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  • Red Nichols, Holstorian

Post 85: The shape of things to come

Updated: 4 days ago



Let's go back to the beginning of Time for modern gunleather, which is the turn of the last century. As we know from our book "Holstory", the first modern holster was the Sunday holster that we know best in the form of one by A.W. Brill. I want you to notice how the main seam is shaped -- it's straight:


I'll mention that this is an 'early' so made roughly 1910-1930. And I'll tell you why that matters in a moment.


Now, before the Sunday holster evolved from another style that was bigger and bulkier, holsters were shaped like this 'non-threepersons' holster. And they were shaped like this, because the leather extended to encompass the trigger guard on both revolvers and automatics. This one is an 'early' Myres for a D.A. revolver; in fact, it was one of Ed McGivern's many Myres holsters (he also favored Cap Hardy's, also a trick shooter):



Now notice the pronounced waist that has a leather cuff embracing it. It's caused by the holster being styled around the upper corner of it encircling the trigger guard. So why did the Brill turn out so differently -- why is the welted seam (they are always welted on a Sunday holster, that's what they are) straight?


Even Sam Myres followed along with that straight seam, when he switched to the Threepersons design that exposes the entire trigger guard (p.s., this is not faster than the enclosed guard, nor today would one consider exposing the trigger a speed enhancement -- although really was faster then). Both are Myres Threepersons with the brown one being the earlier of the two by about a half dozen years:



So? Well somehow this became the standard for a Threepersons instead, for the DA revolver. Notice the pronounced waist has returned despite the complete trigger guard now being fully exposed. Late 1930s Heiser:



Well, I noticed when Myres made the change: in the 1950s and ONLY on the Jordan holster that is also a Threepersons; but without changing any other Myres holster:



Right . . . THERE, in 1956. We take the waisted profile for granted in today's holsters but the waist disappeared in the '70s when we all jumped on board the Gaylord wagon and returned to enclosing the trigger guard BUT returned to a straight main seam edge, too:


It was in 1932 that A.W. Brill's production of his holster was taken over by a new saddler; albeit the one who originally created the Sunday holster by trimming away most of the King Ranch holsters being worn by the Texas Rangers at the turn of the last century. And he moved from the straight welted seam to the waisted seam and this is one of the several ways one knows which era a Brill is from:



So the Brills of 1930 onwards beat that single style of Myres for the 1950s, in choosing the waisted styling. But WHY was the Jordan singled out by Myres for the task?


And WHY hasn't anyone noticed before this week!?

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