New Post 2: I Laughed Out Loud -- AGAIN!

Updated: Nov 14

I see that the Ardolinos have been learning from me about gunleather design and testing in my blog -- Jimmy Ardolino has posted a new video using the test I created in '72 and the video purports to show their holster passes it. But of course, it's the fox watching the henhouse in Jimmy's case, he's made sure he snaps the holster only enough to retain the revolver. But when I did my demo video of the 1911 in a Bianchi I was trying my BEST to shake it out and failed. Because the purpose of the test is to see WHEN a shoulder holster fails, not IF it comes out. That is, when one wants to ship a safe holster vs. just make a sale.

When I tested the Lawman holster I was not trying to fail it. Instead I was double checking the weakness of the 'spring' when I inserted the revolver. I've handled millions of holsters so I certainly know a spring that is weak to the touch. 'Clang' went the revolver during the snap test. So I took the holster apart to see if I was right that the wire had been bent inside the holster and so not tempered to become a SPRING. Did a lot of tests to make sure I had it right. Only THEN did I publish my research here, in my "Unsafe at any Speed" blog post. LAWMAN HAS NEVER DENIED THE TRUTH OF MY FINDINGS: NO TEMPERED SPRING.

Mine was a search for the truth; but theirs is a search for the hyperbole. I do have all their videos in my files because you can be sure that when any inconvenient truths crop up in them, the videos will be changed out for 'better ones'. Democrat voters, perhaps? These are con artists at their core, showing off magazine articles about their holster as if they were expert tests and not publicity! My computer has its audio turned off temporarily, but I read lips; on one video I think he's either threatening me, or telling me that 'ruffiano' means asshole in Italian? You be the judge.


This is about the late 20th century test for spring shoulder holsters that we at Bianchi didn't create just to torture 21st century spring holster makers: the Bianchi "Snap" Test. Instead, the test was devised to ensure that our R&D department didn't perpetuate the error of Wally Wolfram's elastic-loaded, inverted shoulder holster of the 1960s that had been devised as an inexpensive alternative to the out-of-business Berns-Martin of Elberton, GA. In that decade all significant gunleather companies had copied the Wolfram design including JB with his original No. 9 Secret Agent holster for 2" revolvers. James Bond was king of the movies then but suddenly his Berns-Martin "Lightnings" were no more! Jack Martin himself had died in '68.

Guns won't stay in the Wolframs if they're put under any real-life action tests! Such as a detective vaulting a fence (while wearing a shoulder holster). A shoulder holster is very high on the officer and is slung from a harness that, in the case of the No. 9, isn't even tethered to the waistbelt. And we had a case where a detective had pursued a suspect, vaulted a fence, and found his 2" revolver waiting for him on the ground below when he landed. The physics of the jump had thrown the revolver to the ground when his feet landed.

Above, a holster at the waist is not subject to the same forces of physics as is a shoulder holster, but the image shows how expectable a fence vault is for any LEO. And below, too:

Not into physics? Not convinced? Look again, below:

So we devised a test from which the earliest of the Bianchi 9R inverted shoulder holsters, with springs, were created to pass. Nope, didn't say the test was designed for the shoulder holster was to pass it; it was designed for the holster to fail it. Instead, the shoulder holster was designed to pass the test. Which the original 9R did to a large extent. And we called this the Snap Test: holding the holster by its harness, all the weight below the hand, we would snap the setup HARD towards the floor to see what it took to dislodge the pistol.

The decision we took was that if the revolver stayed in the 9R for one snap, it c/b considered a pass but not good enough By the time the 9R-2 development was completed (a sophistication of both the Bianchi 9R of 1972 and the Berns-Martin "Lightning" of 1934) we learned that a reasonable expectation of a sprung shoulder holster was "five snaps and the revolver still not on the ground". To that end we had to add back an internal stop that Berns-Martin had sewed in by hand, as a non-adjustable screw-and-post assembly that kept the revolver from shifting inside the holster and out of the new cylinder recesses:

Ultimately the 9R-2 was the final version that was completely reengineered beyond adding the post and screw. With hammer guard and dual right/left belt loops, the gripping spring also extended up into the hammer guard to press the revolver back into the holster; and the cylinder recesses were beefed up, too:

Again: the holster was designed to pass the stringent test vs the other way around.

We used real pistols, unloaded of course, and for my test below I've used an aluminium casting of the 1911 of the sort we used then for moulding holsters, in an X-15. This is a 50-year-old Bianchi X-15 from 1972 or so and I might even have built it there in Monrovia. I bought it sight-unseen on eBay and when it arrived its spring was still in like-new condition! Below is the result of the first snap -- the pistol has moved inside, slightly:

Below is the result of the TENTH snap; here the pistol has shifted a LOT -- but it still has not tumbled from the holster. That's a stellar PASS of a test in which five snaps without the pistol falling to the ground was considered excellent -- in a NEW holster while this one is used:

And this is the video from which the above screen shots were taken, so you can see the forces of inertia exerted on the pistol, ten consecutive times:

This thread has the title that it does because of my earlier post about the Lawman Leather holster that is not the original Dirty Harry shoulder holster. THAT holster, brand new, launched its .357 Mag casting out of the holster during ONE snap; that is, it could not retain the revolver for a single snap. How could it, when it doesn't even have a real spring inside it?! So in their own video, the Lawman people invented a test that their holster COULD pass: they grabbed the holster and pistol together and held it all shut, then 'struggled' to pull the pistol free!! No wonder I laughed. It's like watching Lou Costello wrestle a movie prop crocodile in one of Abbot and Costello's jungle movies. That were almost as bad as that Lawman video . . .

This video comes to pass only as the culmination of a theory that the Lewis Holster company only made its shoulder holsters with the doubled vertical springs later popularized in the Bianchi X-15; whereas competitor Clark made its vertical shoulder holsters primarily with a large "U"shaped spring that originated, not at the muzzle, but just below the revolver's cylinder from the main fold of the leather. But why did Lewis, who copied Clark slavishly in all its other products such as spring crossdraw belt holsters, go their own way on the vertical shoulder holster, I wondered?

And so I set about testing the Bianchi style against the Clark style of which the Lawman was a new example. I found out. Testing a good condition, late '70s style Bucheimer-Clark with a 4" Magnum, the casting stayed in for two snaps and then fell to the ground on the third snap. One could consider this a pass of the snap test. But the 6-1/2" version of this casting in the Lawman copy of the Bucheimer-Clark sailed out of the holster to the ground during the first snap.

Whaaaaaat? Why, same design, right? Nope, not the same design: the Bucheimer-Clark of the Dirty Harry movies had tempered springs in them, and the Bucheimer-Clark of that era for the 1911 had TWO tempered springs inside it plus the adjustable tension post assembly that, in fact, acted as a limiter to prevent the spring from opening too far and releasing the pistol. And Lawman had eliminated both the tempered springs AND the post assembly. Note the screw post assembly of the 1960s Bucheimer-Clark with Commander inside below:

Lawman offered to remove its libelous writings about my book Holstory if I would remove my truthful writings about their holster. No thanks, real people's safety was/is at stake unless the Lawman of the 21st century is used only for the plastic Japanese non-guns that once proliferated! Which they claim it isn't, so my writings have stayed up "for your protection".

Add blackmail to their list of criminal activities.

Above, their 'shake and bake' video of how to prove a gun can't fall out of a holster -- by clamping the pistols into the holsters!

Read more about the Dirty Harry holster's place in holstory (had nothing to do with Lawman Leather!) in my book titled "Holstory -- Gunleather of the Twentieth Century -- the Second Edition" available at .

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