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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just took delivery of my Bianchi model 1890 rig. Cleaned it up and what a difference. It's a bit small for my growing waist, so maybe a diet will be in order? The overall condition is better than I expected. Haven't even applied a finishing coat. Just used a bit of water and saddle soap. The holster is slightly shorter than I expected, leaving some of my Colt's 5 1/2 inch barrel exposed. I'm still very happy with my purchase and think I'll keep it. Here are a few updated photos. Big difference from how it looked in my post earlier this week.
 

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Gorgeous. It's for a 4-3/4" barrel, didn't you realize? The likes of Anderson and Ojala sold just the 5-1/2" size for both but Bianchi made a different size for all barrel lengths (though memory fails me, perhaps the 6-1/2" Ruger size was also supplied for the 5-1/2" Colts..)

The '38' marking is its waist size not its caliber, while the Four Aces marked both on theirs back in their day. The belt buckle is a stamped stainless item quite like Bohlin's own, so the entire set is very close to 1970. Soon a die-cast zinc buckle was created for Bianchi to replace it (the square edges of the SS buckle, plus sometimes improper deburring, caused it to tear up the leather billet when cinching it all up.)

The holster buckles are wireform harness buckles and also were replaced by a zinc diecast buckles in the California pattern that feature clipped corners. Notice in my image that the holsters match each other but they don't match the belt; one of my earliest projects was to sort out why this happened so that we didn't have to make the sets singly. On the other hand the double sets, rare as hen's teeth from Bianchi, had to be hand cut anyway! No dies . . ..

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Ya done good with your cleanup.
 

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Also, few ever noticed as I did that Ojala didn't run his welt the full length of his main seam (so I assume Anderson didn't either, because he designed Arvo's) but Bianchi did. Instead Arvo's were skived to a feather edge so that the welt was only at the frame, then tapered off to nothing as was done on Tom Threepersons original (the resemblance of the two designs is quite striking yet because the holster had 'sheltered in place' with its final owner who was an Arizona rifle builder, from 1934 onwards, I don't see how either Andy or Arvo would've seen it, ever, in his lifetime):

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Red,
I asked the seller to give me measurements of the holster and belt, but got no response. Being it was a Bianchi 1890 I took my chances and placed a bid. I was the winning bidder at under $50.00 so it was worth the price. I was surprised to see no mold as originally thought, just a good amount of dust and grime. Cleaned it with a bit of saddle soap and it came out pretty good. I may use a small amount of conditioner at some point, but for now I'm happy as it is.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your knowledge with me.
All my best,
Mike
 

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Just took delivery of my Bianchi model 1890 rig. Cleaned it up and what a difference. It's a bit small for my growing waist, so maybe a diet will be in order? The overall condition is better than I expected. Haven't even applied a finishing coat. Just used a bit of water and saddle soap. The holster is slightly shorter than I expected, leaving some of my Colt's 5 1/2 inch barrel exposed. I'm still very happy with my purchase and think I'll keep it. Here are a few updated photos. Big difference from how it looked in my post earlier this week.
Nice quality rig. You will never have to worry about those cartridge loops coming unstitched!
 
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