Capt. A.H. Hardy was one of the Twentieth Century's premier exhibition shooters, a holster maker,the Peters Cartridge Co. sales representative and an all around fascinating individual.He shot equally well with revolver,shotgun & rifle-in 1907 he hit 5152 wooden blocks thrown at a 20 foot rise without a miss.Subsequently he hit 13066 2 1/4" wooden balls over a 4 day stretch shooting 4 hours a day-again,without a single miss.In 1928 he put on a demonstration at Camp Perry during the National Matches-imagine demonstrating shooting at the Camp Perry National Matches! The American Rifleman noted:
"Capt. Hardy opened his performance by shooting with a .38 revolver at a target at 300 yards.With a variable crosswind,the odds were strongly against him hitting the target.Yet the captain actually scored 4 hits out of 9 shots".
Capt. Hardy then showed how 2 clay targets,one stationary & one swinging,could be hit simultaneously by using a revolver in each hand. He hit 5 targets thrown simultaneously using a Marlin repeating shotgun & ejected a spent .22 cartridge from a pump action rifle & hit it with the next shot before it hit the ground.
His mother was "a devout church member" & didn't like guns-she made him promise to never smoke,chew or drink & she would not object to his shooting.He kept the promise-"I accepted her terms & to this day have kept my word to the letter,& I attribute my truly remarkable steadiness of nerves to this one fact."
He made holsters in Denver where he had a shooting range in his basement.He was a pallbearer at Buffalo Bill Cody's funeral.I have a photograph from this time period showing him inspecting Winchester model 97 trench guns for the Denver Police Dept.In 1926 he moved to Beverly Hills,Ca. where he coached the LA police force shooting teams-the Central Division subsequently won the national championship at Camp Perry.He had another range built in his basement & made holsters in a shop in his garage.He was hired by Howard Hughes to do the machine gun work in "Hell's Angels";his daughter Kathryn & he worked on numerous movies doing the shooting from offstage or as doubles.He retired from Remington Peters in 1938 & made leather items full time.Clark Gable,Carol Lombard,Fred MacMurray & Andy Devine were pupils,as well as many other stars.
Colt made several guns for him including a Shooting Master engraved "Made Expressly for Capt .A.H. Hardy" & at least 2 smooth bore Officers Model .38 revolvers,one of which had 2 straight grooves with no twist.
He died at 74 in 1950.His list of accomplishments is much longer than the examples above.I have a number of pieces of his leather work,including the one below.I have a file of information as well & an original leather catalog as well.
The flap holster with the 1930's vintage .38 Officers Model below is stamped "A.H. HARDY MAKER BEVERLY HILLS,CAL." in an oval on the belt loop-also stamped 179-holster model number-& 38 6-revolver & barrel length.
CCA,SWCA,NRA Endowment Life member
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"We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend." Robert Louis Stevenson
Capt. Hardy was an extremely talented individual - and the leather work is outstanding - I'd like to see more..
Enjoy the ride - no-one gets out alive!