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Old May 18, 2016, 01:24 AM   #1
elhombreconnonombre
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Belt pistol carry between the Mexican War and the ACW?

Was it the common practice to simply shove a revolver inside ones trouser waist band since the use of belts on trousers was not yet a common practice and flapped revolver holsters on waist belts were not in use yet?
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Old May 18, 2016, 02:38 AM   #2
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I doubt it.

Seems sashes & suspenders were a fashion statement before the cival war.

The pants of the time were not conductive to holding up themselves, let alone a 3 pound C&B pistol.

They were usually carried in saddle holsters when on horseback.

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Old May 18, 2016, 11:13 AM   #3
4v50 Gary
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Stuffing a pistol into an outer waist belt certainly imparted a ferocioius, manly martial appearance. However, many soldiers discarded their pistols and knives on the march as excess weight. I recall reading how soldiers would pass many things that were discarded along the line of march.
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Old May 18, 2016, 12:15 PM   #4
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Contrary to popular belief, the cowboys also left their sidearms in their bedrolls in the bunkhouse or chuckwagon most of the time.
No bigger pain in the butt than a gun bangin' on you on horse back or while wrasslin' critters.

When they put on their other pair of pants and slicked back their hair for a trip to town, they hung their shootin' iron on their hips and headed for the camera parlor and the saloon.
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Old May 18, 2016, 07:22 PM   #5
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Four or five pounds worth of Saddle Revolver is a thing to deal with even when properly belted and holstered. I wanted to wear my LeMat, ala 'The Swede' from 'Quick and the Dead' and had a cross draw holster made up and bought a stiff 3" belt to wear it on. Still tried to fall down by virtue of sheer weight all the time. I didn't even try with the Walker or Dragoon. Waited until I had an 1860 Army, a proper Belt Pistol, to look into holsters for a revolver again.
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Old May 18, 2016, 07:46 PM   #6
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I'd imagine the smaller pocket guns were popular, and would have been carried in the pocket of their coats and stuff. The little pocket Colts came out right after the Mexican War. Also, keep in mind there were PLENTY of single shot and pepperboxes still in used during the period, some big some small. The Colt's revolving pistols were amazing guns for the time, but certainly didn't automatically eliminate everything when they came out.
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Old May 18, 2016, 10:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
between the Mexican War and the ACW ...flapped revolver holsters on waist belts were not in use yet.
Belt holsters began to be issued about 1855:

-“Pistol Cases: The Army’s Earliest Hip Holsters”, Lee A. Rutledge, The Gun Report, September 1990.

“Writing in 1856, George B.McClellan, then a captain with the First U.S Cavalry, and recently an observer of the Crimean War, remarked ‘For my own regiment, armed with revolvers, there need be no [pommel] holster, for the men should follow the Russian system and always carry the pistol on the waist belt.’ That same year, the army contracted with civilian manufacturers for nearly 3,400 ‘pistol cases'’’ for Colt navy and dragoon revolvers. -Packing Iron: Gunleather of the Frontier West, Richard C. Rattenbury.
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Old May 18, 2016, 11:06 PM   #8
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Berkley, what is the loop-like strap for?
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Old May 18, 2016, 11:34 PM   #9
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If I'm not mistaken (which I often am), that is the lower attachment for the sabre, with the bottom end in the up position fastened to the belt.
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Old May 19, 2016, 12:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonesomePigeon View Post
Berkley, what is the loop-like strap for?
That's the part that fits around the pony's head so you can ride backwards while shooting at your pursuers.

Just kidding, all I know is somebody should get one of the holster makers to make a reproduction of this. It would be perfect for carrying around a Colt's Dragoon!
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Old May 19, 2016, 02:00 AM   #11
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"If I'm not mistaken (which I often am), that is the lower attachment for the sabre, with the bottom end in the up position fastened to the belt."

Ah, ok. I was thinking it might be a shoulder strap to hold up the rig but your explanation makes more sense... doesn't look long enough for a shoulder strap.

Cooldill, I second that notion.
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Old May 19, 2016, 07:41 AM   #12
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They already do.

http://www.dellsleatherworks.com/m62...iceholster.htm
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Old May 19, 2016, 01:09 PM   #13
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Crawdad, that link is for a Pocket Police. It would not fit a Dragoon.
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Old May 19, 2016, 06:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonesomePigeon View Post
Crawdad, that link is for a Pocket Police. It would not fit a Dragoon.
I noticed that as well.
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Old May 19, 2016, 08:39 PM   #15
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Is this better.

http://www.dellsleatherworks.com/walkerholster.htm
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Old May 21, 2016, 12:55 AM   #16
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Yes.
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Old May 21, 2016, 07:32 AM   #17
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Some people like fancy leather while some like authentic and some like both but if you want authentic leather accoutrements that's the place to get it.
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Old May 21, 2016, 10:49 AM   #18
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I have two of their flap holsters and one shoulder holster for my pocket Colts and they are fine holsters.
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Old May 23, 2016, 08:21 AM   #19
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I have their shoulder holster for my 1860 repro and it is nice. Real high quality leather. I wish I would have got my belt flap holster from them.

Time-Life Books did a series called 'The Old West' and had one book called 'The Cowboys' Real nice leather bound books. In there they mentioned a cowboy recalling that, "The 'Ramrod' on the last day of the drive allowed us to take our holster belts out from our saddlebags and strap on our revolvers."

I can't see how anyone could possibly perform such physically hard work in that kind of heat and humidity and feel comfortable wearing an additional 3 pounds of revolver hanging on their waste. But finding original sources for what they actually did is difficult probably as most were young and couldn't read or write. Or most didn't have revolvers but a single shot rifle whether a breechloader or a muzzleloader. Don't discount the single shot pistols either that were more numerous than people realize.
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Old May 23, 2016, 08:37 AM   #20
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I don't image the Dragoon was a real popular carry gun because of it's size but no doubt some did it on occasion. From what I have read the most popular place to pack your pocket pistol or 1851 Colt was in your coat pocket.

Coats had a different status back then and were worn year around and often. Cowboys may have had a greater need for an actual holster if they had a revolver but the town folks and farmers would have just used their coat pocket. Hollywood is not history.
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Old May 23, 2016, 11:02 PM   #21
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According to the sources I have seen Colt's highest production model was the 31 cal pocket model . Maybe belt carry wasn't that common, at least in town.

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Old May 24, 2016, 07:46 AM   #22
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Anyone have a copy of the book "packing Iron"? Quite a lot of history in there.

Here is a brief overview of the evolution of holsters

http://www.cochiseleather.com/wester...r-history.aspx

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Old June 26, 2016, 08:21 PM   #23
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When I was in my 20's I used to carry an 1847 Walker in a side holster, sometimes for 6-7 hours at a time. Took about half an hour for the "listing to the right" to stop..lol
But surprisingly, after the initial getting used to it, I really didn't feel the extra 4 lbs hanging from my belt. I wasn't riding or doing anything more strenuous than just walking around though.
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Old June 26, 2016, 08:52 PM   #24
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Nice!

I'm wanting to see just what 5 lbs hanging from my skinny frame will be like. Alas the Walker is a bit lower on my list.
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Old June 26, 2016, 10:02 PM   #25
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Those guys were also wearing wool clothing during all seasons and in all climes.
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