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I am in the market for two holsters as I have added some guns to my carry rotation. Like most of you, I have purchased many holsters, eyeballed hundreds and felt semi-disappointed in most of them. I am a bit confused because there are reputable brands like K&D that sell a holster that might work for about $85. Then there are the el cheapos like the Uncle Mike's nylon holsters that are to be avoided at all costs. Finally, we have the other end of the spectrum, the very fine holsters that cost $190+ and sometimes feature exotic leathers.

I am looking at some of these holsters (i.e. Pure Kustom, etc.) and am just trying to understand exactly what it is I am paying for. I know it is true: you get what you pay for. I would really like a holster that does it all and is wonderfully comfortable. But I don't want to just buy the most expensive holster out there just because it's expensive. Is there a process or something specific that is done to the ultra high-end holsters that makes them unique? I have heard of holsters being "boned" and that being a good thing... but just wondering exactly what to look for in a super high-quality holster.
 

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I'm not a bonafide expert on holsters, or anything else for that matter but, I've been carrying legally for an awful long time almost 50 yrs and I've bought a couple of holsters in that time.
The holster you want is going to be the one I might not want. when yo find the holster you want you'll instantly fall in "love" with it. I've probably bought a steer or 2's hides and still find a different holster that'll do me forever, I say. In a year or so nope its not right, maybe I gained or lost weight, maybe I wan IWB or OWB, or shoulder holster, belly band, ankle holster I think I've tried them all. A couple were beautiful works of art but not up to my expectations.
My son, friends and others like to get together about once a year and compare holsters in what's new and what's old.
To me a holster is a lot like a woman once you see it and try it on yo almost instantly know.
Best of luck
Peaceful
 

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Just run a search and you will start to narrow things down real quick. From that point on, you are on your own. I like Nassar, Desbiens, TT, Mitch Rosen, and I am sure I missed others, personally.
 

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I am in the band instrument repair business and can compare it to the difference between repair and restoration. Most people want their instruments repaired. This means mechanically it goes back to the way it was or is modified in a way to play properly in conjunction with other damage that is not going to be repaired. Restoration means making it cosmetically beautiful too without any trace that it was repaired. This is big bucks.

So, in my opinion:
The repair holster for example is a Crossbreed Supertuck. Solid and functional but is never going to win a beauty contest.

The restoration holster is a Pure Kustom or other artistically constructed holster that functions as it should but is beautiful as well. You're paying 2 to 3 times as much for all the extra time and effort that went into it.
 

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Sometimes you are paying extra money for exotic skins. I had a pair of Shark skin boots that I wore just about all the time for ten years. Lost count of all the times I had them re-soled. Still looked like new and never had anything done to them but wiped down. Shark wears well. All of my holster show hard wear real fast. I would love a shark skin holster.
 

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Beauty, but no exotic leather, quality that doesn't make you wait 14 months, simple effectiveness, comfort without spending BIG bucks...I have over 3 dozen of various models for a variety of guns without ever being disappointed.
Fist
 

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If you do buy a Pure Kustom you WILL get your moneys worth! :yup:
 

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Some holsters offer useable, functional features that make them practical for everyday use. Some, like those from Pure Kustom and some others, are useable, practical works of art. By combining exotic skins, carvings, stampings or paintings with proven practical holster designs, you get the best of both worlds.
As much as I like my Comp-Tac holsters, I don't show them off like I do with my black cherry, shark trimmed HBE holster. Just my opinion from what I've seen but Rocky has got to be the king of show off holsters. The holster designs look very functional and some of the things he does with plain old cow are just amazing. Although I can't afford that often, sometimes you just got to treat yourself.
 

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I just recieved my holster from Rocky at Pure Kustom. Ordered it Monday, came today. It is absolutely beautiful and fits great. Wearing it right now to break it in. Hides my FNP 45 perfectly. Nice work Rocky. Thanks for the great service.
Buy one, you won't be disappointed.
 

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I'm a Pure Kustom fanboi.
I've tried all the big names. Milt Sparks, Alessi, HBE,etc. I sold my VM2's. The PK is the only one I wear. It truly is a work of art, but getting beyond that, it's the most comfortable holster I've worn. Customer service is second to none.

The "Black Ops" is a dual OWB/IWB holster. It's the only OWB that I can wear at the 3 o'clock position (on my hip) that doesn't put pressure on my hip bone. Cost is $150, but it equals out to 2 holsters per gun.

Google Pure Kustom Holsters & read the reviews.

I have 2 more in the works, if that counts for anything.

This is the Top 10 list from the PK website...

Ten Reasons why you should choose Pure Kustom Holsters.
1. The Black Ops Holster, A true dual use holster. The only all leather adjustable holster.
2. Double stitched tight tolerances against the firearm sides for extra strength.
3. Encircled stitching around the belt loops for extra strength, and long life from delaminating.
4. Sweat shields on every holster for easy holstering and protection for your body from sharp edges.
5. Tight Molding on both sides of our holsters for extra strength and long retention life.
6. Pre curved to conform to the body, That adds to comfort and conceal ability. Also adds to the fitment and retention to the firearm. Without causing excessive stress on the leather during normal holster break in.
7. Extreme stiffing process that adds to the retention of our holsters and allows us to market our holsters without a mouth reinforcement.
8. Sealing process that makes our holsters extremely water resistant. And our process also has a memory to add to the retention life of our holsters.
9. We only use the best products from Fiebing and Hermann Oak Leather.
10. Limited Life Time warranty
 

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I just received my Crossbreed Supertuck. Conrad let me try his at the range one day and that was all it took. It really is a great conceled carry holster.
 

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As I consider the original question I think of holsters I own. I have a couple of Don Hume holsters. They hold the gun and I can place them at the point I prefer and draw the guns. They do the job.
But I bought them before I had ever seen a top notch holster. Some swear by Hume holsters, but I would not consider a Hume if I were in the market for a new holster.

On the other hand I own several holsters by the best or some of the very best; Nossar, Sparks, and Brommeland. These all outclass the Hume so far it is no contest. As I use them, and just look at them I am very pleased to own, use, and handle them. The workmanship is superb.

I might also consider a Mitch Rosen Premier Express. It holds the gun securely and at the right height. It does the job as well as any, but lacks the detailed boning and attention to detail of his premier line. There is a significant difference in cost, but both do the job.

So in the end it boils down to what one wants in a holster. If one wants just a holster that holds the gun securely and will last a long time then a less expensive holster is the way to go. But if he wants something that is a pleasure to own then the top makers are the way to go. Exotics are beautiful, but costly. However, the beauty of them causes some to opt for a top maker and exotics.

My view is to save and get a real quality holster that will be as good looking as the gun, and maybe better.

Just my opinion.

Regards,
Jerry
 

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The main thing is comfort. Most of the higher dollar holsters have more thought out designs, geared toward comfort. IMO, if a holster for CC is not comfortable first and foremost, it is not functional. If you are constantly fidgeting with it and aware it is there it is noticeable to others and does not promote stealth. I to have a Hume, for my G23. It was my first IWB, I still use it occasionally, however, I also have a HBE Com III and it overall is much more comfortable and concealable. My Mitch Rosen is also much more comfy and well though out than my Galco for my P228.
 

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I know it is true: you get what you pay for.
I've never been convinced that's true. I think the actual truth is that you never get what you don't pay for (one way or the other). Sometimes you don't get what you do pay for, though. Caveat emptor & all that.

Here's one factor: as a general rule, the more the holster costs the more willing the holstermaker should be to customize it for you. Want a slightly different cant? Or a different way to attach the holster to your belt? Maybe a fuller cut at the back or a deeper ride? Any of those alterations require going to a custom shop and shelling out the bucks.

I think the smartest way to know if you're at that point, where you'll benefit from paying the big bucks, is to ask yourself whether you currently have any off-the-shelf holsters that "would be perfect IF _____." If you do, then you're probably ready to find a maker to produce the perfect holster for you.

Otherwise? Maybe you can scratch customization off your list of things to consider.

Another factor: a high-end holster will stand up to literal years of wear. For instance, I'm currently wearing a Ted Blocker IWB holster that I purchased over a year ago. I've worn it every single day since then and have drawn thousands of times. Apart from a few scuffs, the holster is as good as the day I got it: the stitching is just as tight, the belt attachment just as secure, the opening just as stiff. It's still solid -- and it will remain solid for many years to come. Does this mean that off the shelf holsters won't hold up over time? Sadly, yes, that's been my experience. They just don't tend to be built (or overbuilt) for the long haul as a lovingly made holster from a good shop.

Does this matter to you? If it's not your "perfect" holster, I cannot for the life of me see why it would. If it's not perfect, you're going to keep shopping for new holsters anyway. That means you'll probably replace it and move on long before it could wear out anyway.

For me, I think the bottom line is that a beautiful, solid custom holster is a lifetime investment. Dabble with as many designs as you like at the mid-range prices, and go for the high end when you're ready to make an informed commitment.

pax
 

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...putting an ugly black plastic FNP-9 into a pretty light-tan leather holster with a nice retention snap-strap device, with a matching belt that must only be worn with matching shoes or boots. Men are more sensible shoppers than purse-and-shoe-crazy womenfolk.
 

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There are some really great holster makers these days.
The leather that is available today is some of the best ever produced for concealed carry.
Still though it's hard to beat a M. Sparks or the nearly presently unattainable Matt Del Fatti.
 

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I guess I'm the oddball here, but here goes. I only carry concealed, so to me comfort and function is all that matters, not looks. Nobody will see my holster so why care about looks? I have two holsters made of nylon, one for my Sig P220, and one that I share between my medium frame Taurus M65 .357 and my Ruger Vaquero .357. Both of these holsters are extremely light and comfortable, and very strong. Both fit very tight and close to the body and I hardly notice the weight of my guns at all. Sure, I'll replace them about every five or six years, but so what, for $20.00 each it's no big deal. I have nothing against good leather and beauty, I think it"s the only way to go, IF you open carry for everyone to see and admire. Uncle Mike & Blackhawk make good quality holsters and work just fine for me.
 

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I guess I'm the oddball here, but here goes. I only carry concealed, so to me comfort and function is all that matters, not looks. Nobody will see my holster so why care about looks? I have two holsters made of nylon, one for my Sig P220, and one that I share between my medium frame Taurus M65 .357 and my Ruger Vaquero .357. Both of these holsters are extremely light and comfortable, and very strong. Both fit very tight and close to the body and I hardly notice the weight of my guns at all. Sure, I'll replace them about every five or six years, but so what, for $20.00 each it's no big deal. I have nothing against good leather and beauty, I think it"s the only way to go, IF you open carry for everyone to see and admire. Uncle Mike & Blackhawk make good quality holsters and work just fine for me.
Nylon holsters that do not stay open for reholstering are bad news , IMO.

But beauty is in the function and quality can be hidden. Selection of the right raw leather [not easy to do] and leather can be expensive.
The details of design and the techniques of construction, glued and sewn seams are more important than perfectly straight stich lines and spacing.
Here are some that I built of the years and the one I've carried nearly 20,000 hours in the last 3 years.

My currently use holster, 3 years old.

the wide loop spacing and tight fit on a 1-3/4" belt makes it stable.
 
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