• Red Nichols, Holstorian

In Living Colour: Seventrees 1969

Updated: Feb 8

There is only one Seventrees catalog, and it was issued with a 1969 price list. However there is more than one version because it is made up of loose-leaf pages inside a folder; a clever idea meant to make it easy to add and remove products without having to print a new catalog every year.

Missing from every copy, save one, that I have encountered is his horizontal shoulder holster and one of his revolver scabbards. Until we locate full-size images of those, this is the commonly-encountered version that consists of the jacket/folder, 18 product pages, the price list, and the preamble -- all of which here are colourised thanks to a genealogy site's clever software.

This particular one, was in my collection and I gave that original to a friend:

This today would be called a 'Donihoo', for it was created to be like his original concept and indeed Seventrees made them for Donihoo himself to sell as promoted by Jeff Cooper who was an officer in Paris' company (!). As was Bob Zwirz who promoted Paris' new brand.

This, though, is the Angell design that was preferred over the Donihoo by writer Mason Williams, who was advising Paris in the late 1960s. He created this catalog for Paris and wanted to be appointed a director of Paris' company, too. A very commonplace part of today's Seventrees collections.

Historical note: Dog soldiers formed a sort of SWAT team for the Cheyenne and were associated with the Sioux; who were the re-named Lakota. Fight-to-the-death squads that were wiped out by cholera.

The comment about 'absence of leather at the root of the trigger guard' was claimed as original to Bruce Nelson; but it was Paris who inspired all of Bruce's designs (Bruce was my predecessor at Bianchi Holsters). Compared to a Myres this was a big improvement!

The holster was patented and the patent images almost literally 'filled in the blank' caused by a hole being punched through the retention system of the holster on the catalog page. The hole seems like a clever marketing gimmick but more likely was done with a leather punch when Paris' patent attorney saw it! It's not a shoulder holster; it is clipped to the shirt itself, and 'wherever'.

One of the very most commonly encountered Seventrees holsters in today's collections.

These had an outrageous carry angle of 45-60 degrees positive that today we would associate with S.O.B. holsters because at such angles they m/b worn well-behind.

Galco nee Jackass copied this holster of Seventrees' so exactly that one needs to see the mark to tell them apart.

The original prototype, with which Paris was photographed for the 1968 press articles, turned up last year and bears the original Seventrees logo that is a palm tree with eight fronds (so why 'seven trees'?) that is found in FL that is a second home to many New Yorkers.

Below are the pages that typically are missing from a Seventrees catalog. Yup, the image is poor! It's from a complete layout of all the pages that appears on Worthpoint even today. At right is the missing Federal Scorpion and at left -- well, I'm unable to make out its model:

I have only a very ordinary image of the Federal Scorpion although the rest of my scans are in color (his paper is a textured manila-folder color) then the images colourised. This one has Angell's fingerprints all over it (the pronounced sight channel, the bulged pocket for the barrel to slide back into during the draw, the very detailed molding); Williams complained loudly when all the holsters he was sent weren't so-molded (notably the VAM which couldn't be):

New information since then is that every holster in the catalog and appearing in the publicity that surrounded the company in 1968, was a prototype; Seventrees was not yet operational.

Paris' original partner, who was Steve King full name Steven Kerryn King, appears still to be living in NYC. Steve's father was a VP of Texaco at the time and the two men sold their shareholdings back to Paris in 1968; likely seeing the writing on the wall about Seventrees' bleak future. Monied fathers also is how both JB and NP got up and running in the '60s :-).

A forum member enquired and I mentioned the Church committees that put Paris out of business; then explained that these two committees were charged with investigating the U.S. government's assassination squads -- and Paris' raison d'etre was equipping these squads. He was called to testify and then forced to close down his operations. Hence his pistols and holsters were made by others (Nonte and Null respectively) afterwards. And silenced MACs.

This mark is the adonida palm found in FL and was the original logo for Seventrees gunleather. To find a Seventrees with it is to find the holy grail; for it was used only on the prototypes and was so difficult to stamp clearly that it was abandoned for hot-stamped lines of text. This example is courtesy Rob Garrett who has it from Ken Null who succeeded Paris.

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