Rare Handguns and Custom Holsters
Oleg Volk 07.19.18
“I have the Obcurematic Limited Edition in .336 Alberginesian. But lately, that got SAAMI certified, so I got it re-barreled to .350 Obscure Magnum. It’s kind of exclusive…”
Not everybody carries odd guns for bragging rights. Personally, I would much prefer the most mainstream pistol possible, and in the most common caliber. However, sometimes the performance advantages of oddball designs outweigh the logistical disadvantages. That’s how we got percussion in place of flint lock, and how Mauser and Browning automatic pistols supplanted revolvers. Among my own oddball favorites, HK P7M8, Nighthawk longslide, Bond Bullpup, Grand Power XCalibur and Coonan. Guess how many holsters for those I was able to find in local stores!
The solution is, of course, ordering custom holsters. Hundreds and thousands of craftsmen offer leather and kydex made to order, but not all of them can make what you need. For one, they would need a dummy gun to form the material — some makers have an extensive collection of those, others do not. The same is true of leather: some keep basic cow and horse hides, others take the time to navigate the convoluted regulations to acquire exotic skins, like ostrich, alligator and the ever-elusive honest politician.
The next limitation is the quality of the craft and the degree of experience. Some makers produce pretty holsters than won’t hold a gun reliably, or can’t survive a humid summer, or fall apart at the seams. Others make technically sound product that just isn’t comfortable to wear. Look for the holster maker who wears his own product.
…and even greater investment of experience. Most custom makers say that they took years to refine the level craft to the point where they can start inventing new functional design. Let’s look at what makes a custom holster worthwhile:
All of these leather artists made designs that proved comfortable, safe and durable. A well made holster, production or custom, can last decades and will not harm the finish of your pistol. A cheaply or poorly crafted one might fall apart in a few months, endangering the user all the while. When buying an unusual handgun, budget not just for the ammunition and spare magazines, but also for a holster worth the weapon.