Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Holsters and the Like...

I ordered up a Blade-Tech belt holster for the SIG 226, which is pretty much standard operating procedure for me. The B-T vertical belt holster is what I thiknk of as a baseline'll conceal under a vest; it's a great range holster; it'll eventually scrape the finish off the gun, but that's life. BTW, I actually pay MSRP for B-T stuff, so I must like it!

I ordered an ITB from Hoffners for the S&W Fitz. Holsters for Fitz-style guns are tough, because so much of the weight of the gun is in the cylinder. That causes the weight to be distributed high on the holster, which pulls it away from the body

I'll also order some leather from Lou Alessi and Rusty Sherrick for both the SIG and the S&W Fitz, but that's a longer-term proposition.

I'm thinking of doing a "choosing a holster" episode of SHOOTING GALLERY. I realized while I was ordering holsters that it's actually a complicated function that I've been doing so long it's second nature. I know what works for me...I've learned that by spending literally thousands of dollars on HOLSTERS THAT SUCKED!!!

I tend to be conservative. I believe Lou Alessi makes the best leather concealment holsters on earth, especially for 1911s — the Heinie/Alessi DOJ is the standard by which all others are judged. I have NEVER gotten a bad product from Tim Wegner at Blade-Tech, and the first holsters I got from B-T so many years ago are still in service. I'm a recent convert to Rusty Sherrick, but I believe he makes the best revolver holsters I've ever seen. If I had the bucks, I'd have Rusty build me a holster for every revolver I own, which is a lot! I believe Galco makes the best shoulder holster systems out there (I might include the old Bianchi X-15 for large-frame longer-barreled revolvers).

There are, of course, the classics (most of which came from the fertile mind of the late holster genius Bruce Nelson:

• The Tom Threeperson's design, as executed by San Pedro Saddlery (and others) is one of the best belt holster designs for field carry ever made.

• The Askins Avenger, as made by everyone on earth. the first ones were made by Bruce Nelson with Charlie Askins' input.

• The Milt Sparks Summer is what it is, a fine IWB.

• The Gordon Davis Taylor-Omega vertical belt holster. The best leather 1911 range/concealment holster I own, and good luck on finding one! Mine dates back to, like, 1982 or so. It was my basic "combat shooting" holster for years. About as close as you can come these days is the Gunsite Training Holster from Galco.

I'm sure some other gunnies who read this blog have their own favorites!

Would you like to see a show on holster design and selection???


Anonymous said...

With the wildfire proliferation of right to carry in the last 10 years or so, there has been a proportional explosion in the number of people who have had to go out and learn about good CCW holsters, what works for them, and they all have the requisite box(s) of holsters that did not work out.

I think it would be most instructive to have a good show on CCW holsters, how to pick the right one for you, why its such an individual choice, etc. I don't think many people have really explored or understand all the options out there, most have been driven to poor choices based on what their friends use, what the local gun shop chooses to stock, or which vendor came to the last gun show.

A lot of people would appreciate the education I think.

And hey don't forget bellybands. I have forsaken all of my summer time carry holsters for the new Galco bellyband and it works great, for every gun I own.

Anonymous said...

I've been quite pleased with a pancake holster that I had custom made for me by Eric Larson of for my Ruger Redhawk. I had to go the custom route for holsters since the barrel had been shortened to 4.5" by its previous owner. I currently have a Com3 on order from him for my Sig P245. Probably the closest competitor to the Com3 is the Sparks VMII. I would suggest you think about reviewing some his holsters on your show. If you do, just tell him who sent you. I'm not expecting anything in return - I just want him to know I was pleased enough with his products to recommend them so highly.

craig said...


Several segments, in fact. It's a broad topic and an important one.

Like you, i've gone through a lot of hosters trying to find what works. Still not there yet for some guns/uses.

Michael Bane said...

Okey-dokey...I'll put a holster show in the works. I'll also do a second one for Season 6, which begins in July 2006.

I'll also check out some of the guys you all recommend!


Michael Bane said...

PS: I didn't mention it, but I';ve got a couple of belly bands that work great for biking...


Jerry The Geek said...

When I bought my STI Edge several years ago, for IPSC competition, I had no idea it would be so difficult to find a holster which would accomodate its full-length dustcover. Eventually, I bought a german made prototype race-gun holster (which was later produced, with minor modifications, as the USA holster), and it worked fine.

I felt funny using a race-gun holster while competing in Limited Division, but it worked out okay. Later, I moved to Open Division and I'm still using the same holster to hold an STI "Competitor" full-size race gun.

Since then, several holster makers have created gear specifically to accomodate the full-length dustcover on 1911 frames. I wish I had as many options then as I do now; I could have saved myself a bit of money, and I wouldn't have looked like a race-gun wannabe on the range.

On the other hand, I guess I WAS a 'race-gun wannabe', I just didn't know it at the time.

When you put on your 'holsters' show, don't forget to take a look at competition holsters. They're a refreshing change from the "Ho-hum, here's another ITB holster" schtick.

Trey said...

When you look for holsters, take a hard look at Ken Campbell's Bama Special. I have had several made, including one convertible belt/IWB holster and the quality is great. The enclosed belt loops and angle of carry make the gun quite easy to carry.

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