American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2013 Digital Edition - Page 40

CARRYOPTIONS from classics to cutting edge in carry methods sammy reese GeTTinG-Good-Gear T You’ll never regret investing in custom leather, and this new rig by Allessi Leather is proof — top-notch fit, finish, design and function. his column was once called Handgun Leather. When His Editorship had this column (about 150 years ago …), handgunners generally carried in some type of leather holster. When a bright light thought to use Kydex and other similar materials, our options grew. Now, the choices are virtually endless, the designs innovative, and you can pretty much get whatever you want. But that can be confusing. I get regular calls and e-mails from readers asking some variation of: “What holster should I buy for my handgun?” The only thing is, there’s lots more to the question that still needs asked — and answered. “ the holster d The BelT N o I really need a holster or can I just stuff Mr. Gun in my pants?” In the past, I’ve been guilty of sliding my pistol into my waistband for a quick trip to the store. Then a cop buddy of mine had his 1911 slide down the back of his shorts and out the bottom while walking down It’s time to reevaluate his driveway to his car — in front of things if your holster is his wife, kids and two neighbors. I getting tired-looking. changed my ways. It may be time to There simply no reason for stuffing retire it. a gun in your waistband without a holster, especially with a Glock or similar pistol with no external safety. They can go off if a bit of shirttail or jacket gets into the triggerguard. This admonishment also goes for dropping a gun into your pocket without a pocket holster. You’ve made the investment (hopefully) in a quality gun and some training, so don’t be a victim of buying a holster designed to be an inside-the-waist/outsidethe-waist/shoulder-rig/ankle-rig combo. In my experience, it won’t do any of the jobs well. Use a holster specifically designed for the mode of carry you desire. “I’m looking for a custom rig for my new gun, and I don’t want to pay a lot and I don’t want to wait a long time to get it,” says the voice on the phone. I’m here to tell you the words custom, short-wait and cheap shouldn’t ever be found in the same sentence, except for the one you’re reading right now. There are plenty of quality factorymade holsters on the market today, available as close as your gun store or online. If you’re a “Gotta’ have it now!” guy, there’s your answer. Having said that, top quality custom work is worth the wait, and an investment in quality gear will be a decision you’ll never regret. ow and again a reader will call, upset about the holster they bought, sometimes after reading about it in Handgunner. “It just doesn’t work,” is a common sentiment. The first thing I ask is: “Is the belt you’re wearing designed as a pistol belt, or is it some off-the-rack belt you bought at Wal-Mart made of genuine pleather?” When there is a long pause on the other end of the line, I know the answer. The belt is the most important part of the carry system. The belt is like the foundation of your house. If there’s cheap materials in the foundation, the house will eventually crumble. Do your research and invest in a belt specifically built for carrying a gun. If you are an inside-the-waistband fan, get a belt a little longer than normal and buy your pants an inch bigger in the waist — it makes all the difference. Maintain Your gear I ’ll bet you clean your gun Good old kiwi-type shoe after you shoot it and give polish is about all you need it quick wipe down now and to keep your leather in shape. again, right? When is the last time don’t use oils or dips since they you gave the belt, holster and acceswill soften the fit. holster is by sories a once-over? Gear wears out Leather designs by Jason Winnie. over time, and if you have a gear malfunction because you haven’t maintained it, it’s on you. Make sure the leather isn’t worn-through or has become so flexible it folds inside the triggerguard and pulls your trigger for you. Oops. Inspect Kydex or other plastic rigs for cracks or deformation. Make sure snaps are serviceable and retention devices are working properly. Lastly, check the belt for loose screws or wornout material. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you. Writing this column and being a part of a magazine I’ve read since I was a little kid is an honor and something I don’t take lightly. I answer every email and voice mail I receive. If I don’t know the answer, I have some of the best resources in the world in my address book, and I’ll get you the info you need, and that’s a fact. Oh, and use a holster. Or did we say that already? * For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/product-index and click on the company name. WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2013 40

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