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  #51  
Old 11-09-2016, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
Is the hammer protector an after add on? If so I too would wack it off.
Looks like it is quite badly cracked anyway.
If it was made with the holster though, leave it on. It is rare.
Definitely an add-on.

Say, if and when I add an original pattern for the Brill to my collection, I've worked out how to both improve the performance of the interrelationship of the cuff and the belt; but also make it easy to assemble; and make the assembly stronger. Can't wait :-)
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:19 AM
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Default Threepersons and the Brill article has been updated

The connections amongst August Brill, Newton Rabensburg, and Lee Trimble have been expanded, because an image of Lee Trimble's personal 'Brill' has been located and is not a Brill, but a Rabensburg.

Pics of Stan Nelson's Rabensburg holsters, made for him by Newton circa 1950, are now included in Chapter Three. Brill-marked holsters with identical stamping details except the Brill stamp substituted for Rabensburg's practice of using the owner's initials, appear to confirm that the latter man worked for the former.

See the NOW FINAL chapter here:

red nichols holsters
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  #53  
Old 11-24-2016, 12:15 AM
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Somehow, I missed this thread the first time around!!! I'm bumping it...what a treasure trove of holster minutiae ... Kudos to all who contributed.

By the way, "Doc", I was up at a little gun store in Washington, PA, (you probably know which one I'm talking about), recently, and they have one of your holsters prominently displayed there. I had just finished one of Mike Conti's books about Jelly Brice, and if I remember correctly, the holster on display was your copy of Jerry Campbell's rig. I was very impressed by the quality and workmanship. If it hadn't been a display model, I'd have bought it then and there!!!

Very impressive, and I'm thinking seriously about having you make one for me. I have several N frame 4" guns, so I guess I could use it with any of them.

Best Regards, and Happy Thanksgiving....

Les
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Old 11-30-2016, 10:11 PM
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Here are two of the Brill style holsters. The one with the initials may be a Rabensburg and houses an all original 1926 3rd model HE Wolf & Klar 4" with mother of pearl steerhead stocks. It was a Law Enforcement gun and holster. The other is a redone 1926 W&K 4" 3rd Model in .44Spl. It is in a Doc Barranti Ranger holster. Both are exceptional in their own way and beautiful examples.
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  #55  
Old 12-01-2016, 10:26 AM
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I bought this holster a while ago because of the obvious Brill influences,
you all have convinced me that it shouldn't be in the what the heck is it pile
but in the no doubt very valuable and certainly Texas pile.
The only marks are the stamped initials E.G. As shown.



Regards,
turnerriver
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:16 PM
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Thanks to Smith & Wesson Forum holster mavens for suggesting the hammer protector on the 5-inch N-Frame Brill was an add-on that needed to go!

I didn't like its looks, but didn't catch on that it wasn't original until posting it here. Bit clueless there.

The stitching proved to be half rotten so wasn't a problem. It was also secured with glue which was more of a problem. The modification hammer protector peeled away with great care and only small damage to the leather underneath. The tooling is present and distinct but the flower petal detail is filled with glue.

Does anyone have a suggestion for how to remove glue from leather surfaces with the least amount of surface degrading.

Is there a way to smooth or dress roughened leather surfaces?

I have a gun show to work this weekend, but am getting back on working on the holster next week.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:24 PM
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Not an expert by any means, but I have had good results using a piece of broken window glass to dress rough surfaces and then burnish with hardwood stick or antler.

Regards,
Bruce
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
Thanks to Smith & Wesson Forum holster mavens for suggesting the hammer protector on the 5-inch N-Frame Brill was an add-on that needed to go!

I didn't like its looks, but didn't catch on that it wasn't original until posting it here. Bit clueless there.

The stitching proved to be half rotten so wasn't a problem. It was also secured with glue which was more of a problem. The modification hammer protector peeled away with great care and only small damage to the leather underneath. The tooling is present and distinct but the flower petal detail is filled with glue.

Does anyone have a suggestion for how to remove glue from leather surfaces with the least amount of surface degrading.

Is there a way to smooth or dress roughened leather surfaces?

I have a gun show to work this weekend, but am getting back on working on the holster next week.
Depends on the glue used. Leather glue will be easy and supaglue is brittle and chips away. Post some pics, or PM me if you like. Afterwards the right leather dressing will make it all look homogeneous again. Conversely if there is any dry rot slash red rot you'd have to do nothing at all, because the leather will disintegrate while you're working.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:05 AM
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Gentlemen: thanks to all for their contributions to this thread. Extremely interesting to all of us who are students of "carry gun leather".
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:18 PM
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Default A couple of other holsters of this style..............

..............an unmarked, good quality holster that came with an early 1911( not the one in it in the image).



and the aforementioned L. A. Sessums out of Longview, Texas.

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Old 12-11-2016, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawandorder View Post
..............an unmarked, good quality holster that came with an early 1911( not the one in it in the image).



and the aforementioned L. A. Sessums out of Longview, Texas.

The "unmarked" holster you show holding your 1911 has a
left handed twin brother. It is a Sessums. It's on ebay now.
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawandorder View Post
..............an unmarked, good quality holster that came with an early 1911( not the one in it in the image).



and the aforementioned L. A. Sessums out of Longview, Texas.

Oh Em Gee, how's a cowpoke to get a grasp of his pistol while it's in the holster in the first pic!? Pics of the rear are always appreciated, they tell us a lot about potential makers. Not uncommon at all for holsters of the early 20th century (and late 19th) to have no marking; and it helps to realise that the mark was a mailing address for prospective buyers, so perhaps leaving off the mark makes it what's known as a 'hardware store holster'.

Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-s-l1600-jpg

I wouldn't have picked yours as an auto holster, but then again I do see some amount of moulding around the top of the 1911 grip, too. I wouldn't have picked it as a Sessums without Phil's input, yet when I study the intricate details (e.g, the little crease around the edge at which the basketweave stamping stops, and the exaggerated shape of the holster mouth [used much later by Wolfam and then Colt]) I have to consider his notion seriously. The Sessums holster he mentions is the traditional copy of the Brill: the cuff has to be 'waved' or sculpted to clear the opening left for the trigger guard access, and it's mouth is much closer to Brill's sculpting (not exaggerated).

One of these forums showed a 22 auto in a Brill revolver holster, and it wasn't a correct fitment. It helps to realise that, in general with holster designs, a 5" auto will look quite natural when inserted into a threepersons-type 4" DA revolver holster (the auto's guard slips down into the pocket at the welt, intended for the front of the DA revolver frame) and even leaves gripping clearance for the knuckle of the drawing hand.
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:09 PM
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Red:

Since you're on line, let me take this opprutunity to thank you for the link to chapter three of you upcoming book. I have been reading it, and can hardly wait until the whole thing is ready for publication. Your research, along with Phil's collaboration, and input from others and contributions from John (turnerriver), are going to make this a must have for me!!

Keep us posted, I am looking forward to having a print copy for my library.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by les.b View Post
Red:

Since you're on line, let me take this opprutunity to thank you for the link to chapter three of you upcoming book. I have been reading it, and can hardly wait until the whole thing is ready for publication. Your research, along with Phil's collaboration, and input from others and contributions from John (turnerriver), are going to make this a must have for me!!

Keep us posted, I am looking forward to having a print copy for my library.

Best Regards, Les
Very nice, Les :-).

During this research, a chap who is not a forum member here ran across my chapter on my website, and because of him I've added several bits and bobs to further accurise the info within. Turns out he is quite the Brill researcher himself and its phenomenal just how much tiny detail can be added from 'net research when changing out the search terms: now I even know that Rabensburg's shop is now a vacant lot in a town in Texas. And that Brill's post-WW2 housing development project still exists northwest of Austin and is called Brillville.

Among the many bits of info that he sent along is this pic of a Sessums with a feature I was unaware of: a mag button relief that I've not seen in this form on any holster, nor on any other Sessums. Also note the very straight welt compared with the other Sessums I've mentioned due to Phil's recent post.

Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-sessums-auto-1-jpg Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-sessums-auto-1-jpg

Myres accomplished the same result in a different way; and of course the old M1916 holster used a leather-covered timber plug to keep the button off the holster back.

Now: who wants to know other important stuff, like how many cords in the thread of a period threepersons? How many hand stitches per inch on the left side of a Brill's cuff sewing, and on the right side (they're different, and always consistent, and identical to a Rabensburg for good reason). Geez, I need help.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rednichols View Post
Oh Em Gee, how's a cowpoke to get a grasp of his pistol while it's in the holster in the first pic!? Pics of the rear are always appreciated, they tell us a lot about potential makers. Not uncommon at all for holsters of the early 20th century (and late 19th) to have no marking; and it helps to realise that the mark was a mailing address for prospective buyers, so perhaps leaving off the mark makes it what's known as a 'hardware store holster'.

Attachment 260391

I wouldn't have picked yours as an auto holster, but then again I do see some amount of moulding around the top of the 1911 grip, too. I wouldn't have picked it as a Sessums without Phil's input, yet when I study the intricate details (e.g, the little crease around the edge at which the basketweave stamping stops, and the exaggerated shape of the holster mouth [used much later by Wolfam and then Colt]) I have to consider his notion seriously. The Sessums holster he mentions is the traditional copy of the Brill: the cuff has to be 'waved' or sculpted to clear the opening left for the trigger guard access, and it's mouth is much closer to Brill's sculpting (not exaggerated).

One of these forums showed a 22 auto in a Brill revolver holster, and it wasn't a correct fitment. It helps to realise that, in general with holster designs, a 5" auto will look quite natural when inserted into a threepersons-type 4" DA revolver holster (the auto's guard slips down into the pocket at the welt, intended for the front of the DA revolver frame) and even leaves gripping clearance for the knuckle of the drawing hand.
I had never thought to try my 1911 in my Myres 4"
N Frame Threepersons, but when I read this post by Red
I tried it. Here it is. The guy knows what he is talking about.
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  #66  
Old 12-12-2016, 08:16 AM
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Here you go Red....

Though not a Brill, this one by Bedell Rogers out of Longview, Texas has the mag release relief detail that the Sessums holster has. I came across this pic a few years ago, and thought it was a pretty slick solution to the low riding 1911 holsters.

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Old 12-12-2016, 01:12 PM
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Default Red here is an image of the reverse of the two........

........................

A Brill 1911 next to the unmarked one..............


and one showing the side of the Brill..............

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Old 12-12-2016, 10:37 PM
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I'm just realising that I did this study for Phil and am only now thinking of posting it on this thread: a comparison of the construction details between a known Rabensburg (has initials stamped into the cuff using very unique stamps) and a known Brill (pics by bmcgilvray here) stamped Brill on the cuff.

Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-1-jpg Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-2-jpg

Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-5-jpg Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-6-jpg

There are NO differences; even the stitch count on the left side sewing, and then on the right side, of the cuffs is the same between the holsters. Note the odd stitching (special machine of some sort) at the muzzle, showing only on the backside view, is identical (but different from the welt stitch and the lining stitch and the two cuff stitchings); it looks quite like a chain stitch but I've never handled one (the Brill I bought on 'that' site was not delivered).

If I haven't suggested it before, I reckon that all the makers being in Texas, that perhaps they were effectively serving the different Texas Rangers Companies geographically divided around Texas; and could even have been founded by former employees of the better-known makers of the Brill style.

Based on the rear view of lawandorder's holster, I'd say "not a Sessums" based on the sewing there of the cuff. And all those little ridges on either side of the very fine sewing of the lining are from the lower feed dogs on the flatbed machine that was used (saddle stitching machines are needle-feed and have no feed dogs; so leave no marks in the leather).
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:28 PM
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Are the ends of the "garter" skived down, or full thickness , where it is sewed to the back flap ? Of the examples you guys have, is there a common belt tunnel width ? Thanks. Mark
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:41 AM
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Are the ends of the "garter" skived down, or full thickness , where it is sewed to the back flap ? Of the examples you guys have, is there a common belt tunnel width ? Thanks. Mark
As for the belt loop, I like the question, because it reminds that when we consider the story by Nelson about Rabensburg, the style was intended to be a trousers belt holster. And indeed these pics of the Rabensburg of Trimble, and of an identical setup marked Brill, are fitted to trousers belts about 1-3/4" wide that are of the Ranger style (notice most, but not all, the details of both belts, and both holsters, are the same; but only one set is marked Brill and on both the holster cuff and the belt end).

Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-rabensburg-lee-e-trimble-1-jpg Maker Specific.......A.W. Brill-brill-set-12-jpg

Nevertheless, I have images that show these styles fitted to very wide belts up to 2-1/4" or so. Generally my images of all makers show them fitted to trousers belts, some perhaps as narrow as 1".

Is the cuff skived at each end? Dunno, never handled one.
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:14 PM
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Having the serial number of Tom Threepersons' personal Triple Lock, in a source that was otherwise quite credible, I asked for and received 'my' letter from S&W about it, and the important bits are:

"We have researched your Smith & Wesson .44 Hand Ejector First Model (Triple-Lock), caliber .44 S&W Special, revolver in company records which indicate that your handgun with serial number 10199 was shipped from our factory on March 26, 1915 and delivered to Shelton-Payne Arms Co., El Paso, TX. The records indicate that this revolver was shipped with a 6.5 inch barrel, blue finish, and checkered walnut gold medallion grips."

All that info matching up with expectations in the source, I'm pleased to have the validation of the source itself. Members on the Hand Ejector forum here were very helpful in providing dimensions to match with the image of Tom's revolver from that article.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:30 PM
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When this thread started a couple of years ago, I did not have a Brill. Finally got a Brill Holster and even though I showed it in it's own thread, I wanted to add it to the Maker Specific A.W. Brill thread! They have an interesting history too.
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:02 PM
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My two Brill holsters with K22 Masterpiece and K22 Combat Masterpiece.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kansasgunner View Post
My two Brill holsters with K22 Masterpiece and K22 Combat Masterpiece.
Tim,
Super holsters!! If you get a chance, could you post a picture of the back of your black holster? I was wondering if it was like mine.
Larry
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:24 PM
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Here you go!
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:21 AM
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Here you go!
Rabensburgs, well done.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:21 AM
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More Brillness.

Or maybe it's a chronic Brillness.


My "gun show leather pusher" had a smallish Brill holster that he said he didn't know what gun fit it. He was speculating it was an I-Frame Smith & Wesson. Brownwood and San Angelo shows were back-to-back weekends so he sent it home with me "on approval." Neither the I-Frame Smith & Wesson Model 1903 .32 or the Colt Police Positive .32 fit this holster but an ahhh... moment was had when a Colt Police Positive Special snuggled right into it.









Due to the compact size of the Colt and the cant of the holster, this would have been a dandy way to tote a 6-shot .38 Special back in the day.

Like little leather works of art, the Brill holsters.
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