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  • Red Nichols, Holstorian

Post 98: One size fits all. Really

Updated: Oct 12

From time to time we will see an auction or a forum post, with images of an auto sticking out of a revolver holster. And at first it looks quite natural -- but this one is for a DA Smith or Colt:



The first one, above, is an 'early' Brill. But a Brill, which itself is the first of the Threepersons designs, for the autos looks like this; with the trigger exposed by a cutout (this Brill is also an 'early')(a 'period' Myres Threepersons for the auto looks no different):



But to today's collectors the first one looks 'right' and the second one seems 'wrong' because of the triggers. But the covering of triggers on autos only became de rigueur at the end of the 20 century.


This second one, below, is a 'late' Brill with a .22 auto in it and is actually for a DA Smith or Colt and likely is a K frame; although Brills were made for the smaller D frame Colts in the longer barrel lengths (the shorties are configured VERY differently from this one):


This happens for a couple of reasons that we want to know about (choosing to ignore that the seller simply doesn't know his/her holstory). One is that in modern times there is an expectation that the trigger be covered for an automatic. The other reason is that one of these interchanges in particular, which is the 4" N frame and the 5" 1911, actually works; right down to the position of the safety strap:




The pair of images directly above, are of an identical 'with Tex' (so an 'early') Myres holster that was originally made for the large frame DA revolvers including the S&W 38/44 and the Colt 1917 with 4" barrel. I've more such images, by friend John Witty, of a Heiser around somewhere. Ah yes, here they are; these might be of a 5" DA holster vs. a 4" as above:




But, of course, you all know that the holsters of the 20th century generally did NOT cover the trigger on DA and SA revolvers, and all autos, right? Triggers on the auto were not covered then for the same reason that the trigger on a revolver wasn't covered: it was essential that the gunman be able to reach the trigger soonest. Below is a Texas Ranger in '59 wearing what we think is a Bedell Rogers:



And a genuine gunfighter of old, D.A. 'Jelly' Bryce in 1945, shown below. During Jelly's era the draw began with the finger on the trigger and the trigger pull began at that moment. By the time the revolver was pointed, the trigger was nearly pulled through to the shot (not shown here in his posed shot for Life magazine unless he has released the trigger after the 'shot' for the camera):



Useful information. One could win a bar bet with it? Or start an argument on a forum :-).

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