Red Nichols' Holsterguys Blog
A W Brill Blog
A W Brill Blog and Arvo Ojala Blog: Captivating Stories of Holster History
There are many incredible people that come from humble beginnings but have contributed largely to modern-day holsters. A W Brill and Arvo Ojala are just two of them.
A W Brill Blog
August William Brill- better known as A W Brill- was born in Texas in 1872. At the age of 17, Brill joined the Texas Militia, which later transformed into the Texas National Guard.
Around the year of 1900, Brill moved to Austin and began working as a saddle maker at W.T. Wroe and Sons Saddlery. With the skills he picked up, he started crafting his own gun holsters, which became the go-to for lawmen across the state.
Brill later began his own company, and his son Arno William started working alongside his father. The A W Brill Company sold holsters and leather goods for some time, but they also adapted to new trends and started selling land, dirt, and other popular goods.
Arvo Ojala Blog
Arvo Ojala was born in 1920 in Seattle, WA. He grew up on his parents’ ranch where he taught himself marksmanship and practiced his skills by shooting rattlesnakes on the ranch. The ability to quickly draw his gun was quite impressive.
In the 1950s, Ojala was working in Hollywood for film studios that were shooting westerns. It didn’t take long for Ojala to realize that the actors were slow on the draw, so he studied the movements until he determined the problem- the gun cylinders were getting caught in the holsters- so he set about creating gun holsters that would work.
His knowledge and skills led him to become a gun teacher to the stars, including Michael J. Fox, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marilyn Monroe, and more.