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The Guns of Gonzaullas

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

"Lone Wolf" Gonzaullas, 1940s Texas Ranger, is a legend and he left behind many artefacts including his engraved pistols and holsters. I've collected images of most of them and so present them here; inspired by my revisiting the Sterling holster that is now clearly identifiable as the maker of Gonzaullas' pair that is on exhibit at the Texas Rangers Museum that he helped found.


This 'money belt' aka 'the scout belt' was a staple of the Texas Rangers at the tail end of the 19th century. The Rangers switched to trousers belts and no cartridge loops at the very beginning of the 20th (and short barrels on their SAs vs the 'Army' long barrel seen on them in early pics).




Scout belts below, circa 1911, were reserved "for the trail" per the Brill legend:


Below, his Brill is a 'late' by Rabensburg; so circa the year the Rangers were merged into the Texas Department of Public Safety 1935 to be detectives vs enforcers. A .38 Super as I recall.



Below, Austin circa 1905 under Capt Hughes; Rangers wearing his Sunday Scabbards on the then-new trousers belts (belt loops on pants appeared that year, as did the holsters):


Below are his Sterlings as made by Wyeth for his 1911s:



Below are Myres. The brown one at far right has been misconstrued as Tom Threepersons' but even the book the image is from correctly identifies it as being Gonzaullas'. OK, maybe the one on the left is not a Myres (the lining, the engraving) but it is Texas; perhaps a Rogers.


Definitely all Myres, all the time:



In his 1942 catalogue Sam Myres described these as "finely carved, with two pieces Mexican silver money". Not legal to do so with U.S. coins so it was Mexican silver coinage that was used for such and for LEO badges.



Below are Trammels. Notice the very special way the rear edge of the holster has been formed around the 1911. These are much more in the vein of the Donihoos of TX who was 1960s but obviously lacked the clamping action one would expect from a true Donihoo.


Above, the main welt stack has been hand sewn, obviously (e.g., the ragged stitch line).


He wore them in pairs because he wore his pistols in pairs; that being the origin of Sam Myres' 'buscadero' belt for the Rangers: Capt Hughes, having only the use of his left arm, wanted a two-gun set against the day another Ranger might lose use of one hand/arm in battle just as he did (an arrow in his case). Although he is credited with the invention by Myres his injury was a half century prior to its appearance there.




His gunsmith and supplier of his unique sights and trigger shoes appears to have been King Gunworks. The use of target sights was very off-brand in those days and holsters weren't normally designed for them.





I have even better pics of the 1911s than these that are from the TR Museum. Man did love his trigger shoes. Gonzaullas was a Spaniard and not a Mexican. His twin pistols were set up as left and right, hence his initials displayed to the inside, and only his left-side pistol had the ambidextrous safety (confirmed below). Demonstrating that JB did not invent the ambi :-).

The car has been identified by its interior details as a 1942 Ford, the gunleather is Myres.

Gonzaullas is not in the below pic but the Ford is. Note the Brill holster types, and the separate trousers belt that only in modern times became wide again:


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

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