There were a few instances, many years ago, when I didn’t carry a handgun in a holster. Several of those times were when I was doing some undercover work as a Private Investigator. One of those times, I carried a tiny Bauer .25 ACP pistol, strapped to my ankle – no holster. One such instance was when I worked a very strange case, where several misguided people planned on hijacking a cruise ship that was sailing from Miami, Florida. I worked closely with the FBI on this case, and to this day, more than 40 years ago, I still have a friendship with one of the undercover FBI agents who I brought on-board as an “arms dealer.” I also worked a suspected murder case in a steel plant, and it turned out to be an actual murder case, Again, for that case I carried a hidden handgun, with no holster.
However, for the most part, I’ve almost always carried a handgun in a holster. Most of the time it was an outside the waistband (OWB) belt holster. I’ve never been a fan of inside the waistband (IWB) holsters. Oh, and I do like some of the better made shoulder holsters. At present, I have a good mix of leather and synthetic holsters. And, I certainly have more holsters than I have guns. I have two huge drawers full of holsters, as well as two very big plastic bins of holsters, and I actually need more holster storage space.
Make no mistake, I’m a big fan of leather holsters, just something about that smell of leather, that draws me to them. However, I own more than a few polymer-framed handguns, and I can often be caught carrying one of those handguns in a polymer or ballistic nylon holster. I love a well-made leather holster, make no mistake about that. However, it is hard to find leather holsters, that are both affordable and really well-made. I’ve owned a few custom-made, handmade leather holsters over the years, as well as belts and magazine pouches. The usual wait time was about 3-4 months for that stuff and more often than not, they weren’t totally made by hand. When it came to molding the holster to fit a particular handgun, it was done, under pressure, by a press. I don’t have a problem with that, for the most part, but in the end, those holsters aren’t exactly made by hand.
There are quite a few factory holster makers in the USA, and most produce a decent holster, at a fair price. Some makers are better than others. However, one maker sent me a holster that was supposed to be for a particular handgun I own, only to find out that, the holster was much too big, the gun would easily fall out. I called the maker, and they told me that their leather holsters stretched out over time and use. Excuse me? This was a brand-new holster – not an old and used one. I returned that holster and they sent me another one – same problem – it gun would fall out…I ended up retiring that holster, rather than sending it back. Most of my work over the years, involved concealed carry, and I don’t like a suicide strap on those holsters – many folks do – just make sure you train with the strap fastened. I just prefer an open-top holster for concealed carry. And, the holster needs to be molded properly to hold a particular model of gun, without it falling out of the holster.
In late 2019, Craft Holsters contacted SurvivalBlog.com and asked if they could have one of their holsters tested, and Jim Rawles forwarded this e-mail to me, for action. Up until then, I had never heard of Craft Holsters. So did a little checking on them, before ordering a sample for testing. Craft Holsters is headquartered in Slovakia, and many of their holsters are made there. Some are also made in a factory in Italy. I have no problem with that, as some of the finest leather in the world comes from Italy. The holsters made in Slovakia are also made from some of this Italian leather. The Craft Holster company is a family-run business, and their goal was to make custom, hand made holsters. Their aim is to provide us all with custom made holsters, at a price point we can afford.Continue reading“Craft Leather Holsters, by Pat Cascio”