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Holster Trials

5120 Views 186 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  LC Sports
After the wilson experior commander fell out of my holster a few times last weekend, I decided to upgrade my leather. I ordered a few setups from each of the following: Kramer, Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen, Kirpatrick, and Southern Trapper. In the process of ordering from Overland, and plan on an black lizard rig from Andrews. Will post time from order to delivery, initial impressions, and longer term results. I ordered a pancake, double mag holder, crossdraw and belt from each. Also fell for the bbq rig from kirpatrick and a shark setup from milt sparks. Mt needs change from day to day, if in a vehicle or seated for a long time I wear the crossdraw. I do not like iwb at all, everything is owb for me! At the prices I had to pay I hope some of these are ideal.
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time to look through more leather makers to get rigs made for my "john wick" guns- full size high capacity super accurate (and expensive) 9mms. looking at davis, grizzle, el paso ( i know they are not a small maker) and lobo. if there is one you recommend lemme know. i have looked at the ones mentioned previously and for one reason or another have not ordered from them. First up is gear for the springfield sa-35 i sent to nighthawk for the full makeover. Then i need to find someone to fit my cz a01-sd. might take awhile...
also sent messages to adams, ingle, warbird, c3, douglas and hbe. thats inquiries sent to 10 new different leather makers, and i only need 6 more rigs. might look at some more shoulder rigs, might look at some more 1911 leather. also need holsters for fn hipower, fn 509 longslide edge, sw r8. still trolling for the ideal crossdraw for the 1911 commanders. looking for one with thumbbreak and severe cant. thanks for the suggestions! think i need some more guns now- any suggestions for a premium longslide semiauto 9mm?
heard back from grizzle, warbird and hbe. good followup for small shop guys. i know that they are busy but prompt followup gets more business, and these guys i am contacting now average only 6-8 weeks out. fortunately i am patient to a point but i cant order from everyone even though i want to.
almost forgot the shadow dr920l- gotta get that skinned up too. easy to forget, i am not a glock guy. i am in search of a stainless fn hi power to get tricked out and will need a rig for that.
cape buffalo has come up as a potential exotic option, and i dont have anything in sting ray either. looking for different tooling options than border stamping and sheridan style floral/western carving. do have a couple tuckers coming that fit that description but looking for something else for these guns. in general since the race guns are big and heavy, i have settled on a low riding avenger style holster with sweat shield and 15 degree cant.
received order from black hills today. couple of issues, but called and rudy was very helpful and honestly- gracious. i order the ranger setup with fully carved holster belt and mag holders. on the website the picture showed the pattern as 2 toned, with part of the carving background dyed dark with the main color of leather being russet. he said he would send a label but i told him i would pay shipping. also the belt size wrrong, every maker has different way of measuring. i thought he said pants size but it is waist size. i told him i would just pay for another belt but he said return it and he will replace it. i missed that the belt that comes with the package is ranger style, i prefer to use my own buckles and change them sometimes. again he said no problem, he would exchange for a standard carved double belt in the correct size. the guy could not have been nicer. this kind of service merits a big shoutout, and another order from me. he has another website- rudylozano.com- that is primarily fancies and exotics. gonna look and order a rig there. since the setup that came was not 2 toned i didnt think to take pics before i packed it up. will post when it comes back.
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doesnt look like grizzle can make anything to fit my guns. ongoing dialogue with warbird, hbe and privateer. havent heard back from davis, adams, lobo, el paso, c3 and douglas yet. like the tan shark at privateer- if nothing else will get a setup there for the commanders.
out of the 10 leathermakers contacted, only 3 remain in contact about making holsters for me. unfortunately, 2 of them do not make thumb break pancakes so getting some more commander holsters too is not an option. i thought since i was getting a full cape buffalo and shark rig made i could use the belts for edc too. arggh! was hoping to talk with davis, adams, lobo, c3 and douglas about making some holsters because they had solid reviews and if their work was good get them a shout out to help get future business.
again i try to talk to every referral- if you have a great experience let me know and i will try to get something made and reviewed.
Try Nightingale Leather, their work is top notch:
Brown Luggage and bags Sunglasses Textile Bag

Luggage and bags Wood Handbag Bag Plant


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I was wondering if there is a reason TT Gunleather wasn’t on your list? Many years of experience show me their OWB (and IWB) are superb. For example, I was using Milt Sparks IWB for years and loved them but once I tried the TT I was a convert (not that there is anything wrong with MS - but for me the TT worked better).
I don’t think he offers that much exotics though. But I wouldn’t know as all my orders were in plain black.

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Sandal Personal protective equipment Human leg Foot High heels

Here is my DW Guardian in the TT OWB.

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thx for the referrals. Looking at both tt leather and nightingale. Tt is 6 weeks, nightingale over 9 months!
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just placed order with nightingale. fairly simple online ordering with comment box at checkout for additional details. 38 weeks! oh well, a surprise next February will be nice!
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since tt gunleather doesnt do thumb breaks, i need to figure out who is building what for my range guns. think i still need holsters for a cz and a shadow systems. heading out of town for a couple of weeks- will pick this up when i get back
for those keeping score, i am now talking with adams, douglas, and paul at warbird. waiting to hear back from privateer and hbe leather on builds with them. ordered from nightingale as noted above. prob gonna pass this round on tt leather, and never heard back from lobo, davis, and c3. think most of the range guns are now covered! when i pick up some more i will go back through the makers i haven't tried yet. i feel the urge for wheel guns coming on...
on a fun note, picked up a couple colt 1911s i have been looking for for awhile now. and i bought a valor in ss, despite the negative reviews lately. and a fancy 9mm engraved commander for the spouse- yahoo!
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for the near future, family and business obligations demand my time and attention. Looking at the calendar ahead it might be some time before any of the orders come in for review.
thanks for your feedback, suggestions and words of encouragement. I will post as new leather arrives.
got the order to warbird finalized. paul was very patient throughout. ordered black shark avenger with sweatshield to fit springfield sa-35, with 2 matching double mag holders.
received the 2 gunbelts from ag gunleather. if i ever find the time i will post pics and reviews also received the leather/gator rig from mike at invisible gorilla, and the second belt order from a better belt. might take a few to get these reviews but wanted to note dates received.
making list of revolvers to get leather for. 3 357s, 3 44s. will give me a chance to try a few that i havent ordered from yet. this will take awhile but will take notes when i do.
eventually will get to the saa's. these will take some deliberation, and fancies can get really expensive. as a matter of fact, this entire habit is expensive!
initial impressions of the ag leather gunbelt, the better belts (4) and the gator/leather holsters all favorable. the better belt buckless looks great, will try it tomorrow so i dont have to take it off for tsa! cant carry anything but the belt, but..
really like the buckleless belt from better belt, gonna order a couple more of these. Really soft and flexible one way but plenty stiff vertically to support loaded holster. Very secure plus it has a second strap to hold it if needed. This would be great for mechanics to prevent scratching the car they are working on. Its not just the velcro, its how the belt is put together. These get an A+!
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think the full size 9mms are taken care of. now working on leather for some wheel guns:
sw 627pc 3"
sw 629pc 3"
ruger redhawk 357 3"
ruger super redhawk alaskan 44m 3"
chiappa rhino 30ds 357m
colt python 3" (new version)
colt anaconda 4" (new version)

will eventually add j frames to the list- sw, ruger and colt

trying tt, warbird, winnie, adams, grizzle, el paso, hbe, lobo, mtr and rosen. again, want to give as many as i can a shot. if they wont respond i obviously cant use them! at least the ones i have tried this time have communicated back. there are others i will use again but i am waiting to see how they respond to some issues i had with their products ( kirkpatrick, black hills). still waiting on the first orders from others so gonna wait on them ( kramer, andrews, overland, tucker, sparks, nightingale )- and have ordered too many from southern trapper, kramer, sparks and andrews already. still trying to put together an order with privateer on a tan shark setup for commander!
everything will be posted on in the fullness of time!

again, if you have a maker i should try let me know! thanks

update #1: warbird, rosen, hbe out. grizzle and lobo sound very promising. working with them now to get something started. turns out there are only a few making leather holsters for double action revolvers!
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examined and wore the latest belts i received from ag, better belt, and southern trapper. while all are nice, better belt is the best. stitching, finish, leather ( plain and exotic) and "comfort" cut are the very best i have seen so far. edges perfect, flexible horizontally but stiff vertically. premium hardware. thats why i am doing this- if i never tried them all i would not know. i now have 5 from them- i will now order one in every color and leather type they make. their price is more than fair- around a hundred bucks for plain leather.
better belt (all types) A+
ag leather A- ( more than nice enough, just that the above is nicer)
southern trapper B+ (lacks vertical stability. awesome packaging but no points for that)
anyone have a suggestion for a 24 belt rack? custom buckles add a challenge to hanging them on hooks
orders in with lobo and privateer. working with grizzle, adams and hbe- hope to finalize those this week. i have so much going on its hard to keep track of it all!
wore the invisible gorilla pancake this weekend. the strap that goes over the top for the thumb break was improperly positioned so that it goes over the thumb safety and creates a bulge at the top that pushes into the body. and there is not metal stip behind the snap. the belt strap wings are too small to flex properly when threaded and do not lay nicely when carrying. otherwise workmanship great. material great- cow leather with gator pattern embossed. i still have to grade them as a D. carry comfort and fit is at least 85% of the grade for me. these will be sold off. shared my concerns with the maker but have not heard back. don't want a remake, don't want a refund. hes a small one man shop and did his best. he was probably working off a pattern, and he needs to know it doesn't work. there is a certain risk born by the purchaser when ordering custom and i am okay with that.
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