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Old 05-02-2018, 01:00 PM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is online now
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Default Frank Hamer's holster with a Brill feature

The artist who researched Frank Hamer's gear for his life size statue of him posted this picture of Hamer's famous Colt and his holster. I see that it has that Brill style extension at the toe where the bottom is stitched to the fender (I think that's what Red said it's called). Any idea who made this one? I'm not sure if it's the same holster Hamer's wearing in that early photo as that one appears to dip a little in front of the hammer.


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Old 05-03-2018, 12:10 AM
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Great image, that holster could have been made by any saddle maker in Texas in the 1900-1920 era. I am getting older and forgetful, however there was a maker in Beeville, Tx and Brownsville, Tx that made holsters in that fashion. A great holster and great Texas lawman, thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:53 AM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is online now
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Great image, that holster could have been made by any saddle maker in Texas in the 1900-1920 era. I am getting older and forgetful, however there was a maker in Beeville, Tx and Brownsville, Tx that made holsters in that fashion. A great holster and great Texas lawman, thanks for sharing.
You got me thinking and the very wide part that bends over the belt is similar to one Red Nichols posted in his Brill types by many makers. That one by Kingsville Lumber Co., Kingsville, Tx. 1925-40 in Packing Iron. Thr loop attaches in a similar way, too.

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Old 05-03-2018, 06:40 AM
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my model 8 in 35 rem. from 1933 might be in good company here. one was there that day hammer took down bonnie & Clyde. it was used to shoot Clyde in the head with the first shot fired by Bienville Parish Deputy Sheriff printiss Oakley.............
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:03 AM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is online now
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Here's my Model 81 .300 Savage. Great gun but the Model 8 is much sleeker. Also my Colt lookin' like "Old Lucky" when I put those grips on it. Also, the new definitive book on Hamer by my favorite author.

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Old 05-03-2018, 10:33 AM
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my model 8 in 35 rem. from 1933 might be in good company here. one was there that day hammer took down bonnie & Clyde. it was used to shoot Clyde in the head with the first shot fired by Bienville Parish Deputy Sheriff printiss Oakley.............
I love this photo! Nicely done.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:59 PM
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That is a strange lookint rig. I never seen anything like that.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:08 AM
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Do we know what rifle he's holding in the photo and/or what caliber those cartridges were?
Great pictures guys.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:48 AM
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Do we know what rifle he's holding in the photo and/or what caliber those cartridges were?
Great pictures guys.

Looks like a barrel on a '95 Winchester & the cartridges 30 U.S. Army (30-40) maybe.......


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Old 05-04-2018, 11:16 AM
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'95 Winchesters were popular among Texas Rangers. There are several pictures of Hamer holding an 1899 Savage. At the B&C ambush, at present most students of the incident believe Hamer used a Model 11 Remington shotgun. I imagine with buckshot loads. But there were a couple of Remington Model 8s there also. And a BAR. Deputy Ted Hinton had the BAR (allegedly borrowed from a National Guard armory). Deputy Oakley sort of "jumped the gun" and opened up sooner than planned. No one could say with certainty his shots were those that killed B&C.

Based on research and testimony, the prevailing opinion of many as to who used what:
Frank Hamer - Remington Model 11 riot gun
Manny Gault - Remington Model 11 riot gun
Bob Alcorn - Remington Model 8
Ted Hinton - BAR
Henderson Jordan - Remington Model 11 with long barrel, and
Prentiss Oakley - Remington Model 8

In one interview, Hamer reportedly said he used a shotgun. Much later, Hamer's son gave an interview while holding a Remington Model 81 rifle which he claimed had been used by his father at the ambush. But that was clearly impossible as the Model 81 did not exist at the time of the ambush. Nonetheless, the story spread that Hamer had used that Remington rifle at the ambush, and it was taken as gospel for a long time.

One other item. At the time of the ambush, Hamer was not a Texas Ranger in any capacity. He was a special investigator for the Texas prison system. Ma Ferguson fired all Texas Rangers early in her administration, and Hamer had been working as an unpaid officer for the Texas Highway Patrol when he got an appointment from the Texas prison system.

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Old 05-04-2018, 11:43 AM
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In the book Going Down Together about B&C the author said Alcorn & Hinton had BARs and Oakley carried a Model 8 with a “special five shot magazine” which is nonsense since they normally held 5 rounds. He also writes Hamer had a Rem. Model 11 AND a Colt Monitor, making it sound like it was more powerful than all the other guns though it’s basically a BAR. So with so many mistakes there I wrote off this guy’s expertise on the guns used.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:59 AM
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Several years back, The History Channel had what I think was a two-part fictionalized series about Bonnie and Clyde, which was none too good. In fact it was weird. Apparently the producers had contacted the moderator of the Remington 8/81 forum to provide technical advice about the guns used at the ambush, which he provided. But the producers ignored most everything he told them. And of course in the 1968 movie with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in the title roles, the guns used by the posse during the ambush were nothing close to reality, I think even a couple of Thompsons were there.

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Old 05-04-2018, 12:34 PM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is online now
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DWalt, one movie that got the guns real right was "Public Enemies". The Movie gun database on it looks like a thread on this forum. Here's great, ultra versatile actor Stephen Lang just lookin' "right". And even the grips on his Colt would be correct. And check out that holster (since this IS a holster thread originally as I drift away myself)...

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Old 05-04-2018, 11:34 PM
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You got me thinking and the very wide part that bends over the belt is similar to one Red Nichols posted in his Brill types by many makers. That one by Kingsville Lumber Co., Kingsville, Tx. 1825-40. the loop attaches in a similar way, too.
I'm posting "almost never" because it's too time consuming :-(.

Wyatt's observation is so good, though, I made this one of these rare exceptions. Indeed that holster is identical to the Kingsville Lumber Co. holster -- except for the cuff shape, it's orientation, and how its attached. I understand KLC took over King Ranch's saddlery circa 1910; so perhaps Hamer's is from the Ranch's era.

I say that because, we now have a fairly high-res image of two significant Rangers wearing such a holster in late 1906, which should just prior to Rabensburg creating what we call the Brill in the first quarter of 1907 (all the players are there together until May).

My point: perhaps it was the KR version that existed first, and the Brill developed from it ; i.e., the cuff attached to be functional, the fender narrowed, the welt drawn in tightly) -- because all of those rangers -- Hamer, Hughes, White & Brown (the two men in the pic) were in Austin together in 1907. The newly-married White quit the Rangers right after Hughes was transferred out of Austin. Then the KLC version adapted from the Brill, to make the cuff more functional.

Stan Nelson's article held out Hamer (& Hudson, also in Austin that year) as wearing Rabensburg's 'Sunday' holsters; but since their cuffs aren't the same I doubted him. But Brill didn't strike out on his own until 1913 and Rabensburg was long gone by then; perhaps that's when the cuff changed shape from the straight one.

Frank Hamer's holster with a Brill feature-ranger-j-c-doc-white-after-oct-01-2-jpg very late 1906

Frank Hamer's holster with a Brill feature-2-kingsville-lumber-co-kingsville-1-jpg a different KLC holster
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:03 AM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is online now
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Hey, Red. I didn't notice when I checked "Packing Iron" to look at the Kingsville Lumber Co. holster that it also has the lined (only) fender like Brills have. But did now with you posting a picture of it. The two big clues that Hamer's holster might be related to this one was the extra wide fender, especially where it goes over the belt, and that the rear cuff attaches where it's visible from the outside. Only the KLC used rivets instead of stitching. The external attaching of the cuff in the rear would be easier to make a tight fit around the holster I would think when assembling it.
I always liked that KLC holster but felt the fingers might catch on that wide fender behind the grips when drawing the gun. A potential problem the Brill avoided. But apparently not an issue for Frank Hamer.
Great Brill holster forensics on here by Red, crazyphil, bmcgilvray, John W., etc...

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Old 05-05-2018, 05:11 PM
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Hey, Red. I didn't notice when I checked "Packing Iron" to look at the Kingsville Lumber Co. holster that it also has the lined (only) fender like Brills have. But did now with you posting a picture of it. The two big clues that Hamer's holster might be related to this one was the extra wide fender, especially where it goes over the belt, and that the rear cuff attaches where it's visible from the outside. Only the KLC used rivets instead of stitching. The external attaching of the cuff in the rear would be easier to make a tight fit around the holster I would think when assembling it.
I always liked that KLC holster but felt the fingers might catch on that wide fender behind the grips when drawing the gun. A potential problem the Brill avoided. But apparently not an issue for Frank Hamer.
Great Brill holster forensics on here by Red, crazyphil, bmcgilvray, John W., etc...
When we look at what is allegedly Ranger Trimble's holster (it doesn't appear that he had anything to do with the holster's creation; instead it was Doc White because he actually served with Tom Threepersons at ATF in 1922), we can see the purposeful covering of the backside of the trigger guard and the hammer.

Frank Hamer's holster with a Brill feature-rabensburg-ranger-l-e-trimble-3-jpg

In both cases, the fingers can't catch on the leather behind the pistol because the full handle is above the belt; that exposure of the grip may actually be the real reason the holster is so high on the belt.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:25 AM
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As an aside, I’m in the middle of reading that biography of Hamer that is pictured above. An excellent history and truly well written. Check it out if you’re a gangster-era enthusiast.
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