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American Handgunner May/June 2011 - Page 42

CARRYOPTIONS Sammy Reese For all day comfort with the ability for easy off and on, you can’t beat the CQC/S. The heart of the CQC/S is the simple yet highly functional attachment system. Photos: Joe Novelozo FROM CLASSICS TO CUTTING EDGE IN CARRY METHODS Lou’s ankle rig is a classic. The “pinched” top keeps the gun in place, but allows a draw “through” it. Alessi’s pocket holster protects you and the gun and stays in the pocket during a draw. Alessi Holsters American Craftsmanship f imitation truly is the greatest form of flattery, you would have to look long and hard to find a holster maker whose designs have been more “imitated” then Mr. Lou Alessi’s. Sadly, the world lost not just a great craftsman, but also a great man when Lou passed away in February of 2009. Lou is gone from our lives; but the company and legacy he started continues to live on today. When Editor Roy first introduced me to Lou at the SHOT Show years ago, he told Lou I was member of the “addicted to the smell of fresh leather” club. I was embarrassed when Lou asked me if I had any of his holsters and hung my head in shame. In passing Lou said, “We’ll have to do something about that won’t we.” When our conver- i sation concluded, I walked away knowing I had just met a truly great man. About three weeks later, I was getting ready to head in for a swing shift when there was a UPS-knock at the door. The contents of the box blew me away; a Lou Alessi CQC/S with a single mag pouch for my Glock 23 and a note — “Now you have one my holsters.” It seems Lou, with the help of Mr. Roy, had taken care of me in a very big way. I had it on the other day, and a friend asked wasn’t it a collectors item now that Lou had passed on? I told him if Lou were to find out I had put the holster in a box, he would be disappointed. STiLL STrong L ou may be gone but Alessi holsters is still running strong. Talking with Alessi Holsters President Tom Kulwicki a month or so ago he told me the loss of Lou hit everyone very hard, but as a company they were all determined to keep making products to the standard Lou had set. To prove it, he sent me a bunch of holsters and some accessories to eyeball. Once again I opened a box from Alessi holsters and was blown away. My 8-year-old son was standing next to me when I opened one of the ziplock bags; I held the bag in front of him and said, take a smell. “Umm, smells really good dad — like holsters are supposed too, right?” That’s my boy. The Close Quarters Combat Snap holster is one of the holsters most often copied by other holster makers — and for good reason — it works. To test the concept, I put my first one from Lou on and had a buddy try and pry it off. The holster didn’t budge. The only collateral damage was the “wedgie” I got during the “fight.” The unique way the retention portion loops around the belt and snaps is the heart of the holster. After many years of off-and-on use, my original holster is as secure as the first day I put it on. While shooting the photos for this article, Joe, our staff photographer, picked up my older CQC/S and made the comment it looked exactly like the new ones. Joe hit the nail on the head — the new holsters are built exactly like Lou built them. All American components made right here in the USA by master craftsmen at Alessi’s. Pocket Holsters W ith the resurgence of the J-Frame and small semiautos, it seems like most everyone has a pocket pistol these days. I can’t stress enough how important a pocket holster is for safety. It helps break up the outline of the gun and keeps it from going bang when you don’t want it to. Don’t believe me? Read Clint’s Reality Check in this issue. The Alessi-designed pocket holster does everything you need in one package. It protects the gun from key chains and pocket knives getting inside the triggerguard. It also keeps pocket lint and stuff from getting into your gun. With about two minutes of practice, the draw is simple and the holster stays put in the pocket so you aren’t pointing a holstered gun at Mr. Bad Guy. Tom and his crew are putting out high-quality American-made holsters and accessories I know Lou would be proud of. Tom says the shop is on about a 3- or 4-week turn around for orders. You’ll have to wait — but not too long. * For more info: (716) 706-0321, www.americanhandgunner.com/alessi-holsters WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE 2011 42

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