Duke ended up paying more for his Artillery Luger accouterments than he
did for the pistol itself — stocks, loaders, holsters and more abound for it.

My dictionary says “accouterments” are military accessories. I love the word because to me it seems like a combination of accumulate and collect, both endeavors I do very well. Let’s apply accouterments to handguns: What do they need in the way of accouterments? The first two in my mind are the most common. They are holsters and nice grips (stocks). Make mine leather in the first and some sort of organic material in the second.

Then there are accouterments specific to certain types of handguns. Speed loaders for DA revolvers or even half- or full-moon clips for .45 Auto revolvers come to mind. And don’t forget lots of spare magazines and magazine pouches for semi-autos. Most young shooters need more accouterments. Laser-dot sights, flashlights and whatnot to fill up the rails placed all over many semi-autos nowadays fill the bill.

What about single action revolvers? Since they are not commonly considered fighting handguns nowadays they usually (hopefully) don’t have rails. What could possibly be necessary accouterments for them? From my 51 years of experience as a single-action shooter there are two. A screwdriver is essential! By my count Ruger Old Model SAs have 10, New Models have nine and Colt SAAs (and replicas) have 11 external screws that are forever working loose. A properly fitting screwdriver is a necessity. I’ve ruined more SA screws than most people will ever see by using poor screwdrivers!

Then there’s the problem of stuck cylinder base pins. Anyone who has owned and fired Colt SAA type revolvers knows about this problem. I’ve driven out many after dismantling the sixgun and punching them out from the rear. Peacemaker Specialists markets both proper fitting screwdrivers for single actions and a special prong-shaped steel tool to pry those recalcitrant base pins out.

Because Yvonne is around horses daily Duke insists she carry a small knife in
case of tangled ropes, etc. Maybe you should too?

Single-Action revolvers sometimes need specialized accouterments such as this
stuck base pin puller. Duke reminds you to use proper fitting screwdrivers too.

Luxury Luger Goodies

If you really want to get involved with a firearm — the accouterments for which could properly be termed “money pit” — then buy a German P08 Lange (meaning long). American collector types refer to them as Artillery Lugers. They actually were first intended for troops protecting World War I artillery and machine gun positions. I know the “money pit” deal because I bought one.

Germany’s P08 Lange pistols came in sets with plenty of accouterments. Included were standard 8-round magazines, snail drum 32-round magazines, a special lever-actuated loading tool for the latter, a take-down tool also used for helping load the 8-round magazines and a special tiny spanner wrench for zeroing rear sight for elevation. Sound like a lot? I’m not finished!

Also issued with them were a leather holster, straps and magazine pouches. The holster had a slot especially for storing the special long cleaning rod needed for a P08 Lange’s 8″ barrel and a pocket for the take down tool. The holster was secured to a wooden “shoulder board” that, when attached to the Luger, turned it into a carbine. It took me several years but I finally added all those accouterments to my Luger P08 Lange. Only the leather gear is reproduction; all the rest are original. The accouterment cost was above and beyond what I paid for the pistol itself. I just couldn’t stop myself from searching out and buying it all.

For the more practical sort, a knife is a good accouterment for handgun-packing folks. Fighting men and outdoors types need them for all sorts of reasons. Folders and sheath knives abound in pockets and on belts here in Montana. Back in my horse-riding days I wouldn’t be without a knife, and since Yvonne is still around horses nearly every day, she packs a small sheath knife. You might be surprised even here in Montana she is sometimes told she cannot enter an establishment wearing that petite knife.

And finally we get to the ultimate handgun accouterment — a carbine in the same caliber. I’ve been working with a couple of modern ones. The idea started in the 1870s and is far from dying today.

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