When I was scanning lobby cards and setting up the webpages on Wild Bill Elliott, I noticed the traditional butts rearward gunbelt that he wore in his initial films at Columbia Pictures. And it sure looked familiar. So I started diggin' a bit deeper, and thought some of you might enjoy the following.|
This particular gunbelt apparently started with Bob Allen during his brief western series at Columbia Pictures in the mid 1930s, and a larger size image can be seen by clicking HERE.
Below is the gunbelt that Elliott used in his initial westerns at Columbia. He had pearl handled six-shooters, butts facing rearward in the normal position, and bullet loops above the holsters. Note that the cyclinder on the sixgun is protected by this holster version. The patterns and design on the belt certainly appear to be the same as the one that Bob Allen wore. Crop from THE LAW COMES TO TEXAS (1939). Click HERE to see the full size image.
Sometime during 1939, he reversed the holsters so the sixguns were butt forward, but the gunbelt remained the same (the bullet loops above the holsters). Crop from PIONEERS OF THE FRONTIER (1940). Click HERE to see the full size image.
Below is Elliott's new/revised gunbelt from his later Columbia films with Tex Ritter. This crop is from the KING OF DODGE CITY (1941) lobby card. The main change is that the bullet loops are on the back, not over each holster. The holster design is also different, with more of the trigger guard and cylinder exposed. Bob Brown designed and hand-crafted the gunbelt for 'Wild Bill'. Click HERE to see the full size image.
Elliott's two-gun rig, with stag-handled six guns, butts forward, used during his period as Red Ryder is shown below, and note the bullet loops on the back. The 'style' is similar to the original 'Bob Allen' rig, but this gunbelt is less ornate and the holsters are cut differently. The six-shooters appear to have a gold tinge in this crop from a lobby card, but that is incorrect and is caused by the color process used in creating the card. This crop is from an Elliott lobby card not shown on the Old Corral.
Below is Allan Lane wearing the Elliott gunbelt during his turn in the Red Ryder series ... of course the holsters have been flip-flopped to opposite sides so the butts of the pistols face rearward. Crop is from OREGON TRAIL SCOUTS (1947) lobby card. Click HERE to see the full size image.
Below is Allan Lane's well worn gunbelt with black-handled sixguns from his Rocky Lane period. Hard to tell if this is the gunbelt he wore during the Red Ryder films, but it does have similarities. Crop is from LEADVILLE GUNSLINGER lobby card. Click HERE to see the full size image.
Bart Romans e-mailed with more on this gunbelt. Bart writes:
I acquired VCI videos of the TV show STORIES OF THE CENTURY (which was produced by Republic's Hollywood Television Service). In an episode I watched last night entitled 'John Wesley Hardin' with Richard Webb as Hardin, he was wearing the gunbelt last used by Rocky Lane. These shows were filmed in 1954 so it's after Lane had rode off in the sunset. The gunbelt is so recognizable and was worn by so many different cowboy stars one wonders what ever happened to it.
... noticed the Rocky Lane Gunbelt is worn by Buster Crabbe in THE LAWLESS EIGHTIES (Ventura Pictures Corporation/Republic, 1957).