When my son came home to visit awhile back he brought a pair of matching Navy Arms black powder .44 revolvers with him. He also brought a “western” belt that went with the revolvers that had cartridge loops (which made no sense to me for a black powder gun) and a knife sheath. It made me start thinking: this is a belt and revolvers from 150 years ago. Is there something comparable today? Not exactly, unless you get it custom made, BUT – you can build your own with completely contemporary materials. Here’s how:
The first thing you could do is simply buy a new belt / holster set that is a reproduction of something that used to be common. The Ft. Laramie Roper Model 1864 holster and belt set from Kirkpatrick Leather is an example. A reproduction of a belt / holster set that was commonly used over a hundred years ago, the Ft. Laramie Roper is made using modern techniques to create a quality historic appearance. The 3″ wide belt comes with 24 bullet loops and a solid brass, nickel plated clipped-corner buckle. The holster is made of high quality vegetable tanned leather and is fully lined so it doesn’t mar the finish on your revolver. The set is hand dyed and stamped (over 500 stamps!) to provide the coloring and accents. Of course, such quality and appearance doesn’t come cheap: You’re looking at a price tag between $314 and $484 depending on which variation you choose. On the other hand, can you beat the classic and historic appearance to carry your favorite revolver into the field?
The second example we’ll use for a contemporary rig, but this time for a pistol, also comes from Kirkpatrick Leather. The Deputy Marshall Model 1945, shown left, is made from top grain saddle leather. The holster is hand molded to insure fit and fully lined to protect your pistol’s finish. The 2.25″ belt is also lined and comes with the solid brass nickel-plated buckle. The double magazine pouch is also hand molded to fit. The belt, holster and magazines pouch are all hand dyed so that they match. Available in black, brown or tan, you can have your Deputy Marshall rig for somewhere between $275 and $425 depending on the finish and options.
But what if you’re after a more contemporary holster and belt set with some semblance of the classic look? There is another option available…
Pictured above, from BLACKHAWK!, are three of their six available belts, one of their holsters and a matching magazine “pouch”. I put that in quotes not because it doesn’t hold a magazine, but because I’ve also considered pouches to be made of nylon or cloth and to have soft sides. All of these items from BLACKHAWK! are manufactured from their proprietary carbon fiber material and are part of their CQC line of products.
The belts are available in black or brown. The black belts are available with four different finishes: carbon fiber, gator, lizard and plain. The brown belts are available in the gator and plain finishes. Available belt sizes range from 28″ to 48″ with belt width being a uniform 1.5″.
The holster shown has the carbon fiber finish and is their standard concealment model. They also have a higher security holster, called the SERPA CQC, which incorporates in integral secondary security system that I highly recommend. Both types of holsters can be mounted on the belt for strong side carry with our without a cant, or cross draw fashion if you’d prefer (I recommend this while driving long distances). Or, if you’d simply like something that looks a bit more novel than the typical strong side carry with off-side magazine pouches, that cross draw presentation can look pretty neat. As we’re talking about contemporary “sporting” rigs – and not duty use – that cross draw presentation may be just the way to go.
The matching magazine pouches can be mounted on the belt individually via belt clips or in pairs mounted on a belt platform with the platform then laced onto the belt. If you’re like me and prefer to carry a flashlight on your belt, a matching carbon fiber “pouch” for flashlights is also available.
I’m going to experiment more with building my own contemporary sporting rig. I like to carry my 1911 cross draw – again, especially while driving – but have to be sure of ease of access to spare magazines and flashlight placement.
If you have any special thoughts on contemporary sporting rigs, please share them!!!
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