The sun was almost directly overhead, leaving no shadows in the dusty Arizona landscape. “Make ready!” boomed the harsh voice of the kind-looking rangemaster with the white mustache, khakis, and stainless steel 1911 underneath his black baseball hat.Round chambered, check. Half-empty magazine removed, replaced with its sibling, topped off with 17 rounds. I returned to low ready. “Up! Look! Press!” . . .
Almost by reflex – we’d been at this for two solid days now – the black plastic sights on my olive drab GLOCK 17 came up in line with my right eye. The front sight fit perfectly in the notch of the rear one, now completely blacked out thanks to a marker carried by one of the instructors who also preferred carrying a GLOCK.
A few more rounds were sent downrange from the firing line. At the command, I reholstered, pushing the green-and-black firearm forcefully back into its holster.
When you live in Pennsylvania, a trip to Gunsite Academy isn’t something done on the spur of the moment — I had been planning it for almost six months — but somehow I had ended up with equipment that was almost completely new. The GLOCK was purchased when my previous EDC piece, a Springfield EMP, began jamming for the second time, resulting in it being put out to pasture (never give a weapon a second chance – any more than a man, as Ian Fleming wrote…or as it would have been in this case, a third chance).
I dallied for a few months with another 1911, quickly judging that it didn’t work for me, and started casting my net for a new sidearm. It turns out that when you sell a 1911, you’re left with enough cash to get two used GLOCKs, so that’s exactly what I got: a well-cared-for olive drab GLOCK 17, and a well-used, but still quite reliable early Gen 3 GLOCK 19.
New GLOCKs in hand, I now had to get a solid holster that would stand up to the burdens of training and everyday carry. The package with my TT Gunleather holster arrived on a Saturday at the end of August in 2012.
At first glance the holster looked great, but it was very tight — both over my sidearm, and on the belt. I fired off an e-mail to the holster maker, Tim Thurner, and explained that the holster didn’t seem to fit my 1.5″ belt. Tim assured me that it would with a bit of effort. “I make them tight so the holster only breaks in to a certain point and continues to hold the gun tight to the body, if I made them easy to attach new the holster would not function as well down the road,” he said. Tim was right, of course.
A month later, I was in Arizona, and the holster worked quite well indeed. Two years later, it’s my go-to OWB holster. Even though I have quite a few rigs lying around, it’s the one that always gets used for ‘social’ purposes with my everyday carry GLOCKs.
My use case for the product
(a) A secure and stable OWB holster that can be easily put on/taken off. The other holsters I had were secure and stable, but could only be put on by sliding the belt through the loops. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I found it a bit annoying to have to unbuckle my belt to remove the holster.
(b) A holster that could accommodate both my G17 and G19.
(c) A durable holster that could withstand a lot of holstering and re-holstering. In addition to my upcoming Gunsite 250 course, the holster would be used for other training when I got home, and generally would be used whenever I felt like using an OWB holster.
(d) Since this was expected to be a long-term purchase, a price over $100 was acceptable. That meant, however, that quality and even appearance might enter into the assessment. It better be good and it had better look good too, because hey … more than a C-note.
I ordered what TT Gunleather calls the Snap Removable Slide Holster (code: DDOX), in brown. I ordered the black sharkskin trim, too, in part because it would keep the mouth of the holster stiff over a longer period of time, but mostly because I just liked how it looked.
•Black Sharkskin Trim: $45.00
•Total purchase price: $155.00
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit and Finish: * * * * *
The holster is beautiful. Even though it’s on the small side, it’s very solid. It was broken in while taking a week-long course at Gunsite, and despite over two years of use since then (including other training courses, my own practice use at the range, and the bumps and scrapes that come with serving as a concealed carry holster,) it hasn’t shown any signs of giving up yet. I had a holster from a major manufacturer that didn’t stand up to anywhere near as much use as the DDOX pretty much give up the ghost after two years.
Concealability: * * * *
It’s an OWB holster intended for a compact or full-sized GLOCK; it’s as concealable as such a thing can be. The gun is kept pretty tightly to the torso, and is at a 10° angle, which helps matters. It’s very easy to put on and take off, so if you wanted to remove your firearm and holster together, as a unit, you can do so. Of course, if anyone catches a glimpse of it, the exposed portion of the slide makes it very clear that this isn’t just a big phablet case or something, and even though this is obvious from the nature of the product, I don’t grade on a curve, hence the four stars.
Retention: * * * *
When I ordered the holster, I spoke with Tim Thurner and asked whether he thought a retention strap would be a good idea. He dismissed the idea, stating that he only offered the option because his clientele included law enforcement officers that were required to have such things by department policy. He assured me that the holster would be sufficiently tight and it is. It took several days to break it in enough to use it on the range, and although it’s clearly loosened up since then, it holds my G19 even when upside down. The only reason it gets four stars is that there’s no locking mechanism (as with some polymer holsters). For my purposes, that isn’t an issue since I rarely open carry except at the range, but see above about not grading on a curve.
Daily Usage: * * * * *
There isn’t much I’d change about my TT Gunleather holster. It’s comfortable, secure, relatively concealable, can fit multiple GLOCK versions, and looks good while it does it. The only ‘negatives’ that I can think of is that the sweat guard is rather abbreviated, so if you aren’t wearing a shirt between the gun and you, the grip can rub against your skin. It hasn’t bothered me, but it may be a little annoying if you have an aggressively textured grip. Also, the black paint on one of the snaps got scratched somehow. Probably my fault, but it must have scratched easily since I now don’t remember a time when it wasn’t scratched.
Overall: * * * * *
It’s a secure holster, easy to put on and take off, and has weathered the bumps and scrapes of regular everyday carry for over two years without a hiccup. If you’re in the market for a leather OWB holster that looks nice, check out the gallery on Tim’s website or give him a call.
I’ve used the same TT Gunleather IWB holster for 4 years with my EDC 1911. Still holding up well. And I’ve used the holster extensively for IDPA.
Myself as well. I have the TTGunleather IWB for my M&P .45 and it is my favorite holster. I’m about ready to buy another just so that I have a “spare”.
Never have much cared for slide holsters. I used the included 1911gear holster than Springfield gave me in the box when I bought my first 1911 while I was waiting for a custom leather paddle holster to arrive and the first time out to the ranch I noticed two things that have forever soured me to using slide holsters like this. First, I became acutely aware of how frequently I bang the part of my hip/hindquarters, now occupied by the muzzle of my nearly $800 pistol, on lots of things that I had never noticed before. Getting in the truck, jumping on the fourwheeler, climbing into the blind, what have you, more on that in a little bit.
Second, when carried in a comfortable spot around 4 o-clock the slide rubs against the brass grommet on the back pocket of my jeans which made a nice mark on the slide that only several sessions with a silicone rag and some thumb grease was finally able to massage out to where it is barely noticeable. The scratch near the muzzle on the outside of the slide bumping into the the rear rack while mounting four-wheeler did not though.
Not to worry! You’ll get scratches and dings no matter how hard you try to keep the gun in perfect condition. When you care for the weapon like you do, you wince when it happens, but each scratch is like a scar and has a story to tell. When it’s time to pass it on to your kids it will have character formed from constant companionship.
A safe queen never gets a scratch, but it never brings back good memories either!
I got a IWB holster, similar to Milt Sparks Versa Max 2, from TT Holsters. It’s gorgeous, but unfortunately, they placed the rear loop too high which makes it difficult to get a good grip on the gun while in the holster. Not impossible, but not easy. Not happy. I don’t think that a lot of holster makers actually carry daily.
Sorry to hear yours doesn’t work as you expected. fortunately, mine works great.
Sammy – We offer a full money back guarantee if you are unhappy with your holster for any reason. We would also have been happy to work with you on replacing the holster so that you had better grip clearance if that was an issue for you. Feel free to contact us at any time.
TT Gunleather is just another on a long list of holster makers who market a product at a price more than double what it should be and target gullible buyers with more money than good sense. Anyone reading this who is new to handguns and holster selection should know that there are many comparable quality leather holsters available from other makers at one third to one half the cost of a ridiculously priced TT Gunleather holsters, but if you feel compelled to pay $120 for a $40 or $50 holster, you should at least insist that they kiss you first.
Could you recommend any holsters of similar style and quality at the $40 or $50 price you quoted?
Bianchi 84 SnapLok $30.91, Tagua BH2S $44.50, Bianchi 106 Minimalist $37.99, The Holster Store Pro Carry Belt Ride $29.95 (Not a snap on but a heavy duty exact fit Askins type belt slide holster, a really good quality holster at a great price), DeSantis Quick Snap holster $38-$44, Blackhawk detachable slide leather holster $60-$65 (Top quality and the adjustable thumb snap makes it easily adaptable to similar pistols and occasionally available for less than $50).
Its clear you have never owned one from your list and a TT at the same time. They don’t even belong in the same category. This is coming from owning 9 different holsters(2 from your list) and 3 TT holsters and a belt. After 7 years with my TT, it looks, performs and outlasts 3:1. Its easy to say something is overpriced, but value does not mean cheap. And TT is not only a superior product (with a very caring owner behind the company) but is a Better value over the long run.. Plus it looks Soooo much better.
You’re full of $#it Matt. I own two of the Pro Carry Belt Ride holsters, one for a Kahr PM9 and one for a Kahr CW45, and I own one Blackhawk leather detachable holster for my Glock 33 that I found in the bargain box at a local gun shop for less than 20 bucks and I can adjust the thumb snap for a secure fit on my Sig P239 as well. As far as looks, to me the TT looks sooooo gaudy with that ridiculous irregular shaped piece of imitation elephant hide stuck on the front. If you want to pay three prices for a holster and can afford it, knock yourself out. For anyone else who’s not a TT employee or brother-in-law, here are some links for good quality affordable concealed carry holsters.
I really like this style of holster because I can just unsnap it when I get to work without having to unbuckle my belt. EDC gun and holster snaps off and duty belt and pistol go on, easy as that.
Ted Unlis – Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but it’s completely unreasonable to make untrue accusations against companies with no basis for fact. Our Elephant hide comes from an exotic hide dealer called “The Ostrich Market” – the name of the particular hide is Antique Saddle Safari. We have no employees. Our prices are very competitive for the quality we produce. We are proud of our product and most grateful for our fantastic customer base.
I think they look nice and I like the style, Tim. I will probably buy one.
I can only speak for the 4 holsters I have received from TT Gunleather in the last 3 years, plus the countless people that have seen my holsters, 2 of the Holsters that I received from TT Gunleather were gifts to a friend and the other to my wife, without question these 4 holsters have surpassed my expectations in quality, comfort, and function, My first holster purchased 4 years ago come June and has been on my side about 95% of my waking hours. This holster has shown no wear, still hold excellent retention, and is more comfortable then any other holster I have owned,
I have purchased more then several different, with a cost of over 400.00 combined. This TT Gunleather holster is by far the best of holster I have purchased. If I had known about this product prior I could have saved over 250.00 on inferior holsters,
The customer service I have received in the past from Tim and his Wife has been excellence bar none. I will continue to do business with TT Gunleather based on my experience and what I have stated above.
As Bryan posted, I am the recipient of one of TT Gunleather holsters. It has been my go to holster since receiving it. I will be ordering additional holsters from TT Gunleather for other pistols I have . I find nothing “gaudy” about their holsters. They are clean and fit very well the holster puts my Kimber in a natural position for me to draw. The holster retention is excellent; my pistol has never so much as budged while on my side. I have other IWB holsters and find the TT to be more comfortable.
My TT full holster with shark trim and snop on/off feature is 4 years old and carries my STI Ranger II very comfortably and looks good still. I felt it was worth the price for the build quality and very quick delivery date from time of order till I recieved it. TT is better on the price point and wait time compared to a lot of other custom shops.IMHO.
I have a TT Gunleather snap-on pancake holster I purchased a few years ago. I did not get elephant or shark trim, just plain cowhide. The quality and workmanship are superb. I have only one other holster that is comparable; it was made by Lou Alessi. With the hours of labor that Tim has to put into each holster, I consider his prices very reasonable.
You may not always get what you pay for, but you do when you buy one of Tim’s holsters.
Great holsters and customer service, to compare Tim’s holsters to a $30 Bianchi is just ludicrous, buy one and see the quality before making such a stupid statement
I reached out to Tim today (Memorial day) and received a reply within the hour. On a holiday no less. Who out there really does that? – Awesome.
I have heard nothing but fantastic reviews and comments about TT quality and responsiveness to any questions, comments or concerns.
I’m a small businessman myself and try hard to support small mom & pop shops. When you deal with a small company, they need your business and will always work hard for it. Like the old saying goes “If we don’t take care of our customers, our competition will”.
Yes, high quality can come at a price but after what I paid for my 1911, the cost here wasn’t the issue. I wanted to make an investment in a product that will give me years of service and a company that stands behind it.
you wouldn’t happen to have a phone number for TT gun leather ? I want to order a special order holster but the website doesn’t seem to have one
“Tinman” Hough USN (FMF) Ret
Send Tim an email (it’s on his website). He’ll respond quickly. His shop recently burned down in the wildfires, but he’s back in business and clearing out the backlog.
I’ll reiterate the praise for TT holsters. I ordered my 4th holster from him on Sept 1 — just a week before the fire — and expect to receive it in the next couple weeks. The quality and retention is unparalleled and they are incredibly comfortable and concealable.
I’m neither his brother-in-law nor an employee of TT, but when choosing to carry a weapon the peace of mind his craftsmanship brings is well worth the ~$120 he charges for hand-made, custom-fit, high-quality leather holsters.