Friday, March 08, 2013
Beautiful New Cowboy Rig!
I realize that over the last couple of months I've been much less a gun blogger than a political blogger, and rest assured I've hated every minute of it. Fighting these bastards sort of sucks out your soul; not a lot of fun to get up in the morning knowing you're going to spend your day talking to people for whom the words "honor," "truth" and "Constitution" are punch lines in jokes.
So imagine my happy surprise when a box from Tombstone Leather Products came in the mail! You know I'm a big, big fan of Nick Asadi's leatherwork—he made my first cowboy rig. Nick is Iranian and, as he says, his "family" has been involved in leather work since, roughly, the birth of Christ. A little over a year ago at a match, I ran into Nick and got to talking about a new holster set-up...I've thought about changing categories in Cowboy Action Shooting. As in all the shooting sports, cowboy has a Byzantine selection of categories you can shoot in. I generally shoot in an age-based division. There are, however, costume-based divisions, including one called "B-Western," which —duh!—requires one to dress in the style of the old B-movie westerns.
For those of you who've met me at SHOT or the NRA Convention, you know that's not a big reach for me...I dress like that far too much of the time. Probably comes from being in the same state with Rockmount Ranch Wear, makers of the uber-cowboy shirt. There are holster-specific requirements for the B-Western division as well, and, heck, it should look B-Western-Y! I gave Nick pretty much carte blanche to tinker together a new holster right that would qualify for B-Western and meet my admittedly overwrought standards for "flashy."
He exceeded my every expectation! They're "buscadero" style holsters...the holster is attached by a loop directly to the belt. These were definitely the most common B-Western holster (check out the classic Alfonso's of Hollywood or Legends in Leather gunleather), supposedly because the holsters didn't slide about on the belt, making it better for filming. Interestingly enough, the holster dates back to the late 1800s to, not surprisingly, the Texas Rangers, who basically did more to drive holster design than any other group because, hey, they pretty much shot people for a living. Having the holster fixed on the belt kept it from sliding around while riding a horse.
C'mon, everybody needs a break from kydex now and then! Perfect fit, perfect "hang," drop-dead gorgeous leatherwork.
Thank you, Nick!
BTW, this holster rig is set up for my .357 Ruger Blackhawks as modified by Jason Robinson, "Slick McClade," the cowboy gunsmith and World Champion in B-Western...yes, he has cooler shirts than me!
As you can see, the Blackhawks have short (4-inch) full octagonal barrels with a full brass sight blade. The barrels make the guns a tiny bit nose-heavy, which I like for fast shooting. The brass sight really pops in the sunlight, and if the targets are all white (or yellow), I can black the sight. They balance amazingly well and are now my favorite Blackhawk configuration (and yes, I do have a few). The original action jobs on the guns, BTW, were done by Bill Laughridge at Cylinder & Slide years and years ago.
Seems weird to be writing about guns and holsters! LOL!
The fight, as always, goes on...