U.S. BORDER PATROL “ROUGH DUTY’ GUN LEATHER

AGENT CHARLES NESTOR – BORDER PATROL “ROUGH DUTY” SET

History of the Border Patrol “Rough Duty” Set

“I have used this holster up until 1990 when we went to semi-auto pistols. This is probably the best revolver duty holster I have ever carried of its type.” Agent Charles Nestor, Border Patrol, Customs, Immigration, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Instructor

Early Border Patrol personnel were coming up against tougher and tougher challenges. As a result, changes were needed in the Border Patrol service revolver and gun leather. Input from several professionals in the Border Patrol resulted in Smith & Wesson introducing the Model 10 with a heavy, .38 Special, 4” barrel in 1959. To go with this new revolver, the “Rough Duty” holster and belt came out in 1960 and soon became property of Agent Charles Nestor, who has trained hundreds, if not thousands of law enforcement personnel in his long career.

This holster will also fit S&W Models 15 and 19 with 4” barrels. Charles Nestor obtained and wore this rig throughout many years of his career. This was the rig that was used in all terrain and weather. It was used on foot, in vehicles, horseback, airplane, and boat duty.

Several manufacturers made these including Myers, and Blumel of El Paso, and Don Hume of Oklahoma. This style was also issued to the U.S. Customs Service, Immigration Service, and instructors at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

This “Rough Duty” set differed from the later Border Patrol rigs and the Dress Duty set which had a toe plug. This holster had two snaps on the back of the belt loop to allow quick off and on. The holster safety strap also had two snaps. One length allowed the gun to rest securely in the holster. The second snap allowed the strap to be pivoted and snapped around the front of the holster for firing range practice or when a fast draw was needed.

Very rare was the hammer spur guard that slid on the safety strap to guard against the hammer being inadvertently cocked. It could be used or removed as desired. The holster drop was 2 ½” and the early holsters had a round toe without a toe plug.

The “Rough Duty” belt was called the “River” belt and had two snap belt keepers worn one in front of the holster and one behind the holster. All hardware, buckles, snaps, etc. were made from brass only.

Agent Charles Nestor told me that it was common practice to thread your pant belt through the holster loop, and then thread the gun belt through the holster loop for the most secure set up. All leather gear was black and there was no decorative stamping.

The gun belt was 2 ½” wide and lined. The sewn on tongue and buckle ends were 1 ¼” as well as the heel bar buckle. The tongue end had five holes 1” apart. The buckle end had a tongue keeper on the top and two belt keepers on the back.

Additional items worn on the belt were a handcuff case with flap, a folding knife case with snap flap, and a six shot cartridge slide.

To honor Agent Charles Nestor and all his years of service, and to thank him for all of the above priceless information and input, Chisholm’s Trail is going to reproduce this Border Patrol “Rough Duty” set from the original, for historians to enjoy – and get their own set to use. You can find it under our “Historical” button. Call for yours today.

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