Old Stuff

Is Fun Stuff. Know When To Retire It From Active Duty.

Old stuff is cool, old rifles, old handguns, old cartridges, old magazines, old holsters—all that used dusty, rusty, bent, scratch-and-dent-sale worn history is often pretty nifty gear. And a lot of it can get you killed!—If you let it.

No one likes old stuff any better than me. If it’s the right item, I’ll choose old stuff over the new almost every time. Bluntly, although it drives some people nuts, I like old Smith & Wesson handguns, the 1960s and ’70s are favorites and it drives my poor friend Antonio Miele from S&W nuts, and drives him to say, “Whatcha’ want dat old crap for?”

But, as Tony is Smith & Wesson’s premier actual gun guy working at the Springfield plant, he is interested in selling the product of today—as it should be. The new Smith & Wesson’s are as good as they have ever been, but I like the old Smith’s just as I like old cars (even though those old cars often are a pain in the overheating-leaking-oil-gas-guzzling backside).


No one, and I mean no one, is harder on gear than Heidi, the bride of my life. Not from abuse but because she actually uses her stuff. When it comes to holsters she usually wears them out two at a time and she wears guns like most folks wear shoes. The holsters worn daily, as she says, are comfortable, but after everyday wear day after day, month after month, they wear out.

I always have two new holsters at the ready but the transition period for her is the worst. I’ll suggest she change over to the new holster, but, of course, who would want to change after months of break-in to the perfect fit? So the final sales pitch goes something like, “Hey, are your retention straps going to fail and drop the guns at an inappropriate moment?” So, with pause, she switches. The change over takes about a week to wear in. Once Heidi breaks the new holsters in, she is happy, and I am happy as my partner always has and carries two guns (isn’t it great?).

I recently saw a photo of an old holster worn to the point of frazzle. During the holstered-while-sitting-in-the-car mode, an edge of the holster engaged the trigger and the gun fired while the guy was trying to get in or out of the car. Bad holster? Bad gun? I think not. I think a proper and good condition holster will protect the trigger of any type of pistol. Blame the holster or blame the gun, but replace the holster.

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