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Discussion Starter #1
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I'm working on a new holster pattern called the Lone Star. It's based on holster styles common around Austin, Texas, popular in the 1920s & 1930s, but made up into the 1960s. While I can make old west holsters in my sleep, I'm not that familiar with more modern revolvers. I have some specific questions that need accurate answers, to make patterns that work well for the gun owners who will use these holsters.

Some of my questions are specific to Colts, others are relative to Colts.

#1. Is the frame size of the Colt Anaconda and the S&W N Frame (example, Model 29/Dirty Harry) the same?

#2. Is the old Colt Trooper, and/or Colt King Cobra, and the S&W K Frame, the same frame size?

I realize these are complicated questions that often generate conflicting answers. So if you have weapons that can be compared for proof-positive of your responses, that would be VERY helpful.

Thank You in advance,
Will
 

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1. No.
The Anaconda is a beefier frame and the shape is different, especially in the trigger guard frame area.
I "think" the Anaconda cylinder is also slightly larger in diameter then the S&W "N" frame models.

2. No.
The original "E&I" frame Trooper is the same size as the Official Police and Python.
Again, the original King Cobra is shaped differently around the trigger guard, BUT are close enough that a looser molded holster "can" be used. A better molded holster will not fit both models well.

The S&W "K" frame uses a smaller diameter cylinder then the Colt's and the frame is slightly smaller.
A "K" frame is closer to the Colt "D" frames like the Detective Special and Diamondback.
A holster made for a "K" frame will not accept a Colt medium frame and a holster made for a Colt medium will be way too loose on a S&W.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks dfarsiwheel! You sound like a holster maker! I guess I'm going to have to try and get my hands on a Colt D Frame if I want to make the best fitting patterns...
 

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Nice work Will.
I don't know about dfariswheel's holster making abilities but the man's a walking firearms encyclopedia 😀!
Vic
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks kenhwind.

They represent the A.W. Brill, S.D. Myres, and H.H. Heiser holsters of the early 1900s. I'm gathering research to make holster patterns that are going to fit the widest variety and most numerous weapons. I'm settled on the Colt 1873 SAA/Ruger Vaquero, Ruger Blackhawk, S&W J Frame, 1911, S&W K/L Frame, S&W N Frame, and Colt Mustang/Mustang Lite/Springfield 911/Sig P238. But I'm trying to find common sizing with other weapons in the frame sizes to optimize the number of weapons I can fit.
 

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Will, good luck with your patterns. I am fascinated by the Brill holsters. I haven't seen one yet, but I believe they have a 3 layer welt. If you hand-stitch then that might require making the holes with a drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks faraim!

The early Brill holsters made for Brill by Charles Kludge were made with one layer of welt (1912-1932). The later "curvier" versions made by Newton J. Rabensburg (1932-1961), were made with two layers of welt. Some may have been made with three, but even this example seems to be just two layers.
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As for hand stitching and drilling stitching holes, I've hand stitched for over 48 years. I've just about got it down but learn new stuff all the time. I don't like drilling stitching holes because the heated leather becomes hard and can actually hyper-abrade the thread over time.

I have a system of folding the holster and with an awl, make the stitching holes in the front and back at the same time. Then I make the holes in each layer of welt using the holes in the front of the holster as the master. When I hand stitch the main stem of the holster, the pre-punched holes line everything up.

The Austin-style of holsters are fascinating both stylistically and historically. This type of holster marks the transition from when men went about with gun belts on, to wearing guns on their pant belts, discreetly. It marked a change from the "wild west", to a more gentlemanly concept of carry.

While I'm best known for my authentic old west reproductions, the history of this transitional time has sparked my imagination. I became very excited about the Lone Star project and have exhausted myself with researching the pistols. But keeping with the "transitional" spirit of the style, I would like this classic holster to have a real purpose in today's modern carry application (as well as represent a period in history).

I appreciate the help I have received from everyone!

Will
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For Colt handguns I'll have the 1873 SAA holster pattern. The Colt D Frame should be represented. I'm wondering if the E/I, J, V, and AA Medium Frames were close enough in size and geometry that one holster pattern would fit them all (with exceptions for barrel lengths of course). Then I'm wondering if the New Service Large Frame and the MM Large Frame are similar enough for one holster pattern (barrel lengths excluded).

If anyone could give me specific information on that I would be very grateful!

Thank you!
Will
 

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Discussion Starter #14
1. No.
The Anaconda is a beefier frame and the shape is different, especially in the trigger guard frame area.
I "think" the Anaconda cylinder is also slightly larger in diameter then the S&W "N" frame models.

2. No.
The original "E&I" frame Trooper is the same size as the Official Police and Python.
Again, the original King Cobra is shaped differently around the trigger guard, BUT are close enough that a looser molded holster "can" be used. A better molded holster will not fit both models well.

The S&W "K" frame uses a smaller diameter cylinder then the Colt's and the frame is slightly smaller.
A "K" frame is closer to the Colt "D" frames like the Detective Special and Diamondback.
A holster made for a "K" frame will not accept a Colt medium frame and a holster made for a Colt medium will be way too loose on a S&W.

Hey dfariswheel,

Your response to my initial inquiry has been most informative. I was hoping to benefit from your accumulated knowledge once again. I'm researching comparative geometry between the Colt frame sizes and their holster compatibility.

For Colt handguns I'll have the 1873 SAA holster pattern. The Colt D Frame should be represented. I'm wondering if the E/I, J, V, and AA Medium Frames were close enough in size and geometry that one holster pattern would fit them all (with exceptions for barrel lengths of course). Then I'm wondering if the New Service Large Frame and the MM Large Frame are similar enough for one holster pattern (barrel lengths excluded).

Any information you can share on these specifics would be MOST helpful!

Thank you for your time,
Will
 

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View attachment 706470
I'm working on a new holster pattern called the Lone Star. It's based on holster styles common around Austin, Texas, popular in the 1920s & 1930s, but made up into the 1960s. While I can make old west holsters in my sleep, I'm not that familiar with more modern revolvers. I have some specific questions that need accurate answers, to make patterns that work well for the gun owners who will use these holsters.

Some of my questions are specific to Colts, others are relative to Colts.

#1. Is the frame size of the Colt Anaconda and the S&W N Frame (example, Model 29/Dirty Harry) the same?

#2. Is the old Colt Trooper, and/or Colt King Cobra, and the S&W K Frame, the same frame size?

I realize these are complicated questions that often generate conflicting answers. So if you have weapons that can be compared for proof-positive of your responses, that would be VERY helpful.

Thank You in advance,
Will
Beautiful work 👏
 

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The Colt "E&I" frames and the later "J", "V", and "AA" frames have the same size cylinder but there is enough difference in the frames that getting a tightly molded fit may not work.
The biggest difference is in the area between the front of the trigger guard and the lower front of the frame.
The older "E&I" models are longer in that area, so a later model may not seat properly due to the shorter gap.
Also, the shape of the trigger guard may be just enough different that some holster designs may not work well.

If you stick to Western or early 20th Century designs a single pattern might be usable for all the Colt medium frame revolvers, but start doing a modern tightly detail molded holster and a single pattern probably won't work well.

The New Service probably won't work for an Anaconda because the Anaconda is a beefier frame with added metal on the top strap to accept the adjustable rear sight.
Also there's the same type of difference between the front of the trigger guards and the lower front of the frame as with the medium frames.
I suspect a New Service would be very loose in an Anaconda holster.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Colt "E&I" frames and the later "J", "V", and "AA" frames have the same size cylinder but there is enough difference in the frames that getting a tightly molded fit may not work.
The biggest difference is in the area between the front of the trigger guard and the lower front of the frame.
The older "E&I" models are longer in that area, so a later model may not seat properly due to the shorter gap.
Also, the shape of the trigger guard may be just enough different that some holster designs may not work well.

If you stick to Western or early 20th Century designs a single pattern might be usable for all the Colt medium frame revolvers, but start doing a modern tightly detail molded holster and a single pattern probably won't work well.

The New Service probably won't work for an Anaconda because the Anaconda is a beefier frame with added metal on the top strap to accept the adjustable rear sight.
Also there's the same type of difference between the front of the trigger guards and the lower front of the frame as with the medium frames.
I suspect a New Service would be very loose in an Anaconda holster.
Thanks dfariswheel!

That's some valuable information.

The holster project I'm working on now is the Lone Star design.
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With the trigger guard and back portion of the frame out of the holster, the cylinder being the most definitive dimension, followed by the top strap, I'm encouraged to think one pattern might work for the E&I, J, V, and AA Frames...possibly?

If you had to hazard a guess, would you say there are more New Service Frame revolvers out there needing holsters compared to Anacondas?

Thanks!
Will
 
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