Natives pronounce the name of this river, town , and county, about 20 miles north of where I grew up in Central Texas,  as "lamb-pass-iz."  The name means "Water Lilies"  Apparently, whoever named the river saw a large growth of water lilies somewhere on it.  A beautiful spring fed creek feeds a large municipal swimming pool within the town of Lampasas.  This creek runs into the Lampasas River several miles from town.  As a kid, swimming pools were rare, so we oftentimes drove the 22 miles to Lampasas just  to swim in this pool which maintains a year round frigid temperature in the mid 70's.  Now that water got your attention on a hot summer Texas day!

The "Hickok" Lampasas with a belt tooled to match, in "tobacco brown," shown with a couple of cylinder slides.  This is a 2 1/2" tapered belt.  

This holster has a sewn on belt loop (sewn top and bottom as described and shown in an example below) The “canting” is completely adjustable, as the friction between the holster and belt holds it securely at whatever angle is desired.  Therefore it can be worn for a cavalry draw or straight draw (it can be worn with the butt forward or barrel forward).  

Notice that the "Lampasas," like most of the early "California" style holsters, is built to cover and protect a large portion of the revolver.  Another variation of the Lampasas is called the “Hamilton.”  The Hamilton is more open at the trigger guard, and does not cover as much of the cylinder as the Lampasas. (The holsters below are shown with 1860 Armies, although they are built for Colt's Dragoons.  Therefore they are slightly oversized with the 1860s.)

The belt loop on a matching cross draw holster could be made by folding over the back of the holster and sewing it to the back of the pocket in as shown on the holster (below, right).  I recommend this in a cross draw, because it sometimes needs to be a little lower than it would be if made as above.  

The "Slim Jim" styles were  made popular during the California Gold Rush era, and are especially appropriate for cap and ball and conversion revolvers. The two above are shown with a pair of 1860 Army Colts.   These can also be built for a Vaquero, a Colt SAA, or any of the C&B revolvers, including a resized holster that fits a Colt Walker. These particular examples are built just like many of the originals, and made to ride high and tight to your body by sewing the belt loop from a second piece of leather - sewn at the top and bottom (not a short length of leather sewn at the top, then folded over and sewn at the bottom).  When the belt loop is made by sewing a second piece of leather on the back that is narrower than the holster, then folding it down to form the loop and sewing it at the bottom, it does allow the revolver grip to lean away from the body, but it might over time become limber and allow the holster to sag.  Not so, if the loop is sewn flat at the top (as the two holsters shown above and below) and flat at the bottom. (See Shooting Sixguns of The Old West, by Mike Venturino, page 176.)

I have found, however, that by making the belt loop from the same piece of leather as the body of the holster (picture to the right), and folding this over, it makes a good holster which still allows the grip of your revolver to tilt outward from your body, making the revolver more accessible.  This also allows the revolver to ride a little lower - and more comfortably WHEN WALKING AROUND.  In fact I can make it about a two inch drop, and tilt the barrel forward about 8 degrees to make it even easier to draw a long barreled revolver.  The holsters could then also be worn with the grip forward, and you could use a "cavalry" draw.  This would also be a period correct design, by the way.   This design can also be made into a very nice cross draw holster.

I believe this is the best design for a Colt Walker, or large dragoon.  I have built several of these for Walkers and large Dragoons, in a cross draw model and straight draw.

This can be ordered in a straight draw ( or up to 2" drop and barrel forward 8 degrees) with folded over belt loop as shown at above right, or belt loop sewn on as described in reference to Mike Venturino. (shown below).

Another way of attaching the belt loop, and one which is seen on many antique "Slim Jim" style holsters is shown below in this nearly exact reproduction of a holster reported to be that of "Wild Bill" Hikock.  A holster with this same tooling is in the Buffalo Bill Museum, and was supposedly sold, along with one of his revolvers, shortly after "Wild Bill's" death to pay for his burial.  This holster is in mahogany.  This tooling is available on any of the “Slim Jim” holsters.

On this holster, please specify the design of the belt loop (type of attachment) you prefer.

Another Lampasas holster set I built  for “Wild Bill Blackerby” of Fremont, New Hampshire.  This photo, compliments of “Wild Bill.”  See his very nice CAS website at:

See Prices and ordering info: click here

Remember, we are a full custom shop and will make alterations and variations of any of the designs you see, as well as origional designs if you have a photo  or can describe what you would like.  There is no additional charge for redesigning or designing according to your desires.  (I get my best ideas from my customers)

For all our holsters we use “heavy saddle skirting” from Hermann Oak.  This is vegetable tanned leather - the very best domestic hides, and tanned in America.

Unless your holsters are constructed using heavy skirting (at least 12 - 15 oz leather)  they will not hold their shape nor hold up to heavy use.

                 Fall Sale

Until the end of the year, when you order a double rig (2 holsters and any gun belt)... 

We will either build a 3rd holster at no cost...

Or two cartridge slides (shot shell or revolver) at no cost.


e-mail: Don Barnett

Phone: 281-659-3998

Back to Index

The Lampasas