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Old 03-10-2017, 12:31 PM
psjoe psjoe is offline
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Default Old Holster ID Help

Hi-
I picked this up for $5 at my LGS. It fits my 640ND perfectly. Can anyone tell me the maker or age?
Thanks -Joe
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Old 03-10-2017, 01:09 PM
crazyphil crazyphil is offline
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A lot of makers made that style back in the 1950s - 1960s.

I have some that are very similar, but none exact. Someone may
have the exact same holster with the writing on the back intact.

If so , they can tell you who made it.

It's worth what you paid for it, if you can use it, but not a lot more.

You can usually find them on the big auction site.

It could be a Bucheimer with those two rivets added to keep
the seam from pulling apart?
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Old 03-10-2017, 01:55 PM
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Thanks-
The lettering on the back are the only markings. I like it, very comfy, good fit for the 640ND, and holds close to the body.
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:01 PM
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I agree with everything Phil said :-). I've not ever seen a long, detailed description on the back of a holster, but suspect a government contract anyway.
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Old 03-10-2017, 06:31 PM
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It is a nice looker.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:09 AM
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Does this sound plausible:
It's a holster sold by S&W but not marked as such, from the early 1950's before the use of model numbers by S&W - hence the description on the back of each model it fits.
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:24 AM
crazyphil crazyphil is offline
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Smith and Wesson got into the holster business during the 1960s,
when they were owned by Bangor-Punta, by acquiring Wally Wolfram's
holster business known as Wolfram Company.

I have seen references to S&W's holster catalogs from 1969 to 1978.
After S&W got out of the holster business it became Gould & Goodrich.

I don't know if S&W was in the holster business before the Bangor-Punta
years, or from the early 1950's as you suggest. If anyone knows, please
comment.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:43 AM
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Thanks Phil
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:39 AM
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I don't think it was made by anybody well known. The white lettering looks like a stencil done on a typewriter.

With the open end and rivets used to end the stitching it sure looks like they didn't want to spend any more time than they had too on the main seam.

I think it's a bit newer than most, I'm going to say it's a 70's-80's. Hard to judge the weight of the leather in a picture, but if you compare it to a good quality name-brand holster I think you'll find it's lighter weight leather.

But for $5, if it works for you, it's a good deal.
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
Hard to judge the weight of the leather in a picture, but if you compare it to a good quality name-brand holster I think you'll find it's lighter weight leather.
I measured it with my calipers in several spots and got 1/8 of an inch thick, a quick google search puts that at 8 oz. How does that stack up?
Thanks -Joe
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:01 PM
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Bucheimer or Hunter
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psjoe View Post
I measured it with my calipers in several spots and got 1/8 of an inch thick, a quick google search puts that at 8 oz. How does that stack up?
Thanks -Joe
A bit thin. That's .125. A couple of later George Lawrence (late 70's) holsters I have are .175 (11 oz?). I know their vintage because I bought them new. Doesn't seem like much by the numbers but that's 40% thicker. I have a Bianchi that the base leather is .125 thick, but it has two layers of it stitched together over virtually 100% of the holster.

I have an old crossdraw for a 2" Colt DS/Cobra/Agent that I know is from the 50's as it belonged to my Grandfather-in-law. It's thinner than yours at .95, but more than half the holster is double-thickness most of which is stitched as panel for the belt loop, not a fold-over.

I'm not trying to rag on your find, just expressing an opinion based on my experience with holsters. If it works for you that's all that matters, I'm just saying I don't think this came from a name-brand maker. The thing about the high quality holsters is they'll last a lifetime. If yours seems good now by all means use it. If it starts getting soft and losing it's shape replace it.

Lord knows I have newer holsters that use thinner leather but rely on molding to make them firm. Not to mention various synthetics.

Last edited by glenwolde; 03-12-2017 at 09:38 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
Smith and Wesson got into the holster business during the 1960s,
when they were owned by Bangor-Punta, by acquiring Wally Wolfram's
holster business known as Wolfram Company.

I have seen references to S&W's holster catalogs from 1969 to 1978.
After S&W got out of the holster business it became Gould & Goodrich.
Smith acquired Wolfram in 1969, and hired former Bucheimer man Al Kippen to handle startup in the new location (excellent coverage of the transition in Gun Digest's Holsters and Other Gunleather; I say excellent because it's not just an overview, it includes actual dates and everything!). Bob Gould was the Smith holster operation's product manager, and Smith wanted out so badly that they offered it to him for a song and he took it and ran with it, alongside business partner Jon Goodrich.

Smith was not in the holster business prior; but Colt had been since 1960 or so -- being made by Wolfram! So Colt had to hunt around for another maker that I deduce was Bucheimer (yet I don't actually know) and that lasted until the late 1970s. Perhaps not a coincidence that Colt was in, then Smith was in; Colt was out, then Smith was out. Colt's holsters were made by others than Wally, including -- Arvo Ojala and Hunter (they used a prefix on their holster models so they wouldn't forget who their vendor was: "O" for Ojala, "H" for Hunter, "W" for Wolfram, and a fourth I'm not recalling off the top of my head.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:32 AM
psjoe psjoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
I'm not trying to rag on your find, just expressing an opinion based on my experience with holsters. If it works for you that's all that matters, I'm just saying I don't think this came from a name-brand maker. The thing about the high quality holsters is they'll last a lifetime. If yours seems good now by all means use it. If it starts getting soft and losing it's shape replace it.
Thanks for the info. It seems to be in good shape and works well. So as long as the leather is stiff it's good to go?

All, thanks for contributing - learned a lot about S&Ws foray into holsters.
-Joe
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psjoe View Post
So as long as the leather is stiff it's good to go?
As long as the gun is secure that's all that matters. Worn out holsters can be dangerous. Holsters are not like other leather products where well "broken-in" is usually considered good. Like baseball gloves. I know a guy that ruined an expensive holster with Gloveoleum.

Worn Leather Holsters SAFETY WARNING: Accidental Discharges

Last edited by glenwolde; 03-13-2017 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
I have seen references to S&W's holster catalogs from 1969 to 1978.
After S&W got out of the holster business it became Gould & Goodrich.
When the Lew Horton N frame combat specials came out in the mid 1980's there were no holsters for those 3" guns
so Gould & Goodrich holsters were offered with some of them.
They are stamped S&W. I have read (Dillon catalog article on 44 specials) there were only 1000 of each kind made.
I still use these LH-G&G-S&W holsters. They also fit the L frame 44's pretty well.
The pancake in particular is a favorite: very high and tight.
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