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Old 02-28-2014, 10:32 PM   #21
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Punch .22
Here is a civilian holster from the old days. I saw this one on e-bay, and it brought me back to the days of my youth. I am 53 years old, and I learned what I know about guns from men like Bill Jordan, Elmer Keith, Jeff Cooper, and Skeeter Skelton. When I was in middle school, I had checked out Small Arms of the World at the local library 27 times. This was in the days before the tactitard commando wannabes, and this was one of the holster types we used. Holsters were leather, and carving, even on relatively inexpensive holsters, was sought after.

This holster was made for the P38. It is of the "jock strap" style and was probably made in the 1950s-1960s. Covered triggers were unknown for revolvers, and uncovered triggers were common even on autoloaders. I never had a problem with this, and still do not.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #22
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Well, here is my next installment. This one concerns carrying the P38 as a concealed weapon. I have seen some pretty nice CCW holsters for the P38/P1 in the past, but they are getting pretty hard to find. Even some of the custom holster makers that I have used in the past will ask "you want a holster for WHAT?". In the short term, at least, I have had to make do with a few holsters that, while they were not made for the P38, they work.

Fist off, let me start by saying that I have carried a pistol for most of my adult life. I am NEVER without a pistol of some sort unless I am in a place there they are not allowed, and there are serious consequences for being caught with one. I am not a big fan of the tiny pistols and tend to carry a service pistol whenever I can. This was never a problem when I lived in more rural areas and carried my pistol on a belt. However, I have had to make some modifications to my usual manner or thinking when I received my CCW permit. I had to make even more modifications when I took advanced training afterward.

I qualified for my CCW with a .45 Colt Single Action Army revolver. I carried this, and often carried a Smith and Wesson Model 25-5 revolver in .45 Colt. The advanced training courses that I took required the use of a semi-automatic pistol, so I began carrying the CZ-75B. This is the pistol that I used for all of my advanced training. I have carried other pistols since then off and on, including the Glock 21SF and 30SF. Since putting together my hybrid Walter P38/P1, I have become rather attached to it and have started carrying it more.

One problem with the P38 is that it is a big pistol, even though it does not seem such. The first picture below shows the P38 and the CZ-75B together. While the CZ looks larger, the P38 is both longer and wider. In fact, the P38 is one of the wider pistols out there, and this makes a big problem finding a holster that will fit. Below are the measured widths (at the chamber) of some of the larger service pistols:

1911 - 23.68mm
CZ-75B - 25.42mm
Beretta 92 - 28.02mm
Glock 21SF - 28.6mm
Luger - 31.05mm
P1 - 31.55mm

As can be seen, the P38/P1 is a rather wide pistol, and it is also longer than the CZ-75B and the Glock21.

The second photo shows the custom holsters that I used to carry the CZ pistols. The top two were made for me by Mernikle, and the bottom by the FIST holster company. I cannot say enough about FIST as they are my favorite of the custom holster makers. They do not list the P38 or P1 as pistols that they deal with, but I will be talking to them later to see what can be done. They have made several holster for me, and I have never been dissatisfied with one. Unfortunately, I can't even begin to get a P38 into any of these holsters.

The next photos are some of the holsters that I have tried for the P38. I will be discussing these in future installments.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:58 PM   #23
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The first inside the belt / waistband holster that I will show is the Tagua Open Top Concealment Holster made for the Beretta 92FS and Taurus PT-92 series of pistols. I have found that holsters made for these pistols often fit the Walther P38 quite well. However, I have also seen where the square trigger guard pouch for the Beretta will allow the round guard of the Walther to seat lower which has a tendency to allow the Walther's barrel to protrude from the bottom of the holster. I do not mind this as long as the front sight stays in the holster. This particular model seems to allow that.

The holster is made of suede type materiel that keeps the pistol in place while it is being worn, but makes it nearly impossible to re-holster with one hand. This particular holster can be worn as an IWB, or as a belt holster if you so choose. This holster does have a flap of materiel that keeps the hammer from digging in to my fat. I really do appreciate that at times. I am having one of these made of real leather for me by FIST that will have a reinforcing band around the top and fully adjustable clip. I had a couple of these made for revolvers in my early days of CCW, and I will certainly report on the FIST when it gets here.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:00 PM   #24
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This next holster has been with me since the early 1980's. In my younger years, I never lived in a place that had stores like Cabelas, so any gun shops were small and far in between. If you were not shooting a K frame Smith and Wesson or a 1911, you could almost forget about finding any nice holster sitting on the shelf. Anything decent had to be ordered. Like a lot of the young shooters at that time and in that area, I used to dig through the barrel of used holsters that some gun shops had and see if I could find something that fit. Given that is what a lot of guys did, one got to see some strange combinations of pistols and holsters.

What is shown below is a Hunter 33-24 holster in size 54L that was made for a 4-inch Smith and Wesson Model 27 or 28. I lucked out finding it in the old barrel since a 4-inch Model 28 was what I was carrying at the time (it was years later that I actually found out that the 54L was made for that revolver). Over the years, I have carried a lot of pistols in that holster since it is one of my favorite "sitting" holsters, and I wear it cross draw. I am usually wearing this when I take long drives in the car, or when I am spending a lot of time in a meeting or on the computer. In addition to the Model 28, it has also carried my CZs and my High-Power. Naturally, I have also carried the P38 in it, too. The P38 uses a size 56M, and it is the only pistol using that size so finding a holster is quite hard. Fortunately, I did happen to find one and it is on the way. I will do a write-up on it when it gets here.

The 33-24 holster is spring loaded to close and has an adjustment screw that allows the holster to be tightened around the barrel. It is this spring and screw arrangement that allows so many pistols to be used with this holster. I have included photos of the holster with the P38 inside. Just goes to show what can be done. Keep in mind that a lot of P38s came back from the war in holsters that were not made for them, so this is not that unusual.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:53 PM   #25
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Punch

Thank you for the most interesting walk through on your holsters.The explanations and photos were terrific and very enjoyable.Your input and knowledge,passing along to the forum members,is one of the reasons I read this forum everyday.Again,thank you .
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:44 PM   #26
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You are very welcome, and thank you for your kind words.

Here I have some photos of various holsters that I have used to carry the P38, and a discussion of why the do or do not work. The first photo shows the holsters containing the pistols that they are supposed to contain. Starting at the 11:00 o'clock position is the Hunter holster with the Smith and Wesson Model 28-2 4-inch that I carried for much of the 1980's. The pistol was in this holster when it was not in a Jordan. At 1:00 o'clock is a Ruger Blackhawk .44 Special in a standard Western style holster. At five o'clock is the set that I used when I qualified for my CCW permit. This is an Uberti Regulator in a leather Mernickle IWB holster. This holster will also fit the Ruger. At about seven o'clock is a Galco Summer holster containing a Glock 21 .45acp. This is an excellent holster and I not only carried this pistol for a while, I also shot IDPA with it. The last holster is another Galco holding a Smith and Wesson 25-5 in .45 Colt that I carried through the 1990's. I also shot a lot of IDPA matches with this setup.

The next photo is the same holsters with a collection of P1 pistols (and one Luger in case someone did not notice). Don't laugh, I have seen a Luger carried this way when I was younger. The fellow had a Ruger and a Luger, and one holster. This is my youngest son's Luger, and he would shoot me if he saw me carry it this way.

We have already discussed the Hunter. It can be seen that the Galco for the Glock is too short. That is too bad because except for the barrel sticking out, the Walther fits perfectly. The Mernickle will work, but I would not carry it if you are active. Both the single action revolvers and the Walther draw like greased lightning out of this holster. Retention can be an issue with the Walther. I have carried the Walther this way, but not very often. The Galco for the Smith and Wesson is another story. The P1 fits rather tightly and draws rather well. Using this holster allows me to wear a shorter vest or jacket, or even just leave my shirt untucked. As has been said before, beware that fat man wearing an open Hawaiian shirt!
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:52 PM   #27
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After showing some ways to carry the P38/P1 in holsters not made for it, I will soon be able to show a couple of holsters that are made for it. As I stated earlier, I have a Hunter made for the P38 on the way. I also have FIST making me a holster for the P38 like I have had made for other pistols in the past. I have pictured (top) a couple of FIST IWB holsters. The top one is made of leather for the Smith and Wesson Model 19 stubby. It is carrying a Model 66-6. The lower holster was made to my specifications for my Glock 30SF. Like the leather holster above it, it uses Velcro to attach the clip allowing the holster to positioned in several different ways. I also had Velcro put on both sides so that the holster can be worn in any position on any side. This particular holster is made of Kydex. The holster that FIST is making for me is leather with the dual sided Velcro for the clip. When it comes in, I will do a full report on it.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:14 PM   #28
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I like the idea of velcro to be able to move the holster to different locations,depending on what clothing you are wearing.I am guessing the velcro also helps keep the holster from moving next to your body.My question does it rub through your t-shirt and make a rash?Again thank you for the imput and pictures.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:37 PM   #29
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Well, the holsters that I picked up from Ebay came in. These are civilian holsters that were actually made to carry the P38 (and P1). Both of these holster types are made by the Hunter company, and at least one (the 1100) is still in production. I do not believe that the 33-25 is still in production, but I found at least two on Ebay that were the proper size for the P38.

First, lets discuss the Hunter 1100. In my younger days, this was THE civilian holster, and most gun shops that were worth a darn carried at least some of these even if they did not carry anything else. I always liked the "snap on / snap off" design of this holster, and this design was shared by other holster manufacturers, too. I have a couple of Brauer Brothers holsters that are also "snap on / snap off", but they are open bottom and tended to fit the pistols that they were designed for a bit more loosely. The leather on this holster runs about 4mm thick as compared to the 3mm that is used on most of the military holsters reviewed above. The East German holster reviewed above only ran 2mm thick. I tend to judge a holster by the thickness of the leather, and many of my most serviceable holsters, running from my custom El Passo Saddlery revolver holsters on the high end to some of my Triple K holsters on the low end use the 4mm leather. This holster is folded and sewn with the straps riveted on. The P38 takes the Size 5 in this holster design, which also takes the Browning Hi Power and the Smith and Wesson Model 59.

While this holster is somewhat old and well used, it appears to have many more years of use left. The Hunter 1100 is very well represented on Ebay, and finding a Size 5 should not be that difficult.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:15 PM   #30
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The next holster for the P38 is the Hunter 3325 style holster. A few days ago, I showed a Hunter holster of this type that was originally made for a Smith and Wesson N Frame revolver that I was using to carry the Walther. Well, after a long time of searching, I found not only one of these holsters made for the Walther, but two! These holsters are the Size 56M which was made for K Frame Smith and Wessons with 6 inch barrels (and other revolvers of the same size), and the Walther P38 pistol. This holster uses 4mm leather and fits the P38 and P1 pistols perfectly. One of the holsters came with a Western style suicide strap, but I think that this was added by the owner later since I have never seen on of these holsters come from the factory so equipped. I have included photos of this holster along with the 33-24 so that the difference in the fit can be readily seen. I am also not one to like to have my photograph taken, but I was so overjoyed to find these holster that I had to have a photo of me wearing one. I don't know if I could appear any happier than this.
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