The Mexican loop or "skirted holsters" are probably those regarded as being the "most cowboy". They arrived on the frontier somewhere around 1870 -- perhaps a bit earlier-- and have stayed with us since. No one knows how the early Mexican Loop holsters came to be, but afficionados of the Colt Single Action Army are most certainly pleased they did!
SC Gallup Gun Rig
Antique Brown with white rawhide whiplace on main seam
SC Gallup Full Skirt
2-1/2" Money Belt
Holster: Colorado Floral with Repeating 9's Border
This is a classic holster , comfortable in the post Frontier eras on through to the 1940's. The tooling on this one is from the late 20's to 40's and the toe is the stitched-closed style. The main seam is whiplaced with white rawhide lace in a style very popular within Colorado and its bordering states. The Maker's Mark appears on the front of the loop at the request of the customer.
Yes, from the 1920'2 through 1940's for tooling style, earlier by cut of holster
Cosmic Cowboy's Rig
Light Mahogany with dark stripe & bright nickel spots
3' Gunfighter with Bohlin Style Billets
Holster & Billets: Arizona Bud
Cosmic is an ardent Cowboy Action Shooter. The choice of the B-Western holster made sense for the same reason it was adapted by the Hollywood quick draw artists of B-Western fame. It is cut low on the cylinder and has an exposed trigger. The former eliminates clutter that might catch a gun on drawing or holstering. The open trigger eliminates a pinch point and the holster is more loosely fit to make drawing and holstering smoother. The straightcut belt was chosen over the B-Western Buscadero style because it favors the changes in clothing for weather or costuming, allowing complete adjustment so the guns hang correctly at every match. It also fulfills the SASS motto for the days when your game is off. "If you can't shoot good, look good!"
Modern B-Westerern or Gaming
Cosmic's Other Holster
Light Mahogany with Dark Stripe and bright nickel spots
Arizona Bud on semi-pointed cigar band loop
Cosmic gave us a challenge: Make a holster that was a hair less "Sunday-go-to-meeting" that would still match up with the gun belt from the rig above. He also asked for a slightly narrower skirt and a speed cut. What we ended up with was a combination of our Durango Dave and Old Roy (B-Western) holsters. We took the tooling pattern from the billets on the original rig and transferred a matching design to a semi-pointed cigar band. Needless to say, Cosmic was mighty pleased!
Modern B-Western or Gaming
West Texas Gun Rig
Holster: Arizona Lilywith Harp Border
This rig would have been the height of carry-fashion for the 20's, 30's and 40's in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas. The holster has been re-created from an original as exactly as possible and is accompanied by an appropriate belt for the era. The lily is a bold departure from the more traditional flowers of the area and era. It is therefore a bit more unusual than the run-of-the-mill gunleather usually seen.
This gun rig is currently on display at the Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, Georgia
Yes, 1920's through 40's with holster cut earlier
Meanea Gun Rig
Meanea Cheyenne Holster(Doc Dickerson Cut)
3" Money Belt with Tulip Bulb Billets
Holster: Meanea Poinsettia with Repeating 9's Border
This is possiblyone of the most copied of all Mexican loop holsters. The original, by Frank Meanea, graces the front cover of "Packing Iron". We have carved it as the original with minor alterations to the exterior border. The "Doc Dickerson Cut" indicates a slight departure from the original. This cut takes the throat dimensions to a slightly lower place on the cylinder. (The picture shows it slightly lower than real life due to angle and the slight folding away from the cylinder requested by the customer. Please see the Borderstamped Cheyenne Holster below for a better representation of this.)) We have also taken liberties with the belt, making it full borderstamped with a bit of fancy work on the billets rather than reproducing a plainer belt.
Yes, Mid to Late Frontier to 1940 and beyond
Border-stamped Cheyenne Holster
Meanea (Doc Dickerson Cut)
Furstnow and Sunset Border.
The Cheyenne holster was, as you might have guessed, a holster that was made in Cheyenne and the surrounding territories. No one knows whether it originated with the Collins Brothers or with Frank Meanea. Whoever came up with the design was a genius. The mark of a Cheyenne holster is the swelled outmainseem between the 2 loops. This acts as a detente which locks the holster skirt into an immovable belt loop.
Yes, Mid to Late Frontier to 1940 and beyond
Schofield Gun Rig
Black with bright nickel spots
Gunfighter with Tulip Bulb Billets
Holster:Colorado Rose with Harp Border
This is a traditonal Cheyenne holster with a straight up, tradidional ride. Spots were much loved by cowboys, rodeo and wild west actors from the time they came on the scene until well into the 20's and even the 30's.
Yes. Late Frontier to 1930's and beyond with the noted exception that the buckle is stainless and would be considered incorrect.
Joel's Gun Rig
Holster: 1890's Northern Plains Floral with Repeating 9's Border
Holsters such as this one were worn throughout the west. This style would have been popular from the late 1870's or '80's on through into the 1940's. While the engraved buckle, loop and tip place it into the 30's or 40's, with other buckles, it would serve for virtually any era.
Yes, as explained
Boxkicker's Gun Rig
Havana and Light Mahogany
Money Belt with Tulip Bulb Billets
Sunset, JW & Beartooth Border
The throat on this Cheyenne-style holster is high on the cylinder walls and at the trigger area to protect the firearm as much as possible. The retention mechanism is a non-period correct thumb tab rather than a simple boot lace hammer loop lash-down. For those who prefer a more period-correct version, we would be happy to substitute the hammer loop.
Late Frontier and later when corrected with hammer loop
Collins Brothers Gun Rig
El Paso Border
The Collins Brothers Saddlery were contemporaries of Frank Meanea. As such, their holsters bore strong resemblances to one another. There were subtle variations in the toe, skirt and throat which we have captured in this holster.
Yes. 1870's to 1940's
Old Roy Gun Rig
Golden with dark background and bright nickel spots
3" Gunfighter with Bohlin-style Billets
Old Roy Floral
This is an elegant gun rig. While it is usual for this type of holster to appear on a "drop loop" or buscadero-style belt, this customer chose a straight-cut gunfighter set-up for his rig. the holster is typical of Hollywood styles of the 20's through 40's with an exposed trigger, low cylinder cut and stitched-through toe.
Modern, B-western or Gaming
Idaho John Holster
Light Mahoganywith white rawhide lace
Our original of this holster was made for a Smith and Wesson N-Frame. When the old Triple-lock and 1917 were around, they were often carried in skirted holsters. This one appears in Single Action form for a 3-1/2" Cimarron Thunderer with antiqued Fleur de Lis grips from Buffalo Brothers. It is a marvelous example of a Mexican loop holste. It has a beautiful loop and a not-too large skirt. The profile at the throat immediately catches the eye. The trigger recurve is often requested by customers on holsters completely unrelated to the skirted holster genre which says a great deal about how beautiful it actually is. It is shown whip-laced along the mainseam, a style very popular at the time.
Yes, Pouch style for the turn of the last century and tooling just shortly thereafter to WWII
SC Gallup 3/4 Skirt Holster
SC Gallup 3/4 Skirt
Working Hand Border
What we refer to as our "Working Hand Border" has been around for a very long time. From the early Frontier to the turn of the century and beyond, it graced thousands of pieces of leatherwork. Today, it is among our most requested borders. If you look at the photo, you can see why. It is elegant and understated.
Yes, Early Frontier to 1930 and beyond.
CRIPPLE CREEK BOB'S Gun Rig
Golden with Dark Background
This is a full floral-carved rig. It has been background dyed to bring the tooling into stark relief. The fairly high cut on the cylinder, the trigger guard area, separate loop construction and fancy floral work suggest a nice post 1920 to pre World War II feeling.
Yes, 1920's to 1950's and beyond.
Working Hand Border
This is our version of the quintesssential Meanea Cheyenne holster of the Frontier era. The cut is the unaltered one of the original holster. The working Hand border is correct and our rosette is made of a collection of impressions rather than the more common single "cheater stamp" impression and would have been common at the time. Matching belts are available in your choice of width and style.
Yes ,early Frontier to 1940's and beyond.
|All Contents Copyrighted 2005 All Photos Courtesy Don "Oso" Contreras|