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A pic of a pair of Bianchi model#19 belt holsters for autos, from long ago.

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At left (in the front or outer view) is the production #19 that is well-known and began production around 1970; at right is perhaps the rarest of that company's production holsters: the Nelson M&P circa 1969. In those days the company did not mark the name of the holster on the backside; only its number and fitment info.

Yes, a Bruce Nelson design from his brief period working with John Bianchi at the company in the late 1960s. He had left by the time I arrived at the company in 1970 and the holster was already out of production. But John had an example to show me and I was a mighty-impressed 20-year old. Note the Nelson has a sight channel, which the company did not have on other models until much later in the 70s.

The biggest difference is the 'welt' structure. Bruce's welting structure (stitched up around the trigger guard and no leather spacer or "welt" inside the seam) -- indeed his entire styling and construction -- is taken from one of Paris Theodore's Seventrees' holsters of 1969. John's version uses the welt construction of his #2 belt holster, a holster that began as a strapless exposed-trigger guard design; sometimes incorrectly called a Threepersons construction with welt inside. One would have to ask John why Bruce's holster was obsoleted -- and then you still likely wouldn't know why, actually.

When one knows what to look for, the outline of the paper clip inside the Nelson's thumb-tab upright (on the backside) is visible in just the right light. It was used to stiffen the thumb snap assembly. A friend was very thoughtful and told me that it was for sale and I grabbed it. This marks the first time in a half century that I've handled one and I've only ever seen one picture of it in all that time.
 

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Paris Theodore? Funding his gunshop/lab in NYC (yeah, THAT New York City)!) was like locating the HQ in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.". It was behind a big safe-door hidden deeply in the garment district. You were NOT GONNA' walk-in on Mr. Theodore. Rumor was that he was "officially" exempt from ALL provisions of the National Firearms Act. He build so many & so much "spook" gadgetry that he once smiled & said, "I am Q."

Red, thanks for the holster history lesson & reminding me of an ol' acquaintance that certainly deserves the title Secretive Genius! :congrats:
 
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