Cross posted at Evyl Robot Soapbox.
Over a year ago, Old NFO commissioned a paddle holster from me. I’d never made a paddle holster before, and I had never worn a paddle holster before. Other people had asked about these things in the past and I had declined the work because of my lack of experience with them. But, Old NFO is a friend, and a very honest one at that. I knew that if the holster sucked, he’d tell me so and do so with affection. So I took some notes and cobbled together a holster. When we spoke about the holster after the fact, he pointed out the fact that the smooth leather the paddle was made of was entirely too slick, and he couldn’t draw the gun without drawing the holster. I made a replacement paddle with the rough side out and a cleat stitched to the pants side of the paddle. He since reported that although it works well and he’s happy with it, the paddle should be made slightly wider on any subsequent models. Duly noted.
And then I was approached by the Prop Master working with In Plain Sight. The show did purchase a holster from me, based on Old NFO’s holster, and they filmed a scene in which the holster is given to the show’s main character, Mary Shannon. However, it appears that the holster scene got cut in editing. In the meantime, I was featured in Shooting Illustrated because of this holster, and in Concealed Carry magazine for another one of my holsters. The Shooting Illustrated article raised a lot of traffic for me, as did certain bloggers who are really cool people that have been consistent support since I started this thing. Thank you for that! Even though the holster may have been cut from the show, it still generated some new awareness, and I’m thankful.
All of a sudden, people started ordering paddle holsters. I decided that I had better do some time in one of these so I could make them the best that they could be. So, I made one to fit one of my 586L-Comps. Although I’d never much thought about paddle holsters, and never really saw myself wearing one, I like it. It’s tons more comfortable and concealable than I ever thought it would be. I wore it for about six weeks and then I performed a deranged experiment on it. When Jennifer announced that she got some Tannerite, Say Uncle suggested that we should torture test a holster with it. What a great idea! Because, when we blow it up, I can see where all of the weak points are by where it breaks. That was the idea anyway. I miss wearing that holster. I may have to fix it. And yes, it is quite fixable. Having the 1/2-lb of Tannerite it was sitting on detonate did not break it beyond repair. Heck, it didn’t even break a stitch. I realistically should have had a dummy gun in the holster when we blew it up, but I’ll try to remember that for the next one. More video and pics are on the way.
I’m trying to get my catalog organized so we can put it on the website. It’s been a lot harder than it ought to be. But, suffice it to say that the paddle holsters are here to stay.
I am doing some upgrades so this will look a little odd for a bit. I am working as quickly as I can to get it looking nice again. Thank you for your patience.
Jennifer and I are currently working hard to make The Holster Site more easily navigable, and more comprehensive. We’re both pretty excited about the whole deal. It’s still going to be the same website that you have learned to love and enjoy, but it will be tweaked and streamlined so that you can find what you are looking for easier. As you have already seen, I’m running two sales at the moment. This is the time to get one of two great products – The Best Belt, and The Executive II. My Christmas orders are stacking up in a hurry!
Friends, I had a little typo in my belt listing, and I wanted to draw attention to my correction. I originally stated that the reinforcement core has a 600-lb break strength. The correct statement is that it has a 600-lb tensile strength. Granted, with these numbers, the real world difference between the two terms is merely academic, but I wanted to be clear. The material will not break at 600-lbs, it will begin to stretch and give. I have corrected the typo in the original post, and I do apologize for any confusion.
12/27/2010 UPDATE: From November 5 until Christmas, I had these belts priced insanely low, and I sold a bunch of them. I couldn’t hold that price, but I do want to offer them at a better deal than I originally intended. Looking at what the majority of people are ordering on these, I’ve made the decision to drop the nickle/chrome hardware completely and instead offer these with the standard option of either stainless steel or brass for the buckles and screw sets. Rather than increasing the price from $50 to $100 though, I’m offering these for only $75.00. This belt is so great that everyone ought to have a couple of them. The price should not be an excuse not to in my opinion.
A great holster may not operate properly without the right belt. This is the right belt, my friends.
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I’m fortunate enough to have two people in my life that are very hard on holsters. This rapidly leads me to refine my designs and make them even better.
New posts may be a little light for the next few weeks, as many of the projects I’m working on are Christmas presents, and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s surprise. I am still taking orders for Christmas, but they are stacking up. Place your Christmas orders immediately to assure that you get them before Santa comes! Thanks to all!
Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way we wanted them to. I don’t want that to ever happen to one of my customers.
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When I implemented the concept of the hidden stitch holster, I got a lot of mixed reactions from people who saw it. Some people loved it, and a lot of people scratched their heads in fascination on the style. But to others, it just looks weird. When they have spent so many years seeing the durability of leatherwork in the obvious quality of the stitching, it may be disconcerting to have it out of sight. And, that’s fine. It’s a beautiful thing that people like different things.
The hidden stitching has qualities both aesthetic and functional. I personally love the look. It’s sleek and smooth like shaved door handles on a hot-rod. Without a visible stitch line, your eyes are uninterrupted as they scan across the curves and lines of the leather. Since Kevlar thread does not dye very well, it keeps your eyes off the funky, naturally yellow colored stitching. Structurally, it makes for an extremely durable finished product, as the stitches become nearly impervious to the perils of abrasion and light exposure – which are factors to consider whether using Kevlar, nylon, polyester, or many others. In everyday wear, nothing allows clothing to drape so naturally as my smooth-topped holsters. You wouldn’t think it, but a holster’s stitching will actually put up noticeable friction against your shirt or jacket lining. No, your coat isn’t going to snag on the stitching to the point that you flash, but even a light-weight shirt just drapes a little more naturally without the top stitching.
But again, not everybody likes it. Some people want to see the stitching. Similarly, not everybody likes pancake holsters. This is why I developed different styles of holsters to offer. If you want a great, handmade, leather holster with visible stitching, just ask! I’ll even use nylon in different colors – whatever you want. These are custom made to order, however you want them. If it’s something that you don’t see on the website, please don’t let that slow you down. Nearly every featured item on the website was made to someone’s specifications, and is like nothing else in the world. If you can’t see where I’ve made a holster for a gun like yours, don’t let that slow you down either. Even if I’ve never heard of your gun before, there’s a very good chance that I’ll still make a holster for it if you ask.