Clamshell Holster


March 3, 2010, 11:43 PM
Greetings All:

This is my old duty holster I used for a few years back in the 70's. I originally had three. One for my K frame, N frame and for my Colt auto pistol. This one is for my S&W model 15 wheelgun. Hope you enjoy the "trip back in time" photo.

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March 4, 2010, 07:06 PM

I was always curious how clamshells worked. Do you grab the grip and twist to open the shell or just draw up without opening?

March 4, 2010, 07:11 PM
There's a button inside the trigger guard.
To draw, you grip the gun and press the release button with your trigger finger, the holster springs open.

The clam shell design was last used by the LAPD in the 1970's.
The design finally disappeared due to the unsafe method of sticking your finger inside with the trigger during the draw, and the tendency for the gun to fall off the holster during re-holstering.

There were also some cases of a dirty or damaged holster mechanism failing to unlock and open the holster.
Since the holster prevented the gun from being drawn upward, the shooter couldn't draw the gun at all.

March 4, 2010, 07:17 PM

Where you been brother? The threads have missed ya', thanks for the explanation. I want to go as "Ponch" next Halloween and need to get it right, You guys don't know where I can get some of those snazzy S&M boots and a Kawasaki 900 do ya'?

March 5, 2010, 11:26 AM
There's a button just within the trigger well. When pressed the front section opens up. There were several difference manufacturers, (Jewett, Stanroy, Barkley, Safety Speed and Audley).

This model in the photo has a full opening, the two others I have that were made a few years later were designed to open 1/4 so you could reholster it with one hand.

When you weren't wearing it, it was best stored with the holster in the open position to extend the life of the hinged spring unit.

Sniper X
March 5, 2010, 11:45 AM
I remember how much of a pain it was to re-holster one of those. Even the swat guys had a hard time and they trained all the time. No one bitched out loud at work though, too much pride. It was the fastest way to draw back in the day and probably saved a bunch of officers lives. I had a real odd ball, a lefty version for my 4in Diamondback in .38spl!

March 5, 2010, 02:38 PM
Hey Sniper X:

You've got a gem in a lefty version. They didn't make very many of 'em so they're really valuable to collectors.

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