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Punch 01-23-2014 11:25 PM

P38/P1 Holsters
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Over the next couple of days, I thought that I would post some photos of my favorite holsters that carry my favorite pistols. I am going to post one holster for each posting. Feel free to join in!

The first holster is my favorite, and the best built issue holster that I have ever seen. It is a French holster made to carry several different pistol models, including the P38. The way it is made causes the holster to fit perfectly both the P38/P1 and the CZ-75B. The magazine holder is an "accordion" type that easily expands to hold a double stack magazine. This is a slightly later model of the holster that is equipped with a reinforcement strip held by three large rivets. This really holds the pistol in place until you are ready to draw the thing, unlike some of the German types that are ready to fall out once the flap is opened. Also, unlike the German holsters of the same type, this one is made to wear strong side and not cross draw. I carry a pistol all day every day when I am not in Church or Work. This is the holster that my pistol spends most of its time. The lower photos show the reinforcement bar that holds the pistol in place.

Punch 01-24-2014 08:11 AM

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This the next holster that I want to show. It is an early post war DDR (East German) holster that I picked up from a gentleman on the P38 forum. Like the holster above, it was made to hold several of the pistols used by the East Germans in the early post war period. The holster is very well made, as one would expect from the Germans, but does not use as heavy leather and reinforcing as the French holster above that was copied from it. I particularly like the rings on this holster, and as can be seen, I normally carry it over my shoulder or around my neck. This is my second most used holster and it is the one that I usually have in the car with me. The strap helps me not drop it on the way to and from the car, and it also hides well under my jacket or vest if I carry it somewhere away from the car (at 6 ft 3 inches and 350 pounds, I can nearly hide a tank under my coat, so don't get all excited about CCing WWII type holsters if you are not quite as elephantine in structure).

donp326 01-24-2014 10:08 AM

Punch where did you get the soulder straps for the Crese P-1 holster" I have the holster with the D loops but not the rest of the shoulder and belt stuff. I would like to finds it too.

Punch 01-24-2014 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by donp326 (Post 317978)
Punch where did you get the soulder straps for the Crese P-1 holster" I have the holster with the D loops but not the rest of the shoulder and belt stuff. I would like to finds it too.

I honestly don't know. I have a lot of stuff that comes with straps, and the first thing that I usually do is throw the straps in a box. This came out of the box. It was the right length and looked about the same vintage, so I used it. My guess is that it came from some aftermarket Asian built ammunition pouch that I picked up, and later discarded, along the way. Since I actually use this stuff and not collect it, I never really made an attempt to match things. Due to my size, most "issue" stuff would not fit anyway.

donp326 01-24-2014 02:36 PM

I have searched for the correct belt etc but have not been able to find anything that would do for my Crese drop holster

J.D. 01-24-2014 09:25 PM

Great Thread Punch.

Thanks for showing us & now I am on the look out for one of those french holsters ;)
I am a bit of a holster collector :eek: so I thought I'd share some with you Guys...... Enjoy




Punch 01-25-2014 09:31 AM

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The next holsters that I want to show are probably the most commonly seen post war holsters for the P38/P1. I believe that at one time one of these holsters came with every pistol sold by a certain importer. This holster type was used for many years by the West German army. As can be seen, it does not have any belt loops on the outside. Rather the belt goes through straps on the inside of the holster. When the pistol is brought to action, the strap holding the top flap down is pulled down and this drops the entire holster down, leaving the pistol grip at hand level. This is a good system, if everything works. I have found it flawless when the holster is attached to a leather belt such as the Sam Browne, but not so flawless when the holster is attached to modern nylon type materiel. I have been told (and I am sure that I will be corrected if I have been told incorrectly) that this holster design is a prewar design created by an SS Officer. The holster was too expensive to make for wartime use (although I believe there were actually some made, particularly for smaller pistols), but was resurrected post war for use by the West German Army.

The four holsters below are from four different time periods, with the left most being from the mid-1980s and the right most being from 1961. The early holster is made of much better quality leather than the later holsters. The later holsters, which date from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s are made from a lighter leather and are remarkably consistent in construction. I did have one later holster (not shown here) that was unissued, but fell apart the first time it was used. The metal rivets holding the straps just popped off. Nearly all of them!

The two holsters shown in detail are the latest and earliest one of the bunch. The 1961 holster is the only one of these that I have seen with the manufacturer identified on the holster. I am sure there are others, however.

Punch 01-25-2014 10:45 AM

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The next holster is one of the reproduction full flap holsters made. It is available from many sources, including Amazon.com, and is usually found for less than $40.00. Buyer beware! While this is a nice looking holster, it contains several flaws - one serious. First, none of the rivets are covered on the inside. One of these rivets lines up perfectly with the slide of the P38 pistol and is sharp enough to put a nice gash in the finish of your pistol. This alone renders the holster totally useless as an item to carry your pistol. You would first need to affix some protective materiel over the rivet, or carry the pistol in a sock, which brings up point #2.

While the holster is marked and sold as a P38 holster, there is enough room in this thing to carry a P38 that has been inserted into a pistol cover first! Not a tight fit at all. And this may be part of what contributes to problem #3.

The lifting strap on this holster is worthless. Unlike the original holsters that lift the pistol when the flap is opened so that the pistol may be withdrawn, this strap is so long that it does nothing when the flap is opened. Now this would not be so bad if the strap worked like that on a Luger holster and could be pulled to lift the pistol. Nope. Pull the strap and 8 times out of 10 it slides around the trigger guard and leaves the pistol right there, needing some time to dig it out of the holster.

Well, rather than get upset, I just used some pointers from my favorite movie and made some modifications to this piece of junk. The movie photos will give an idea of what I was thinking. The next post will show the results.

Punch 01-25-2014 11:11 AM

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Well, off with the flap! At least not totally. I removed the flap, leaving the strap available to hold the pistol in place if I was doing something active (a very RARE occasion for me). Then I glued a piece of leather over the offending rivets. Next, I added materiel to the inside of the holster to more firmly secure the pistol. It no longer “rattles around” in the holster. I then cut away some materiel from the front of the holster so that I could better get a grip on the pistol when it is drawn from the holster. This worked well cross draw, but the pistol could not be drawn weak hand. Removing materiel from the rear of the holster allows me to draw the pistol with either hand. BTW – I always carry this holster on my left side as was the standard German practice up until the end of the war. Below are the finished results of my project.

J.D. 01-25-2014 06:08 PM

Thanks for all the information & great pics Punch.

Looking forward to your next addition.

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