Tommy Theis Holster for Taurus 617
My preferred carry is a Taurus 617 (IWB - appendix), which apparently is not one of the more popular carry options. I've been using a cheap nylon holster until I could find a good one that was made for that gun. I perused many of the bigger name holster manufacturer's websites and noticed that many of them did not offer anything for the 617.
I contacted several of them and received essentially the same answer from all of those that bothered to reply: a) No, we don't make anything for that gun, b) No, we don't plan to make anything for that gun and c) We're too busy to custom make a holster for that gun, so don't ask. OK, maybe they didn't say not to ask...
The one notable exception was Tommy Theis of theisholsters.com. He replied that he didn't currently offer anything for that, but if I would call him, he would see what he could do for me. I called him and we chatted for a while during which time he explained the whole process of how he makes the holsters and asked for some info on my gun. He then made me an offer: He would custom-make a holster for my gun and I could try it out at his risk. If I liked it, he would only charge me for a standard holster, if not, just send it back, no charge.
What did I have to lose? I asked him to go ahead with it and he did, and I had the holster in my possession in less than 2 weeks. My first impression was that this is a quality item. Mine was made with horsehide and has the standard metal clips. I saw somewhere else in this forum that Tommy's products are very similar to those of Cross Breed and I agree. A friend of mine has a Cross Breed and highly recommended them, but they were one of the outfits that gave the answer above to my inquiry.
Naturally, the horsehide was a bit stiff at first, and that made it a bit difficult to put it on the first time. Every other new (leather) holster I've worn has had that same issue, so that's basically a non-issue. Once it was in place, it essentially disappeared. As I said earlier, I carry IWB, appendix position. Even with just a T-shirt, untucked, the only thing visible was a bit of the front belt clip (the rear clip being covered by my cell phone). With a dress shirt, tucked, I just had to "blouse" the shirt a bit and there was no print through. The only possible criticism I could find here is that perhaps a bit of "camouflage" for the belt clip might be a good option. Maybe something with a leather strap over it and a key ring that you could put a couple of dummy keys on. This is actually a very small issue as I always wear jeans or dark-colored slacks and a black belt, and the black metal clips are very difficult to see unless you're looking for them. The J-clips that are offered would be even less noticeable. Concealability: 4.5/5
Now to comfort: This is a large holster and the clips are almost 3 belt-loops apart. Because mine is made from horsehide, it's a bit stiffer than the cowhide would be. After wearing the holster for about 2 hours, I started to forget that it was there. This is a marked difference to the nylon holster that I have been using - I ALWAYS know when I'm wearing that one. I did a bit of driving during the initial 2 hours, and it was more comfortable then also. One of the features that I really like is the fact that I can adjust the cant and ride height. I had moved the front clip down one hole to get a bit of rearward cant so that the gun butt doesn't dig into my gut so much when I'm driving. My previous holster didn't allow for adjustments. I'm looking forward to getting this holster fully broken in (I'm still in the "creaky" stage) as I'm sure it will be even more comfortable then. It may take a bit as I don't carry all the time (I work in the People's Republic of New Jersey where you don't dare try to exercise your rights or you will end up in prison...). Comfort: 4.7/5
Price: This one's easy. A custom-made holster for off-the-shelf price. And a real good off-the-shelf price at that. 'Nuff said. Price: 5/5
Lead time: Another easy one. A custom-made holster in my hands in less than 2 weeks. Lead time: 5/5
Quality: This is definitely a quality product. The horse hide is smooth, the cuts are clean with no ragged edges, the clips are solid and the kydex is well anchored to the backing. There was no loose hardware. It's obvious that Tommy takes a lot of pride in turning out a quality product. Very well done. Quality: 4.8/5
There you have it. I give Tommy and theisholsters.com a 4.8 out of 5 overall rating on this holster. I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone, but for what it's worth, if you carry the Taurus 617, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better IWB holster for it than this one. Highly recommended. I will definitely be contacting Tommy again if I can just talk my wife into letting me get that Glock...