In this Handgun Hide, we’ll examine two modern holsters for large frame autopistols and a traditional leather holster for a single-ation revolver. These are a Compact Askins from BlackHawk, a new X-Project carry system with a M1X holster from Galco Gunleather, and a Model 1920 hip holster from Ted Blocker holsters.

handgun2.gifBlackHawk Compact Askins
The BlackHawk Compact Askins is a leather belt slide, a strong side hip holster, shortened to end just below the tunnel belt loop. It will work equally well with a 1911 of any barrel length. This holster is handcrafted in Italy from the finest Italian leather. The holster is drum-dyed black and sealed after construction to prevent any bleeding of the dye.

The traditional wraparound pouch with seam down the trailing edge is wet molded for a perfect fit and has a synthetic front sight tunnel securely stitched in place. The open top pouch fully encloses the pistol’s triggerguard to prevent premature access to the trigger with the cocked and locked 1911 autopistol.

The gun butt is presented for a full shooting grip with first hand contact. The top lip of the pouch is double thickness to provide easy one-hand holstering of the pistol. An adjustable tension device is located just below the triggerguard to provide the desired security.

A belt slot in the trailing edge provides additional stability and pulls the gun butt in against the hip for enhanced concealment. The holster positions the pistol at an FBI rake for easier drawing from a high hip position. When worn just behind the point of one’s hip, the BlackHawk Compact Askins conceals well under a light jacket.

Galco X-Project
Galco’s new X-Project is a carry system that consists of two components, the M1X holster and a shoulder harness. Of all synthetic construction, the M1X holster has a flexible mount attached to the back with two heavy-duty screw fasteners. The mount has two extra mounting holes to position the pouch in either a FBI rake, vertical, or muzzle rake crossdraw position. The mount has large buttonholes in each end. A separate flexible synthetic strap fastens to the holster mount with two buttons and has a heavy-duty snap fastened belt loop on each end. This piece is used when one uses the M1X holster on a waist belt. With both components worn together, the X-Project is a complete a shoulder holster system.

The M1X holster is made from a thick, black rigid synthetic casing. The holster’s front and back halves are riveted together at the leading edge. This provides a sight tunnel for sharp-edged high visibility front sights. The pistol’s triggerguard is fully enclosed for safety while the gun butt is presented for a full shooting grip. The top back side of the pouch is shaped with a pocket for the thumb safety lever, so that the safety will not be accidentally brushed off.

The X-Project holster uses a new system to secure the pistol. The open top pouch is exposed down the trailing edge. When holstered, the pistol’s triggerguard seats on a shelf, while a projection into the triggerguard locks the pistol into place. A strap locks the rear edge closed with a heavy-duty snap fastener. A large tab extends to the rear so that the first two fingers may release this lock. When released, the pouch flexes enough to allow the pistol’s triggerguard to cam the projection out of the way. This is a very secure system that will require practice before one may draw the pistol quickly.

Ted Blocker Model 1920
Several months ago I obtained a Ruger New Vaquero Montado SA revolver with its unusual 3.625-inch barrel. Ted Blocker Holsters has made me a fully hand-carved Model 1920 hip holster, a copy of the Elmer Keith designed Lawrence 120 holster that was a slightly modified Myres Threepersons holster. 

The Blocker version is a traditional cowhide pouch holster with a stitched closed bottom end and a tunnel belt loop. The belt loop positions the holster at a slight FBI rake. The pouch is cut for a speed draw, with the triggerguard and hammer spur being fully exposed. 

Security is provided by a traditional heavy-duty snap-fastened safety strap that goes over the hammer and snaps to the top face of the pouch. Finished in a red-brown dye with contrasting white stitching and with nicely executed Western flower carving, this is a beautiful example of a classic design.

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