• Red Nichols, Holstorian

Post 76: Short and sweet

I was mighty impressed with Andy Anderson's work, from the outset. I did a stint with my oldest brother in the Pacific Northwest while he was a sales scientist for Uniroyal Chemical (which means I loafed, he worked; I was 17 and had never had a job) and he had a full collection of the Gun World magazines to date. Man, that Anderson "Thunderbolt", folded from the rear.

More notable was Andy's magazine pouch. I couldn't afford one and didn't have a sewing machine, and had been told that it had a weakness: the strap between the mags would wear and the aficionados would then wrap a rubber band around it to regain the friction that retained the spare mags. So I invented my own, which had no sewing but was entirely folded from a single piece of leather (both were passions of the Paris Theodore designs that I had studied) and already had a rubber grommet between the mags. And the tension post running through the grommet could be tightened as it aged.

The rubber grommet seems obvious today but it was not being done before I did it. I made the first pair for my oldest brother's Browning HP mags. And this one I made as an example for JB so that he would consider adding it to the company's range. Which he did, first in a tall version like Andy's and then we added a shortened version for range competition. Mags fit either way, unlike the Anderson because the folds were squared by internal gouging.

The above pouch, made in '70, is in fellow blogger John Witty's collection today; a gift from a friend to a friend. The later, short version for production:

And this set of Andy's, a rare 'Open Front' from nearly the end of his career, was mine and is to be in the collection of friend and fellow blogger Craig Smith. Stellar workmanship and yet I was surprised that he didn't polish the edges of the belt itself:

Note to self: remember to put it back together before sending it to Craig. Oh, what the heck, he's a smart guy, he can put it back together (but wait until he tries to work out how Andy held that muzzle plug in place)(hint: that bit of leather lacing passes through the outer wall of the holster, through the gap in the two layers of plug, then the loose ends tie into a neat slot through just the outer layer of the fender!):

Then the Bianchi Model 45 number was resurrected from the Jeff Cooper era, and applied to our own set competitive to Andy's in the '70s:

Still, one couldn't mistake ours for his, even with the 'boot stitch' on the belt that he popularized. To the set we added a gadget that really worked well but didn't catch on because Cooper (not with this in mind) changed the rules to wearing the holsters high on the trousers belt: the Combat Keepers (Kombat Keepers? Combat Ceepers?) were worn on the wide gunbelt and the metal hooks extended up under the trousers belt and would not allow the gunbelt to either rise, or fall, from just below the waistline. One could put on the set, even fully loaded with pistol and mags, by holding the holster and pushing the keepers up under the trousers belt; to hang from the hooks while reaching the belt ends around for buckling. Removal the same :-).


© 2019 by Proudly created with