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El Paso Saddlery's Patton holster.

* In the past few years, El Paso Saddlery has been one of the pioneers of a unique idea in the gunleather field--that of producing practical and functional, yet authentic looking commemorative holster rigs. This type of gunleather maintains the lines and flavor of the original it honors, but is not cluttered up with unnecessary decorations which not only detract from the original idea of the subject, but add so much to the cost of the project that it becomes prohibitive to the average gunner's budget. These are working commemoratives and have been eagerly accepted by the shooting fraternity. Their first effort, the Pat Garrett Commemorative, which quickly sold out, I might add, was a reproduction of the holster and cartridge belt worn by this 1880s Western lawman at the time he killed the outlaw "Billy the Kid." This Texas firm soon followed up with the Tombstone Commemorative, which faithfully recreated the style of gunleather originally produced by Arizona Territory gunsmith and holster maker, G.F. Spangenberg (sorry, no relation), and was likely to have been worn by the legendary shootists who fought it out in the historic 1881 gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Incidentally, there are a few Tombstone Commemorative holster rigs still available as of this writing.

Currently, El Paso Saddlery is offering an exact copy of the belt and holster rig worn by famed World War II General George S. Patton, Jr., a man who, through his colorful though controversialy personality, combined the traditions of the old horse cavalry with the most modern armored tactics of his time to become one of the most respected and feared generals of the Second World War.

Interesting, El Paso Saddlery owns the original pattern used by famed holster maker S.D. Myres back around 1936 when the original rig was designed for Gen. Patton. This same pattern was used to produce this high quality commemorative which has the approval of the Patton family. Like General Patton's famous rig, El Paso's commemorative uses a 1-3/4-inch wide, military-style leather belt which incorporates a brass replica U.S. Model 1910 enlisted man's garrison buckle. As with the original, this belt is made with brass grommets for waist size adjustments and for attaching various accessories. It also includes a slide-on leather cartridge carrier (which holds 12 rounds), a police-type handcuff case which Patton used for carrying a compass, and a single holster.

These Patton rigs are available for Colt Single Action Army revolvers with 4-3/4-inch or 5-1/2-inch barrels, Ruger Blackhawks with 4-5/8-inch tubes, any "K" or "N" frame 4-inch S&W, or Colt's Python model in the 4-inch barreled configuration.

Production of this historic replica will be limited to 1,000 units. Each rig will be serial numbered and embossed with "GEN GEORGES. PATTON JR. COMMEMORATIVE" along with the purchaser's name. A certificate of authenticity, signed and dated by the artisan and Bob McNellis, president of El Paso Saddlery, accompanies each outfit. Holsters can be made for right or left-hand use and although General Patton's original gunleather was made in russet brown,

El Paso Saddlery is offering their reproduction in black as well. The Patton Commemorative set retails for $150 postpaid. For an additional $55, a second holster, for any of the above mentioned handguns, will be furnished for the opposite side of the belt. General Patton's personal set included two holsters to accommodate his ivory-handled 4-1/4-inch barreled .45 Colt SAA and his .357 Magnum S&M (now known as the Model 27) with a 3-1/2-inch barrel, although he usually wore only one sidearm on his his hip with the rig, and a second hidout gun secreted in his uniform.

A portion of the proceeds of this commemorative belt and holster set will be sent to the George S. Patton Armor Museum in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, a privately-funded museum dedicated to the preservation of arms and armor of the past and the memory of General George S. Patton Jr.

I've examined the George S. Patton, Jr. Commemorative and have found it to be of top quality leather, fine workmanship, and faithful to the original. This is the type of commemorative that I feel is worth investing hard-earned dollars in. It not only honors the spirit and memory of one of our nation's most famous fighting men, it is also a practical rig that could be used on hunting trips or during casual shooting sessions. That's my idea of a true commemorative--an authentic looking, working rig!

When ordering, be sure to specify whether you want a right or left-hand holster, color choice, type of gun and caliber and your waist size. Orders, or requests for more information, on this or any of El Paso Saddlery's quality replica or modern gunleather should be sent to: El Paso Saddlery, Dept. GA, P.O. Box 27194, El Paso, TX 79926, or call them at (915) 544-2233.
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Author:Spangenberger, Phil
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Article Type:column
Date:Apr 1, 1985
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