Semi-Auto Western and Retro

When the 1911 came on the scene, the holster makers of the day had no background with semi-autos nor could they foresee the role they would eventually play in police work and personal carry.
As a result, the makers of traditional gun leather treated the semi-auto pistol simply as a funny-shaped single or double action and designed holsters in the traditionl western form. Our Wild Bunch Rigs, for instance, are modeled after the style made by RT Frazier. It was the start of much. The holster inspired from the Wild Bunch holster appears in various other forms throughout the site, most usually as the retro field holster in the semi-auto field holster section and as the halfbreed style further on in this site.
In keeping with the older traditions, you will note that many of the safety straps on these older styles are placed over the grip safety or betwwen the hammer and frame. That is historically consistant with the original manner of carrying the 1911 with the hammer down and the chamber empty. If historical carry is not your objective, please tell us to set the holster up for cocked and locked. It is easily done and proper for the 21st century.

BorderStamped Wild Bunch

Light Mahogany

Wild Bunch

Beehive and Rams Curl Border

3" Tapered Web Belt

Beehive and Ram's Curl Border

As mentioned in the introduction to this page, the Wild Bunch holsters were echoes of the traditional western holsters of the time. This one is styled in that classic manner.

Improved Wild Bunch

Light Mahogany

Improved Wild Bunch

Celtic Twist, Bugle and Beartooth Border

This is, technically speaking, not a period correct retro holster. We have placed it here as it strongly reflects the era. With the enclosing of the trigger area, many of our customers also have come to regard it as a "safer" holster. In truth, the safety of any holster -- or firearm -- is something that resides in the individual. We like the holster because it is not only handsome but because it offers solid protective coverage for the firearm.

Denver HalfBreed



Wild Bunch Halfbreed

Denver Floral

When we started doing the Wild Bunch Holster, many people expressed a dislike for the heavy skirt that the tradional Wild Bunch style had. As a result, we developed a style with a hidden skirt which we named -- out of respect for Western parlance -- the Halfbreed style. A further step followed into the slim jim pattern below.

GoldSlinger's Rig

Golden with dark background

Retro Field Holster

3" Ranger with Tulip Bulb Billets

Holster: Denver Floral with Repeating 9's Border
Belt Main Body: Chain & 4-Point Star with Repeating 9's Border
Belt Billets: Denver Floral with Repeating 9's Border

The Retro Field Holster and its modernized brother the Improved Field Holster are probably the most popular of our Wild Bunch styles. We have chosen to place the bulk of them into the Field Holster section within the Semi-Auto section simply because most people regard it as a thoroughly modern and desireable field style. Please do look there for other tooling styles and ideas.

Mike's English Threepersons


English Threepersons

Custom Pattern -- designed from engraving on customer firearm

Most people have come to regard the holster we refer to as the Speed Scabbard (below) as the definitive Threepersons style for the semi-auto. It is actually not. We discovered this quite by accident when we were consulted on a holster a collegue was repairing. When carefully taken apart, the holster revealed "Threepersons, 1911" written in ink pen on the back of the belt loop. Since it had the distinctive markings of the SD Myres company on it, we had to conclude that this was indeed an original. The "English" subtitle to this holster is not because that is the country of origin but an homage to the gentleman who very kindly allowed us to copy the holster.

The holster has a lovely retro feeling with huge coverage over the reciever and a delightful curve into the open trigger guard. Traditionally, the holster should be made with a toe plug.

Working Hand Speed Scabbard

British Tan

Speed Scabbard

Working Hand Border

if you compare the English with the Speed Scabbard, you can immediately see how closely they are related. The Speed Scabbard is the English with lowered coverage over the reciever and the addition of a safety strap. Modern style dictates it be made with an open toe, but we will put a toe plug in for those of you who like that bit of retro. We like recommending the toe plug style as it tends to keep the pipe of the holster open and also seems to help with keeping dust out. If you are in snow or mud on a constant basis, it will help keep the barrel from getting clogged.

M1921 Rig




Matt's Pouch with rounded bottom

Holster & Mag Pouch: Denver Floral and Repeating 9's Border
Belt Pattern: Ocean Wave Border

The US Military got it right in 1911. Not only did it serve the military for over 50 years, but many a 1911 was toted in surplus holsters by civilians. Many of the venerable makers who contracted for war duty continued to make these holsters after" the war" for the civilian market. Patterns even appeared in how-to books of the era! We chose to make ours without the drip pad normally found at the toe of military holsters in civilian tradition.

Hamley Brill

Light Mahogany


Hamley Geometric

At about the same time as the Threepersons holster was being born, another lawman- inspired holster was being introduced by AW Brill. This was a holster with a narrow, full skirt and a streamlined and very distinctive loop. It is a tricky holster to build but among the most beautiful we make, sleek, elegant and most definitely from an era apart. We show it here in a Commander length.

BasketStamped Brill

Light Mahogany


Brill-style Basketstamp

Brill was famous for two things: the holster that bears his name and the way he did his basketstamping. Brill always used very, very fine stamps . He ran them vertically on the holster and horizontal on the loops. It is an extremely effective style.

Flapped Field

Light Mahogany


Maricopa Flower

There was a time when field holsters were dominated by the flap styles. They were slow and inefficient to draw from compared to more modern holsters but they had the great benefit of offering the firearm full protection. In a world where guns retain more value when not scratched or marred, the flap holster still has much to offer. This one is an old style but has a modern carving pattern on it. To be honest, they look good no matter what the pattern!

Doc Tuesday's Rig

British Tan with dark background

Wild Bunch Holster

2" Ranger with Tulip Bulb Billets

Holster:Elko Rose and Sunset Border
Belt: Main Body: Sunset Border
Belt Billets: To Match Holster

The Wild Bunch Rig at its best. It has been sllightly modified with a substitution of the traditional loop for a narrower pointed cigar band with a concho . The toe is open rather than stitched closed and it has been dropped into a lowered ride.