American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2013 Digital Edition - Page 36

BETTERSHOOTING dave anderson barbeCue TonighT! steve’s rig for his colt cobra has cobra skin accents. Note the real cobra head peeking out above, as part of the belt buckle! Barbecue rig indeed! dave’s rig for his colt python is made of — you guessed it — real python! dave feels a “plain” gun sets off a barbecue rig better than a fancy gun. But if he could afford a fancy gun, he said may rethink that decision. Cobras, PyThons and . rig he was having built by Jerry Evans of Haugen Handgun Leather. Everything’s a competition, and the upshot was the other buddy and I were soon talking with Jerry about fancy rigs of our own. The result was the three stunning rigs illustrated here. Haugen Handgun Leather is a familiar name with handgun aficionados. Jerry is a retired cop and his designs are practical and tested. He uses only the best leather available, along with meticulous workmanship. Even his standard production models are all hand made and hand fitted for the specific handgun model. Moreover they are very reasonably priced considering their quality. This is not a “production line” operation but one man with a lot of talent and a few simple tools. Jerry is an artist as well as a craftsman. What he loves best is to work with individual handgun enthusiasts and build truly unique, custom rigs. My approach with talented people (and this applies to custom gunmakers as well) is not to tie their hands too part of Mike’s rig. A bit more traditional, but nonetheless, a much. I like to give them a genuine barbecue rig. There’s a cross-draw holster for a colt general idea of what I want, sAA that goes on the belt, and a matching shoulder holster for and leave them free to put a colt .32 1903. A nice touch, we thought. their artistry to work Jerry has a lot of options to personalize your holster, from basket stamping and embossing to sterling silver accessories or exotic skins (all of which you may be sure are legally documented from dealers in exotic hides). Though the rigs shown here are showpieces and heirlooms, T he concept of a “barbecue rig” originated in America’s great southwest. Like many good ideas the concept has spread, even up to my frozen north country. Some of my Texas friends tell me anyone with Norwegian ancestry, who lives along the northern border, shouldn’t be messing with barbecue, much less barbecue rigs. But “lutefisk rig” doesn’t sound quite right. My concept of a barbecue rig is a classic handgun with an eye-catching, trafficstopping holster/belt combination. Others prefer a dressed-up handgun (engraving, shiny finishes, custom stocks) in a basic holster. Those who can afford it want a fancy gun in a fancy holster. I think this is a bit over the top and I’ll go on thinking so until I can afford an engraved handgun, then I’ll think it is okay. The topic came up one day over coffee with a couple of shooting buds, both veteran law-enforcement officers. One of the fellows was boasting (yes you were Mike) of the custom holster they are still practical holsters. I’d be perfectly comfortable wearing my rig for personal defense — provided I can wear it openly since it would be a crime to cover it up. My buddies and I are very happy with the way things turned out, though it’s unlikely we’ll ever agree on who has the fanciest rig (I do, of course). Get in touch with Jerry at Haugen Handgun Leather, and together you can work out the details for a rig uniquely your own. When you get your rig, remember Jerry hopes you will actually use it as well as admire it. You could even wear it to a barbecue. THE RIGS ike’s rig started out as a twogun outfit. Since “going too far” is a concept he doesn’t recognize, it evolved into a 3-gun rig. On the right side, the wide black leather belt carries a nickel-plated Colt single-action revolver angled for a straight draw. The belt holds 12 cartridges in loops above the holster. Just to the left of the buckle, a crossdraw holster holds an engraved Browning Hi-Power, along with a single magazine carrier. The holster also fits Commander-length pistols. On an all-Colt day Mike sometimes leaves the Browning in its case and carries one of his Colt Commander or Combat Commanders in the crossdraw holster. With its beautiful leather, embossing, edge stitching, sterling silver buckle and sterling silver stars this outfit is enough to stop the most Continued on page 79 M 36 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2013

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