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Old 03-02-2004, 12:24 PM   #1
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Chic Gaylord

There was a real famous guy in the sixties named Chic Gaylord. As some of his customers say, he had the hands of a craftsman, the eye of an aartist and the mind of a scientist. He majored in art in college and after graduation worked as a cartoonist for the famous Peter Arne, dean of American cartoonists. He finally went on his own and in his shop on West 47nth St NYC he began to develope the finest holsters for law enforcement people. He never advertised as his fame came from word of mouth. He also became known in those days to be the top man in combat shootng. He made holsters for every type situation and all type pistols. He once put on a demo with 17 weapons concealed on his body. I had the pleasure of meeting him a number of times when a friend in law enforcement asked me to go.

He was one of the early exponents of wax bullets and designed a complete combat course for them so it could be practiced indoor.

Speaking of wax bullets, a very good friend of mine pulled a funny one on his wife wwith them . He was shooting them in the basement at targets. Over to one side his wife was leaning over the tub and he let her have one on the butt. Well as soon as it hit he realized he shouldnt have done it. It didnt break the skin but she had quite a welt and didnt talk to him for days.

Anyway, a few friends have some Gaylord holsters and wouldnt sell them for anything. Im not sure if Chicck is still alive
 
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Old 03-10-2004, 10:06 PM   #2
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Never thought I'd look like Chic , but now I do. I have two of his holsters still, an ankle one for a J frame snub, which is a good , but not the best of it's kind I've seen. His plain Speed Scabbard I have for a 2.5" Model 19 is my prized holster for this concealment gun. I bought it in 1966 when I was assigned to Military Intelligence. Although I had to carry a 2" Model 10 in it on duty assignments I kept it to this day in fine shape.The stitching is still tight! What Austin politely has not shared, is that Chic was quite the "piece of work" in his demeanor. Just imagine a 'high speed low drag' wise guy in NYC who all the "princes of the city" (and every wet work spook in free world) cow- towed to!!!! Not only to get the leather of their dreams , but to learn his "speed shooting" secrets. I even got him to show me with his beloved High Standard Sentinel snub .22!!!!! Remember how he liked those Austin? :P
 
Old 03-11-2004, 05:56 AM   #3
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Chic Gaylord

Gordon, you are sure bringing my memory up to date. I had many people in law enforcement in those days who had some of Chics holsters and would never part with them.

Gordon, the things that were in the 50s & 60s could never happen today and Im happy to say that we were around to enjoy them. Austin
 
Old 03-11-2004, 06:07 AM   #4
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Chic

Funny thing about the Hi Std Sentinal was when I was really connected with Hi Std and pres Bill Donovan. Id walk into his office holding a Sential by the front sight and dropping it on his desk, ask him, do you fix this junk here.? He would reply, damit Austin, if it wasnt for this Sentinal you wouldnt have the Supermatic or Citation, and I would just smile in agreement.

Its a fact that for every Supermatic he sold he sold 100 Sentinals. Bill Donovan was quite a guy as was most of the people at Hamden.
 
Old 04-30-2004, 08:12 PM   #5
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I actually went to Chic's place in Manhattan in the early 1960's. He made me a little gem to hold my Colt Agent for the sum of $25. He was one of the first to angle the holster making for a much faster draw. I wonder what ever happened to that holster.
 
Old 05-02-2004, 11:24 AM   #6
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Gaylod was quite a guy. I remember talking to him a few times on the phone when I was playing around making holsters for myself, and a few cop friends.
He spent a lot of time talking about design, the benefits of heavy thread for stitching, and properly molding a gun to a holster.
In those days, he used real guns to mold the holsters. Today, it's just not possible with all the different manufacturers, models, and variations of the same model available.

Not many people realize it, but Chic passed away about 10 years ago. He was in a nursing home until his death. One of his good friends, Lefty Lewis, a retired NYPD Detective, and holster maker, used to visit him regularly.

Chic certainly was the father of the concealment holster as we know it today.
Lou
 
Old 05-02-2004, 03:25 PM   #7
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Chic Gaylord

Lou, I had heard that Chick died. It happens to us all at some time and as I always say, try to always do your best in all you do so you are remembered for something important. Chic sure did that. I knew quite a few cops that had his holsters and raved over them. I believe it was Charlie Smith (FBI) who took me to meet Chick once. Charlie was another guy who did his best. When he retired from the FBI he got the job at S & W running the Police School. While he was in the FBI he ran the Police training at Peekskill N>Y> and had me come up there quite a few times. The first time he told me to bring my tool box and when he introduced me to the class, he told them I had my toolbox and this was their chance to get an action job quick. I waS busy all day and didnt bring the tools again as I wanted to shoot. He also ran the range at 69th St in Headquarters. The range was on the 11th floor in a converted fur storage pat of the bldg which was insulated well. One day while there he told me he had a surprise for me and he took me in one of J.Adger Hoovers officers and sat me down at his desk. Charlie was quite a guy too and I miss him. I can go on a while longer but enough for now. Austin
 
Old 05-03-2004, 06:00 AM   #8
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Austin, That's a blast from the past. I knew Charlie Smith too..
He bought quite a few holsters from us in the 70's.. He did an article in the early Combat Handguns on our holsters back then.
Great guy!
Lou
 
Old 05-03-2004, 06:26 AM   #9
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Austin, what can you tell us about the guy whose leather you used to sell in your shop? In '85 I bought a holster and mag pouch from your display at Second Chance, they are marked JGA. The folloing year I bought a second mag pouch and a holster/magpouch for my Browning. I recall that you said JGA was a retired NY cop.

That stuff was and is good leather. I still have it all except one of the .45 mag pouch, which I hate myself for losing last summer. Replaced it with two of Lou's.
 
Old 05-28-2004, 01:00 PM   #10
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Meeting Chic

I had the pleasure of meeting Chic in June of 1991. He was residing in a care home on Long Island. I spent about three hours interviewing and visiting with him. This research became the basis for a three part article i did not Combat Handguns. Chic lived hard and in many ways, life was not good to him. However, he left a lasting mark having been the father of modern concealment leather.

Heres to you Chic!

Rob
 
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