About Galco

About Galco

Galco International, LTD was founded by Richard N. Gallagher in 1969 as a small family business in Chicago, Illinois. Then known as The Famous Jackass Leather Company, the name took its inspiration from Rick’s stubborn adherence to the highest standards of quality. Jackass, as it was commonly called, was originally a custom leather shop and showroom displaying every imaginable leather product. From sheepskin jackets to handbags, sandals to hats, and wallets to horsehide holsters, everything was made on site.

In 1980 the name of the company was changed to Galco International, LTD. In 1983 the company moved from Chicago to its present home in Phoenix, Arizona, where all Galco products are still designed and hand crafted. Already famous for high quality and innovative designs, Galco gained worldwide notoriety when the Jackass shoulder system became a “recurring character” on the popular 1980s TV series Miami Vice. In the new century, Galco continues to be a favorite choice of Hollywood, appearing in more films and TV shows than any other holster maker.

Perhaps more importantly, Galco remains a major force in real-world firearms usage. Law enforcement personnel around the nation and across the world — from local departments to the largest federal agencies — are issued and use Galco products. Galco’s array of law enforcement products ranges from concealment holsters to cuff cases and badge holders to rifle slings.

Military personnel from pilots to infantrymen have put Galco products to good use in the Global War on Terrorism. Particularly popular among the men and women of our armed forces are Galco’s shoulder holsters, and Galco offered donated shoulder holsters to deploying service members through the Holsters for Heroes program from 2005 through 2012.

With the rise of “shall issue” concealed carry laws in nearly every state, hundreds of thousands of lawfully armed citizens have chosen Galco to carry their defensive handguns. With holsters for every practical carry position and holster handbags for female gun carriers, Galco has become the choice of law-abiding Americans who prefer to go armed. Every type of gun user, whether fictional or real-world, from law enforcement officers to warfighters to armed citizens, has chosen Galco to represent the highest quality and performance the industry has to offer. From premium saddle leather, ballistic nylon, advanced thermoplastics and of course horsehide, and for almost every conceivable firearms use, Galco continues to be, “For those who demand the best... and know the difference.”
About Jackass Leather

About Galco Factory

About Galco Holster Shaping

Galco and Don Johnson

Don Johnson Jackass Rig

Don Johnson Jackass Rig Display

Most Copied Shoulder Holster

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Miami...
It was 1989 my thoughts were short my hair was long…

No, wait, that’s not right. That’s Kid Rock. Let’s try again.

It was 1984 and director Michael Mann was hard at work on a new TV show set in Miami. Mann had previously directed the James Caan film Thief, and the propmaster for that movie had outfitted a minor character with a Jackass Rig from The Famous Jackass Leather Company. Mann thought that such a dramatic and photogenic holster rig would be ideal for the hero of his new show — a vice detective named Sonny Crockett, portrayed by Don Johnson.

However, by the time production on Miami Vice began, Propmaster Charlie Guanci was unable to contact The Famous Jackass Leather Company. In 1980, Jackass founder Rick Gallagher had changed the company name to Galco – the Great American Leather Company — and in 1983 had moved it from Chicago to its present home in Phoenix. In the days before the internet, this made it quite difficult for Guanci to track down the holster Michael Mann wanted Don Johnson to wear!

In desperation to get a facsimile of the Jackass Rig for Mr. Johnson to wear, Guanci approached a local holster maker who tried to replicate the design. Unfortunately for that holster maker, Don Johnson refused to wear his imitation Jackass Rig and wanted to switch to a belt holster. The holster copy was uncomfortable, printed through Johnson’s signature Armani suits, limited his movement, and failed to conceal the character’s big Bren 10 pistol.

Attempting to locate parts to better emulate the Jackass Rig, the local holster maker was finally able to find Galco. When pressed, he admitted the true purpose behind his inquiries: to obtain the hardware needed to replicate the Jackass Rig and create a holster Johnson would be comfortable wearing.

Galco phoned Propmaster Guanci, who requested that Rick Gallagher — Galco’s president and designer of the Jackass Rig 14 years earlier — fly to Miami with a genuine Jackass Rig like the one used in Thief. Gallagher boarded a plane and headed straight to the set in Miami, where he custom-fit Johnson with a new Jackass Rig.

Don put on the new Jackass Rig and declared, “It fits like a glove.” At that moment, Galco’s Jackass Rig became the Miami Classic – destined to become the most copied shoulder holster system in the world.

A company really can’t ask for better advertising than having its product appear as a “recurring character” on the most popular drama on network television for years on end. The Miami Classic became a household name among gun owners and the holster’s fame put Galco “on the map” as the world’s premier maker of practical concealment holsters.

As Richard Gallagher commented at Galco’s 50th anniversary celebration, ‘’When I designed that first horizontal shoulder system for a real Chicago police officer back in the early 1970s, I’d have never guessed that a fictional vice cop would make it famous!”

Sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, fact is indeed stranger than fiction!

Celebrity Corner

Galco holsters and products have been featured in many movies and TV shows since the Jackass Rig/Miami Classic become famous on the Miami Vice TV show.

Check them out here:

MOVIE: The Expendables 2 STARRING: Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone Expendables Holster
Sylvester Stallone Expendables Holster
Sylvester Stallone Expendables Holster
Sylvester Stallone Expendables Holster
Sylvester Stallone Expendables Holster
MOVIE: Die Hard STARRING: Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis Die Hard Holster
Bruce Willis Die Hard Holster
Bruce Willis Die Hard Holster
MOVIE: Face Off STARRING: Nicholas Cage, John Travolta
Nicholas Cage Face Off Display
Nicholas Cage Face Off Holster
John Travolta
Face Off Double Holster
Face Off Show Hat
Face Off Production Letter
Nicholas Cage Castor Troy Face Off Holster
MOVIE: Golden Eye (James Bond), Tomorrow Never Dies (James Bond), The World Is Not Enough (James Bond) STARRING: Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan James Bond Gun Holster
James Bond Shoulder Holster
Pierce Brosnan James Bond Gun Holster
MOVIE: Total Recall; True Lies
STARRING: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie Holsters
MOVIE: 8MM; Snake Eyes; Con Air
STARRING: Nicholas Cage
Nicholas Cage Movie Holsters
MOVIE: 3000 Miles to Graceland
STARRING: Kurt Russell
3000 Miles to Graceland Kurt Russell Movie Holsters
MOVIE: Out of Sight
STARRING: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez Out of Sight Movie Holsters
MOVIE: Wild Wild West
STARRING: Will Smith, Kevin Kline
Wild Wild West Movie Holsters
MOVIE: Ms. Congeniality
STARRING: Sandra Bullock
Ms Congeniality Movie Holsters
MOVIE: Lethal Weapon
STARRING: Mel Gibson
Lethal Weapon Holsters
MOVIE: Broken Arrow
STARRING: John Travolta, Christian Slater
Broken Arrow Holsters
MOVIE: Proof of Life
STARRING: Russell Crowe, Meg Ryan
Proof of Life Holsters
MOVIE: Mission Impossible I & II
STARRING: Tom Cruise
Mission Impossible Tom Cruise Holsters
TV SHOW: Miami Vice
STARRING: Don Johnson
Miami Vice Holster
TV SHOW: Nash Bridges
STARRING: Don Johnson
Nash Bridges Holster
Galco Gun Holsters Steven Segal
Galco Gun Holsters Tom Selleck
TV SHOW: Homicide "Life On The Streets"

TV SHOW: Hill Street Blues

TV SHOW: N.Y.P.D. Blue

TV SHOW: Charmed

TV SHOW: Friends
MOVIE: Red Heat STARRING: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi

MOVIE: Men in Black STARRING: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones

MOVIE: License To Kill (James Bond) STARRING: Timothy Dalton

MOVIE: Rush Hour STARRING: Jackie Chan

MOVIE: Blue Streak STARRING: Martin Lawerence

MOVIE: Shaft Returns STARRING: Samuel L. Jackson

MOVIE: Fighting Like Cats and Dogs