I used to live at the beginning of the watershed of the San Gabriel River and have always believed that by the time the San Gabriel got to Georgetown, Texas, this must be the most beautiful little river in Central Texas.  I also believe the San Gabriel holster is just about the most attractive one I build.  Note how it is sewn part way across the bottom.  This keeps the holster from "rounding" on the end, and is a distinctive feature of this design.

The example above has a double row of stamping, with three raised lines or “beads” between.  This holsters is $95, plain. With the stamping as shown, this holster is $130.  All of our holsters and belts are available plain, or stamped with several "levels" of stamping, beginning at $10.00 for one row of border stamping.  

This black rig (above) is built with a 2" drop and 8 degree barrel forward cant.  This has the effect of lowering your revolver while still using a straight "period correct" belt.    I can do this on any or our other model holsters as well.

The San Gabriel, like all our holsters is cut down in front to allow the barrel of your revolver to clear leather a little faster.  The trigger guard, while supported from the back is high enough that it is almost completely visible.  

Historical note:  Many old military holsters, were cut down and converted for civilian use.  Some of these would have dropped the holster on the belt about two inches as the holsters on this page.  See Packing Iron, by Richard Rattenbury, pages 24 - 32, for examples of the drop on some military style holsters.  In addition, there are other examples of holsters built  in the 19th Century with such a "drop" built into them.  See Packing Iron , page 134, for one such example of a holster built and dated 1880 - 1890.

A variation of the San Gabriel with two loops securing the holster, instead of one is shown below.

The San Gabriel holsters in the next series of photos are finished in “oiled dark walnut.”  This finish gives the appearance of age, with a beautiful patina.  The rig could have been border tooled and still have the oiled walnut finish.

The “right” holster is built for a 5 1/2” revolver, while the “right cross draw” holster is for a shorter barrel. 

Something to consider when you are planning a new rig to go with your persona,  is that most of the surviving antiques from the “cattle drive era” were not “plain,” contrary to what Hollywood and TV might have taught us over the years. Therefore, “period correct” might usually include (but does not have to include) fancy and heavily border stamped gear.  

It might seem unreasonable to us, that a “cowboy - drover” in 1880, who earned “$30 & found,”  and who often did not even own the horse he worked from, and who, if he owned a sidearm at all it was possibly a “blacksmith’s conversion” he picked up for $3 or $4, would think nothing of spending two months wages on a pair of boots, a new shirt, and a fancy holster and belt.  But consider the fact hat his modern “drugstore” counterpart might happily spend as much for a set of fancy wheel covers and mud tires... neither of which he actually needs, for his pickup truck, than the truck is worth.  At  the risk of offending some other cowboy, I don’t think much has changed in the past 125 years.  I do know I value my mud tires and wheel covers a great deal...

Neither did the folks in the last 30 years of the 1800’s wear any of the gear that Roy, Gene, and Hop-along wore.  But, we are not usually committed to be either period correct, nor “B - Western” correct.  Ours is a hobby that allows our own fantasy.  So I encourage you to cultivate your imagination, and I will I happily build whatever you want (if I am capable of it).

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)

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.

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 San Gabriel