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Old 12-11-2011, 10:55 AM
Pig Hunter Pig Hunter is online now
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Default Jelly Bryce's rig

Not sure this is the right place for this but here it goes. From reading a post by Jim Higinbotham on another forum, he refers to Mr Bryces holster as a Threeperson variation with a covered trigger. The book about Mr Bryce indicated he carried a custom 3rd mod HE in .44 special. Several picture show him holding the gun in his "gunman crouch" but the fingers of his right hand look as if he used some type of grip adapter. Is there a picture of just the revolver out ther somewhere?
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:24 AM
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When I've searched him online all images are of Bryce with a 3 1/2" Registered Magnum. I've always wanted to get a look at his .44 Special but can't find anything other than a discription. The clear photo of him holding the .357 sure looks like there has to be a grip adapter on the gun by the way his fingers are positioned. His real life gunfights are kind of like Dirty Harry's movie shootouts. A cool customer who shoots fast and accurately without hesitation. Then he could go home and "sleep like a baby" as one of his superiors put it. I hope someone here can help you. I want to know, too. Here's a 1927 Wolf & Klar 3rd Model .44 Special. I've read he carried a 4" version with carved ivory grips with an embossed black cat and number 13 on them but I've never seen it.

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Old 12-11-2011, 11:33 AM
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Thank you for your input. He was a facinating guy that is now an almost fogotten legend.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:42 PM
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Default Holsters and such

If you take a look at the Jerry Campbell collection that is for sale here on the forum you will see what a contemporary of Bryce,at OKCity PD, carried his Third model HE .44 Spl. in, a Threepersons style holster made by A. W. Brill of Austin Texas with accompanying cartridge belt slide.

Both of these items speak to the gun knowledge these men possessed in an era that saw the majority of Officers carrying a .38 Special loaded with 6 rounds and no spare ammo.

Most every town in America had at least one leather shop, and while in the early part of the 20th century their stock in trade was saddle/harness gear, and footwear, many of them also made holsters and other items. Unless they marked their work their names are lost to history.

The only holster maker in OK City during that period I can think of was Andy Card. I am sure there were others.

Maybe someday more info will surface beyond Ron Owens's outstanding book on D. A. "Jelly" Bryce.

Last edited by lawandorder; 12-11-2011 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pig Hunter View Post
Not sure this is the right place for this but here it goes. From reading a post by Jim Higinbotham on another forum, he refers to Mr Bryces holster as a Threeperson variation with a covered trigger. The book about Mr Bryce indicated he carried a custom 3rd mod HE in .44 special. Several picture show him holding the gun in his "gunman crouch" but the fingers of his right hand look as if he used some type of grip adapter. Is there a picture of just the revolver out ther somewhere?

I've never saw a Tom Threeperson's style holster that covered the trigger guard.
Althought, it could've had a hammer tab style of cover, I stead of the trigger.

The idea of the Threepersons was to minimize the leather shuck.

Anyhows, if that lit'l tid-bit came from that Jim that hails from the Rough River,
I'd take that with a purty good size of grain of salt fer sur.

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Old 12-11-2011, 04:37 PM
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There used to be a lot more information about him on the internet, which all appeared to come from the same place, although there were some good pictures in it.

Looking at the pictures, it didn't appear that he had any kind of grip adaptors and it was just the way he held his guns. I copied his grip trying to figure out if there was any advantage to it, and hoping to understand why he held his that way. It changes the angle in point shooting, which isn't anything big, but it also changes how the balance feels in the hand. One thing I'd read before was that his sister claimed their father gave him a stripped revolver frame and barrel while he was still in his crib and that he'd learned to shoot very young. I wonder if he was so small that he had to hold the gun that way and it just stuck with him.

Another agent that was hired during the FBIs gunfighter years was Walter Walsh, unfortunately there is even less information to be found about him.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:35 PM
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I seem to remember something in the American Rifleman not too long ago about Walter Walsh; he's still alive and is something like 101 years old.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:36 PM
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I just want to know how he got the name "Jelly"...
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:19 AM
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I just want to know how he got the name "Jelly"...
He was, by anyones standards, a very snazzy dresser.
Back then the type was commonly referred to as a "Jellybean."
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:22 AM
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I just want to know how he got the name "Jelly"...
It's been a while since I've read the book, but if I recall there was no definitive reason for it. There were two theories, however. One was that it referred to his sharp-dressed appearance. People who were always well-dressed were called "jelly" or "jelly bean." I guess if he were around nowadays he'd be called a "metrosexual." The other theory, somewhat related, was that it was from one of the criminals Bryce had killed. Supposedly the criminal's last words were something to the effect of, "I can't believe I was killed by a jelly bean."

Again, my recollection may be a little off.

As for his holster, I thought I'd read somewhere he wore an SD Meyers rig. Not sure if that's accurate, though.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:04 AM
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The other theory, somewhat related, was that it was from one of the criminals Bryce had killed. Supposedly the criminal's last words were something to the effect of, "I can't believe I was killed by a jelly bean."

That's the story I heard 'bout the Jelly Bean part...Also heard Bryce didn't mind it one bit.

One time someone was interviewing D.A. Bryce, when ask about his prowess with a handgun, Bryce replied, "That is only surpassed by my skill as a fisherman!"


Lots of lawmen carried their sidearms in Tom Threeperson or A.W. Brill style of holsters.
They carried well under suit coats and were fast to get into action.

That is why I still carry and use the Brill design even to this day.

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Last edited by keith44spl; 12-12-2011 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Edited For Language...English
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:22 PM
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It's been a while since I've read the book, but if I recall there was no definitive reason for it. There were two theories, however. One was that it referred to his sharp-dressed appearance. People who were always well-dressed were called "jelly" or "jelly bean." I guess if he were around nowadays he'd be called a "metrosexual." The other theory, somewhat related, was that it was from one of the criminals Bryce had killed. Supposedly the criminal's last words were something to the effect of, "I can't believe I was killed by a jelly bean."

Again, my recollection may be a little off.

As for his holster, I thought I'd read somewhere he wore an SD Meyers rig. Not sure if that's accurate, though.
I have been around when a lot of cops got their nicknames...and that story, true or not, makes plenty of sense to me
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:13 PM
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Im pretty sure i read that somewhere too, might have been in a skeeter skelton book?
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:05 PM
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I guess if he were around nowadays he'd be called a "metrosexual."
.
No. A metrosexual is a "man" (using the term loosely) that, even more than a woman, is obsessed with outward physical care with attention to hair chemicals and having their hair "done", polished fingernails, massages, eye makeup. Clothing of the metrosexual is very effeminant and involves expensive texture, being tight against the profile of the body and can not be the least bit dirty.

Men like Jelly Bryce, on the other hand, would be called gentlemen today. Like daddy used to say, "anybody can wear just anything, but it takes an effort to be a gentleman." Taking pride in your appearance. Some men, back then, made more effort than others in keeping their suits clean an pressed.

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Old 07-22-2014, 01:26 AM
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I've seen a photo of him and his wife (hot blonde!) sitting in a restaurant, and he was well dressed in a suit.

In big cites back East, he'd look normal for a businessman. In Oklahoma, among a less polished group of men, he stood out. He had a gentlemanly appearance, like a stockbroker, a doctor, or an editor.

Bryce didn't look like a swaggering John Wayne type, but neither did Audie Murphy, nor does my son. But all killed a number of men and managed to deal with it. I guess that bothers some more than others. Seems to me that if someone is trying to kill you or other innocent people, no guilt need attach itself to killing them first.

Many cops affect mustaches to look macho. Bryce didn't feel the need. He looked like a handsome fellow, mild enough in daily life. But he was unquestionably one of the deadliest fast draw and shoot men of all time. Ed McGivern was also remarkably fast, but he wasn't shooting at men who wanted to shoot back. I've seen Bill Jordan draw and shoot, and I saw Elmer Keith shoot a .44 Magnum off a bench at a target 200 yards away. I understand that Elmer was also blindingly fast close-up in his younger years. Bob Munden was also sensational with a gun. I met him once, but saw him shoot only in videos. But I don't think they ever actually shot it out with armed men. (Jordan did kill a man in an office accident, and was a Marine officer in WW II, where he may well have inflicted casualties on the Japanese.)

Bryce and a few others had faced death and responded with very fast and deadly fire. They were probably excellent instructors and specialized killers for when Hoover needed real experts to hunt down particularly dangerous criminals.

Jerry Campbell definitely used a floral carved Myres Threepersons for one S&W, I think a 3.5-inch barreled .357. We've seen pictures of him wearing it on this board.

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Old 01-21-2015, 10:05 AM
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Still no pictures or information about the guns of Jelly Bryce? I wonder if the family still has them? He had a son.

I understand his "Lucky 44" had ivories with the number 13 and an engraved steerhead.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:25 PM
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Very likely Delf's father, Fel made the holster. Fel was one of the best leather worker's I ever saw. He was still making Rawhide quirts and whips until a few months before he died in his 90's.

It's also possible Delf made them himself. The skills to make holsters are not hard they all go back to making and caring for harnesses that were the same a changing tires today. I believe Delf developed the first *** holster.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:47 AM
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In response to Pig Hunter, this is a hammer cover or flap on a holster carried by numerous FBI agents during the era. This one happens to be for a four inch RM.
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Old 03-17-2015, 12:02 PM
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I found another picture from my lost Photobucket account that addresses the holster and how efficient they were. It carried firmly, safely and yet allowed a fast draw. Delf Bryce was a big proponent of holsters that didn't use thongs or straps. These holsters were worn by an FBI agent for 20 years of service.
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Old 07-04-2015, 05:08 PM
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Default Books on Delf Bryce

It is very difficult to write a book on Delf Bryce. His family and the community (Mt. View) he was raised in and sent his family back to for protection after a close call is very tight lipped to strangers normally and when it come to Delf they take extra precautions. No bibliographer is going to find out much from anyone about him.

The books I've read were rather hard on those that didn't cooperate with the writer and writer didn't take time or make much effort to understand the problems of a federal agent hunted by the enemies he had made and spent his life dealing with the worst society had to offer or what he thought he had to do to protect his family from them.

Nor did the writer look at the what that did to his family and their ambition to live up to his image and not being able to do it as they lacked his background and experience he had growing up in vastly different times.

GC
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:36 PM
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Default resurrected thread :-)

Anything to do with the history of the modern holster interests me; so when this thread was resurrected I looked for more and found this:

The Jerry Campbell collection

The forum link inside that post, can't be accessed by a mere forum member like myself; moderators, is this still a working link with pics, etc.? I'd certainly like to have a look-see . . ..
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:59 AM
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Red, go to handejector's profile, find the albums, click on more albums and on page 3 you'll find an album on Jerry Campbell's guns. The link you found is no longer active.
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Kuykendall View Post
I found another picture from my lost Photobucket account that addresses the holster and how efficient they were. It carried firmly, safely and yet allowed a fast draw. Delf Bryce was a big proponent of holsters that didn't use thongs or straps. These holsters were worn by an FBI agent for 20 years of service.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

That style of holster still works as well today,
I also find it secure and quick. I'd imagine Bryce would have approved.

My personal rig and pre-war S&W revolver (an RM converted to .44 Special.)




Or the holster I carried my 3rd model and ol HD in....


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Old 07-05-2015, 04:36 PM
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Red, go to handejector's profile, find the albums, click on more albums and on page 3 you'll find an album on Jerry Campbell's guns. The link you found is no longer active.
Regards,
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Thanks! I'd have never found it buried in there :-) The pic of Agent Campbell is well-circulated on the web, and seeing the Myres holster from it in this album is rewarding. My Myers catalogues indicates that model - 614 - was introduced by 1938, and we know that Heiser's version was first catalogued that same date; and turnerriver has JEH's letter/p.o. authorising their purchase dated 1935.
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gcouger View Post
It is very difficult to write a book on Delf Bryce. His family and the community (Mt. View) he was raised in and sent his family back to for protection after a close call is very tight lipped to strangers normally and when it come to Delf they take extra precautions. No bibliographer is going to find out much from anyone about him.

The books I've read were rather hard on those that didn't cooperate with the writer and writer didn't take time or make much effort to understand the problems of a federal agent hunted by the enemies he had made and spent his life dealing with the worst society had to offer or what he thought he had to do to protect his family from them.

Nor did the writer look at the what that did to his family and their ambition to live up to his image and not being able to do it as they lacked his background and experience he had growing up in vastly different times.

GC
gcouger, you might be interested in the most recent book based on Delf Bryce's life, which is the first of a trilogy by Bryce expert and former LEO Mike Conti of the Massachusetts State Police.

The series is a novel, but is based on incidents from Bryce's life and Conti's familiarity with issues faced by LEOs who have used their weapons while apprehending criminals. The first book is "Jelly Bryce -- The Legend Begins," and is about Bryce's youth, entry into law enforcement (where he shot and killed an outlaw on his first day on the job), and career in the Oklahoma City Police Department prior to being recruited to the FBI.

Here's a link to a thread about the book from a few months ago in which Mike discussed some of his reasoning behind writing the book as a novel based on historical fact. New Jelly Bryce Book!

I've corresponded with Mike, and learned that the second installment of the trilogy is complete and being edited, so I hope we'll see it in a few weeks or months from now. He will be continuing to peel away the layers of Mr. Bryce, just as someone who was getting to know him personally would have, and I'm told that this installment will examine more closely the personality and motivations of Mr. Bryce, compared to the picture of him from the first installment, which left Bryce something of a mystery.

By the way, Mike Conti is also a Forum member here.

Sorry for any thread drift, OP; Bryce's gun, gear, and tactics are discussed in his biographies and in Mike's book.
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Old 07-08-2015, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rednichols View Post
Anything to do with the history of the modern holster interests me; so when this thread was resurrected I looked for more and found this:

The Jerry Campbell collection

The forum link inside that post, can't be accessed by a mere forum member like myself; moderators, is this still a working link with pics, etc.? I'd certainly like to have a look-see . . ..
The link you speak of was to an ad that I ran in the Vendor's Forum on this board. Since the ad had run in the Vendor Forum, discussion posts were allowed in the thread.

Once the collection had been sold, I moved the ad to storage. It does have a lot of good data in it, so I dug it up, "sanitized" the ad aspects, and moved it to here-

FBI Gun Collection of Jerry Campbell

Enjoy it!
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:08 AM
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Lee, thanks for posting the link. That Orville Kuhl engraved .357 Magnum sure is one pretty revolver.
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:04 PM
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The link you speak of was to an ad that I ran in the Vendor's Forum on this board. Since the ad had run in the Vendor Forum, discussion posts were allowed in the thread.

Once the collection had been sold, I moved the ad to storage. It does have a lot of good data in it, so I dug it up, "sanitized" the ad aspects, and moved it to here-

FBI Gun Collection of Jerry Campbell

Enjoy it!
Thanks for that, Lee, I've posted some info on your re-vitalised thread. On a related matter, the thread and the Myers catalogues reminds that, though popular lore has dictated what we think a Threepersons holster is, in reality it's unsettled.

The Campbell holster would generally be considered a Threepersons, being a spare scabbard riding high on the belt with a grip-forward carry and with the front of the trigger guard resting on a welted seam. Myers not only knew Threepersons, and made his holsters -- but the Myers holsters that Sam called Threepersons didn't always fit this notion.

From Myers' 1931 catalogue, the pic at at bottom right is a spare scabbard but the trigger guard hoop is covered:

Jelly Bryce's rig-myers-31-1-jpg

And later in that catalogue (I understand Sam's first holster catalogue) Myer's shoulder holster is also a Threepersons and doesn't begin to fit the concept:

Jelly Bryce's rig-myers-31-2-jpg

A holster actually belonging to Tom would seem to fit the description but has a straight drop. The trademark belt loop on the back (not shown here) is typical of a Myers:

Jelly Bryce's rig-5-2-jpg

And Cambell's holster appears by Myers' 1938 catalogue, which is contemporary to the appearance of Heiser's 457 holster that same year:

Jelly Bryce's rig-2b-jpg

Not only did Myers, Heiser, and Crump produce this, but I've only just learned that Colorado Saddlery did, too. Not too surprising given that the latter company was formed by four former Heiser employees, one of whom was Al Kippen. Al went on to have patents of his own while working for Bucheimer, then Smith & Wesson which became Gould & Goodrich.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:15 PM
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It is entirely possibly possible Delf Bryce made his own holster. His dad was one of the best leather workers I ever knew. The skills to make a holster were common on the farm when Delf grew up there was still harness and tack to repair.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:53 PM
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Many of the agents of that era wore holsters made at the Pen in MCAlester, OK. My picture of one inverted carrying a RM is one such item. Inmates were schooled in leather working.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:07 PM
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Most interesting to find a Bryce thread on here. I was a police reporter in OKC throughout the 1970s and knew an older detective sergeant who had joined the department about 1950 and who had a lot or Bryce stories and legends. I'm also friends to this day with Ron Owens who wrote the book ok Bryce. If I recall Clarence Hurt was another OCPD officer Hoover recruited to the FBI to bring some firepower to the bureau.
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