Does this modified SAA military holster look authentic?
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Thread: Does this modified SAA military holster look authentic?

  1. #1
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    Does this modified SAA military holster look authentic?

    Pictured here with my .44-40 and old homemade belt packed with ammo is this holster (repro I took for granted) that came with another Colt thirty years ago. It has a toe plug and no markings. It also looked too new to be original. There was a hole in it where the flap "finial" used to be. I trimmed the trigger guard area down a little to get rid of that hole. The back also had a very thin partial lining for some reason. I added a tight belt loop.
    I know nothing about military holsters but was wondering if this one looks like a late 1800s American holster style before someone modified it. If so, it would be contemporary and visually historical with this Centennial .44.





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    Looks great! If it used to be a military holster, the conversion was well done!
    SHOOTER13 likes this.

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    All I know is that She IS a beauty Matt !!

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    Wyatt Burp likes this.

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    It's very easy Wyatt. For the era always look for evidence of machine sewing. Although the heavy duty Campbell/Randall appeared in the mid 1800s the gunleather makers didn't take up sewing machines until very early in the 20th century (a half dozen that I could name) which didn't then keep them from also hand sewing. In your case the belt loop has been added; stitches are too coarse to be period; and likely that required the main seam to be cut open and resewn.

    If you're ever in the position to do a destructive test to prove to yourself that something is machine or hand sewn: cutting open the stitched seam will give you the answer; hand stitches will then come out of both layers of leather in short 'U' shaped loops while that will happen on only one layer with machine sewing and the other set will strip out of the leather, like a zipper, by pulling on what is the bobbin thread.

    I do think I see evidence of a machine's presser foot on the outside of your holster's main seam. Again, how does this help? All western gunleather makers were saddle makers at the turn of the century and the appearance of the Model T in 1908 forced them all out of prosperity into gunleather. And in this way you know that Myres, or Heiser, etc., is always a 20th century item (which is why Rattenbury's 'Packing Iron' book puzzles me; it's labelled as being about the gunleather of the Frontier West but at least the very large civilian half of the book contains only 20th century gunleather).
    victorio1sw and Wyatt Burp like this.
    Red Nichols
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  6. #5
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    Every military holster I've owned or seen has Inspector's initials and Arsenal stamps from either RIA or Benecia - they had the saddlers to build leather goods - plus, they were cut to fit both the Schofield as well as the Colt - yours looks to be a newer CW reproduction, but they've made those since the late 1960's.

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    This is the M1885 Holster for Colt SAA and S&W Schofield. It has the wide belt loop for the woven Mills-type cartridge belt. The M1881 was the same, but with a smaller belt loop (for the M1874, aka 1872) belt with rectangular brass "US" belt plate. Both had a stitched-in bottom plug.

    It looks like you might have modified a reproduction of one of the above.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by victorio1sw; 12-03-2019 at 03:04 PM.


 

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