Friday, May 4, 2012

Holsters Again

I have been looking around for a new holster for my new Remington 1911-R1 and also for my Beretta 92FS pistols. I've taken a good long look at the suggestions others have made in the comments section of my previous post on this. I was not all that interested in what Dragon Leatherworks had to offer mostly because they apparently do not offer that for which I am looking. I noticed that Bell Charter Oak (odd name for a company that makes gun leather) had one that might fit the bill, their: Federal Auto Scabbard (you have to scroll down once at the linked site) might be a contender depending on the belt slots. Then there was Andrew's Leather who offers their Saddle Style holsters which look nice but lack some features I would like. As for I've also looked to the selections offered by DeSantis Gunhide, Bianchi, Don Hume to name a few others.

I have not decided on anything yet but so far out of all of the ones that I have seen, the one I like best is the three slot Thumb Break Scabbard by DeSantis Gunhide. I have to qualify that statement, I like that at least for my Beretta 92FS pistols but it also lacks some features I would want like a lining and the extra reinforcing leather at the holster mouth. I'm pretty sure I would want that particular model for the Remington 1911-R1. The reason is that it does not look as if you would be able to carry cocked and locked with it as you could with a similar holster, also offered by DeSantis, the Cocked and Locked Thumb Break Scabbard.

When I looked to Bianchi, I was not impressed by almost anything. Judging from their prices, I would guess that they no longer line their leather holsters with suede. Bianchi used to be an independent company but has since been taken over by Safariland. The only holster that comes close to what I want is Bianchi's Venom but I am not looking for a holster in which the barrel and front site are not covered. This seems to have the same belt connection method as does an apparently defunct model of Bianchi holster, the Askin's Avenger. It also has the thumb break but judging by price it is unlined.

The type of holster I have in mind would be extremely similar to Bianchi's Askin's Avenger except, I would change it from an open top to one with a thumb snap. The thing is the last time I saw an Askin's Avenger for sale was not too long after 9/11 at N.Y. Ironworks in downtown Manhattan.. I bought it to replace one that I had lost when mine was lost in the rubble of 6 WTC. I only started using it recently, several months after my retirement and more than 10 years after I purchased it. Bianchi now being part of Safariland seemingly no longer makes the Askin's Avenger and never offered it with a thumb break as far as I am aware. I also checked Safariland to see what they offered and all of their offering in a concealable holster for a 1911 were Bianchi holsters.

A very similar holster, to what I am describing and looking for is not an impossibility to manufacture. I know because I own one already but it is for a Glock 19. It was made, once upon a time, by Don Hume Leathergoods. It essentially had the same belt connection method as the Askin's Avenger. It was tooled to fit the pistol on the outer side. That combined with the belt connection style made for a holster that would pull into the hip and be comfortable to wear. It was also fairly high ride. It had a thumb snap. It was reinforced around the front of the holster mouth to assure that you could always easily reholster with one hand. It was lined with suede. The model was the H724-TB; I cannot remember the model name and it is not stamped on the back of the holster as is the model number. I just shot off an inquiry to Don Hume Leathergoods to see if they still produce, if not if they plan to manufacture it again and if neither then if they could do it as a custom order for my Remington 1911-R1 and my Beretta 92FS pistols.

As I said, I am willing to have my holster custom made. If Don Hume cannot make me the model I want, then I probably will look locally if I decide on a couple of custom made holsters. If I do that, chances are I would go with DeSantis since they are fairly local and I could drive there and discuss what I want with the owner. I am pretty sure he would be willing to meet with me but if not him then anyone there would be fine. The reason I think he might be willing to meet with me is because I did  business directly with him in the past. That was in my official capacity, probably just before or just after 9/11, when my agency sent me out to holster shop back when I had collateral duties as a firearms instructor. I ordered somewhere in between 250 to 300 holsters maybe more, as best I recall. Visiting his facility (that used to be much closer to my home) and his personal touch and assurances about the quality of the holsters we wanted to order had some small measure to do with ordering DeSantis holsters instead of ordering some from his competitors. Of course, price had a good deal to do with it too as did time frame to get the order done. The holsters we got were good for the money, although I must admit I personally would never again go for an unlined holster but that is for what my agency was willing to pay. They wanted a reasonable holster for cheap but that is the government. The holsters held up pretty good but I learned a lot about holster design while and after making that order and now would shy away from pancake style holsters unless: the opening is reinforced with extra leather to assure the opening will remain open for one handed holstering. A leather reinforcement strip around the outside of the holster mouth would help there, as would a suede lining. Oh well, live and learn and you can bet I learned what I want in a holster in my 32 years as an LEO and 14 years as a firearms instructor.

 I am still looking, I'm in no particular or great hurry especially once I found out how comfortable and well concealed is the Remington 1911-R1 when in the pocket of a couple of different pairs of pants I own. Have to carry it hammer down in that case but cocking it is almost as fast as taking off he safety when carrying cocked and locked. Well, anyway, if Don Hume cannot produce the holster I want, I almost definitely would go with DeSantis for my personal holster if custom made and even some of their stock offerings are tempting.

All the best,
Glenn B

FPS Russia Outdoes Himself With This Video

Now that is one scary means of death and destruction and when you think that it could fall into the hands of terrorists, psychos or law enforcement it should be much scarier.

All the best,
Glenn B