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Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by ZVP, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. ZVP

    ZVP Well-Known Member

    While trying to compliment my revolvers with decent leather, I have found it very helpfull to consult with a very informitive book "Packing Iron"! This book is nothing short of a fantastic historical referance and loaded with illustrations to support their writings.
    It's been a great help during the search for suitable leather gear for my revolvers!
    See If I was only content on putting a '51 in an era specific holster it wouls likely be no problem finding a pouch BUT my search is for a mid to late 1870s cowboy wanting a "current" holster for his revolvers. Sure a Part Flap Slim Jim would hold the gun but would it be one such a Ranch hand, CItizen, or City dweller might want???
    I read thru the applicable chapters and located at least 2 "correct" holster styles so far.
    My search is now on for a gun pocket to suit my 4 5/8" .357 Stainless Vaquero. It's got to say post-1873, yet give a flavor of compactness for daily carry. It needs to contain the trigger completelly and yet give a meduim speed draw from right hip carry...
    Yea, no big chore eh?
    Once again thanks to the "Gun Leather Bible", I decided upon a California style Slim Jim with a back belt loop and no leg tiedown.
    Pleasentlly enough Oklahoma Leather carrys just the right rig which will lend itself to being "formed" to fit the Vaquero like a second skin! Priced very reasonably and quality made, I think I have found THE holster!
    It's a challenge taking the hobby with a serious note and not just buy any old Holster just because it looks "Old Western". I'd never have a clue without the aid of this great book.
    Yes the price of the hardcover is a bit steep but the information within is priceless!
    I would suggest that all of you add a copy of this fine book to your librarys!
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    I agree with you concerning the book, and yes you will notice that covered trigger guards were generally the order of the day. However the reason that revolvers were mostly covered up was for the most part to protect the gun from the elements, and quick-drawing didn't enter the picture. Also contrary to a lot of perceptions, half and full flap holsters were far more popular then thought for the same reason.

    As for cutting the upper part of the pouch lower and exposing the trigger guard (and sometimes the hammer), this came about in the 1930's when S.D. Myers introduced the Threeperson's design. Previously there were individual exceptions of course. Unless one carries their single-action revolver cocked :eek: or cocks the hammer before the muzzle is pointed down range, this mode-of-carry is not unsafe.

    I suggest that you also purchase at least two more books that contain excellent photographs of historical firearms and accessories, including holsters and cartridge belts:

    The Peacekeepers, by R.L. Wilson.
    The Taming of the Wild West - Age of the Gunfighter, by Joseph G Rosa.

    Both may (or may not) be out-of-print, but if so used copies should be available.
  3. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    The California Slim Jim is my hands-down favorite. Which is tough to say because I love the Threepersons design too. I wish I had a picture of my El Paso 1849 but I don't. Oklahoma makes decent stuff for the money and they're quite serviceable but I find them to soften up quickly and do a bit of flopping around. When I finish the beadwork project I'm working on now, I'm going to do a beaded knife sheath and then a beaded Slim Jim for my Uberti 3rd model Dragoon. Probably a crossdraw.
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Which is (or was) tipical of the original holsters of the same design. The ones in my collection are made from much thinner leather then is common now, and the belt loop on the back are narrow, running from about 1 to 1 1/4 inches, all of which adds to the "floppyness."
  5. ZVP

    ZVP Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for the tip on these books! I have always loved following=up an idea with GOOD reserch material!
    I didn't know that the Oklahoma rigs were so thin. I was looking at a picture in a catalog and it dosen't show much in this respect. Maybe I ought to look into the Triple-K Crossdraw rig which was my second choice...
    The oast thing I want is a floppy holster!
    I am working on a strict buget and want to get the most value for my dollar!
    Old Fluff, thanks for the special descriptions of the media holster.
    Thanks guys!
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  6. rdstrain49

    rdstrain49 Well-Known Member

    The Cal. Slim Jim is one of my favorites. I've made at least one for each C&B that I use on a regular basis.



  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Been there, done that... ;)

    The answer is to make your own holsters, which is not particularly hard to do. Use the Search Feature (green bar at top of page, at center/right) and you'll find plenty of past threads on the subject, with "how to" pointers. You can duplicate any style, with any leather - just the way you want it. You can take a lot of the “floppyness” away by modifying how the belt loop is fasted, and it won’t show.

    One thing you want to decide is to you want a rig that duplicates the original, with all the warts they had; or do you want a modern version of them. In my view SASS cowboys have been more influenced by Hollywood then history in this regard.

    Back in the early 1980's I had the opportunity to interview one of two still living Territorial Arizona Rangers. He was physically feeble but his mind and recollections were sharp as a tack. In answering one of my questions he explained that fast draws and hip shooting was something that simply didn't happen. When making an arrest he would try to slip up on the person, and the gun in his hand would be a Winchester model '95 carbine, not any six-shooter. He experienced several shoot-outs when ambushed while in pursuit of outlaws, but again the weapon-of-choice was his rifle. I came out of that interview with an entirely different perspective about how things really were.
  8. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    Excellent work on those Slim Jims rdstrain49.......classic. Nice tooling too, tastefully done.

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