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  #1  
Old 03-08-2019, 08:15 PM
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Ricky T Ricky T is offline
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Sparks Summer Special 50th Anniversary

Like my friend Jason Burton, I'm a huge fan of the Summer Special holster. I got my first one in the mid 80s and it's been my go to rig when I carry IWB. I've also used Lou Alessi great PCH holster, Sparks Nexus and I just acquired John Ralsto's IBS (co designed by Jason Burton). I just can't make myself carry a 1911 in plastic, it has to be cowhide or maybe horse. No matter what holsters I have, I always find the original Summer Special as the most comfortable and quickest rig.

I received the new "retro" carved Summer Special this week and I had to compare it with the original carved SS. I was told that Milt Sparks did the original carving himself. What an artist he was. A good friend and mentor gave me that old rig.

So here it is, side by side, the new one has their 50th anniversary stamp and is lighter in color.



Optical illusion is making one thinks that one holster is much longer than the other. Actually, the new SS is only about 1/4" longer, as the muzzle area is more covered. Both guns are full size 5", yet for some reason, one looks smaller.



The new holster has a 1.5" belt loop as opposed to the vintage rig with its 1.75" loop. Granted the 40 year old holster has soften up and the loop is very flexible. The new loop is stiff and does a great job of holding the holster stable when fitted to a 1.5" belt. The new holster's loop is placed slightly more forward than the original, not much but just a little. I've worn both holsters and both are equally comfortable. I know which one is the original because it's softer due to its age, but other than that they both are rock solid. It's way more comfortable than any of these hybrid half padded leather, half plastic contraptions they're selling now.

All Sparks holsters bought in 2019 will have the 50th anniversary stamp. This one was made by Jim Wall.





The carving on the modern holster gives homage to the original, it's not an identical copy, but I believe it's their modern interpretation of the original. I think they did good.



The modern SS has a slightly longer muzzle coverage and is tapered slightly at the muzzle. The original holster muzzle was flush with the end of the slide, the barrel is almost exposed.



The muzzle/barrel is seen peeking out with the old SS.



Overall, we think the new model's quality is better than 50 years ago. I believe this holster will out live its owner.
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Last edited by Ricky T; 03-09-2019 at 11:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2019, 09:39 PM
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An old one made by Milt and a new 50th anniversary model made by Jim, what could be better.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2019, 10:56 PM
Jason Burton Jason Burton is offline
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Outstanding my friend!

While I am jealous of the original carved S/S you got from our friend I won't be jealous about the current rig for long. I'm adding at least one to my pile... my addiction requires it.

This is the classic gunman's concealment rig and for anyone who appreciates the Summer Special or Sparks' rigs in general this is a must have.
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2019, 09:34 AM
T. Kanaley T. Kanaley is offline
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Nice Ricky! I might have to order one for myself.
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2019, 10:45 AM
drail drail is offline
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Now THAT is a proper holster. Thak you for sharing those photos. All Kydex must die...
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2019, 11:14 AM
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Nice Ricky! I might have to order one for myself.
I heard you have some connections
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:54 AM
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Wait in line like everyone else Tony!
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2019, 06:25 PM
TonyPoz TonyPoz is offline
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Nce holster! I have one ordered it should arrive in a few weeks
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:15 AM
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I have been eyeing a SS for a few years now, but other priorities have gotten in the way; looks like it is time to pick one of these up! Thanks for posting Ricky, great pair of holsters.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:22 AM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is online now
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Wow.....I really like that one !!!!!
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:46 PM
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I have one on order. Ordered it the same day I ordered a Nighthawk, have to see which is made first.


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  #12  
Old 11-14-2019, 05:31 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is online now
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My SSII has the dual straps.


How do you find the single strap in terms of comfort ?

Seems like it would allow you to position is exactly where you want it and not have to "settle" on spots dictated by belt loops.


I love the carving on them.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2019, 07:18 PM
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Comfort is comparable to the two straps version. On the two straps, if a pants loop is in the way, I just move the holster so that the two straps straddle the loop and problem is solved. The single strap is not as stable as the two straps version. With properly sized belt, the holster with the single strap is secured to the body.

I've only been wearing the Summer Special holsters for over three decades.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:41 AM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is online now
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Originally Posted by Ricky T View Post
Comfort is comparable to the two straps version. On the two straps, if a pants loop is in the way, I just move the holster so that the two straps straddle the loop and problem is solved. The single strap is not as stable as the two straps version. With properly sized belt, the holster with the single strap is secured to the body.

I've only been wearing the Summer Special holsters for over three decades.


I hear ya.

I think I need one of these.
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:23 AM
RoverGuy RoverGuy is offline
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What does the back side of the holster look like? I like a body shield, the back edge of the slide rubbing irritates me and I like a little protection. Having a few love handles does not help, either.

But the Milt Sparks website does not show the reverse side in any of the photos.
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  #16  
Old 11-15-2019, 10:44 AM
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See post 1.
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2019, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RoverGuy View Post
What does the back side of the holster look like? I like a body shield, the back edge of the slide rubbing irritates me and I like a little protection.
Summer Special has no sweat shield.

Summer Special II has a sweat shield.
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2019, 04:16 PM
Starship Enterpris Starship Enterpris is offline
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I blame everybody in this thread for the holster which I just ordered.

I now have to see if there is a Milt Sparks 12 Step Program.............
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2019, 10:00 AM
James3612 James3612 is offline
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The very best thing about the original SS is that there is only one of those &^%$^&$ one-way snaps to deal with.
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  #20  
Old 11-16-2019, 05:30 PM
RoverGuy RoverGuy is offline
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See post 1.
At first I did not notice that one of the pictures is the reverse side (number 4). Thanks for pointing that out.

SSII it is for me, then.
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  #21  
Old 11-16-2019, 06:32 PM
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I blame everybody in this thread for the holster which I just ordered.

I now have to see if there is a Milt Sparks 12 Step Program.............
There is no 12 step program - it is an unaddressed addiction.
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2019, 07:14 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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I got the holster for the Lwt Cdr the same day I bought that pistol last year around this time. I swung by the shop to show Nick and Jim my new toy and they brought bout the holster. I told them I’ll take it. They let me buy the holster because two were made for the Commander and they spared me one. I wanted the Government Model as well but only one holster was made for it.





Last edited by fnfalman; 11-17-2019 at 07:20 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-17-2019, 07:44 PM
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I’ve only been in the shop only once but if I lived in the area a part time janitor/gopher job would be an amazing retirement job! And of course I would spend more than I earned.
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  #24  
Old 11-27-2019, 11:58 PM
TonyPoz TonyPoz is offline
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Originally Posted by TonyPoz View Post
Nce holster! I have one ordered it should arrive in a few weeks
Here's a pix of my new holster
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milt sparks summer special.jpg  
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  #25  
Old 11-30-2019, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TonyPoz View Post
Here's a pix of my new holster
Welcome to the club.

Even though I already have the special edition for my Commander and the 1908 Hammerless, I figured what the heck and ordered one for the Government Model and one for the Officer’s ACP to round them out.
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