The Red River is really one of the most important rivers of the "Cattle Drive Era."  It is reported that far more drovers drowned while driving cattle across various rivers, bringing Texas longhorns to market, than were killed by Indians or outlaws.  By reputation, the most difficult crossing of all was the Red River.  This river formed the northern border of Texas, north of which was Indian Territory (today - Oklahoma and part of Arkansas).  The "Red" was unpredictable and shifting quicksand was a real danger.  Since this river was forever changing, a crossing recently reported to have been good might not be so good a week later.  Then there was the fact that prior to the modern age, most folks couldn't swim.  Perhaps this had to do with the wide spread belief that bathing was unhealthy.  Or maybe it was because most folks didn't live near streams clean enough to swim in.  Then again it could have been because folks were too busy working to have much time for recreation, so just never learned to swim.  But for whatever reason, you can imagine how crossing a deep or swift stream would not only terrify the cattle but put terror in the heart of a man who couldn't swim.  At any rate, once they crossed the Red, they maybe still had a ways to go, but the drovers generally thought the worst was behind them.

There are a surprising number of examples (18) of half-skirt holsters pictured in Packing Iron, Gunleather of the Old West. There are some made for the shorter barrels, but most of the antiques I have found were made for the longer barreled revolvers.  These half-skirt holsters were made for a 7 1/2" Colt SAA, and a Ruger Old Army with a cartridge converter.  They are done in "antique russet"  Shown on a 3" Ranger belt with an upgrade silver plated buckle, and "Eldorado" conchos.  The cartridge slide / badge holder combination is shown attached to the tongue of the belt, but will fit around the body of the belt as well.

This "antique russet" holster is heavily border tooled with three rows of stamping and two raised beads (lines).  ($35 for this tooling on the holster.) The belt shown has only two rows of stamping with two raised beads.  The tooling on the belt shown is $55.  Tooled to exactly match the holsters is $65. Holster, plain is $95

The "Red River" holster would also look really nice with any of the cap and ball revolvers or conversions.

An optional shape for the loop that holds the holster to the skirt

In this photo, I have built a matching belt for the above holsters, and have added the optional reshaped loops across the body of the holster.  This complete rig, stamped with 3 rows stamping and 2 raised beads, with thirty (30) cartridge loops on a 2 1/2" belt, and with the upgraded silver plated belt buckle, and two conchos on belt, plus conchos on holsters.  Add a matching shotgun belt with up to 16 loops, for only $100.

The Red River looks really nice in a shorter version as well.   This one (above & below) was built for a 5 1/2" SAA. They are finished in a rich antique mahogany color.

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 original designs if you have a photo  or can describe what you would like.  

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 Red River