridge Box - This is the simple 18-hole block with a leather flap that was furnished by the Crown as part of a soldiers "stand of arms". Some were made with plain flaps, others were embossed with a gold GR2 or GR3.

Continental Army Cartridge Boxes - Documents in the George Washington papers suggests that British pouches of 29-hole design were the inspiration for Continental Army cartridge boxes. These boxes, of the "New Construction" as Washington called them, were made and issued from 1777 to the end of the war.

Open this PDF file for a two page document of quotations from G. Washington regarding cartridge boxes and ammunition.

Box vs. Pouch: The style of ammunition case with leather surrounding the wood block was called a pouch by the British, and generally known as a box by the Americans. To the British the terms cartridge box and cartridge pouch meant two different types of equipment, while the Americans seemed to use the terms interchangeably.

Like most pouches of the period, the flaps are of heavy, rough-side-out leather. Rough-side-out on pouch flaps, and shoes as well, enable the blackball to adhere to the leather. The flap is held closed by means of a round leather button, brass clasp, or iron pivoting stud on the bottom of the pouch. Two hand-forged iron buckles on the bottom of the pouch, and a wide carriage keeper on the back, holds the shoulder carriage (sold separately.)

All my pouch bodies are made of the highest quality American leather from Hermann Oak Leather Co., and the flaps made of waxed flesh leather from Horween Leather Co. The pouches are hand stitched (no machines) using traditional 18th C. techniques, that means hand made thread and individually stabbed stitching holes.

The block holes will be drilled 2 ¼" deep for blank rounds. The original blocks were drilled approx 3" deep to accommodate the ball and large powder charge. Keep in mind that 18th C. black powder quality was poor thus approx 150 grains were used for a charge, whereas today we use approx 70 grains, thus the hole doesn't need to be as deep as 200 years ago.

Follow the links below to the pages you wish to view.

Shoulder Carriage for Pouch or Box (and buff leather)

British Cartridge Box

British 36-hole Reversible Block Cartridge Pouch

British 29-hole Cartridge Pouch

Continental Army Cartridge Boxes

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This site is maintained by Debra
First launched 5-9-91.