top of page
holstory (1).jpg

"Holstory" the book is (C) and "Holstory" is TM of Red Nichols.

"Holsterguys" the blog is (C) and "Holsterguys" is TM of Red Nichols.

"Berns-Martin" the gunleather is (R) registered trademark Red Nichols.  


holstory (1).jpg
taffin in guns (1).JPG
2019 01 ah.PNG
holstory (2).jpg
2019 05 guns (1).PNG




“Red Nichols is the 'Yoda' of holster designers”

Roy Huntington, American Handgunner

"Hellweg (of Australia) has availed itself of one of America's premier holster design and materials experts, Red Nichols".

Jerry Ahern, Handguns


 “Red – Richard Edward Dale – Nichols is a ‘rocket scientist’ of holsters.  He started as a designer/maker with Bianchi in 1970." 

Tiger McKee

"There is Red, like a Great White apex prdator trolling the waters, never stopping, always in motion, a sixth-sense heightened awareness of what's going on around him.  And then there is the competition, feeding off the scraps of his latest 'kill'.  He left a path behind him like a nuclear bomb.  When Red left Bianchi, that's when the company lost the intrigue.  With Red gone, the industry then had a breather to try and catch up.  A major reason for the catch-up was Red's 'Nichols Innovation' and was designing for most of the big 5 in the industry.  Now there was a gun for hire".  

Michael Punzone, High Noon Holsters

“When I retired from the San Diego PD in 1998, I slid sideways into our industry, going to work for Bianchi Intl. as their law enforcement sales manager. This was before it was bought by Safariland. The ghosts of the "old days" still haunted the place. One name popping up all the time was Red Nichols. Red left Bianchi in the (late) 1980's but during the previous two decades had been the foundation for many iconic designs for the company. "Oh, Red did that," was heard all the time in response to my questions. He teamed with John to design the ground-breaking Askins Avenger, designed the Pistol Pocket, worked with Ray Chapman on the Chapman Hi-Ride, designed the Cyclone Cross Draw Field Holster, the Black Widow Slide (still in production), the famous 9R upside down shoulder rig, designed the famous M12 military holster (with John) and even the "Judge" duty holster, a staple on cop's hips in the late 1970's and early 1980's (I carried one for years)." 

Roy Huntington, Editor, ‘American Handgunner’


“John Bianchi's right hand man in product development was Richard Nichols, a very talented designer who led the design team in the three and a half year UM84 development project. He also conducted the initial field tests at Camp Pendleton Marine Base in California. Nichols was instrumental in the design and development of most of Bianchi International’s products for over twenty years. He was also singularly responsible for launching the first Bianchi Cup competitions in 1979.”  Dennis Adler, "John Bianchi, An American Legend’



The Reviews of "Holstory’s" First Edition © 2018

“You can find an abundance of well-researched history on related matters and examples of Nichols’ own fine holster that he makes today; some of which I’m proud to own.  Lavishly illustrated and published books are expensive.  So are laboriously researched tomes on niche topics.  This book is both, which is why ‘Holstory’ will cost you, but research in narrow areas of interest commonly cost more, so I think it’s a good value.  I’m still trying to figure out whether to put my copy in my research library or on my coffee table”. 

Massad Ayoob, ‘Backwoods Home’


“If names like Berns-Martin, Bucheimer, El Paso Saddlery, Chic Gaylord, Don Hume and S.D. Myres get your blood going – pay attention.  I’m fortunate enough to have encouraged Red to make this a photo-heavy coffee-table volume and he has created an immediate icon.  The book takes the classic ‘Packing Iron’ several levels higher.  If you love to read about real gunfighters, the leather helping to make them famous, the design and foundation of how we came to be where we are today in this industry – then this honest American history will captivate you.  It did me”

Roy Huntington, ‘American Handgunner’


“The book in question is Holstory by R.E.D. Nichols.  His is a familiar name to any of us who have followed the development and history of great leather as he had much to do with the designs coming from Bianchi in the 1970s and 1980s.  Obviously a lot of research went into this book that basically covers holsters from 1905-1985.” 

John Taffin, ‘Guns’


“The great new reference book on 20th century holster development entitled Holstory by R.E.D. Nichols introduces us to the NYC school of holsters.  Originated by NYC holster maker Chic Gaylord, they differed from the Western school in using thinner leather, replacing the thick welt down the rear edge of the pouch with double stitching and a reinforcing rivet, and more detailed molding”. 

Bob Arganbright, ‘American Handgunner’


“I’d seen Holstory by R.E.D. Nichols advertised in a magazine and knew from the moment I laid eyes on that ad that I had to have a copy.  I soon had a copy in my possession but since it was destined to find its way under the tree I couldn’t dive into it right away.  The cover art begged me to crack it open but I didn’t see it again until Christmas morning.” 

Ltc. Mike Woods (Ret’d), ‘Revolverguy’


“Red – Richard Edward Dale – Nichols is a ‘rocket scientist’ of holsters.  He started as a designer/maker with Bianchi in 1970.  In the ‘90s Red began Nichols Innovation, the first consulting deign service to the holster industry.  For over a decade he guided companies like Aker, DeSantis, Galco and dozens more on how to make great holsters.” 

Tiger McKee, ‘Tactical Wire’


“Holstory is a book that every student of the gun with an appreciation for how we got here needs to have in their library.  No book has ever been authored by a better versed maven of their subject.” 

Greg Moats, “The Shooting Wire”

taffin in guns (1).JPG
2019 01 ah.PNG
2019 05 ah.PNG
2019 05 guns (2).PNG
3 final (2).png
Screenshot (327).png
2019-onwards packaging (3).jpg
2019 03 mar (2).jpg
2019 06 jun for bond film (3).jpg
bottom of page