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PHIL SPANGENBERGER is a name familiar to any avid Firearms enthusiast, Old West afficionado or Blackpowder shooter who has been in the gun game for the past 43 years.
But, for those who are new to the shooting fraternity, and for some of the aforementioned seasoned members of the gun & western history/shooting crowd: Let it be known that PHIL SPANGENBERGER was the inspiration for Cowboy Mounted Shooting back in 1972; before SASS existed. His WILD WEST show was absolutely breath-taking. Seeing PHIL shooting from horseback at a gallop, with both hands, while holding the reins in his teeth, is a spectacle to behold. He makes many a rider in Western films, produced over the last 30 years, seem amatuer. PHIL SPANGENBERGER was and is the ”BUFFALO BILL” of the late 20th Century.
And, with regard to western period-style clothing; who started the trend? Easy. PHIL SPANGENBERGER. Back in the early 1970's, PHIL was the first person to offer the bib-front shirt, period britches, a lot more clothing items and...the first to offer period-correct-style, OLD WEST GUN HOLSTERS and belts; all from his company named RED RIVER, based in California.
I've known PHIL for about 34 years. He has written about my holsters--both modern and Western--during that time, since his days as Blackpowder Editor for the original GUNS & AMMO and in my opinion; PHIL SPANGENBERGER has no peer in the amount of knowledge he posesses about Old West history, accessories and GUNS of the OLD WEST. PHIL SPANGENBERGER is simply the best: bar none.
In one of the many articles written about me and my products by the late, great gun writer, Jerry Ahern, I was referred to as a ”historian and scholar.” And, truth be told, as an advanced collector for many decades; I'm no slouch when it comes to OLD WEST GUNS & lore.
However, in the last say, 30 years, out of hundreds of Old West articles & books I've read, and documentaries I've looked at; I've been already aware of the facts in all of them. But whenever I've read a piece by PHIL SPANGENBERGER, I've always learned something.
PHIL goes into depth and surpasses the vast majority of Old West history and gun writers, no matter how many popular books they've written. And when some of them try to do ”the Old West-period-dress-up thing” ; they just don't come through. The clothing on them looks like affectations. But, not on PHIL who, not only looks the part; his knowledge and true ”feel” for the period are present.
PHIL SPANGENBERGER is the Firearms Editor for the excellent TRUE WEST Magazine. He has been a gun coach to many Hollywood stars, has consulted on vast Old West collections, has been a movie extra and a guest on the History Channel. PHIL has written many hundreds of articles on western guns, Old West characters and equipment.
Dear fans of the Old West: now you know the real story. So,the next time you're at a COWBOY WESTERN - ACTION SHOOTING or COWBOY MOUNTED SHOOTING event, with all those guys and gals outfitted in period-style; give a thought to PHIL SPANGENBERGER, the original. The man who personifies the Wild West in modern times.
Thanks and Adios!
Firearms / Police / Action Journalist
for WESTERN SHOOTING JOURNAL Magazine
Proprietor: WILD GUNS LEATHER Co.
Founder : LAWMAN LEATHER GOODS BRAND
A .44 Caliber Salute to
PIONEER OF MOUNTED SHOOTING; OLD WEST GUN-WRITING & ORIGINAL PURVEYOR
OF PERIOD WESTERN
CLOTHING AND LEATHER!
Phil Spangenberger, the original inspiration for Cowboy Mounted Shooting, reins in his teeth, shooting both of his pistols; galloping on his horse, ”Nevada” in an exhibition at Santa Anita racetrack.
Looking Dashing and Dangerous! Phil Spangenberger, the Original Purveyor of Period-Style, Western Clothing &Leather, fully outfitted in Old West garb from his RED RIVER Company.
Here's Phil decked out in some of his RED RIVER Originals: a bib-front shirt, and a RED RIVER, CALIFORNIA SLIM JIM Gunbelt set.
Read and Enjoy PHIL SPANGENBERGER
every month in TRUE WEST Magazine.