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Jack Wilson

Shane, considered one of the all-time best westerns ever made, featured one of the most cold-blooded killers ever to draw a Colt SAA on the screen. Hired gun Jack Wilson, played by Jack Palance (nominated for an Oscar), moved like a dark, sinewy, shadow of death throughout the film. Packing two guns in a very unusual, carved, stylized version of the buscadero gun rig, Palance wore them far forward on his hips with an extreme forward rake on the tied down holsters. It's no wonder to learn the gun coach on the film was fast draw expert Rodd Redwing.

To enhance the authentic flavor of the film, Palance's outfit was actually a cleverly reworked gun belt and holsters made by the famous H. H. Heiser Company. Taking a standard Heiser carved cartridge belt and cutting two slots a third of the way from the bottom where the guns were to be worn, a left and right hand version of the familiar Heiser #714 holster were inserted. Next the bottom of each closed-toe holster received two holes for the tie downs. As these holsters were basically vertical, Palance had to work hard pushing and twisting the gun grips down and back to keep the sharp forward rake to the holsters and barrels. Sticking his gloves between the holster and skirt helped.

My Jack Wilson carefully duplicates the original movie rig in color and design, faithfully recreating the holsters and belt using the original maker's own catalogue as a guide. However, to make it a little easier on the wearer, I designed the holsters to have a natural forward barrel cant and I've fully lined and border stitched the rig for better wear and longer life. By using a light gauge saddle leather for both the outer shell and lining, I've managed to duplicate the soft, supple look and feel of the original.

The Jack Wilson is designed to fit any 4 3/4" barrel Colt SAA or clone. A variation is available for the larger Vaquero. Now all you have to do is find a couple of sets of those unusual reddish, marbleized style grips Palance used on his guns. Like most Hollywood pistol grips, they were plastic and made by the old and now gone Franzite company.


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Legends in Leather
Jim Lockwood
8100 North Red Oak Road
Prescott, Arizona 86305
Phone: 928-717-2175
Fax: 928-717-0643
E-mail: jlockwood@legendsinleather.com