Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Like a prom dress for your pistol.

Barbecue guns demand barbecue holsters, right? And then there are times when you just want your heater to look its prettiest, like blogmeets or Gunblogger Rendezvous, or an open-carry picnic.

I've lamented on this blog before that it's hard to find a good holster for a Colt Pocket Hammerless, and at the LuckyGunner Bloggershoot I was speaking with Michael, of the eponymous holster site, and he casually mentioned to me that he'd gotten his hands on an M1903 mold gun. Would I like a pancake-style holster like the one Jennifer was wearing?

The holster in question was a striking white rayskin number, nicely finished, and of Michael's "hidden stitch" variety, which bonds an additional layer of leather over the outer face, concealing the stitching and making for a very dramatic looking holster, especially when combined with exotic leathers or funky dye jobs. We discussed belt width and pistol cant and preferred carry positions.

I warned him that, if the holster sucked big rocks up off the ground, I'd write that it sucked big rocks up off the ground. If it was "meh", the best he could expect would be some pointed asides scattered through various posts about "things I think it's important for a holster to have." He confidently told me to watch my mailbox.

Now, I'll admit that I'm a skeptic with startup holster companies. I'm a pretty hardcore holster snob: My daily carry rig, on which I've been sweating for years, is a horsehide Milt Sparks VM-2, and my backup holster for those days I'm feeling fat is a Brommeland Max Con V. I don't impress easy.


When I opened the package, I was impressed. The holster's molding was crisp (not an easy trick with the second layer of leather atop the first) and the edges were beautifully burnished. The stitching may be invisible from the front, but flip the holster over to the part nobody but the wearer will ever see, and it's still ruler straight, despite being hidden from view; this is like finding the underside of a show car with three coats of lovingly hand-buffed lacquer. The "hidden stitch" style, when combined with the black ray skin, makes for a striking holster.


When I put it on, I was even more impressed. Retention was good; the holster would hold the pistol snugly, even inverted, but the 'smooth-side in' construction allows a clean release with no suede boogers clinging to your heater. I'm sure if I was jumping out of helicopters with a knife in my teeth, I'd want a more positive retention device, but this really isn't that kind of holster; it was certainly up to chores around the house, puttering in the garden, and bicycling around the neighborhood. The molded-in curve made it sit all day comfortably at the ~4:30 position I favor, but tried it as far forward as 3:30 and still fit nicely. The belt loops gripped my 1.5" belt tightly and didn't allow the holster to shift on my belt unless I used both hands and really meant it, and even then you had to "inchworm" the belt through one slot at a time.

I will note that since my pistols are both of the pre-1909 "Type I" variety with the four inch barrel, I have a quarter inch of exposed muzzle, as the mold gun is no doubt of the far more common later variety with a 3.75" barrel. If this is the kind of thing that gives you the vapors, let Michael know and he can cut the holster to suit.

This is a very impressive holster, as sturdy as it is pretty; I have no problems endorsing it.

(Yes, FTC, he let me keep the holster. Now don't you have some productive work you could be doing? Oh, right, you're fed.gov bureaucrats; I forgot.)

22 comments:

Tango Juliet said...

Shiny!

perlhaqr said...

The Eye of Sauron is upon you.

Tam said...

I think the combination of the rayskin and the shiny 106-yr-old pistol is just big pimpin'. :D

Tango Juliet said...

Yeah... it certainly is big pimpin'. But can one achieve ultimate tactical awareness in rayskin?

Evyl Robot Michael said...

Thank you Tam. Beautiful review. :)

Anonymous said...

I think 'suede boogers' would make an excellent band name.

-SayUncle

Mr.B said...

I have several examples of his work, and as soon s I get enough samolians saved, I'm gonna order another one.....or two.

Matt G said...

I've been meaning to write up my review of a custom J-frame holster that Michael made for me, for some time.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, but "exotic leathers".

Just waiting for the (In) Justice Department to swoop in with full swat gear and confiscate all the raw materials while they "investigate" any possible Lacey Act violations.

Hope they don't read the comments.

I will remain po'ed until Holder is in jail. Forever.

Again, beautiful holster and great review.

Terry
Florida

Robin said...

Wow, that's a great looking holster. It might be a great way to retire the worn out cheap nylon IWB holster I use to carry my M1908.

Anonymous said...

absolutly beautiful!! very classy and slick! now if he could make you a purse to match with shoe!!! all jokeing aside a very very nice and functional holster!

Walt

Sport Pilot said...

Nice holster Tam, quality workmanship with a dash of bling. My holster making efforts are functional but leave a bit to be desired in apperance. More practice.

Rabbit said...

Michael does incredible work. We met he and Jennifer at Christina's about a year ago, and with a little coaxing we all adjourned to the coffee table and he brought out his "bag o' holsters" and we all pawed them extensively.

I've got to get a couple for my Sigs one day soon, before he goes worldwide and gets backlogged a year.

RandyGC said...

I'm not surprised you're impressed.

I have a dress belt that doubles as a CCW platform he made basically to my specs (with a LOT of helpful input from him) that I'm wearing now. I doubt it will be my last purchase from him.

libertyman said...

Does that holster make your Colt a "Ray gun"?

Six said...

Michael built me a competition holster with belt and mag carrier for my Glock. I heartily echo your comments. I love mine.

Netpackrat said...

I had Michael build a holster last year for my brother's model 19, which is somewhat difficult to find a holster for due to the 6-1/2" barrel. It turned out beautifully, and he loves it.

1894C said...

Tam,

Is that the original finish on that 1903?

Mine in 32ACP is plum worn out in comparison. If it is a refinish, who did the work? If you don't mind my asking...

Tam said...

1894C,

"Is that the original finish on that 1903?"

Yup. :)

Evyl Robot Michael said...

:) I love my customers. You people are awesome!

+1 on your pistol, Tam. I've put my hands on an 03 or 08 at one time or another. Yours is the most beautiful one I've ever seen. I had assumed that it was a refinish. Truly astounding. I'm glad that I got to make a beautiful holster for it.

McThag said...

I think I will have to get one.

I needed an excuse to patronize them anyways.

Anonymous said...

Eagerly waiting his work.