This is a discussion on Concealment belt holster evolution within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In danger of hijacking another poster's thread on the Alessi Body Guard holster, I'm taking this opportunity to start a new thread to raise awareness ...
In danger of hijacking another poster's thread on the Alessi Body Guard holster, I'm taking this opportunity to start a new thread to raise awareness of holster design sophistication.
I'm using the "slide" holster as an exemplar; but what I'm getting at, applies equally to shoulder holsters such as horizontals.
Here is the basic slide holster, one step removed from the original (the original was a SINGLE piece of leather with slots at both ends; the belt formed the 'inner' layer):
The next step was to make this a more tailored product:
(Around this time the Baker pancake appeared. Its claim to fame was the third slot, but the stitchlines were not tailored to the pistol; at least the entire pistol was covered):
Back to the slides; this is the so-called 'yacqui' slide promulgated by Jeff Cooper. It has a welt, and the front is folded so a sight guard is now required again:
Then a strap was added:
Then the thumbreak was added, to restore the speedy draw and interface with the controls of the weapon, notably the SA auto:
Then the full length of the slide was covered; unfortunately the pic won't load, but you all will be quite familiar with the design.
MY POINT: there is not design skill, nor manufacturing skill, in building a strapless holster. And building one that includes a thumbreak, with a snap, requires quite a lot of skill from the designer. The strap is needed with an SA auto to guard against an a/d, and it must not interfere with the thumb safety or slip into the trigger guard against the trigger when holstering, and it must support the hammer if the sear is tripped, it must fall naturally to the thumb when releasing, the snap must release, the design must clear the web of the wearer's hand.
So when you buy a strapless design of any kind, from any maker including a boutique maker, you're not paying for any skill at all. Instead you're buying a sort of 'bag' for your pistol, that's purpose built to fit onto your body. But no skill was required to make it suit your PISTOL.
Think of a boutique maker as a sort of Mrs Field's Cookies. Who was the comedienne whose line went something like, "what do they pump into the atmosphere of a shopping mall, that makes a Mrs. Field's cookie worth ten times the same cookie you buy at the supermarket?!".
Holster designer to the majors 1970-