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18th century belt holsters

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30 July 2016, 09:35 AM
walks with gun
18th century belt holsters
Has anyone ever seen a 18th century belt holster for a flintlock handgun. I was watching the History Channels, Sons Of Liberty and everyone and their brother were wearing one or a brace of soft, frog like belt holster. I know it's TV and anything flies (like racks of trapdoor flintlocks) but I am still wondering if these were ever a common item. Being of leather and soft leather at that, I'm sure originals would be rare.
13 October 2016, 11:38 PM
Stophel
It's best to simply ignore the "History" channel... especially these days.

Belt holsters, however, DID exist.. though exceedingly rare. On the "Contemporary Makers" website a few years ago they showed a pair of original holsters for boxlock flintlock pistols (late 18th-early 19th century, I will presume). Only ones I have ever seen or heard of.

The pirate Blackbeard was known to carry six pistols on some kind of shoulder strap/suspender arrangement. Different period depictions will show different types of holsters/straps.
14 October 2016, 06:35 AM
Loyalist Dave
The Sons of Liberty is a European production made in Eastern Europe, directed by Kari Skogland, and is absolutely one of the very worst costumed & propped productions ever produced, concerning the time of the American War for Independence. Eeker

The fact that Skogland cashed her paycheck is (imho-hbc) criminal fraud.

To answer the question,..., holsters or "buckets" were for cavalry/dragoon "horse pistols" that were attached to the rider's saddle. They were very large caliber, and very heavy, sorta like one-handed shotguns of from 20 bore to 12 bore. Eeker So the idea was there, but that doesn't seem to be how they were carried on a person.

Remember that throughout the 18th century, the pistol was not nearly as common as a long arm, and was considered pretty much the arm of the highwayman OR the soldier. Plus, it was for the soldier as the "weak hand" weapon, with the sword, saber, cutlass or hangar in the "strong hand".

Illustrations of Blackbeard and John Paul Jones (who are about 75 years apart) show both wearing multiple pistols, but on a sash, or in a belt/sash, AND they are carrying their swords in their right hands. Hooks were sometimes used and installed via the lock plate screws to hold the pistol in place on the belt.

Now the box-lock pistol was the in-town, genteel man's concealed weapon, especially when not wearing a short sword, and was possibly a response to highwaymen and street thugs. They were made to go into a waistcoat pocket, and are sometimes also called "muff pistols" with the idea that a woman might carry one in her hand-muff. Although very small, compared to a horse pistol, and with a small caliber, they tended to pack an excellent punch, and a prosperous man packing a brace of such pistols in his waistcoat would have been quite a match for an evil doer.

Knives, canes, and walking sticks, were much more common as a concealed self-defense weapon, even into the 19th century. Remember that Jim Bowie got into his famous "sandbar fight" NOT out on the frontier, but as a continuation of a dispute in town, and during that fight was stuck by a fellow with a cane-sword/cane-knife. Wink However, the United States and Canada have moved away from a knife culture, and the use of a knife in self-defense is not well known to most Anglos in the 21st century. So, the idea from the time of Colt's revolver, that a man might wear his pistol on display and ready, has trickled back in the minds of many living historians who do 18th century. The use of a holstered pistol is probably a reenactorism.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
14 October 2016, 03:26 PM
Boartooth
Never really thought much on this subject,but it makes sense.Thanks L.D.


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
15 October 2016, 07:02 AM
wattlebuster
I never have seen an original. Made my own for my pistol. Aint exactly HC/PC but it serves its purpose. If I were you I would just consider the history channel for what it is. Its just another unreal/reality channel they use to fill up a channel package an charge you too high a price to watch reruns over an over again


Nothing beats the feel of a handmade southern iron mounted flintlock on a crisp frosty morning
15 October 2016, 10:18 AM
Loyalist Dave
LET ME ALSO STRESS, what I wrote about was historic information about what is known..., now...which of course can change over time as more sources are uncovered. For example we might find a source in Spanish or French that shows that in Montreal or New Orleans or Baton Rouge, such were pretty well known.

What I wrote is also JUST historic.... I in no way am suggesting one should not or could not fashion and wear such a holster. I'm not the arbiter of permission, Big Grin so make and use what you want, eh? I wouldn't turn you away from my fire for wearing a holstered pistol on your hip. I worry as some folks sometimes ask "is this HC?" when they are actually saying "Hey should I do this", and you would get opposing answers in some cases from me, and from others. We might say "not really HC", and "Go ahead and use it, it doesn't bother me".

I hope that makes sense.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
15 October 2016, 12:43 PM
Hanshi
My observation has been that pistols were either hanged about the neck or shoved into a sash about the waist. I have a holster for my pistol that works great; a pistol stuck in my belt nearly touches the ground. (Check dictionary for the word SQUIRT).




*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
17 October 2016, 12:50 PM
Loyalist Dave
HEY that is SLICK!

Big Grin

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
17 October 2016, 05:01 PM
Hanshi
The holster holds the frizzen closed and prevents the cock from moving. I got it from Leatherman.


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
26 October 2016, 10:47 PM
larryp
I have one of those too Hanshi. Holds my belt pistol pretty well.
09 December 2016, 06:55 PM
RonC
"Illustrations of Blackbeard and John Paul Jones (who are about 75 years apart) show both wearing multiple pistols, but on a sash, or in a belt/sash, AND they are carrying their swords in their right hands. Hooks were sometimes used and installed via the lock plate screws to hold the pistol in place on the belt."

How about this:

Ron
10 December 2016, 01:25 PM
Hanshi
Ron, that picture does me heart good, matey.


*Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.*
11 December 2016, 10:06 PM
RonC
I don't know how historically correct he is, but here is a re-enactor holding 2 pistols in a Baldric designed for 2:
\

And this is similar to a single pistol Baldric that I carry my sidearm in. In fact, this was the example used so that I could take proper measurements for mine:

Ron
15 December 2016, 05:31 AM
Loyalist Dave
Well there are illustrations of Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard wearing such a contraption, so one cannot say the items was unknown in the 18th century!

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
11 April 2017, 03:20 PM
poordevil
As people chose cooks and other waiters to attended them, they should be left in neutral circumstances
06 May 2017, 12:54 PM
wattlebuster
Here is a crossdraw I threw together for my Joe Schell 62 smoothbore pistol. Crude but serves me well





Nothing beats the feel of a handmade southern iron mounted flintlock on a crisp frosty morning