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Old 04-04-2017, 12:15 AM
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Default J-Frame Vintage Holsters?

So "Chief's Special" and "bodyguard" and all that, right?

Well how did those old chiefs and bodyguards carry their J-frames? I'm talking about back when the J-frame first came out, the '50s, and into the '70s or so.

I am looking for ideas on a "vintage" holster, OWB, to carry a J-frame around in when at home and on my property and to go shooting with, but something with that vintage look and design.

Any idea guys? Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2017, 01:38 AM
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I can't help you out with old J frames, as I don't own any. Although IIRC holsters for Colt D frames will work. Maybe not.

So here is a 1968 Detective Special that was an old LEO gun and I am pretty sure this was his 'duty' holster. I bought it from the LEO's son who was more interested in getting a new Bullpup or Tavor. I gladly gave him $300 towards his goal. The gun was honest and worn but still tight and not abused.

The holster gives a nice and tight, high ride for concealed OWB carry. However, I just carry my D frame snubs IWB, this doesn't get used.




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Old 04-04-2017, 04:38 AM
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Hi JayFramer
Those old time plain cloths cops would carry their J Frame in an open
top holster with a "dog ear" so the hammer spur would not chew up
the lining of their jacket. Here are a few ideas: Left to Right
1. Heiser #759 floral carved. Not easy to find and kinda expensive.
2. Bucheimer Sheriff crossdraw. You would want size 32-11
3. Wally Wolfram made the Wolf brand (left) and Blazer (right).
4. An old Reyes I found on ebay. ($16 shipped)
5. The Reyes from #4 after I rehabbed it. It fits model 10 2"
but just for the idea, you might find an old holster for a J Frame
and clean & fix it up.
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Old 04-04-2017, 05:02 AM
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Here are a few more ideas. Left to Right:
1. A Bucheimer "field style holster"
2. Brauer Brothers. This style was made by many makers and
can usually be found on auction sites.
3. Another Brauer Brothers.
4. Eubanks Pioneer Leather. With Colt Agent. Excuse the
amatuer re-lacing job by me.
If you haven't done so, I would look at the offerings by robbt here
on this forum - accessories for sale.
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Old 04-04-2017, 05:05 AM
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Ah, the 'floor' is 1950. Well, then, as excellent as Phil's list is, I think you should have a Gaylord as the penultimate 1950s hideaway holster; that was Chic's heyday. But likely to take awhile to locate one. Heisers are easy enough to come by; though the '50s was the end of their reign. Myres is very collectible as is the Lawrence copy; both will be harder to find in J frame 2" vs the almost 'common' 4" K frame Heisers. Bodyguard only suitable to the strapless versions and fortunately those brands in those styles generally are (strapless).
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:32 AM
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There are a few holster models with safety straps that accommodated the Centennials and Bodyguards although Red is right, strapless is best for those models.
Here's a Brauer Brothers holster that fits a wide range of J frames- this was a gift from forum member Watchdog.

Strapless Bianchi.

This one is marked "Almar New York "

An unusual Berns-Martin holster for a 2" J frame.

Another odd holster made by Western Saddlery in Tampa, Florida.

El Paso Saddlery cross draw.

I don't have this holster any more but I think it was a Gaylord.

I've always had J frame revolvers and have found a lot of holsters for them over the years.
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:44 AM
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I found this one at my LGS for $5
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:04 AM
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I had a Gaylord way back in the 50s, but not knowing the future I let it
get away from me. PWL (Price Western Leather) makes a close replica
in their model 320 shown below left with S&W 642. When I got an LCR
right after they came out I asked Thad Rybka to make me a replica. Here
it is 2nd from left the front. 3rd from left the back.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:05 AM
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In my area we carried our 2" J /K frames in buchimer (sic) spring cross draw holsters. When the company's "Federal Man" model came out it was very popular
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerriver View Post
There are a few holster models with safety straps that accommodated the Centennials and Bodyguards although Red is right, strapless is best for those models.
Here's a Brauer Brothers holster that fits a wide range of J frames- this was a gift from forum member Watchdog.

Strapless Bianchi.

This one is marked "Almar New York "

An unusual Berns-Martin holster for a 2" J frame.

Another odd holster made by Western Saddlery in Tampa, Florida.

El Paso Saddlery cross draw.

I don't have this holster any more but I think it was a Gaylord.

I've always had J frame revolvers and have found a lot of holsters for them over the years.
Regards,
turnerriver
That is a nifty looking Brauer Bros. with the tooling & lacing.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:29 AM
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John the one you think might be a Gaylord, might also be a Seventrees.
Of course Paris "borrowed" Chic's style so it would be the same thing.
It looks kinda like a Ken Null that I have, which was based on a
Seventrees pattern, borrowed from Gaylord.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:08 AM
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Awesome guys! I really like the style with the strap that goes around the trigger guard. I'm a fan of the bodyguards and that seems like just the thing for that.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:33 AM
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Here are a couple of my favorites,in that I've actually used them for carry. The first is a surprisingly fine,carved Hunter holster. They seem to be regarded as an inferior brand,but this one rivals the work of the more highly-regarded holster makers.




This holster is a very similar example made by Clark.





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Old 04-04-2017, 10:27 AM
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Here's my contribution, a vintage Bianchi Cross Draw #123.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
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The first is a surprisingly fine carved Hunter holster. They seem to be regarded as an inferior brand,but this one rivals the work of the more highly-regarded holster makers.

[IMG]

f.t.
Bobby, that Hunter is really, really nice! Never seen one that quality before.
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:27 PM
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turnerriver, that Western Saddlery holster is pretty cool! Never seen one like it either. You never fail to bring out interesting stuff!
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Old 04-04-2017, 12:32 PM
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Awesome gents thank you.

So we've talked a little bit about holsters, but what about spare shells? I know back "then" speedloaders weren't really a big thing yet. Did the chiefs, undercover guys, etc. people with J-frames carry spare ammo in loops, cartridge slides, loose in a pocket, dump pouch, etc.? Anyone have and personal experience from back then?

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Old 04-04-2017, 02:12 PM
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Phil, I think you're right-I think it was a Seventrees holster.
Regarding spare rounds, I was at a DUI checkpoint last Friday night and met and talked with the chief and three assistant Chiefs of a large city department. They carried sub compact Glocks with no apparent extra rounds, in fact they had little or nothing else on their belts.
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Old 04-04-2017, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat tom View Post
Here are a couple of my favorites,in that I've actually used them for carry. The first is a surprisingly fine,carved Hunter holster. They seem to be regarded as an inferior brand,but this one rivals the work of the more highly-regarded holster makers.




This holster is a very similar example made by Clark.





f.t.
I saw another Hunter in the style of yours except it was for a
1911. It's on STAMPED OR CARVED? In the Gunleather and
Carry Gear forum. Posted by Cocked & Locked 2/18/17.
I told C&L I was lusting for his Hunter. Now I've got yours
to lust for also. Beautiful work by Hunter in both cases.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:11 PM
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The Bianchi Lightning holster is another good for Centennial and Bodyguard models:

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Old 04-04-2017, 08:23 PM
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My contribution is a pair of Bucheimer's...

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Old 04-04-2017, 08:45 PM
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Very nice condition DevilDog72.
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:38 PM
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Here's one from Gibbs of Texas. Ebay is a good place to find them.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:24 AM
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Here's one from Gibbs of Texas. Ebay is a good place to find them.
That is a really nice rig.... including the shooter.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayFramer View Post
Awesome gents thank you.

So we've talked a little bit about holsters, but what about spare shells? I know back "then" speedloaders weren't really a big thing yet. Did the chiefs, undercover guys, etc. people with J-frames carry spare ammo in loops, cartridge slides, loose in a pocket, dump pouch, etc.? Anyone have and personal experience from back then?
In the early 70's, at my Sheriff's Dept., we had to buy our own leather and handgun, and it had to be a revolver. The Sheriff, didn't care what we carried off-duty. I carried a Colt Satin Commander in .45 ACP. Once in a while, if I was running a quick personal errand, I'd just slip my back-up in my pocket (a Hi Standard derringer in .22 Mag.) I don't think too many officers I knew felt the need to carry much spare ammo. Back then, most of the bad guys seemed to use small, cheap revolvers, instead of the high capacity autos common today. I can only speak of my personal experience. It was probably different for big city cops.

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Old 04-05-2017, 01:47 PM
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This is a great thread. Some fantastic holsters here. Seems a lot of these old j frame holsters have exposed triggers. Was there a reason for this or is that just how holsters were made back then? As nice as some of these are, I'd be a little hesitant to use them today for CC.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:51 PM
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This is a great thread. Some fantastic holsters here. Seems a lot of these old j frame holsters have exposed triggers. Was there a reason for this or is that just how holsters were made back then? As nice as some of these are, I'd be a little hesitant to use them today for CC.
... and why is that. I use that brown Bucheimer on occasion and the wife will use the black one.

I admit I use my Galco SM122 pancake and Frontline paddle more.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:46 AM
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I started in LE in 1970, we were issued Colt Python 4" and a 12 round cartridge slide. Part of our training curriculum was learning to "speedload" and I use the term loosely, with cartridges from the slide to the gun.

2 rounds at a time from the slide into the empty cylinder. Thank God for HKS when they introduced a reliable, easy to use speedloader in the early 70s. I still use the 2 rounds at a time today when not in a hurry to reload. First carried a Model 15 4" in the AF in 1965. Cartridge loops there also. Dump pouches were a pain in the butt, fumbled the reload with them a lot, but they cut down on the space the slide took up on the belt.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnerriver View Post
Phil, I think you're right-I think it was a Seventrees holster.
Regarding spare rounds, I was at a DUI checkpoint last Friday night and met and talked with the chief and three assistant Chiefs of a large city department. They carried sub compact Glocks with no apparent extra rounds, in fact they had little or nothing else on their belts.
Regards,
turnerriver
Even though that B-M 2" weird-looking thing is more proof that you've more info in your collection than you've ever admitted to, I'll solve that particular question about Chic v Paris anyway :-). All you need is the pic you saved of the backside (you did take a pic of the backside?) because they each used a 'signature' stitchline (as do nearly all makers) to close the belt loop and are quite different from each other. Post up a pic -- though if it's not marked it's most likely to be a Gaylord.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:55 AM
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Default fat tom's Hunter holster

Hey fat tom and others! Thought you might be interested to
know I found your flower carved Hunter in an ad in American
Rifleman, May 1956 edition.

They called it COMBAT ACTION HOLSTER, For Peace Officers
Detectives Sheriffs and Guards. "The Hunter spring belt combat
holster is built for maximum concealment, quick access, and is
equally efficient for regular or cross-draw work. Adjustable
spring tension. Gun will not fall out."

AVAILABLE IN BLACK OR BROWN.

Flower Carved holster...$6.70
Plain holster................$4.80

I should have bought a dozen of them, but back in 1956
$6.70 was a lot of money.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:39 PM
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Lets not forget Jimmy's favorite "Off Duty/Plain Clothes holster the " Lewis L.A. Special Police Holster"
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:53 PM
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Hers a sort of vintage Alamo filled with my 60 no dash.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:43 PM
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A few more.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:25 PM
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Here's a Roy Baker from Magnolia, Arkansas.
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Old 04-08-2017, 09:37 PM
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Not vintage, but pretty useful, and easy to find, a Galco horsehide IWB, model L119H UDG 158, fits J frames from this Magnum J frame 2 1/4" bbl 640-1 to the smaller Baby Js (Baby Chiefs):



Nice thing is that it is one of those that you can tuck your shirt over it, and the only thing that shows is the little hook at the bottom of the belt clip.

For older designs, here is a Clark with my snub nose Official Police:



Maker and model:



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Old 04-08-2017, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BE Mike View Post
Here's my contribution, a vintage Bianchi Cross Draw #123.
Great picture! I had one for my M60 back in the day (don't remember what happened to it though). I also had ( and still use occasionally) a S&W brand upside down shoulder holster. Use it quite a bit during the winter, and it works well with my current 642.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:29 AM
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Not sure if this is vintage or not but has the look!

Don Hume elk lined Bill Johnson holster and my 1960 S&W 36 with sambar stag grips.

Need a vintage holster, look right here, I did:
Original Grips & Holsters, Frequent Daily Additions,come and visit, buy me a beer





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Old 04-09-2017, 02:58 AM
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Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:25 PM
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Though not marked, this appears to be a Chic Gaylord Treasury Thunderbolt.
The interesting feature is the leather piece situated in the bottom portion of the belt loop.
This slightly forces the bottom of the holster away from the body while slightly forcing the upper part of the gun into the body. This prevents the gun from “hanging” or flopping away from the body at the uppermost part.
I’ve tried this with a Chiefs Special and it’s most effective in keeping the gun in tight against the body.
Perhaps Red Nichols can opine on the maker based on stitching?



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Old 04-09-2017, 07:42 PM
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Unfortunately, one of the problems (for us collectors) with Gaylord and Theodore is that both are known to have sometimes put their makers marks on the rough-side leather that forms the belt loop, where it is easily obliterated due to wear, instead of locating it on the smooth leather of the holster body.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:32 PM
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Three inch Model 37





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Old 04-09-2017, 08:51 PM
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Well, I'm surprised that no one has posted a Bianchi "Lightning". I bought this one back in the 70s, if I remember correctly, maybe later....and have carried a lot of hammerless Smiths in it...pictured here with a modern 340 PD, but also fits older versions of the Centennial style Smiths, and Bodyguards as well:



Back side:



Retaining strap goes over the trigger guard:



This probably dates back to Red's time at Bianchi, maybe he can tell us about it. I have a lot of the Bodygaurd and Centennial style guns, and usually carry IWB or pocket carry, but this is an alternative.

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Old 04-09-2017, 10:00 PM
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Well, I'm surprised that no one has posted a Bianchi "Lightning".
It's there, post #20 from db :-). Its era is a bit late to suit the OP's query; would have to check my Bianchi catalogues to be sure as to late '70s or early '80s. And although I created it for the company, to suit the Bodyguards et al. when the #5BH wouldn't, nevertheless it's just the latter holster with the thumbsnap moved to be a fingersnap; so not much of a challenge for even a novice designer (except for perhaps thinking of it in the first place). I think it's still in their line, as one of a handful that survived into the 21st century from my period there.

The Gaylord v Theodore query: backsides show both men's version (here the one NOT marked Seventrees is the Gaylord). Both men used the rivets at one end or the other of the seam; use of the rivets I find puzzling because they both used nylon thread before any of the rest of us; and used the dense horsehide, too; so I doubt they could've had seam failures. Either they over-engineered, or the rivet was for some other reason. Be aware that neither of them used welts in the seam, so these are not correctly called 'threepersons' holsters. Instead they relied on double stitching and were the first to do it; Bruce Nelson later copied it for his holsters. Chic's and Paris's are always stitched 'upside down' at the welt: the bobbin side is facing outwards; whereas all other makers have the bobbin side to the backside of the holster; I believe this is because they used flatbed sewing machines and the belt loop got in the way of doing it conventionally, whereas saddlery machines are designed to avoid 'things that go bump in the night' on the backside.

J-Frame Vintage Holsters?-chic-then-paris-15-jpeg

J-Frame Vintage Holsters?-chic-then-paris-16-jpg

Neither is better than the other, because neither is optimal. Bianchi's version is best and was used by Wolfram (who likely created it) and by Shoemaker and Safariland (start at the pointed tip, go around twice and about 1/8" apart, finishing at the pointed tip, which is furthest from the point of strain). Heiser and Bucheimer (same designer) and Myres used a single loop 'round the outside; with Myres strongest for starting at the tip and Bucheimer weakest for starting at one corner near the belt with no meaningful stitch overlap there.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:33 PM
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Thanks, Red, I see that I even gave it a "like"!!! Some say the first thing to go is the memory.

Apologies to -db-, and to Red!!

Well, Red, it's really an honor to have a holster that you designed. I was still on the police department when I got this little holster, and that was back when an on duty police officer could fly with their gun on...hard to imagine doing that today. Anyway, I ised to wear this little holster along with a square butt model 37 with a bobbed hammer. Traveled literally from coast to coast picking up and bringing home guys that had been picked up by other departments on our warrants. I still have the gun and the holster!! Always liked it and admired the neat design, and craftsmanship!!

Thanks for the info,

Best Regards, Les
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:18 PM
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Unfortunately, one of the problems (for us collectors) with Gaylord and Theodore is that both are known to have sometimes put their makers marks on the rough-side leather that forms the belt loop, where it is easily obliterated due to wear, instead of locating it on the smooth leather of the holster body.
That's interesting db. I have a couple of holsters made by
Thad Rybka and he also puts his mark in the rough.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -db- View Post
Unfortunately, one of the problems (for us collectors) with Gaylord and Theodore is that both are known to have sometimes put their makers marks on the rough-side leather that forms the belt loop, where it is easily obliterated due to wear, instead of locating it on the smooth leather of the holster body.
Though Seventrees used a hot stamp to get around this problem. I've more than one pic of the result when his stamp was a bit hot for the job and burned the leather 'round the impression. But Gaylord holsters with a faint or missing stamp are almost standard, as if he didn't really care if the mark survived the sale. Horsehide is also notoriously dense and his stamp had too much flat area to stamp with (notice Paris' is quite sharp).
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayFramer View Post
Awesome gents thank you.

So we've talked a little bit about holsters, but what about spare shells? I know back "then" speedloaders weren't really a big thing yet. Did the chiefs, undercover guys, etc. people with J-frames carry spare ammo in loops, cartridge slides, loose in a pocket, dump pouch, etc.? Anyone have and personal experience from back then?
Six round cartridge slide or seven rounds loose in the front right hand (two extra rounds was insurance in case one or two pocket rounds were dropped trying to reload)
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:22 AM
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That's interesting db. I have a couple of holsters made by
Thad Rybka and he also puts his mark in the rough.
Phil, I've got an interesting early Rybka holster arriving soon. I'll post some photos here once I get it in hand.
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Old 04-10-2017, 08:57 AM
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Phil, I've got an interesting early Rybka holster arriving soon. I'll post some photos here once I get it in hand.
While waiting for yours to arrive you can look at mine.
With LCR left & center.
With Model 19 at right.
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Old 04-10-2017, 09:09 AM
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That is a nifty looking Brauer Bros. with the tooling & lacing.
It's easy to see the lineage John, from your Gaylord/Seventrees
to my Ken Null shown here.
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