The illustrations shown below will give some idea of the endless variations to be found in Heiser’s work. Company catalogs note that the business started in 1858 and we know that the company was bought out just after 1950. Heiser supplied holsters for almost the entire period of American cartridge handgun evolution. When adding the variables of specific style, barrel length, carving, braided edge, lining and others the number of potential variations seems unlimited. I currently have about 100 examples of Heiser work and feel that a reasonably complete collection could number 1000.
Various closure snaps used by Heiser
From the Left:
Plain / Brown enamled
Heiser – Denver / Brown enamled
Heiser – Denver / Gold and Black embossed
Plain (larger and flat) / unknown color
Heiser logos and markings
This is the earliest marking I have seen, it is on a Mexican style single action holster, probably 1890-1900.
This single line marking is seldom seen, it predates the ‘Bar-Oval’ below.
The ‘ Bar-Oval’ logo is quite common, apparently pre-dating the oval below. The stamps changed slightly over time as you can see below.
The oval logo is probably the most commonly seen marking.
This late marking is the only one I have ever seen. It appears on a holster with an enameled plain brown snap.
Above is an illustration of a U.S. M 10 holster, pictured below is the Heiser marking on that holster. Literature suggests that Heiser also contracted to make holsters for the 1911 automatic pistol during the WW11 period, but I have never seen one with U. S. inspector marks. See the commercial 1911 holster below.
Retailers of Heiser products
St Paun Mn.
V. L. & A. Chicago
Abercrombie & Fitch, N.Y
This Mod. 1911 Colt holster bears the Abercrombie & Fitch stamp seen above. In addition, it is obscurely marked Heiser-Denver with the ‘bar-oval’ style stamp on the body of the holster under the belt tab as indicated by the arrow on the upper left photo.
Triple “H” rivets
Notice that the superimposed HHH rivets on the Heiser marked holster and the Browning marked holster are the same. Also note the similarity in style of the oval logo on the Browning holster to those shown above. Later rivets are plain, not embossed.
The 3 numbers that you see on some of the holsters illustrated are codes that indicate specifically what gun the holster was made to fit, barrel length, options, etc. Period catalogs are the easiest way to identify these codes.
Other Heiser Products
A sheath for a Randall knife by Heiser
A Heiser case for a detachable claw mounted scope
A Heiser pistol rug, circa 1940’s
I am always interested in holsters that I do not have or are in better condition than examples that I do have.