ALFONSO’S OF HOLLYWOOD – HOLSTERS OF THE HEROES

In the mid-1950s, Arvo Ojala added a steel insert, encircling the revolver cylinder and extending up-ward, in the drop shank of a Western Buscadero-style holster, producing the first steel-lined fast-draw holster. He obtained a U.S. patent for the steel insert and opened the Hollywood Fast Draw Holster Company shop in North Hollywood to produce his revolutionary fast-draw rig. Demand soon had him hiring extra leatherworkers to produce his popular fast-draw rig, as used by such early Western TV series stars as James Arness of Gunsmoke and Richard Boone of Have Gun, Will Travel. Two of the holster-makers hired were Andy Anderson and Alfonso Pineda, who each went on to open their own holster shops in North Hollywood.

Alfonso’s Own
Alfonso Pineda emigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua in the late 1950s, where he had learned the art of crafting fine leather products for tourists, made from local alligator hides. By 1959, Alfonso was working in the Property Department of Universal Studios, where he met Arvo Ojala and was hired to work in Ojala’s shop producing his fast-draw rigs. At one time, Ojala authorized Daisy Manufacturing in Rogers, Arkansas, to produce his fast-draw rig. It was Alfonso who traveled to the Daisy plant in Arkansas to set up the manufacturing process for the Daisy/Ojala fast-draw rig. At its peak, the World Series of Fast Draw was the Colt-Sahara National Walk and Draw Championships, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, and co-sponsored by Colt Firearms and the Sahara Hotel and Casino. The fast-draw rig of choice in 1959 was the Ojala rig, though the winner used a custom Anderson “Gunfighter” rig…

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