index holsters belts scabbards scabbards western art secrets
table of contents
Secrets


The most important function of a holster is to protect the gun. It must also be comfortable to carry and provide easy access when the firearm is needed. Much of the old nineteenth century gun leather, which is the inspiration for my designs, performs admirably in these areas. Models which have the hammer spur below the top of the holster still make excellent rigs for the outdoorsman since the hammer is protected from snagging on brush.

Another important consideration for those of us who love the Old West is aesthetics. My intent is not to copy but to use nineteenth century design principles to produce unique designs that would fit seamlessly into many frontier eras.

I like to use a firm vegetable tanned cowhide and choose a 10-11 ounce weight for holsters and belts, and a 13-15 ounce weight for rifle scabbards. Rather than an oil finish which softens the leather, I prefer a penetrating wax finish.

A holster should fit tight enough to hold the gun securely. Safety straps were not used in the nineteenth century but for those who want them, they are available on special order. A generic holster does not fit any one gun properly, so I make my own patterns for each make, model, and barrel length of six guns. Colt, Vaquero, Bisley Vaquero, Blackhawk, etc. Each requires a different pattern for a correct fit.

Each piece is hand dyed after being tooled using at least six coats of two different dyes to give the deep look of old, well cared for leather. Each hide is unique. Therefore the dyes affect each other differently. With this in mind, it is best to order a holster and belt together so that they may be cut from the same hide.

I use waxed linen thread for my saddle stitching, at six stitches per inch. Unlike many makers, I custom dye my thread to match the color of my leather.

My belts are made with cartridge loops woven through slits in the belt rather than sewn. This produces extremely strong and wear resistant loops. I stop the cartridge loops short of where the holster rides so it can fit closer to the belt. Most belts, depending on length and cartridge caliber, have from twenty five to thirty loops.

I show sixteen edge tooling styles for holsters and belts in the catalog. For those who want one of a kind set I will be happy to design something special.

Any standard holster or belt ordered from the catalog may be returned in unused condition within two weeks for a full refund of the merchandise amount if it does not provide you with complete satisfaction. Custom orders are not returnable.

All items ordered are made in the order received. Most orders are completed in four to six weeks. Upon receiving your order I will send a notice of verification and date of probable delivery.

Looking forward to serving you!
- Ralph Hunt Williams - MAKER