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Holster and Gunbelt circa 1860

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Zeke Menuar, Oct 7, 2003.

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  1. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

    Jun 24, 2003
    Oregon Monsoon Central
    I am currently getting my 1858 Remington replica ready to shoot. I have located a period looking holster, a plain looking open top holster. I would like to know back in those days, did the holster attach to the belt that held up a guys pants or was there a holster/belt separate from the belt that holds up ones pants. Most of the period photos I have seen of that era, 1860 or so, don't have enough detail to tell.

  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    You'd be suprised that pants weren't held up by a belt, more likely by suspenders in that time period.

    And wearing a heavy pistol on your pants belt is asking to have your pants being pulled down. Best to wear a regular belt with your pants and a heavy gunbelt over everything else that fits your hips rather than your waist.

    If you go for an open top holster a 'slim jim" cross draw is very period correct.
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Pants, more often then not, were held up with suspenders. Revolvers were carried in a wide belt - either holstered, or stuck between the belt and the body without a holster.

    At this time the "cavalry carry" method was favored, where the gun was carried on the strong-hand side, butt forward. Because of the time it took to reload, two-gun carry was not unusual. Full-flap holsters were perfered to protect the pistol from the elements while on horseback.

    Be aware that the cavalry carry is sometimes not allowed in various competitions because during the draw the muzzle can be pointed at the person doing the draw.

    I would suggest that you get a simple leather belt, between 2 and 3 inches wide, that matches the color of your holster.
  4. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Some early jeans didn't have a belt, but a cinch that ran around the outside of the jeans and through a couple of D rings. All were permanently fastened to the jeans.

    That may have been the case with earlier pants, as well.

    The belt, as we understand it today, apparently didn't come into common usage until sometime in the 1900s.
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