Varieties of Western Holsters
Western holsters come in two main varieties: gunfighter style and old west one-piece flap.
Gunfighter holsters are not as common as flap holsters, but they do exist. Gunfighter-style western holsters would have been worn by lawmen and others who needed fast access to their revolvers. The holster holds the gun "high."
These were also popular with trail riders for keeping dust out of the action of lever-action rifles. They are also known as "California holsters," a term that could have come from their popularity in or near California.
Gunfighter-style western holsters are probably the most common brand of western holsters seen today and can be found in many popular handguns. However, they would not have been worn by cowboys in the 19th century, as they were perfected by gunfighter Jeff Cooper, who introduced this style around and sold it to the public.
Flap holsters, on the other hand, are very popular. They can be recognized by their flap cover, which protects the handgun from dust but allows it to be drawn much easier than a covered holster.
The front view of these holsters is similar to that of a gunfighter's western-style holster, with one belt loop on either side and no rear cant or rake (angled cut). However, the back of these holsters has a cutout, which allows the gun to be pulled from this "flap," so it is not necessary to remove the holster.
Many times these holsters will also have an internal tension device such as a sewn-in tightener or springs to keep the gun held firmly against the body.
What to Consider When Choosing Western Holsters?
The style of holsters you choose will depend on how they are used. If for handgun shooting, one-piece flaps that provide quick and easy access to the gun may be the best choice.
On the other hand, if using historically accurate replicas of black powder rifles or single-action revolvers in Cowboy Action Shooting (or CAS), a gunfighter-style western holster may be the best for keeping gunpowder residue and lead shavings out of the action.
Modern holsters are made from a variety of materials, including leather, nylon, or Kydex. Each type has its own advantages, which should be kept in mind when choosing a particular holster.
Leather is popular as a holster material because of its comfort and durability.
The soft leather molds to the shape of the handgun, which can help prevent slippage during use. Leather is also very durable; it keeps its shape well and will not wear out as a nylon or Kydex holster may.
Drawbacks include that it will eventually become damaged with use and require repair.
Western Leather Holsters & Gun Belts for Single Action Revolvers
We carry a full line of western style holsters for old west performers and reenactors, Single Action Shooting and Mounted Shooting competitors, and anyone who just likes to go out and play cowboy on the weekends!
Replica six-guns are available from a number of manufacturers. Some are direct replicas of the original styles from the old west, but many are chambered in different calibers and have varying barrel lengths to accommodate modern tastes.
We've put together this holster guide to help you make sense of the options available, and to help you make the right selection for your firearm.
If you have any questions about this information, or we can help you in any way, please contact us and we'll be glad to be of service.
Holsters come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, so it's important to get the measurements correct for a good fit. For single action replica revolvers, the pistol's caliber and barrel length are key to determining which holster to purchase. Additionally, and just as important, you need to measure yourself correctly to ensure you get a gunbelt that will work for you.
How to Measure your Revolver's Barrel Length
Measure from the face of the cylinder all the way to the end of the barrel, as indicated here.
Our holsters are offered in two lengths: Standard length holsters, which fit pistols with barrels from 4 - 6 inches in length, and long holsters, which fit pistols from 6 - 8 inches in length.
Click one of the links below to browse holsters designed for specific size pistols
How to Measure Your Hips for a Gun Belt
Measure your hips at an angle, as shown in the diagram here.
If your measurement falls between sizes, round up to the nearest even number.
Our gun belts are sized in inches, and each belt has a range of + / - 2 inches from the labeled size. It is VERY important that you measure yourself for your gun belt.
DO NOT just select your jeans size, or you will very likely end up with a belt that is too small.
Once you know the size and style holster you need, you can shop our store with confidence.
In general, our holsters work for all replica old west revolvers in the size ranges listed above. However, some modern models have oversized front sights, which means they do not fit into the bottom of the holsters.
To ensure a good fit, we recommend you look up your specific pistol model, caliber and barrel length using the links below.
Taurus Brand - Sorry, our holsters are not compatible with Taurus Brand Revolvers.
Questions? Just Ask!
If you do not find your pistol listed, or if you have ANY questions about sizing or holster compatibility, please Contact Us and we will be glad to help!
Old West Gun Holsters
OldTradingPost.com also created Vintagegunleather.com because of our belief in maintaining the historical accuracy of Gun Holsters and Gun Leather throughout the products development. It is uncertain who first thought up the idea of what became the traditional“cowboy” holster, commonly referred to as the Mexican Loop or El Paso Loop holster. It was cut out of one piece of leather, shaped so that one half of the leather folded over like a sandwich, with the open bottom edge and the contoured open side edges stitched closed to form the pouch for the gun. The other half of the leather was folded down behind the full length of the pouch to make the “skirt.” From two to six slits were then cut horizontally through the middle of this skirt, forming one, two or three straps that the pouch was inserted down through to form the finished holster. And the fold at the top of the holster formed a loop for a belt to go through, so that the holster hung on the belt, not below it. At first, the top of the outer side of the Mexican Loop holster was so high that it was nothing more than a pocket for the pistol to fall into. But over the years, the top side of the holster was cut down further and further until a.com ll of the handle of the gun and part of the trigger guard were exposed so that the gun could be gripped faster and pulled from the holster faster. Yes, some individuals probably created their own fast-draw holsters during this time, and perhaps some even tied down their holsters with a rawhide thong around their thighs so that the holster wouldn’t ride up the leg on a fast draw. But otherwise, and contrary to movie myth, these Mexican Loop holsters that were usually worn high on the hip into the 20th century were not fast-draw holsters, and the so-called Hollywood fast-draw holsters of the s movie boom simply did not exist in the s and that is why we created a separate category for what we call Fast Draw Holsters or in some cases Hollywood Fast Draw Holsters.
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Western gun cowboy holster
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