A Holster For A Soldier

Cross-posted from injennifershead.com

click for giantification

Yeah, it’s cool. It’s all leather. It’s digicam. These pictures have not been edited. Not even cropped.

How’d he do that? Nope, I’m not telling. It’s a special magical proprietary process exclusive to TheHolsterSite.com. Got an image you’ve always wanted on a holster? Talk to Michael.

All that is freaking cool, but it’s not the coolest thing about this holster.

Not in the least. The coolest thing about this holster is that it will soon be on the hip of a soldier in Afghanistan. And we don’t even know which one. All because Michael got an email that said this.

I am the platoon sergeant for a small detachment stationed at a small FOB in Afghanistan. My unit is hosting a super bowl party for ourselves and the US CAV units that we support here in Afghanistan. Also invited are all DOD contractors and DA civilians. We will be sending an invitation to all of the coalition units that are represented here. Currently there are 14 other countries that are represented.

Our intention is to have a football pool for the game. No fee will be required from those who participate as gambling in not permitted and there will be officer along with lower enlisted present. We would like to give out 20 prizes, during commercials (as we cannot view the super bowl commercials on AFN), 1 at the end of each quarter and 2 during half time. No one will be permitted to win more than 1 prize as to ensure that at least 20 people receive a prize. My command and I that are hosting will be exempt from receiving a prize to ensure the appearance of propriety.

We are seeking donations as our FOB has only a small PX with the bare necessities. We estimate that at least 250 people will be in attendance due to the weather. Our hanger has the best heating system; we also have a projector that we brought with us that will allow us to project the game onto a 12×30 white conex that is inside.

Any help in this event will be greatly appreciated.

And since Michael is really not kidding when he tells you he supports our troops, he answered.

Dear Sir,

Sounds like a worthy cause. How would a promotional, custom, hand-made leather holster to fit a Beretta M9 as a prize giveaway sound? Please let me know. Thank you!

–Michael

The holster pictured above is currently winging its way to Afghanistan. Wanna see more pictures?

Of course you do. Like the picture above, clicking will make huge.

Website Revision

Friends,

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!

–Michael

Correction to Belt Specs

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.

Christmas Time!

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!

–Michael

Stitching and Other Visuals

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.

Customer Follow-Up

There is a phenomenon that shooters seem to have come to a peace about that you will wind up with a box of holsters that you don’t really like, or that didn’t really work out for whatever reason. My custom holsters tend not to land in this box. I’ve been able to keep in touch with many of my customers, and have found that there is a long-time satisfaction in owning and wearing the holsters that I make.

The man who bought my original derringer holster still wears it proudly, and often says that he will get a concealed holster for his Sig Sauer from me. I’ve encouraged him to go ahead and do it – we shall see when he makes a move on that. When you find something that works for you, it can be difficult to try something else. Heck, I went two years without making a new holster for myself, even though I was making holsters for other people all the time.

The gentleman who commissioned me to make the N-frame cross-draw is a handgun instructor. He wears it on a regular basis and has repeatedly told me that it is the best holster he’s ever had. Well, now he says that it’s the other best holster he’s ever had – as he truly loves the woods holster that I made for his M629. This is the kind of work that I pride myself in. When someone will come back for more because the product is absolutely the best they’ve put their hands on, that makes me happy.

My brother is constantly wearing his 1911 in his blue holster. You will not catch him out of it. He’s been rough on it and it has worn nicely. Whether he’s in the woods, the city, or at a family gathering; if he is wearing pants, he is wearing that holster. Always.

When I left traditional employment in January, it was on friendly terms with the owner and staff. So, I’ve dropped in unannounced from time to time. Every time I’ve visited, the owner has playfully flashed his Kel-Tec in the warm brown pancake that I made for him. Some people like the holster more than the gun they put in it – and that’s fine with me. Most of us spend a whole lot more time wearing them than shooting them.

Stranger had me make a 45-degree pancake for his 1911. He was so impressed with my work that he quickly placed a second order. He asked for a pocket holster for fit his PPK, and wound up getting The Executive in black stingray. Stranger has very actively recommended my work, and I can’t thank him enough. His marks are particularly high, as he has been in and around leather work for his entire life. If anyone has a right to say whether my stuff is well-made or worth the price, it is this man.

Caleb at Gun Nuts asked me to make a fire engine red race holster to fit his S&W 627 Pro. Structurally, this was a bit of a departure from what I normally do, but I had to give it a try. What I came up with defies photography, but will give you chills to handle in person. Suffice it to say that Caleb was blown away by the results! (Quite frankly, I couldn’t have been happier with the way that holster came out myself.) Caleb reported faster draw times using this holster over his Kydex race rig. The product is beautiful and very functional – exactly as I like to make them. Caleb has continued to recommend my work.

You may wonder what my wife and I carry. Since she likes to try out a lot of my new ideas, she winds up wearing a lot of different holsters. But, the two that she has pretty well settled on are her belt optional IWB for her S&W M&P and the sunburst pancake for her snubby. Between those two rigs, she finds that she can always wear at least one gun. Quite often, she’ll be wearing both!

As to me personally, I’ve spent a lot of time recently in the red stingray tuckable for my S&W M&P. The holster is so incredibly comfortable and concealable no matter what I’m in the middle of doing. Most people are shocked to find out that I’m wearing a double-stack .45! But today, I’m wearing my M586′s in a pair of experimental holsters that I made for them. There are quite a few concepts that I have been thinking about to add a little extra panache to the good old pancake, so I kind of threw all of these concepts into these two holsters. They are comfortable enough, but I have not spent nearly enough time in them to get them broken in yet. I hope to have pics posted soon. (I think you’ll like them!)

If you have one of my holsters and would like to give me feedback on it, I’d love to hear from you. Testimonials are extremely valuable to me, and it makes my day to hear that my product is performing well for you. Big “thank you’s” to all that have given me your business! I couldn’t make it without you.

Comment From a Reader

Chris, a visitor to my site, left a very thoughtful comment that I wanted to draw attention to. I’ve gotten comments like his before, but he puts it in the most plain and to-the-point that I’ve heard it said. So, I’d like to share it with the broader audience.

Nice idea, but $150-250 for a holster for my $250 Kel-tec does not seem like much of a good idea when I can get a pocket holster for under $25 and a IWB for less than $40.

If you could get the price down near $50, it would be a best seller.

As I answered his comment directly, I will also share here:

Chris, you are absolutely right. And, that’s why I have no intention of getting into the budget holster market. For the quality of holster that I demand from myself, I would lose money on every $50 holster I made. If I compromised my quality enough to justify the production of a $50 holster, I would feel ashamed to put my name on it. It just wouldn’t make sense. If you are happy with a $25 and a $40 holster for your Kel-Tec to ride in, that’s what you should buy, because I don’t sell a comparable product. I’ve made a very conscious decision to only produce the highest-end holsters available to the market, as that is the only segment of the market that has been thus unfilled. Unfortunately, this decision has ostracized many would-be customers of perfectly valid, yet economical defensive tools such as Kel-Tecs. If you have searched my site, you can see that I have developed a very effective, beautiful, and economical holster for derringers, and that I have sold holsters to Kel-Tec owners. I have been trying to develop an economical option to the owners of Kel-Tecs, Makarovs, and others that will still stand up to my own strict standards of quality and beauty. It’s not an easy road I travel. But, if it were, it wouldn’t be worth traveling. Thanks for your comment, thoughts and input.

As I continue to say, if you will be perfectly happy with another product, that’s probably the one you should get. Otherwise, you should probably get a holster from me. I’m the last person that wants to sweet-talk you into spending money that you don’t want to. But, sometimes the money spent although not frugal, is a better deal than all the combined bargains in the world. If you decide to treat yourself to one of my holsters, you won’t be disappointed.