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MODEL 1881 HOLSTER, SECOND TYPE – MODIFIED FOR THE COLT “ARTILLERY” 5 ˝” BARREL REVOLVERS:   As described in US Military Holsters and Pistol Cartridge Boxes, Meadows, page 143, this Model 1881 Holster (Second Type) was one of those subjected to the modification which begun in 1895 to accommodate the Colt Revolvers with the shortened 5 ˝” barrels – referred to by modern collectors as the “Artillery Model Colts”.   

These “Artillery Model” Holsters are not particularly common, but nonetheless I have been fortunate enough to acquire the specimens offered below.  Each is described separately with accompanying photographs.

 

NO. 1   MODEL 1881 HOLSTER, SECOND TYPE – MODIFIED FOR THE COLT “ARTILLERY” 5 ˝” BARREL REVOLVERS:  A very good specimen, this holster features solid stitching throughout and all of the components are intact.  The body is very solid and full form, with an overall very good shiny surface to the leather with minimal crazing, and a legible “US” embossed in the oval.  The holster flap shows similar crazing, but the surface is stable and both of the finial holes are intact.  The piece maker’s initials are still legible on the tip of the flap.  The loop is very solid and the surface is very good to excellent with a smooth, shiny surface to the leather.   

Of special note on this holster, the interior of the holster flap retains the very desirable, and quite legible, stencil “S S&W” and “C” adjacent to the closing holes which indicated to the soldiers which hole was to be used with which pistol, the Colt Model 1873 or the Smith and Wesson Model 1875 Schofield.  This is always a added value feature which seldom survives on these holsters which saw issue and use.   

This is a very credible, solid specimen of one of the more desirable variations of the Model 1881 Holsters.  (0222)  $975

 

 

NO. 2   MODEL 1881 HOLSTER, SECOND TYPE – MODIFIED FOR THE COLT “ARTILLERY” 5 ˝” BARREL REVOLVERS: 

A very good specimen, this holster features solid stitching throughout and all of the components are intact.  The body is very solid and full form, with an overall very good to excellent smooth, shiny surface to the leather, and a legible “US” embossed in the oval.  The holster flap shows the affects of aging with the surface generally crazed, but stable and both of the finial holes are intact. 

As seen in period photographs, it was fairly common for the soldiers to fold the flap back and tuck it between the belt and the soldier’s body in order to expose the pistol’s grip for quick access.  This may have been the case with this holster and would explain the heavier flexing of the leather surface of the flap as compared to the other components.  The loop is very solid and the surface is very good to excellent with a smooth, shiny surface to the leather.  There is a numeral “7” carved into the surface of the loop, likely a soldier’s application of a unit identification or inventory number.    

This is a complete, very credible, solid specimen of one of the more desirable variations of the Model 1881 Holsters.  (0105)  $925

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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