Holster reviews and more

This is a discussion on Holster reviews and more within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; These are my first leather holsters. Iíve been carrying my 642 in a pocket holster, Smartcarry, Kangaroo holster and a POS Uncle Mikes IWB since ...

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  1. #1
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    Holster reviews and more















    These are my first leather holsters. Iíve been carrying my 642 in a pocket holster, Smartcarry, Kangaroo holster and a POS Uncle Mikes IWB since October ( see picture of the Uncle Mikes ). Somehow the Uncle Mikes ended up on my target today.

    I waited until all my holsters came in to do the review. First the Dakota Defender, which I received today for my XD40SC. ( Thanks Kevin ). This holster is a real jewel and I would highly recommend it to anyone that needs an IWB holster. Like everyone else says, the craftsmanship is superb. It not only serves the purpose, itís purty too. Detail is certainly a priority with this holster.

    The suede backing makes it very comfortable. Iíve been carrying a 642 for so long , I knew when I began carrying this XD it was going to be a lot heavier. This holster distributes the weight so well, I really donít feel a whole lot of difference between it and the 642. The tension needed no adjustment, the XD fit like a glove and the draw was perfect from the start . I love this holster. Iíve only wore it for a few hours today, but it only took putting it on for a few minutes to know ďITíS THE TICKETĒ.

    Now the Tucker Cover up for J-Frame. Out of the 3 holsters I got, this one came first..
    I didnít get this holster so I could have a tuckable , I just wanted a good IWB holster for my 642 and it certainly is that. Oh what difference ! This little holster is everything I was looking for. The detail is excellent. I really donít need much cant with the 642, but itís nice that its there because I can adjust it a little when I get in the car if needed.
    I forget Iím even wearing this holster. Comfy is the word. The draw was perfect the first time I put it on. No adjustments needed. Anyone with a 642 looking for a quality IWB holster this should fit the bill. Thanks Rob and Tucker.

    The Fist #9 was the second holster to arrive. It enabled me to carry my XD for the first time. The #9 is the same as the ďBasicĒ but its close-cropped. It works good for side carry ( about 3:00 ) or for a thinner person. I found I really would like to carry it farther back, so I ordered the #12 ( Basic ) yesterday and will sell this one when it comes in.. It works at 4-4:30 like I want it, but its just a tad tight for my build.

    I like this holster, Itís very comfortable, the quality is superb. I had to do the plastic wrap thing over night and the draw is still a little tight. Itís probably because of the close-crop. I donít feel I can give this holster a fair review because of my body build, when my Basic comes in, Iíll review that one.

    Now the part that will probably ruffle some feathers. I believe if we are going to review a holster , the service and all involved should be reviewed also. If you noticed , I have no dancing bananaís. By the time I finally received my holsters, my excitement had turned to frustration. All holsters were all over due from the time they had listed on their sites. I donít buy the ďeveryone has setbacksĒ or ďI know theyíre busyĒ. These holster makers have been in business for a long time, they know how much work they can put out in a day.

    It seems once people get their holsters, they forget about all the frustrating times of going to the mailbox long after they were told it would be there. Most reviews on this forum is just about the quality of the holster. Why not tell the experience we had getting them?

    On Tuckers website it said 8-10 weeks when I ordered. I went to their site a while after I ordered and it said ď12 weeks plus ď. My time should have been 8 weeks minimum 10 weeks maximum. It took 18 weeks. I was told on June 16th it would be sent out on the 25th. I recieved it on July 13th, over 2 weeks after I was told it would be sent out.

    K&D turn around time was 10-12 weeks, it took a little over 14 weeks. I called Fist a few days after it was due to be here and she told me "We got behind and it will be next week". I did get it on Friday of the next week, it took 7 weeks , but on their site it said "right now our turn around time is about 3 weeks". It still says that on their site today. I asked her about that and she said" Oh we got behind".

    Does anyone see a pattern here? I felt I was told what I wanted to hear. Why not put a realistic time frame on the websites? My excitement turned to downright frustration.. I NEEDED the first holster to carry properly. Day after day going to the mailbox and saying (insert bad word here )..

    Iíve got to say with all these companyís , all emails and phone calls were returned quickly and politely. I'm not trying to hurt anyones business and I WILL order from these people again. I just feel the full experience should be reviewed.
    I want the best product I can get and these holster makers have that. I just know now what to expect when I order another custom holster. Lots of timeÖÖPeace...........
    Last edited by JD; July 23rd, 2007 at 11:22 PM. Reason: removed [img] hang ons and spaced out pics and text for easier reading.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Ping Ping's Avatar
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    I agree with you that waiting for a holster can be a frustrating thing. If you're waiting for your first, premium holster, it can be excruciating.

    While I don't think there is anything to ease the pain of the latter, for those who are otherwise adequately equipped, there is some silver lining to the gray cloud of waiting.

    The fact is, that more Americans then ever are choosing to exersize their right to carry a concealed firearm. They are, more and more, upscale, successful people, who have the money to purchase fine leather. They are doing just that. IN DROVES.

    In the last 12 months, my holsterer of preference has gone from 4weeks for a basic IWB, to 16 weeks. No excuses about leather sources, or quality. He just cannot meet demand.

    The fact is that most premium gunleather sources are one-man-shops. They have had a steady demand for a dozen, or more years and that's what they are used to. All'a sudden, they get hit with 300 times their normal requests. What would you do?

    Most of these guys have worked alone, the entire time. Are they now expected to bring in some one else, into a shop they built from the ground up, only big enough to comfortably accommodate them? Just so they can deal with what may only be a "flash in the pan?"

    It's a tough choice for these guys. I, for one, am sympathetic to both sides. I do find it curious, however, that EVERY premium, custom holsterer is experiencing the same growing pains. I think that this bodes well for America.
    "Happiness, is a warm gun" -St. John of Liverpool

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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    For the most part those are "estimated" turn around times, not exact. Really, those turn around times arn't that for a couple of the makers you've posted. Try waiting a year (and still counting) for holsters that originally had a quoted turn around of 7-8 week's then let's talk about your minute wait times.

    All in all though, I don't by the never ending excuses, some of them are ligit but others are definatly suspect. I do believe that the "quoted" times are basically made up for the most part to get orders on the book's. I was never told of any delays, leather quality issues from suppliers, nothing.


    Ti
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    In Defense of Fist...

    I have over 2 dozen Fist holsters, and I do have the #12 basic for my Glock-36...works very well...but I still prefer IWB for this FL weather. For all but a couple of my Fist holsters, I usually received them in 3 - 5 weeks max... on one or two ocassions it was longer. The quality of each and every holsters is great, prices are reasonable...
    When it comes to 'fit', I'd rather have it a little snug at the start, just like a pair of shoes...use loosens them up anyway.

    May I also add you were thorough and honest in your review...thanks for your efforts!

    Stay armed...stay safe!

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  6. #5
    Member Array target1911's Avatar
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    I am not lookinf forward to buying my first CUSTOM holster.
    Not because of your review, but because I know it will take while to get it in the mail. I do understand the reasons behind the lenthy times, however I tend to get a lil impatient. When I buy something, I want it NOW. So I have decided to buy a couple of used holsters for my guns and then buy me a NEW one so I wont be CHOMPING at the bit. I am almost ready to make that new purchase.
    David

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    I have 18 months to go until my Matt Delfatti IWB will be here for my N-Frame Off-Duty Carry Piece.

    That's OK, it will be worth the wait. His customer service is the best I have expirienced, and I've dealt with a lot of custom makers. It's nice talking to retired LEO that really knows leather and what is required to hide a gun.

    The quality of his work is second to none. He, and his Daughter have taken very good care of me and have a customer for life. As far as the wait times. It gets really old really fast. Some makers are able to get close to their "estimated" time, and others don't even come close. If you are fairly close in your time estimate I can forgive being a little bit late.

    I will post my reviews on some holsters in the future. Delfatti, Sparks and Garrity. The only one I have at the moment, by a fluke, is a Delfatti OWB. It's an "interesting" story and I will share it in the next week or so.

    Biker

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array TJ Carr's Avatar
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    Nothing is worse than the wait for a good holster & being lied to and then being told it's ok cuz it's custom does not hold water.

    I really like my Rosen & Kramer holsters, but between paying up front before the holster in made and shipped (as far as how many months is the wait now????) the price and the wait unless ya are a leather snob with a ego that needs stroked by having custom made leather Kydex is the way to go. (nothing personal in the above comment, just my personal opinion and not ment to upset anybody)

    I love my Comp-Tac CTAC, it conceals better than my Rosen ARG and is way more comfortable.

    Never again will I go back to leather holsters as Comp-Tac not only makes a superior product it was less than 2 weeks from time of order to having the holster in my belt

  9. #8
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    The only way to get a custom or semi-custom holster even close to "right away" would be if it is already in stock.
    If it's not then plan on waiting.
    To be fair to the custom makers you need to mention that the delivery times are usually given with a disclaimer that they are estimated delivery times.
    They usually are estimated times and usually always go over the estimated time. That's the reality of it.
    Of course nobody really likes waiting longer than they expected to wait but, that does not change the reality that you usually will wait longer.
    That being said there are tons of holster makers out there and there are places like Galco and Safari-Land that do keep massive quantities of standard leather rigs in stock and ready for immediate delivery.
    If you DO decide to order a custom holster from a one or two man shop then everybody should plan on waiting at least a bit over the estimated delivery date.
    I guess it's like going to the doctors office.
    You know that no matter what time you get there and no matter what time your appointment is....you're going to wait at least 45 minutes to an hour. Might not like it but, it's the reality of the situation.
    As many times as this topic has come up on DefensiveCarry everybody should be aware of the fact by now that their estimated delivery date for custom crafted small shop single maker leather IS usually going to run sometimes well over the estimated completion time.
    The answer...if you absolutely don't want to wait is buy a holster someplace where they just stamp them out and stitch them up or go with a KYDEX rig that you can usually always get much quicker.
    There ARE larger holster makers that do keep inventory in stock for the popular gun models...and lots of it.
    You need to call around to the different makers and distributors and find out who has what In Stock and order one of those.
    That usually solves the problem. I think that if you're a person that really hates to wait and knowing what we all know in advance that you will wait - I would think that you need to ask yourself if you really need a custom carry rig made by the one or two person small shop makers.
    If your answer to yourself is YES...I absolutely want and need one of those because I want an extra high quality best made hand dyed holster that is extra beautiful and super~duper finely crafted ~ flawlessly finished with exotic leather trim and blah blah blah...then plan on waiting longer or don't order one in the first place.

  10. #9
    Member Array K-Man's Avatar
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    robere:

    Glad to hear you're happy with the holster. With respect to the extra wait time, I truly understand your frustration. I don't like it any more than you (or anyone else does).

    We don't tell a customer what we think they want to hear. When a person calls - we take a look at what's going on at the time and try to give an accurate response to their question. Do we always meet that mark? No, we don't - but it's certainly not intentional on our part.

    There are a number of things that go into running the business and making it successful. Any number of things can slow that down. For example, I had to make two separate trips in the same day to the cell phone store because of phone malfunctions. The total time away from the shop for me was 2+ hours. (That was Friday, the 13th btw. )

    We've been trying to hire additional folks to work in the shop. It's not as easy as it may seem. I opted to try and find folks who had some "experience" in the leathercraft industry. The first lady has her own saddle and tack repair business. She couldn't sew a straight line to save her life. Not exactly what you would expect to see. I gave up after three days and let her go. The next lady had less experience, but has worked out better and is catching on quicker. The flip side to all of this is I'm having to spend time with these folks to get them trained and up to speed. That means I'm not able (for the most part) to make holsters while they're at the shop. In addition, you have to deal with their skill limitations and what they can do and how flexible they are. While they may grasp one concept easily and quickly, other things are a bit of a struggle. For example, the lady working for us now can do a bang up job on a flat bed machine, but if you put her on a cylinder arm machine, she's all over the place. That just means I've got to spend more time with her to try and get her up to speed on the cylinder arm machine.

    Yes, most of the holster makers have been in business for some time and should be able to determine how many holsters can be made in a given day. But there are a lot of variables there as well. On an average day now, we can get 10 new holsters made up to the point that they're drying from the wet molding/pressing. Other days we may work on more holsters in various stages of work. Yesterday, we cut out and did work on nearly 60 holsters. So it really depends on what you have on the plate for work to be done versus how much you may do. We're doing some other things to streamline the process as well.

    We work 7 days a week, including nearly every holiday. (Ask Madecov - he called us on one of those holidays. ) We stay off the internet during the time we're at the shop and strictly answer the phone. That means we're answering emails, etc., before and after the time we spend at the shop. If I'm out of the shop any amount of time because of health issues, we forward the phone in order to respond to people's inquiries.

    I'm certainly not trying to offer any excuses here - simply trying to give a little insight as to what goes on in the shop. I'd invite anyone who would like to stop by the shop to do so in order for them to see first hand how things run.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ Carr View Post
    I...Never again will I go back to leather holsters as Comp-Tac not only makes a superior product it was less than 2 weeks from time of order to having the holster in my belt
    Agreed, seems to be periods of leather calamities, shortages, quality, etc., anyway. Kydex kinda takes the uncertainty out of inventory, manufacuring and stockage issues, at least for me.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

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    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Yes, the waiting can get annoying. I've had varying experiences with custom leather holsters, but none were delivered within the original waiting time I was quoted. Some I had to send back and in one particular case, I've still not seen a holster in my mailbox and probably never will. But, after finally receiving the holster, in most cases, I was very happy once it arrived. I've considered ordering other holsters, but now think twice about how long I'll have to wait or will it do what I want it to do.

    I understand about most shops being one man shows, and how easily it is to get behind if more orders pour in than usual or other unforeseen things happen that slow done the process.

    Just as customer waiting on a product, it hard not to get antsy awaiting the arrival of that new holster.

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    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    That's one fine Unlce Mike you got there!

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-Man View Post
    robere:

    Glad to hear you're happy with the holster. With respect to the extra wait time, I truly understand your frustration. I don't like it any more than you (or anyone else does).

    We don't tell a customer what we think they want to hear. When a person calls - we take a look at what's going on at the time and try to give an accurate response to their question. Do we always meet that mark? No, we don't - but it's certainly not intentional on our part.

    There are a number of things that go into running the business and making it successful. Any number of things can slow that down. For example, I had to make two separate trips in the same day to the cell phone store because of phone malfunctions. The total time away from the shop for me was 2+ hours. (That was Friday, the 13th btw. )

    We've been trying to hire additional folks to work in the shop. It's not as easy as it may seem. I opted to try and find folks who had some "experience" in the leathercraft industry. The first lady has her own saddle and tack repair business. She couldn't sew a straight line to save her life. Not exactly what you would expect to see. I gave up after three days and let her go. The next lady had less experience, but has worked out better and is catching on quicker. The flip side to all of this is I'm having to spend time with these folks to get them trained and up to speed. That means I'm not able (for the most part) to make holsters while they're at the shop. In addition, you have to deal with their skill limitations and what they can do and how flexible they are. While they may grasp one concept easily and quickly, other things are a bit of a struggle. For example, the lady working for us now can do a bang up job on a flat bed machine, but if you put her on a cylinder arm machine, she's all over the place. That just means I've got to spend more time with her to try and get her up to speed on the cylinder arm machine.

    Yes, most of the holster makers have been in business for some time and should be able to determine how many holsters can be made in a given day. But there are a lot of variables there as well. On an average day now, we can get 10 new holsters made up to the point that they're drying from the wet molding/pressing. Other days we may work on more holsters in various stages of work. Yesterday, we cut out and did work on nearly 60 holsters. So it really depends on what you have on the plate for work to be done versus how much you may do. We're doing some other things to streamline the process as well.

    We work 7 days a week, including nearly every holiday. (Ask Madecov - he called us on one of those holidays. ) We stay off the internet during the time we're at the shop and strictly answer the phone. That means we're answering emails, etc., before and after the time we spend at the shop. If I'm out of the shop any amount of time because of health issues, we forward the phone in order to respond to people's inquiries.

    I'm certainly not trying to offer any excuses here - simply trying to give a little insight as to what goes on in the shop. I'd invite anyone who would like to stop by the shop to do so in order for them to see first hand how things run.
    Thanks Kevin, you're a stand up guy.
    My point isn't the wait. If I know it's going to be 12 weeks, thats fine. Like one poster here said, if you are waiting on your first quality holster so you can carry properly it can be very frustrating waiting longer than the 12 weeks that was expected. What gets ya is the 8-10 weeks or the 10-12 week time frame. I just felt the maximum and minimum times listed is decieving. It's a 2 week time frame.We only see it from this end and when 3 holster makers at the same time are all late, it leaves a bitter taste on customer service.
    My intentions are not to "come down" on holster makers. I realize they are mostly a one man deal and it's going to take a long time. You did not "tell me what I wanted to hear" and it would'nt have bothered me you being 2 weeks beyond the time listed on your site if it was'nt dealing with the other 2 being late also. When dealing with 3 at the same time and they are all late, day after day going to the mailbox waiting on something i NEED, it gets pretty frustrating. I do feel its misleading times listed on all the sites.
    When I started this thread I was concerned about sounding like I was trying to hurt someone's business. That's the last thing I would want to do. I debated stating what my experiences were with delivery times etc , by not saying which holster maker told me what and how long each one took by keeping them anonymous. Everyone knew who I had dealt with because of the review. If I had not said who was the longest time or who told me what, people may think you (Kevin ) may have taken the longest etc. So I decided to just be upfront and tell of my individual experience with each one so there was no confusion.
    I was concerned about sounding harsh on Tucker. Not my intention, just telling my experience and my frustrations. I only experience it all from this end. When ( or if ) my j frame holster wears out, I'll order another one from him , I LOVE THIS HOLSTER. I just know now not to go by the time listed on the site and order as soon as I see I'll need another so I'm not waiting on something I desperatly need.
    Thanks again for a quality holster. I showed it to my bro n law and he said "WOW , now that's a nice holster " .. I told him "When I'm not wearing it, I'm staring at it"...

  15. #14
    Member Array K-Man's Avatar
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    robere:

    We do try to be realistic in the timeframe quoted, that's why we list it the way we do.

    Yes, we've been slammed with orders, and the worst is yet to come. So in order to accomodate that increase there are certain things you have to do to not get so far behind in comparison to the quoted turnaround time. That takes time to accomplish as well - time away from actually making the holsters.

    We're making every effort we can to get back to, and stay within, the quoted time. Thanks again for the opportunity to make the holster for you.


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    Member Array madecov's Avatar
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    Yup, kevin was working on holidays. His wife even called me about a shipping problem when my holster was ready, and if memory serves it was a Sunday morning.

    Kevin is really trying to keep within quoted times. he keeps excellent records and can tell you when your order was placed and how far out you are. Of course the more customers he gets, the busier he is and the less time he has to B/S on the phone before he falls further behind.

    His work is really nice and I will be ordering another holster from him when funds allow.
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