The Nueces River (new aces) is another clear water river that emerges from the hills of South and West Central Texas.  It runs through a beautiful and rugged part of the Texas "Hill Country."  It eventually runs into Corpus Christi Bay.   It is the southern most river of any consequence, north of the Rio Grande.  Once out of the hills surround it's head waters, it is in the "brush county" of South Texas.  The Land between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River is sometimes referred to as the "Strip."   This was a disputed area once claimed by both Texas (the U. S.) and Mexico.  For many years it was a largely unregulated and dangerous part of the state.  Many novels describing outlaws making the Nueces Strip their home have been written.  "Texas Rangers" were eventually sent into this area, to wipe out the lawlessness shortly after Reconstruction ended.  The following is an exerpt  from a book entitled Taming The Nueces Strip, The Story of McNelly's Rangers, by George Durham as told to Clyde Wantland:  

Only an extraordinary Texas Ranger could have cleaned up bandit-plagued Southwest Texas, between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande, in the years following the Civil War. Thousands of raiders on horseback, some of them Anglo-Americans, regularly crossed the river from Mexico to pillage, murder, and rape. Their main objective? To steal cattle, which they herded back across the Rio Grande to sell. Honest citizens found it almost impossible to live in the Nueces Strip.
In desperation, the governor of Texas called on an extraordinary man, Captain Leander M. McNelly, to take command of a Ranger company and stop these border bandits. One of McNelly's recruits for this task was George Durham, a Georgia farmboy in his teens when he joined the "Little McNellys," as the Captain's band called themselves. More than half a century later, it was George Durham, the last surviving "McNelly Ranger," who recounted the exciting tale of taming the Nueces Strip to San Antonio writer Clyde Wantland.
In Durham's account, those long-ago days are brought vividly back to life. Once again the daring McNelly leads his courageous band across Southwest Texas to victories against incredible odds. With a boldness that overcame their dismayingly small number, the McNellys succeeded in bringing law and order to the untamed Nueces Strip—succeeded so well that they antagonized certain "upright" citizens who had been pocketing surreptitious dollars from the bandits' operations.  (This book is available through the University of Texas Press, CLICK HERE

The Nueces holster was modeled after a holster found in Packing Iron, by Richard Rattenbery, at the request of a customer.  I like the design so much I decided to give it a name and include the design as a regular offering.  I did make the skirts narrower at the customers request, and think these look better than the original because of that slight alteration.

You will note the ones above are not cut down in front as most of my holsters are.  I can do this, but only if you request it.  I did not cut these down, as my customer wanted to keep them as near the original as possible.  The top rig is done in “walnut.” The second set is “mahogany.” This holster is $95, plus whatever level of tooling you select.  At the customers request (& for an additional cost of $30) I used a larger space between the cartridge loops on the belt, and put a rivet between each loop.

 The above rig is done in an “oiled saddle tan” finish that will look even better with a little use and age.  This was the finish that was originally on many of the old rigs, as it is the finish used on many old saddles.  The patina improves, and the rig darkens with a little friction and sunlight.

All of our holsters can be built in cross draw configuration.

The belt loop on any holster can be made longer, so as to drop the holster lower on the belt, as is the trigger guard area on all cross draw holsters. (For an example, see  The San Gabriel.) This has the effect of lowering your revolver while still using a straight "period correct" belt.

I can also tilt the muzzle forward about 8 degrees for an easier draw.

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)  This holster (above) is built to ride as high as possible.  Of course we can increase the drop as you desire.

Always measure the circumference of exactly where you plan to wear the gunbelt... over the kind of clothes you will be wearing with the rig.    Please click here to see the explanation near bottom on the index page.

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 

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The Nueces