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Restored Post 60: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

60 king ranch (1)
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60 king ranch (2)
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Holstory's 'Ground Zero' is the turn of the century holster by King Ranch, which a decade later was sculpted into minimum bulk under the watchful eyes of Texas Rangers Hughes and White in 1905 to become what we call today 'The Brill". This was done at Kluge Bros saddlery as a matter of convenience: the two Rangers were newly assigned to Austin and Kluge Bros was near the capitol building where Hughes and his men had been stationed. Whereas King Ranch was far, far away on the Gulf coast. Below KR holster is inscribed 1927 on the backside of its fender:

The new holster, best called the Sunday scabbard but nowadays known at The Brill which saddlery was not its only maker, then led to the Threepersons scabbard that is the same holster but with the extra labor and bulk of the cuff-and-fender of the Kluge design removed. Both relied on the thick welt stack to retain the revolver but without a strap. Below is that later Threepersons by King Ranch; welts were not used prior to the KR.

The Threepersons then became the de facto standard for the FBI in 1935 and thereafter every gunleather maker worth his salt made the Threepersons for DA revolvers through to the end of the 20th century. Below, believed to be the prototype for Myres' subsequent holsters he had named 'Tom Threepersons Style Holsters'; nope, dunno who Steve was. The unusual sewing of the welt stack is unmistakable on Tom's personal holster that preceded it. Notice that a Threepersons has a closed muzzle or it m/b called a 'modified Threepersons.

Even the Ojala holster design of the 1950s is very like Tom's personal holster! With the fender added back, and the retention of the thick welts having been neutralized for fast draw. Below the late Arvo with the low front at the mouth as with Tom's own:

Above, Tom's original holster has been trimmed away at the holster's mouth; note the missing hand carving in the holster that is believed to have been made in 1919 by the saddlery of Egland & Frankenpohl in Douglas AZ. Douglas is the city where Tom enlisted in the Army for WWI in early 1916 so unlikely to be a coincidence. Arvo did the same (well, he did serve Army Air Force WWII) by beginning with the high front of Tom's original then trimming it down for later production (all said to be the work of Andy Anderson) which is one of the several ways one can tell an early Ojala from a late. The early with high front is very like Tom's own before he trimmed it (which he also did to his revolver! Filing away the topstrap at the rear sight, filing down the front sight, filing coarse crosshatching into the front grip strap, and scratching his name into the grip backstrap.

Made in 1909 and delivered to a NM Territory dealer that year:

The file marks in the grip panels, leading from the crosshatching on the grip frame for improved gripping, led to the fable that they were notches for the men he killed; he denied this in writing.

Read more in my book titled "Holstory -- Gunleather of the Twentieth Century -- the Second Edition" that is available at and printed for you/shipped to you in USA.

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