The Joy of Museums

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Queensland Police Museum - Joy of Museums - Bandolier

This Bandolier was used a a pocketed belt for holding ammunition, usually slung over the chest. This leather bandolier was worn over shoulder and could holds 20 cartridges in four separate pouches with 4 brass knobs. Brass buckle which sits on shoulder when worn.

The Bandolier was used to keep the ammunition of the police officer’s hips, as carrying a large load on the hips lead to constrained movement and difficulty in ammunition retrieval. The early Bandolier, was common issue to armed officials from the 16th century to the 18th century, and contained either pre-packed chargers, small containers of wood, metal or cloth containing the measured amount of gunpowder for a single shot with muzzle-loading muskets or other guns, or early forms of cartridges also containing a ball.

This form of the bandolier came into use in the 19th century, to hold cased cartridges and hand grenades. Bandoliers are now less common due to the use of magazines and belt-fed firearms, though extra ammunition belts are often carried around the body like a bandolier. They are, however, still often used with shotguns, as shotgun shells can easily be stored in traditionally-designed bandoliers.

Essential Facts:

  • Title:                      Bandolier
  • Date:                      1890s
  • Materials:             Steel, Brass, Leather
  • Dimensions:         1400 dia x 100
  • Museum:              Queensland Police Museum


“The police are the public and the public are the police.” Robert Peel



Photo Credit: JOM