What was carrying like "back in the day"?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by emt1581, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    Prior to 1960-1970 there was nothing but 1911's and wheelguns for the most part. Sure there were baby Brownings and Colt pocket pistols which make today's pocket pistols seem microscopic. But holster technology wasn't what it is today...was it?

    How difficult was it to conceal a gun back then? Did you always inevitably print? No night sights or tac lights....did people carry around AA/D-Cell flashlights for SD?

    Anyone who knows anything about what it was like to carry or who carried back then...please share!!

    Thanks!:)

    -Emt1581
     
  2. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2002
    Location:
    Lake Charles, LA
    I don't go back that far, but I can give a pretty good synopsis of the 70's.
    Revolvers were carried a lot, with some version of the snub .38 probably the most common CCW gun. Lots of small autos, usually carried chamber empty unless you happened to have a Walther PP/K or some such. The 1911 was carried (often with the grip safety pinned down), but those who were really in the know carried a LW Commander or a Star PD. Holsters were limited, as were modifications to guns. Almost all holsters were leather, but some new plastic things were coming along (anybody remember the "Snik" holster??). Shoulder holsters and ankle holsters were common, as was "Mexican carry", often with a wad of rubber bands on the grip to help secure the gun. A guy named Bruce Nelson had developed a great new holster for CCW called the Summer Special that was changing the way we looked at IWB carry. The science of gunfighting was in its infancy, with Mas Ayoob leading the field research side and Jeff Cooper testing things in the range environment.
    Didn't print much because you were pretty careful about that. There weren't nightsights, but folks like Julio Santiago were working on it with designs like the Firefly. You didn't worry that much about a light because there just wasn't anything available that was small.
     

  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    What was the "LW Commander and Star PD"? I've never heard of them.

    What did you mean by "often with the grip safety pinned down" on 1911's? I mean I understand you can just wrap some tape/rubber bands around the grip to keep it pressed in, but why did people do that and what was the method of doing it?

    Thanks for all the great info!!:)

    -Emt1581
     
  4. David Armstrong

    David Armstrong

    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2002
    Location:
    Lake Charles, LA
    The LW Commander was/is a 1911 with a full frame and shortened slide/barrel. The frame was aluminum, making it Light Weight. The Star PD was a lightweight .45 ACP auto from the Star gun group.

    Pinning the safety was done by driling a hole in the frame and the grip safety. You then pushed the safety down so the holes matched up and literally put a metal pin in there to keep the safety down. And you did it because lots of people did not fully depress the grip safety and the 1911 would not fire.
     
  5. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    Once pinned down would people carry the gun with an empty chamber or uncocked...or would they still carry it loaded and cocked?

    I remember my mother telling me how my grandfather would strap his 1911 on each night to deposit the money from his restaurant. It was never pinned though.

    I'll have to search for those guns you mentioned.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  6. failsafe

    failsafe

    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri
    Semi auto's were just starting to come into their own in the late 60's and early 70's....9mm Browning's and 9mm S&W were the thing to find..
    Sad part no real conceal carry holster's..So MX carry was the norm..
    Altho, there were some 25 cal pocket carries..some cheap, some more expensive...
     
  7. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

    Messages:
    7,677
    Likes Received:
    450
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas
    What was carrying like "back in the day"?

    In pictures they usually carry a club on the shoulder. I'm sure Dragoon will be along shortly to tell us, if he can remember.
     
  8. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

    Messages:
    56,963
    Likes Received:
    48,183
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    1504 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454
  9. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    What were the holster makers back then? Was Galco, Bianchi, etc. making leather yet, did gun owners pay someone with a leather needle to make them one, or was it moreso small gun shops that were making their own?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  10. BritStudent

    BritStudent

    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Location:
    England/USA
    From what I know of carry here in Britain, early on it was small Webleys and French/Belgian pocket revolvers, with some move towards small semi-autos like the Webley auto, Browning and Mauser Model 1910s and so on at the beginning of the 20th century. All in pocket carry.

    Serious folk liked 1911s (often in .38 Super, which was quite popular this side of the pond, BSA used to make a Thompson in it that you could buy in London department stroes until the mid 30s) or, more commonly, modified large caliber revolvers, often Colt New Service .45s with the barrel cut down, bobbed hammer, front half of the trigger guard removed (!) and so on. Either in custom made IWB or shoulder holsters.

    I believe this is actually a factory Colt Fitz but you get the idea.

    [​IMG]

    After the 1960s when carry became a matter of 'Er, I'm on the way to the range, officer' for anyone who was not working class enough to draw the disapproval of the police, Walther PPKs were the order of the day as well as some P5s, Beretta 70s, Star BMs and similar, worn in shoulder holsters under yuppie jackets.

    That all ended in 1986 of course.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  11. failsafe

    failsafe

    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri
    Seems like Safariland and Bianchi had some compatable holster's, but they were mainly for 1911 types...Back in those day's, most gunshop's/liquor stores/pawn shop's (usually under one roof) did not carry holster inventory...A few high end GS's would order you something...

    The S&W model 39 had some option's, mostly OWB...
     
  12. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    So did people just Mexican carry or make their own?

    I'm suprised more blued guns haven't been shown with a TON of blueing worn off from shoving into the waistband. :dunno:

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  13. repooc

    repooc Millennium Member

    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Location:
    The burg
    My Father was a homicide detective from 1960 to 1978 and he carried a S&W Model 19 in a shoulder rig. The holster has markings on it "L & M Leather, Fort Worth TX". It was high quality. The 19 was blued with a 2.5 in barrel and round butt. He always had 38 special rounds in it. I once asked him why no .357 rounds and he said that he didn't want to kill people in the next apartment just the bad guy in front of him. No speed loaders but he did carry a leather type of wallet that held 6 rounds. He discharged his weapon one time into the air to stop a bad guy from running.
     
  14. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    20,400
    Likes Received:
    5,848
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    in the mid sixites and 70's the premier "professional" holster sorce for concealed carry was the legendary Seventrees limited. founded by Paris Theodore who also designed the ASP pistol based on the S&W 39 radically chopped and customized.

    A lot of concealed carry holsters today owe a debt to Seventrees for their designs.
     
  15. community

    community Member

    Messages:
    4,448
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I carried in the 1970's. had, and still have, a S&W 38 Police Special 2" holstered in a IWB clip holster. no problem. But, anything bigger, was a problem.
     
  16. HKSmith

    HKSmith

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Boy, this thread is making me feel old! I got my first carry permit in 1964 in Connecticut - I was a 22 year old graduate student at Yale. I had 2 handguns at the time, an Iver-Johnson .22 revolver and a Colt .357 Magnum with a 4 inch barrel. I used to carry the Colt at times in a shoulder holster that was converted from a belt holster by a shoemaker. I never worried about printing and never had any problems.

    In 1965 I bought a S&W Model 37 (Chief's Special Airweight) and a Lawrence IWB holster. That was a very slick rig in its day and is a great concealment option even now. In 1966, I bought a S&W Model 39 in 9mm - they were very hard to come by then because of increasing demand and no competition. I carried it in a Lawrence shoulder holster for many years and used it as my primary home defense weapon. At that time, ammo was hardball only and 9mm was a somewhat exotic caliber - LEO's used .38 Special and .357 almost exclusively.

    In 1967 I picked up a Browning .380 which had recessed sights and was a very slick pocket pistol. That got carried a lot without a holster. There was no "CCW Community" in those days - the people who did it didn't talk about it much. The only other people I knew who carried were some other members of the Yale pistol team; most of the other shooters were only interested in firearms for sporting purposes and only owned .22 target pistols.

    I still have and shoot those old guns, but my current carry guns are a S&W 342PD, a Glock 26, a Sig P232 with night sights, and occasionally a S&W Model 625-11 (a lightweight N-frame snubby in .45 Colt).
     
  17. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods

    WOW!! Awesome info!! THANKS!

    And Yale!! :wow:

    I know you said you used leather rigs. But as far as the blueing, did guns wear pretty quick due to being shoved into and out of pockets/wastbands?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  18. Omerta757

    Omerta757

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia

    This is a cool thread, Why and what ended in 1986? (The year I was born)
     
  19. repooc

    repooc Millennium Member

    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Location:
    The burg
    My Dad's 1960 S&W 19 has it's original blue finish and still looks good. Not sure that it had a lot of in and out of the holster. Yes today the bluing is probable better.
     
  20. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    The Brits got bent over and spanked...then de-nutted by their own gov.

    I'm not sure of the specifics but either guns and/or carrying was outlawed. Plus they made it illegal to defend yourself in any way against an attack IIRC. Did a bang up job they did!! Cheerio!!

    -Emt1581