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Author Topic: Can you recommend a holster?  (Read 372 times)

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Offline 9245

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Can you recommend a holster?
« on: February 22, 2021, 11:45:34 PM »
I’m looking to get holsters for my new 8 inch 1858s (one an ASM, the other a Pietta) but I see many available and I’m not sure which would be most appropriate, also many seem to have prices that are downright insane, I saw a few for over $400 for just the holster, and not an antique.  I won’t spend that much on a holster, period, that’s insane.

I am considering possibly doing cowboy action shooting in the future so I would like something that would be completion legal should I decide to do that.

I do not like flap holsters, at all, so I will not consider one.

I’m looking for something that would be historically correct for roughly the mid 1880’s, say 1885 if you want a year.  Based on the limited online research I have this far been able to do I am leaning heavily toward a Cheyanne type double Mexican Loop style holster, would that be correct for the time period? I’d prefer to avoid the Slim Jim style holsters.

My budget is tight, plus I’ll need two of them, plus a belt so I’m looking to ideally keep the cost per holster to under $100, I’d like to do the whole setup for less than $300-$400 ideally but cheaper is better.  The trouble though is that when I attempt to do a search and filter my results to that range I get buried under piles of modern nylon garbage holsters and “western style” holsters that are clearly historically incorrect and I don’t know enough about it to weed out the good ones.

Major bonus if it would also work with a Schofield, Starr DA, Webley, or Beaumont Adams, I don’t have any of those yet but they are on my list.  (I’m not really a fan of Colts, the cap and ball and cartridge conversions because of the wedge preventing a practical cylinder hot swap and the SAA because it was already essentially obsolete when it was introduced compared to the Schofield, Number 3, and even the Remingtons due to the lack of safety notches and having to only carry 5 chambers loaded.  I’m mildly interested in them for collectors value, especially their DAs, but that’s about it before the 20th century)

Any recommendations?

I did find some close ones at “Old South Firearms” which are certainly the right price, and look good, but it appears that most of them are intended for short barrels of about 4.5-5.5 inches with the longest being 7.5 (I.E. designed for Single Action Armys), they do have 8 inch models, but only in slim jims, and dubiously historical looking ones at that.  Could an 8 inch 1858 actually fit in a holster designed for a 7.5 inch SAA?  Are any of the holsters they carry historically accurate?  Are they competition legal?

Also, I’ll have to get a couple of cylinder pouches.

Side questions, are pre 1899 DAs legal in cowboy action shoots?  Are cylinder hot swaps allowed?  Can the Schofield be used with a speed loader?

Offline Dave Shooter

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 05:21:25 AM »
Try Mike116 aka Leathersmith Mike on here or the Colt forum.  He's a professional and makes excellent stuff at reasonable prices.

Offline Hawg

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 01:42:36 PM »
Try Mike116 aka Leathersmith Mike on here or the Colt forum.  He's a professional and makes excellent stuff at reasonable prices.

This^^^.  DA revolvers are not allowed in CAS. Cylinder swaps are not allowed. No speed loaders allowed. Most CAS matches will require 5 shots from each revolver. Revolvers and rifles will be loaded at the loading table. Shotguns will be brought to the stage unloaded with actions open and will be loaded on the clock. Every now and then you may be required to load a round or two from a pistol or rifle on the clock.
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Offline 9245

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 04:36:33 PM »
Try Mike116 aka Leathersmith Mike on here or the Colt forum.  He's a professional and makes excellent stuff at reasonable prices.

This^^^.  DA revolvers are not allowed in CAS. Cylinder swaps are not allowed. No speed loaders allowed. Most CAS matches will require 5 shots from each revolver. Revolvers and rifles will be loaded at the loading table. Shotguns will be brought to the stage unloaded with actions open and will be loaded on the clock. Every now and then you may be required to load a round or two from a pistol or rifle on the clock.

Hmm, seems designed to give everyone without an SAA a handicap so as to give the SAA shooters a chance.  (See my comment about the Colts being essentially obsolete even in 1873)  It still looks fun and I’d like to try it but it really would be better if reloading was more emphasized, it would add realism and an interesting element to the competition.  Ditto for double actions, they existed in the Old West so it seems like they should exist in competition and not just in “Wild Bunch” where the 1911s would eat their lunch.  Maybe more divisions to keep it fair?

Now if only CAS and IDPA had a love child (CAS’s dress code and only correct 1899 or earlier guns and gear, but IDPA rules and stage design)... :P

Any pictures of those holsters?  Approximate price?

Offline Hawg

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 06:03:31 PM »
Hmm, seems designed to give everyone without an SAA a handicap so as to give the SAA shooters a chance.

How is it a handicap when only SA's are allowed? CAS is a speed game so most stages won't have you reloading anything but shotguns.
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Offline mike116

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 06:28:59 PM »
Any pictures of those holsters?  Approximate price?

Look here  www.LeathersmithMike.net

and here     https://www.facebook.com/Leathersmith-Mike-296610747388851

Send me a PM (website, Facebook or here) and we can talk about what you want and what it might cost.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 06:36:50 PM by mike116 »

Offline 9245

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 08:09:18 PM »
Hmm, seems designed to give everyone without an SAA a handicap so as to give the SAA shooters a chance.

How is it a handicap when only SA's are allowed? CAS is a speed game so most stages won't have you reloading anything but shotguns.

From what I understand it is NOT limited to SAAs but just Single Actions from 1865-1899, which includes far more than the SAA.  To name a few, Remington 1858, 1858 cartridge conversion, 1875, Smith and Wesson Number 3, Schofield, and Russian, 1895 Nagant (SA model), and many others, not to mention earlier Colts.

The Single Action Army was already anachronistic when it was first made as the far superior (and cheaper at the time) Smith and Wesson Number 3 was already on the market as well as other top breaks as I recall, even a few double actions were available.  The 1873 was competition for the cartridge conversions but that was late to the party.  Even compared to the cartridge conversions I would argue it was at a disadvantage, at least compared to the Remingtons, hell in some ways even the old 1858 Remington still and cap and ball was superior since it could hot swap cylinders without losing or juggling the pin and it was downright archaic compared to say a Webley.  The SAA also had the issue of only being able to load 5 of the 6 chambers while other designs of the era did not (for example the 1858 Remington had slots milled in to the cylinder to allow the hammer to rest on them in the down position, it did not rely on a “safety position” like the Colt and I believe the same was true for the cartridge conversions, and that is just one example). Colt had excellent marketing.  While it was a very popular handgun in the old west it was far from the only one and it’s price made it so that the majority of people likely had something else, while it may have had the best marketshare it was far from dominant.  Western movies are what give us the idea that everyone had an SAA.  So to tailer the rules around one particular platform, and not even a particularly good one at that doesn’t make much sense to me from either a historical or a competitive point of view.  Why limit it to 5 shots and disallow cylinder swaps or speed loaders (which did exist at the time, although they were different than modern ones and not particular popular) for the rare times a reload is actually required, if not just to make things “fair” for the SAA?  Were I SASS I would throw the gate loaders and cartridge conversions in with the cap and balls or just give them their own division and create a new division for everything else with it’s own rules.  I just think it would be more interesting if styled as more of a gunfight than a fast draw competition.

Offline Hellgate

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2021, 08:49:12 PM »
9245,
It is obvious you have not attended any SASS matches. I have 7 Remington "1858s" and a multitude of Colt clones. Forget about cylinder swaps. They never did happen other than in Hollywood (Pale Rider e.g.). Just get a pair of slim jims and go to work. They are authentic and work just fine. It's called the SINGLE ACTION Shooting Society for a reason. If you want to shoot DA revolvers, find another sport.
I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball for having over 15 of them. That's a compliment.
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Offline 9245

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2021, 09:06:33 PM »
Any pictures of those holsters?  Approximate price?

Look here  www.LeathersmithMike.net

and here     https://www.facebook.com/Leathersmith-Mike-296610747388851

Send me a PM (website, Facebook or here) and we can talk about what you want and what it might cost.

PM sent.

Offline 9245

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2021, 09:29:04 PM »
9245,
It is obvious you have not attended any SASS matches. I have 7 Remington "1858s" and a multitude of Colt clones. Forget about cylinder swaps. They never did happen other than in Hollywood (Pale Rider e.g.). Just get a pair of slim jims and go to work. They are authentic and work just fine. It's called the SINGLE ACTION Shooting Society for a reason. If you want to shoot DA revolvers, find another sport.

No, I have not, that’s why I’m asking questions.

I’m simply pointing out what I see as a deficiency, I’m actually OK with the no double actions thing, I can see why they would do that as most designs of the era were single action and the DAs would have an unfair advantage and be over represented (however I do think the double actions should have their own division, or at least a side match), but the same is true for the Single Action Army, as the rules as I understand them now seem designed to give an unfair advantage to the Single Action army by handicapping the other (superior) single action designs of the period which collectively outnumbered the Single Action Army.  The result is that the Single Action Army is over represented.

Think about it, if there was no rule limiting you to 5 rounds and reloading were generally required, as it is with most other action shooting sports, and period correct speed loaders were allowed (and even if they weren’t), how many people would switch from the Single Action Army to the Schofield or Number 3?  A lot, because the Single Action Army would not be competitive.  And it had that disadvantage in the real old west too, so it would be historically accurate.

Offline Hellgate

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 09:52:18 PM »
I have attended several special shoots that required much reloading on the clock. They may be called "True Grit" or "Uno Muy Malo Hombre" that essentially double the number of rounds going down range per shooting stage. You are correct, the Schofields have an advantage in the "reloading on the clock" shoots. Those who have Schofields dig them out of the gun safes for those occasions. Most SASS members do not have Schofields. The sport is expensive enough as it is. I happen to shoot in the Frontiersman category (cap and ball revolvers) but am allowed to stage charged but uncapped revolvers for the second set of ten pistol shots and do fine capping on the clock. To make regular and annual match scenarios that require on the clock reloading would indeed disadvantage the vast majority of SASS shooters who use SAA clones as did the patron saint  of SASS: John Wayne. One thing you don't want to do to your paying customers is make the game harder for them to do well. The sponsoring clubs are in the entertainment industry. If you make the game more difficult you don't get more players the next match and the club declines. So keeping the SAA as the standard is a smart way to keep participation up at the shoots.

Please elaborate on  "other (superior) single action designs of the period which collectively outnumbered the Single Action Army". Historically, the percussion revolvers and percussion conversions outnumbered the SAA up until the mid to late 1880s.
I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball for having over 15 of them. That's a compliment.
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Offline 9245

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 11:33:34 PM »
I have attended several special shoots that required much reloading on the clock. They may be called "True Grit" or "Uno Muy Malo Hombre" that essentially double the number of rounds going down range per shooting stage. You are correct, the Schofields have an advantage in the "reloading on the clock" shoots. Those who have Schofields dig them out of the gun safes for those occasions. Most SASS members do not have Schofields. The sport is expensive enough as it is. I happen to shoot in the Frontiersman category (cap and ball revolvers) but am allowed to stage charged but uncapped revolvers for the second set of ten pistol shots and do fine capping on the clock. To make regular and annual match scenarios that require on the clock reloading would indeed disadvantage the vast majority of SASS shooters who use SAA clones as did the patron saint  of SASS: John Wayne. One thing you don't want to do to your paying customers is make the game harder for them to do well. The sponsoring clubs are in the entertainment industry. If you make the game more difficult you don't get more players the next match and the club declines. So keeping the SAA as the standard is a smart way to keep participation up at the shoots.

Please elaborate on  "other (superior) single action designs of the period which collectively outnumbered the Single Action Army". Historically, the percussion revolvers and percussion conversions outnumbered the SAA up until the mid to late 1880s.

That’s what I’m talking about, between the cap and balls and conversions the Single Action army was outnumbered through most of the period.  Then you can add in the other single actions, like the Remington 1875 for instance, not to mention the Smith and Wesson Schofield, Number 3, and Russian among others.  And you also had the double actions (and later the semiautos like the C96, though I’d doubt you would likely have encountered one in the 19th century, but they were technically there).  The Single Action Army was just not as common as Hollywood would tell you, just going by movies you might assume that’s all there was.  It just feels as though SASS is going more by movies than reality.

I would say that MOST of those single action designs were arguably better than the Single Action Army or at worst on par, to say nothing of the double actions and semiautos.

Compare the Single Action Army to even a cap and ball, does it really have any advantage?  To reload a Single Action Army would take about as long as reloading a cap and ball revolver using paper cartridges (which were what was normally carried in the period, not loose powder and projectile as most do today), and the cap and ball might even be easier.  The only advantage I can think of is no cap jams, loose caps and better weather resistance.  So not much of an improvement, which is why the cap and balls were still carried through the whole ild west right up until the early 20th century.  Now consider that some cap and ball revolvers like the Remington 1858 could do cylinder hot swaps and now the Single Action Army is at a disadvantage.  Then we get to the cartridge conversions and the Single Action Army is at best on par, but considering that some of those could still do hot swaps and it again gets a disadvantage.  But I will grant that hot swapping might not have been that common so I will assume the Single Action Army to be roughly on par with a cartridge conversion but still, it was expensive and why would someone who already had a cap and ball revolver spend money to upgrade to something that is only on par?  If they really wanted fixed metal cased cartridges they could have a cartridge conversion done for far less than buying a Single Action Army, and if they were buying a new gun the cartridge conversions were usually cheaper than a Single Action Army which is why the Single Action Army was not that common until much later.

That’s not even considering the top breaks like the Schofield which would all eat the Single Action Army’s lunch.

There were other single action gate loaders too which were at least on par with the Single Action Army like the Remington 1875 which were also cheaper I believe.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong, most if not all those other designs could load all six chambers safely, which would automatically give them an advantage over the Single Action Army.  I could pick up my 1858 Remington and even if I don’t hot swap cylinders I can easily use the safety notch and load all six of my chambers, and the same would be true were it a cartridge conversion so right there, even if my reload were not any better that would be a superior design and it’s a cap and ball (or cartridge conversion), now add in hot swapping cylinders and it’s no contest.  And that’s just one example, I’m sure similar can be said about most of the others, maybe without the hot swapping part though.

I get your point about most of the shooters in competition having Single Action Armys, due mostly to Hollywood most likely, but for an organization that strives for historical accuracy handicapping the other designs is not the way to go.  As with everything else I hear about while researching this “know your character,” would the character likely have carried a Single Action Army?  I think in most cases the answer is no, many would not have been able to afford one and others would just be using what they already had, at least until very late in the period.  Say a cowboy for example, would a ranch hand who spends most of his money on basic expenses and most of the rest on gambling, whisky, and hookers (sorry “soiled doves”) in town at the end of a cattle drive likely have a new Single Action Army in say 1880?  What about the average rancher or homesteader?  The gambler maybe, but he’d probably prefer something concealable.  An outlaw or lawman?  Maybe, but there were better choices available, both in terms of function and economically.  Most of the famous gunfighters for instance did not carry one, they had something else, for all of those reasons.  The Single Action Army would eventually become very popular through marketing, but not until much later, so what period are you portraying?  I think Single Action Armys are over represented in other words.

Like I said, I think the best solution would be to create another division, that way the shooters with things other than Single Action Armys could compete without a handicap and the shooters with Single Action Armys could compete with other gate loaders and cartridge conversions and possibly do a more action oriented match like you described, the "True Grit" or "Uno Muy Malo Hombre" matches, without being outshot by the Schofields and the like, no need to buy another revolver.  But making everyone pretend they have Single Action Armys and that reloading doesn’t exist does not make sense.

I think everyone would benefit by creating another division.

Offline Hawg

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2021, 11:47:31 PM »
Cas isn't just SAA's, it's SA's of all kinds including C&B revolvers. Go to a match and you'll find C&B, Remingtons, the ocassional M&H, Starrs etc. Even Rugers. As to the loading five, that's a modern thing. It may have been done here and there but by and large you're talking about people that weren't safety conscious and wouldn't give a rip anyway. Hellgate is right. Cylinder swapping is a Hollyweird invention.
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Offline Hellgate

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2021, 10:35:15 AM »
You may be correct about the SAA being outnumbered by a variety of other designs for quite some time. A major reason was the first 4 or 5 years of Colt SAA production went straight to the military.  Civilian sales followed the filling of the army contracts. Any early civilian ownership had to be by special order, "lost" by a soldier or stolen. The average citizen used what was available from Civil War surplus etc. However professional gunfighters, high profile lawmen, etc. (those who made their living by their gun) often were able to get their hands on the best most reliable handgun (the SAA) because their life depended on it. They are the ones in the stories & movies.

As for doing "hot swaps" in a SASS match: ain't gonna happen. The safety record at SASS matches is exemplary. A cylinder swap involves fumbling with a loaded or capped loaded cylinder that if dropped on concrete or gravel could discharge a chamber. You'll never see it allowed. A dropped loaded gun is a match DQ (yer out!) and less likely to go off than a dropped loaded cylinder unless the gun was cocked. If you insist on doing lots of reloads then you will not merely need "another division", you are going to need another sport or at least what is called a side match held at a different time than the main match. Everyone at the shoots fire the same shooting sequence and number of reloads in the main match. Now, years ago, in early SASS most shooters only had one pistol so we did more reloads if we wanted to shoot more. Going to a two gun scenario sped up the shoot and got us sending more ammo down range. Maybe you should check out Wild Bunch or the (mental block here...) gangster shoots where DAs, 1911s and Tommy guns are used (1920s-1940s era)
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Offline 9245

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Re: Can you recommend a holster?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 12:50:24 PM »
You may be correct about the SAA being outnumbered by a variety of other designs for quite some time. A major reason was the first 4 or 5 years of Colt SAA production went straight to the military.  Civilian sales followed the filling of the army contracts. Any early civilian ownership had to be by special order, "lost" by a soldier or stolen. The average citizen used what was available from Civil War surplus etc. However professional gunfighters, high profile lawmen, etc. (those who made their living by their gun) often were able to get their hands on the best most reliable handgun (the SAA) because their life depended on it. They are the ones in the stories & movies.

As for doing "hot swaps" in a SASS match: ain't gonna happen. The safety record at SASS matches is exemplary. A cylinder swap involves fumbling with a loaded or capped loaded cylinder that if dropped on concrete or gravel could discharge a chamber. You'll never see it allowed. A dropped loaded gun is a match DQ (yer out!) and less likely to go off than a dropped loaded cylinder unless the gun was cocked. If you insist on doing lots of reloads then you will not merely need "another division", you are going to need another sport or at least what is called a side match held at a different time than the main match. Everyone at the shoots fire the same shooting sequence and number of reloads in the main match. Now, years ago, in early SASS most shooters only had one pistol so we did more reloads if we wanted to shoot more. Going to a two gun scenario sped up the shoot and got us sending more ammo down range. Maybe you should check out Wild Bunch or the (mental block here...) gangster shoots where DAs, 1911s and Tommy guns are used (1920s-1940s era)

I challenge you to explain why the Single Action Army is better, especially against say a Schofield, what advantage does it have?  Very slightly longer cases?  Because that’s all I can think of.  The Schofield was readily available and reloaded WAY better and in the real world reloading was a thing.  They even had speed loaders for it (but not very good ones).  Or how about even an 1858 Remington cartridge conversion which can load all six chambers?  And costs less.  What about the 1875 Remington?

Also, contrary to Hollywood most of the professional gun fighters did not carry Single Action Armys, lets look at a few:

Wild Bill Hickock: Famously carried two 1851 Navys
Calamity Jane: Not known, I found references to it being auctioned off but it is only referred to as a “pocket pistol.”
Billy The Kid: Colt 1877 “Thunderer,” and possibly also the Lightning
John Wesley Harden: Smith and Wesson first model Russian and Colt 1877 “lightning.”
Wyatt Earp: Smith and Wesson Number 3 (NOT a Colt “Buntline” as is popularly believed: http://www.americancowboychronicles.com/2014/04/wyatt-earps-ok-corral-gun-was-not-colt.html)
Jessie James: Smith and Wesson Schofield and also the Single Action Army
Frank James: 1858 Remington and 1875 Remington
Doc Holiday: Colt 1851 Navy, Colt 1877 “Lightning,” LeMatt, and 1866 Remington

Among that list only one of them carried a Single Action Army and that was in addition to a Smith and Wesson Schofield.  There are others who did, but that was honestly just a random list and you see how that looks.  The Colt 1877 Thunderer and Lightning and the Smith and Wesson number 3 and Schofield seem to be the favorites among the professionals.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 01:00:39 PM by 9245 »