Are Holsters Passe’?


Are Holsters Passe’?

John Wayne would probably roll over in his grave. Well, figuratively anyway. Us old cowboy movie buffs amply recall the classic sixgun holster rig that John Wayne wore with this 4-inch Colt Single Action Army “cowboy” gun. The gun was canted ever so slightly forward for a quick grab or more precisely a draw. Even the John Bianchi leather company so designated a holster rig in Wayne’s honor.

You don’t see those holster rigs much anymore. The sole exception might be with the Cowboy Action Shooting Sports, which frankly seems to be dying off. That’s another whole subject, but when fun shooting turns into cut throat competition the average guys end up losing interest or can’t afford to stay in the game. That has happened with many sports.

Unless you are in law enforcement, security work, or the military, what we think of as traditional holsters for sidearms are few. That or the configurations have become so quasi-radical, that the current trend for carrying a pistol or revolver no longer resembles the old classic designs.

That may not really be a bad thing either. Like so many other things in shooting and gun work, the market changes to meet the demand. Today, concealed carry is all the rage and that does not promote the wearing of traditional belt carry holsters with leather hammer straps or a thumb break.

In fact, leather itself has taken a bit of a back seat to what the market offers today. So many “holsters” are now molded polymer plastics like Kydex shaped to fit the exact firearm model. They either have a built in belt loop or clamps that slip over the pants belt either inside the waistband or out.

There is even a vendor at the local gun shows here that will mold a custom gun slip either plain or with a colorful graphic of your choice while you wait for under $50. Then there are custom shops like On Your Six Designs in Texas where Kydex rigs can be ordered on line at a very reasonable cost. I have several of these and they are excellent products. While a quality Kydex holster is hard to wear out, the down side is that perceptible “click” or audible plastic noise when inserting or extracting a firearm. Minor detail.

Even so, I just got a high quality DeSantis holster for my Ruger Redhawk Snubs in .357 and .44 in a crossdraw configuration. I still love the feel, smell, and sound of leather. Even though classic leather holsters are not passé, there are other options out there for sure.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 112085240

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

Read More