XE "Bianchi Holster"  company’s California-made product line and setting new benchmarks for styling, performance and construction.  Then came the 1990s and his Nichols Innovation company was the world's first consulting-design service to the holster industry, where for a decade he created more industry standards for companies including Aker, DeSantis, Galco XE "Galco" , Shooting Systems and dozens more around the world.  And patents, lots of holster patents.  Holsters have been his life-long passion since 1963 when Red’s ex-Navy brother David introduced him to guns and holsters; and then 1966 when Red encountered Chic Gaylord XE "Gaylord, Chic" ’s classic holster text Handgunner’s Guide at a local library.  Retired to Australia since the turn of the century, Red still builds advanced holsters. John Witty’s interest in gunleather grew from a desire to pair his handguns with proper holsters. He was prescient enough to order holsters directly from Berns-Martin XE "Berns-Martin"  and S.D. Myres XE "S.D. Myres"  while still a teenager. He, of course, still has them.  John’s gunleather collection is focused on the first 70 years of the 20th Century and includes examples by H.H. Heiser XE "H.H. Heiser" , S.D. Myres, Berns-Martin, the George Lawrence XE "Lawrence, George"  Company, A.H. Hardy and many more. He maintains a huge collection of gunleather and its ephemera including catalogs and advertising.  As with his firearms, condition and originality are important attributes that inform John’s acquisitions.  He is a Life Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association, an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association, and a member of the Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation. John is active online with Smith & Wesson Forum where he serves as Moderator and Expert Commentator.  He is a native and life-long resident of South Florida and a proud Eagle Scout.  Having recently retired, he can devote almost enough time to scraping the verdigris from his holsters. He is honored to have worked with Red Nichols on this Holstory. " /> XE "Bianchi Holster"  company’s California-made product line and setting new benchmarks for styling, performance and construction.  Then came the 1990s and his Nichols Innovation company was the world's first consulting-design service to the holster industry, where for a decade he created more industry standards for companies including Aker, DeSantis, Galco XE "Galco" , Shooting Systems and dozens more around the world.  And patents, lots of holster patents.  Holsters have been his life-long passion since 1963 when Red’s ex-Navy brother David introduced him to guns and holsters; and then 1966 when Red encountered Chic Gaylord XE "Gaylord, Chic" ’s classic holster text Handgunner’s Guide at a local library.  Retired to Australia since the turn of the century, Red still builds advanced holsters. John Witty’s interest in gunleather grew from a desire to pair his handguns with proper holsters. He was prescient enough to order holsters directly from Berns-Martin XE "Berns-Martin"  and S.D. Myres XE "S.D. Myres"  while still a teenager. He, of course, still has them.  John’s gunleather collection is focused on the first 70 years of the 20th Century and includes examples by H.H. Heiser XE "H.H. Heiser" , S.D. Myres, Berns-Martin, the George Lawrence XE "Lawrence, George"  Company, A.H. Hardy and many more. He maintains a huge collection of gunleather and its ephemera including catalogs and advertising.  As with his firearms, condition and originality are important attributes that inform John’s acquisitions.  He is a Life Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association, an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association, and a member of the Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation. John is active online with Smith & Wesson Forum where he serves as Moderator and Expert Commentator.  He is a native and life-long resident of South Florida and a proud Eagle Scout.  Having recently retired, he can devote almost enough time to scraping the verdigris from his holsters. He is honored to have worked with Red Nichols on this Holstory. " />

Cookies must be enabled to use this web application.

To allow this site to use cookies, use the steps that apply to your browser below. If your browser is not listed below, or if you have any questions regarding this site, please contact us.

Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • 1. Select "Internet Options" from the Tools menu.
  • 2. Click on the "Privacy" tab.
  • 3. Click the "Default" button.
  • 4. Click "OK" to save changes.
Chrome Chrome
  • 1. Click the "Spanner" icon in the top right of the browser.
  • 2. Click Options and change to the "Under the Hood" tab.
  • 3. Scroll down until you see "Cookie settings:".
  • 4. Set this to "Allow all cookies".
Firefox Firefox
  • 1. Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Options".
  • 2. Click the "Privacy" icon on the top of the window.
  • 3. Click on the "Cookies" tab.
  • 4. Check the box corresponding to "Allow sites to set Cookies.
  • 5. Click "OK" to save changes.
Opera Opera
  • 1. Click on the "Tools" menu and then click Preferences.
  • 2. Change to the Advanced tab, and to the cookie section.
  • 3. Select "Accept cookies only from the site I visit" or "Accept cookies".
  • 4. Ensure "Delete new cookies when exiting Opera" is not ticked.
  • 5. Click OK.
Netscape and Mozilla Suite Netscape and Mozilla Suite
  • 1. Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu.
  • 2. Click on the arrow next to "Privacy & Security".
  • 3. Under "Privacy & Security" select "Cookies".
  • 4. Select "Enable all cookies".
  • 5. Click "OK" to save changes.
Safari Safari
  • 1. Click on the "Cog" icon in Safari.
  • 2. Click Preferences.
  • 3. Change to the Security tab.
  • 4. Select "Only from sites I visit" or "Allow".
  • 5. Close the dialog using the cross.

About the Author

Author Info

’Red’ Nichols, full name Richard Edward Dale (R.E.D.) Nichols, made his start as a holster designer/maker by apprenticing to world-renowned holster authority John E. Bianchi in 1970.  He spent the 1970s and 1980s developing the Bianchi Holster company’s California-made product line and setting new benchmarks for styling, performance and construction.  Then came the 1990s and his Nichols Innovation company was the world's first consulting-design service to the holster industry, where for a decade he created more industry standards for companies including Aker, DeSantis, Galco, Shooting Systems and dozens more around the world.  And patents, lots of holster patents.  Holsters have been his life-long passion since 1963 when Red’s ex-Navy brother David introduced him to guns and holsters; and then 1966 when Red encountered Chic Gaylord’s classic holster text Handgunner’s Guide at a local library.  Retired to Australia since the turn of the century, Red still builds advanced holsters.

John Witty’s interest in gunleather grew from a desire to pair his handguns with proper holsters. He was prescient enough to order holsters directly from Berns-Martin and S.D. Myres while still a teenager. He, of course, still has them.  John’s gunleather collection is focused on the first 70 years of the 20th Century and includes examples by H.H. Heiser, S.D. Myres, Berns-Martin, the George Lawrence Company, A.H. Hardy and many more. He maintains a huge collection of gunleather and its ephemera including catalogs and advertising.  As with his firearms, condition and originality are important attributes that inform John’s acquisitions.  He is a Life Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association, an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association, and a member of the Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation. John is active online with Smith & Wesson Forum where he serves as Moderator and Expert Commentator.  He is a native and life-long resident of South Florida and a proud Eagle Scout.  Having recently retired, he can devote almost enough time to scraping the verdigris from his holsters. He is honored to have worked with Red Nichols on this Holstory.


Session Expiration WarningYour session is due to expire.

Your online session is due to expire shortly.
Would you like to extend your session and remain logged in?

Session Expired

Your session has expired.We're sorry, but your online session has expired.
Please log back into your account to continue.

This site uses cookies. Continuing to use this site without changing your cookie settings means that you consent to those cookies to enhance site navigation and the overall user experience. Learn more about our privacy policy or learn more about how to turn off cookies.