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Discussion in 'Holsters/Slings' started by Jack Ryan, Oct 15, 2020.
I made a couple of these holsters. The ones with no snaps. I really prefer no snaps myself.
Jack Ryan: Sir; nice
I think this is a Model 10, 38 special here in a holster the Amish man made for me. It fit so dang tight you don't even need that snap strap. I ASKED HIM NOT to put a snap strap on it but for what he costs, I couldn't bring my self to complain about it. I just fold it under my belt if I don't want to use it.
That there is fully lined inside with goat skin or something. It is really soft but fits like a glove that shrank on your hand.
OOOooo ... Lovin' it Jack Ryan!
I can do some revolvers 'n leather! Have gathered a few cows worth of vintage gun leather over the years. Fun to gather in before everything became a valued "collectible."
I can contribute this fine recent acquisition to the "Revolvers 'n Leather" thread. A friend surprised me with a perfectly crafted holster to fit a 3 1/2-inch N-Frame Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver. Done up as a copy of a vintage Brill holster, it pleases me greatly.
I was toting using the new holster quite a bit for a month or so until I was felled by extensive shoulder surgery to the right shoulder two weeks ago. I have since learned that I am way too right handed and hopeless without it.
To be honest, the day this photograph was taken my pre-operated-on shoulder was hurting so badly that I couldn't have drawn that big Smith & Wesson if my life had depended on it. Things are on the mend now.
Here's the Brill tribe. It's for sure that I have a "Brill-ness." My friend did a good job of mimicking the real thang.
I can play! Here's Dad's Single Six in an old Hunter belt and holster.
WOW! The gorgeous is out today! For sure!
.357 Blackhawk in a holster my friend made riding on a chesty puller.
Hi Standard R101
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Did a entire series on another firearms forum some years back on vintage leather holsters, photographing the accumulation on hand here. Never finished and need to get back to it. I could "retread" it here if folks liked.
Here's the first installment.
How about a classic, vintage holster thread for all of us to share?
I was cleaning up in the gun room a couple years ago, properly putting away all the stuff that inevitably stacks up on one's reloading bench. I was replacing some holsters in the holster bin and got to looking at the bin's contents. There were a lot of holsters in there. A lot of cows died for those holsters! Over the years holsters had accumulated: acquired with some handgun purchase, picked up out of a used holster bin on a gun show exhibitor's table, been given me, or occasionally purchased for cheap just because I liked the artistic carving or basket weave adornment. There were holsters enough to stack on shelves, several deep with three large paper grocery sacks full in the bin at the bottom of the metal locker where they are kept. Something clearly had to be done so I began sorting them into a keeper pile and a white elephant pile.
I was having a good time poking through this menagerie of leather. The more I looked through the holsters, the more I was liking a lot of them, just for what they were: Obsolete defunct manufacturers, bygone designs, trends from long ago yet many exhibited really outstanding materials and workmanship. Sure, some were a bit clumsy, not too cutting edge for concealment, and just generally out of style but then they were from another time. Yep, something clearly had to be done so, rather than divest myself of the holsters, I kept nearly all of them and then added the odd one along the way.
The inspiration hit me that it might be fun to feature old holsters in a Forum thread. That way everyone could pronounce judgement on them and we could just generally chew the fat on old holsters. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. I went insane in summer of 2013 and came back out of retirement to bite off more than I can chew as a one-person compliance department in a local bank so never seemed to get "a round tuit" on beginning a Forum holster thread.
So now, over two years later, we're going to give this a try. I'm going to try to resurrect this thread on occasion to add new photos of old holsters as time allows for photographing. Am hoping that y'all all will add photos and narrative of your own about holsters you have. We can all remark about each others' leather.
Rules (which are made to be broken)
Y'all be sure and participate in this as well by featuring photos of your vintage holsters. Any holster can be featured as long as its genu-wine leather.
Nasty ol' materials like Kydex, canvas, whether tacti-cool black or OD camo, don't really belong in this thread unless they hold special meaning to the member, in which case, stick 'em up too along with the tales to go with 'em. I'm sure that sometime later on, I'll get around to photographing some neato British WWII canvas Webley holsters and putting them up.
With such an astute membership, we're bound to cover some ground looking in from time to time on old holsters. I'm hoping some of y'all can help me figure out what I've got, help with holster maker history and lore and all for fun and frolic.
With all that introduction, here's the first holster I'm going to stick up here.
It pays to hitch to the House of Heiser
The inaugural holster I'm placing here is the one that nurtured a budding interest in old leather. It has to be the first one because it holds the most sentimental value to me. It's a Heiser holster, with floral carved motifs and white latigo-laced trim made for the Colt Woodsman. My old gun club friend, Cres Lawson sold me his Woodsman, purchased new in 1928. This pistol was one of two shipped to Ad Toepperwein's hardware store and gun shop in downtown San Antonio, subsequently resold directly to William Crites of Crites gun shop just around the corner and down the block from Toepperwein's. Cres worked for Mr. Crites summers and when he was home from college from about 1926 to 1932. He said it was only gun Mr. Crites sold him for full retail, not giving him a normally generous discount and he'd always wondered why. Some 70 years later, Cres learned the rest of the story, about his Woodsman was shipped to Toepperweins, from whence Mr. Crites fetched it to fill Cres' order. Crites and Toepperwein were good friends as well as business competitors so Cres was much amused at this discovery found within the Colt factory letter I had requested.
Cres originally purchased a Brill holster to fit the Woodsman, purchased from A.W. Brill's shop in Austin, Texas. Both Cres and his father had traded there on occasion plus Cres was in Austin from 1927 to 1932 attending the University of Texas. The Brill, a holster which Cres waxed enthusiastic about, was later left in Mexico on one of the Lawson family visits to their ranch west of Cuidad Victoria. There the holster got away from him. So, he ordered this Heiser sometime later on.
The Hermann H. Heiser Saddlery Company almost lasted a hundred years, from 1858 to 1955, turning out very well-respected leather goods of all kinds. Hermann H. Heiser was born in Saxony the year of Texas' hard won independence from Mexico. He immigrated to America and by 1858 had opened a saddlery and harness business. He apparently made quality leather goods and he had a good head for business as well for the company prospered. He brought his sons into the business and when he died in 1904, they continued operating it for many years afterward. A better history than I can offer is provided in this link: Hermann H. Heiser Saddlery Company History and Maker Marks - www.vintagegunleather.com California
No man ever lived long enough to wear out a Heiser Holster
Cres always spoke of the Heiser holster line as being the premium line of gun leather back in the day. He did reserve a special place of top honor for the comparatively scarce Brill holsters. Perhaps this was because he traded in their shop and he and his dad knew the Brills personally. The Heiser holsters I've examined are very good holsters, made of high quality leather, near as thick as saddle skirting. No scrimpy thin wallet leather here. They are well-formed and ruggedly stitched. Though the newest Heiser is now over 60 years old now, the leather is generally found to be supple, is not found to be rotten, and the holsters remain serviceable. Any holster leather can break down when used and abused but Heiser holsters are generally found to be remaining in better condition than many more modern makers from the 1950s forward that one may see in collections of used holsters offered for sale.
Cres' Heiser holster has seen a good bit of use. I don't know its exact age but am guessing late 1930s/early 1940s. Heiser changed their maker's mark in the early 1920s and this holster features the later mark. Heiser snaps were of brass, amply large and decorated with the Heiser logo, all art deco in style, up until the late 1920s or early 1930s. It's possible to have a Heiser holster with the later style maker's mark but having the large brass Heiser-adorned snaps so there was overlap of these features for a few years in the 1920s. Later, the snaps became smaller, were of stamped steel construction, dark brown enamel painted and more simply marked "Heiser." Even later, the Heiser marking on the snaps was deleted which is the style seen here. Last style of snaps appear to be bright metal.
Heiser gun leather - Life is too short to take chances!
Cres never scrimped on what he termed "cheap-jon guns" or on accessories. The Colt Woodsman came to me in a vintage Boyt fleece-lined leather zippered pistol case. I don't know its age but am guessing it to be from the 1930 to 1950 time period. The Woodsman always lived in this case when Cres had it, the pistol carefully preserved in a coat of RIG so that's the way the Woodsman lives in my safe.
Old pamphlet advertising the Toepperwein's (spelled Topperwein in the text) Winchester shooting exhibition.
The S&W 19 K-Comp riding in a Desantis Thumb Break Scabbard with a reload in the Desantis Split Six.