The leather gun holsters we see now are not what they used to be before. Till the beginning of the 19th century, carrying a gun in a leather holster was not introduced in many places. People were only allowed to carry guns in their coats or vest pockets. This changed after the mid-19th century and holsters were introduced.
Even then the design was very different. At first, there was a butt-mounted hook attached to a gun belt which was used. Though it was easily accessible, the safety and security it was not that good. Rather it was pretty dangerous and if by any chance there was any misfiring then it could have hurt the user badly. It was too exposed so it was not good to carry a firearm.
The first holster, which looked a little bit like the ones we use now was the pommel holster. It was attached to the saddle of your horse. Its main use of it was the ease of carrying a gun while horseback riding. The US army used it too.
The evolution of leather gun holsters-
Starting from pommel holsters, the leather gun holsters came a long way very fast. By 1870 it was extremely popular and people were using all types of it. Other accessories related to it became famous also. The three famous holsters during this time are,
- The cavalry holster – after seeing the use of pommel holsters while riding the horse, the soldiers decided to use them in a bit different way themselves. They designed it in a new form where the butt of the revolver was facing upwards and to draw the gun, they would have to use their left hand first and then hold the saber with their right hand.
This proved to be extremely useful and was a success. This success led to the improvement of leather gun holsters in the future.
- The slim jim holster of California – a tighter design was introduced for the slim jim holster of California which proved to be better. The pouch-like design soon became obsolete by the 1850s as the tighter fit proved to be a lot more efficient.
Another feature was added and that was a loop. It helped to attach the holsters to a gun belt. Moreover, they came in very beautifully carved designer versions.
- The loop holster of Mexico – this holster was a groundbreaking one. There were many loops or straps to provide a strong and compact feel. The pattern cut along with the belt loop allowed the holster to stay in place perfectly after the gun was drawn. Furthermore, the design was so well thought out that it included the provision for carrying a cartridge belt.
Though the name states that theseleather gun holsterswere designed in Mexico many argue that it originated in the southwest region of America. However, where they originated is not as important as what it did to the entire market. It introduced the leather gun holsters that we see now and brought about the biggest change in its design of it.