As with many other things in my trip to Gunsite, I saw the light on holsters and holster replacement. What are the tell tales signs that it’s time to replace that leather? Are you putting yourself at risk? Is a few extra bones really that much to spend on something you carry ’round everyday? Answers after the jump . . ,
A holster serves a multitude of purposes – for most of us, it’s where our firearms spend the majority of their lives. They secure them to our person, protect them from our sweaty nastiness, and for the Starbucks generation, order our Vente Carmel Double-Latte’s (err.. well, they do come in that color in some instances).
Take note of the holster above. It’s a classic – A High-Noon Split Decision. And boy, has it seen better days. Notice how even with an extra piece of leather reinforcement around the mouth it no longer remains open when there’s nothing inside of it? No big deal? Wrong – very big deal. Why?
Simple. To holster your weapon you are almost forced to do one of two big no-no’s. Either a) you dig the muzzle into your side to separate the leather folds and insert the pistol or b) you place a finger in between the leather folds and hold open the holster while pushing the barrel in. Option a = gun pointed at your hip bone – bad. Option b = gun pointed at your finger and hand – bad.
This holster once held it’s shape nicely. Since that time it’s seen several season changes, been soaked in seawater (yeah.. don’t ask), and seen so many heat cycles from being next to my body or hanging on my pants on the bedpost that it might as well be going through menopause. In short, it’s time to replace this holster. Yes, it serves it’s purpose of holding on to a weapon, but does so in a now-unsafe manner. There’s no bowing of the leather into the trigger-guard area like in this poor-schmuck’s case, but it’s still a less than ideal situation.
What you’re seeing now is another of the myriad of holster available on today’s market. This is a Galco Summer Comfort, and like Henry Ford’s Model-T it’s available in every color you could want – so long as it’s black. Of particular note, this one stays open when nothing is in it! Let the trumpets sound and bell-towers ring! You mean, I don’t have to paint myself with a hot barrel anymore? Spec-wonder-tastic!
This holster does not require any self-endangerment during the holstering process (disclaimer: we’re working under the assumption that you’re not safety-challenged, and do indeed have an idea of how to handle a firearm. If the previous is untrue, you’re on your own in the self-endangerment department.)
Seen side by side; it’s pretty clear, just like the packing tape so graciously used to hold up the Split-Decision in the above glamor-shot. The pyre has been lit, and the pennies for the boatman are in hand. Goodbye Split-Decision, you’ve been a great friend and served your purpose well. But, after too many years of service, you – like those grizzled soldiers who came before, are being consigned to my junk drawer (if only because I’m too much of a pack-rat to actually throw you away).
Check on your gunleather. Is it worn out? Deforming? Not holding your firearm as securely as you seem to remember? Are you placing yourself in an IGOTD situation every time you holster your weapon? If you’ve answered yes to the above, it may be time to consider a shopping trip. Ohh, an excuse for gun-goodies!
How often you should replace your holster is up to you. If it retains shape and function, it may outlast your pistol (for those of us with “must-have-new-things-constantly-itis”). A good holster can last a good long time. If it starts to deteriorate, replace it – as always, safety first.
Out with it – when was the last time you splurged on a holster upgrade? Remember class; “knowing is half the battle” [The other half is gratuitous laser usage.]