Thursday, September 16, 2010


The top two holsters are Bell Charter Oak Holsters and the bottom holsters are custom made and very cool with very cool matching 1911's.

It's a cool holster. I don't know if the late NYC holster maker Chic Gaylord invented it, but I know that he certainly perfected "his" version of the holster. They were very popular with officers in NYC and raid teams and the like.

The New York Reload involves basically two pistols being carried in one holster across your back area. Sort of like a small of back holster, but bigger.
When your main pistol runs empty, instead of reloading the first, you draw with your empty hand and begin firing with your second pistol. Handgun writer Wiley Clapp briefly talks about it here:

I haven't done a lot of research on these, but I'm thinking seriously about making a set, just for taking out fishing or shooting on friends ranches, farms and places. I could cary a .22 snubbie on one side loaded with bullets, and a .38 snubbie on the other side with snake shot.

I think you could sew two decent thumb break cordura or stiff nylon holsters together, perhaps with a joining piece sewed and glued with the belt clips on them. I think I want to make one that could be put on outside the pants, basically the inverse of an IWB holster. Some belt clips (3, instead of two like Chic used) that clip on to a stiff 1 1/2" gunbelt would work fine if the holsters were stiff enough. Maybe one of the belt loop snap straps on each end. It's take a minute to get on and off, but it'd be secure.

Only problem for me with these back holsters is that they are not comfortable if sitting. Which of course, means that there is very limited usage for these holsters for folks like me. I know there are folks who like SOB holsters (small of back) and I think they'd be cool if I were a cop out there.

Back in the day, if one were on some sort of raid team and you wanted to quickly slip a couple of S&W j frames as your double backup guns into a New York Reload, to augment your service weapon and long gun, you could do it in a matter of seconds.

Chic Gaylord spent a lot of time designing holsters to help detectives alive on the streets, and also sold holsters to various federal agents, CIA and State Department folks, as did other custom NYC holster and weapon makers in the 50's and 60's especially. Apparently, his shop was where the well dressed spies and agents went back in those days.

His holster designs are carried on at Bell Charter Oak Holsters.

Go to this link and scroll down until you see the Gaylord Holdout, and take some time and look at some of the other old school designs at this site. Go to the homepage and see what kind of belt holsters they have. Most holsters are for revolvers and are what the cops and feds and spooks carried from the 50's to the 70's. But there are a few for autos, but they are all old school. And sometimes, old school is cool.

I have the Gaylord Holdout IWB for a Colt Cobra, and it keeps the hammer covered so it doesn't dig into me. It is an excellent holster, well made and very comfortable yet sturdy. I'm going to stitch the back part of the strap to the holster body for a little better stability, but it works well as is and I just think I can make it better for my body type and clothing I wear. Very high quality with that fine leather smell.

It can easily be seen by any student of police tactics and equipment over the past 50 years that back in the old days, a rig like the New York Reload would be handy for some detectives or old time (pre-swat days) raid teams to have under the seat or in the glovebox, ready to augment their normal weapons.

There are other makers of this holster, either past or present, including those that hold a pair of 1911's or Hi Powers in it. Or even Glock subcompacts. Two hi capacity lightweight guns would indeed be a helluva backup plan.

The j frame holster package would fit well into a large purse or briefcase/messenger bag, ready to throw 10 for sure rounds at any assailants.

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