Bill Forrest started developing the Pin Bin in the late 1960’s. By 1968 he had the basics worked out and applied to patent the concept. As with many pieces of equipment, the patent version is not quite the same as the model that made it to production. Forrest refined the gate idea shown in early drawings into a clean, functional, and elegant single wire design. He began offering them for sale in 1969/1970.
Three versions are shown in our photos, an early non-production set, a second generation production set and a third generation spring-loaded gate set. Forrest offered many different Bandoleer designs through the years and the Pin Bins were often switched around between slings so it isn’t uncommon to find several versions on one Bandoleer.
Dating the Pin Bins:
- The earliest versions had a flattened “blade style” gate. Early (pre-1970) models have no patent stamps on the wire of the Pin Bin. The versions I have encountered were very stiff and difficult to use when racking or removing gear.
- Second generation Pin Bins had a “round style” gate. “Patent Pending” stamps are found on the wire body of each Pin Bin. The gate tension was much better but still stiff.
- Third generation Pin Bins had the “spring-loaded style” gate. Later (1974 and above) models often have “Pat. No. 3563430” stamped on the wire body of the Pin Bin but I have found several examples without the patent markings present. This type is most often found on the later style double-grommet bandoleers.