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American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2010 - Page 114
THE Roy Huntington INSIDER TM I f there was ever something getting over thought it’s holster selection. I did the Carry Options column in Handgunner for years (used to be called Handgun Leather then) and during that time saw hundreds of holsters of every make, model, design, ilk, trend or attempt. Some were elegantly designed, and didn’t work worth beans. Others were crudely constructed, but worked great. But after nearly 40 years of carrying all kinds of guns, including duty cop guns, backup guns, off-duty guns, hunting guns and all the rest, I noticed some trends to watch for. I actually got so frustrated during my cop days I took to making my own holsters. After a while, I sort of drummedup a list of things to keep in mind when holster shopping. Let’s call it the Handgunner Holster Hit List, a short compendium of must-haves when it comes to holsters, covering design, construction, materials and comfort. To wit: “Lightweight is paramount, with no compromise in quality of construction, craftsmanship, materials or design. A minimalist approach is always worthy, and with holsters, less is often really more. It must fit securely on the belt, ankle, etc., yet be easily removed. There’s no need for retention straps if proper fit is established. Comfort is critical, because you won’t tolerate an uncomfortable holster. no holster can be all things to all people.” Not at all. One of the icons of holster makers is Thad Rybka. Thad’s work is always almost severely minimalist, perfectly constructed of the best materials and without a single feature or design element not needed for the job. And there are others out there. Think Alessi, Milt Sparks, Haugen, 5-Shot, Crossbreed, Ken Holster Hints Null and others. With the factory guys you have to shop their line carefully, but companies like Galco, DeSantis, Safariland, BLACKHAWK!, Blade-Tech and many of the synthetic holster makers get it right. And while there are many factory or custom makers we didn’t name, if you keep our little list in mind when you shop, you’ll find plenty of good quality out there. I get mail virtually every day from readers asking what holster they need to buy for their gun — and I can’t answer them. What works for me may not work for them. But, there are standards you can look for that will likely work. First off, regardless of your gun, if it’s for selfdefense, training, or field carry, a good “scabbard-type” holster is the anchor of your holster box. The Ken Null and G-Code (in Kydex) pictured are typical of the breed. Vertical cant, strong-side, simply designed and no muss or fuss. Use ‘em on the range, in the field or even as your CCW holster under a light cover. A simple scabbard like this leather one by Ken Null or the Kydex rig by G-Code, can handle range chores or even concealed carry under a cover garment. The G-Code one is a “paddle” rig. Hi-Power and Damascus 1911 by Tussey Custom. Don’t discount the cross-draw. This one is by Haugen and tucks the butt against the torso, concealing better. They are fast, comfy and great for driving. The Python skin is a little bling; the gun is an early aluminum frame Les Baer 5" 1911. This pocket rig by DeSantis is “sticky” so stays in your pocket when you draw. The ankle rig is by Renegade and has been Roy’s favorite for over 25 years! Gun is stock S&W Scandium .38. Impossible? insider Next up, a good quality “snap-on/ snap-off” rig like this one by Alessi. They are comfy, secure, can be easily concealed even under a shirt, and are a breeze to put on and off. A single-mag pouch is always a good idea. An ankle rig and good pocket holster the insider Continues on page 112 This “snap on/off” rig is by Alessi and is Roy’s regular-carry rig. It’s convenient and comfortable. The single pouch is homemade by Roy and the Officer’s ACP is also by Tussey. 114 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER2010