Clint Eastwood began using Western Fast Draw rigs from the North Hollywood Gunfighter holster shop of Andy Anderson when he appeared in the Adult TV Western series “Rawhide” in 1959. By the end of the series eight seasons later he had settled on a custom version of the Anderson Walk and Draw (W&D) Western rig, which then became known as the Eastwood rig. He used this style rig in all of his Western movies until The Outlaw Josey Wales. As Josey Wales, Eastwood decided to use more period correct gun leather.
Josey Wales Rig
Josey Wales was a walking arsenal, carrying twin Colt Walkers in hip holsters, a pair of 1860 Colt Army revolvers in his waistband, and an 1849 Pocket Model Colt in a shoulder holster. Anderson made the rig for the Walkers and the shoulder rig. When Eastwood ordered the Walker rig, he intended to carry a single Walker. Upon later examining the completed rig, he indicated to Anderson his decision to carry two Walkers and the need for a left side holster. Anderson made a complete new rig consisting of the gunbelt and two holsters—all cut from the same side of cowhide so as to match perfectly. Anderson later gave the prototype Outlaw Josey Wales rig to his close friend, the late stuntman Alex Green. I recently purchased the rig from Green’s estate.
In his rare advertising, Anderson claimed to have offered the first full contour-shaped gunbelt. The Outlaw Josey Wales gunbelt is 2½ inches wide tapered on the ends for a 1¾-inch buckle, and is contoured to lie flat on one’s hips. It is unusual in that it is unlined, cut from a thick piece of top-grade cowhide. The buckle is a scalloped edge gunfighter style made of solid brass and is secured by three brass screw post binders. The backside of the buckle end of the belt is stamped “ALEX.” The right hand hip holster is of the traditional “Slim Jim” style with a separate tunnel belt loop stitched securely to the backside for a vertical carry. The top edge is “S” shaped with a cutout for fast access to the triggerguard. The rear edge has a tapered welt at the triggerguard and the holster is lightly molded for the big Walker revolver. The open-toe pouch allows the end of the long barrel and rammer to extend below the holster. A hammer thong is attached to the top of the pouch for extra security. Hanging from the hammer thong is a small piece of leather with Anderson’s ace of spades makers mark stamped in the face, and “C.E. NO. 1” stamped in the backside. This prototype of the Outlaw Josey Wales rig is a cherished addition to my Hollywood collection. Spaghetti Western Replicas has a pattern of the Anderson rig and can supply copies.
For the complete article please refer to the print issue of Guns of the Old West Winter 2012 Issue #72