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Rusty Parker

Holster features advice

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Relatively new shooter (one season), I'm getting ready to order some real holsters. One of the well-known holster makers generously sent me a couple of sets to try out, I'm afraid I'm not knowledgeable enough yet to know exactly what I'm looking for, how they should feel, etc. These vary in drop and toe angle and feel like they should ride differently on the hip (I took some photos and can include them if it would help). I could really use some advice thinking through what I need to know about holster design features before I talk with him on the phone again.

 

Thanks in advance!

Rusty

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these are pics of the two sets I have, the first sit more upright and have less of an aggressive angle away from the body:

 

31994259060_19d1f5bc50_c.jpg

 

The seond set has more of a forward tilt and cants away from the body a bit more. These feel like they need to ride a bit lower on the body to work.

 

31994254840_245fe16c54_z.jpg

 

Any thoughts, advice? thanks again.

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Assuming you are not shooting B-Western, where you'd need a buscadero rig (low slung, double strong side) rig, then I'd suggest you get a conventional set up like Mernickle's High Performance rig and have him make you a third holster for cross draw. That way, you'll have matching gear for either double strong side or cross draw shooting. The extra holster is about $150 IIRC. I bought a B-Western rig before I really knew what I was doing, and used it for a year. Switched to the HP rig last year. Mernickle stuff is top grade, and Bob's a hoot to talk to on the phone. With the Mernickle HP rig, you can move the holsters around to suit, so you have flexibility in positioning them.

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That second set needs to be brought in to the front quite a bit. Once you have them in front, the cant and outset will make drawing and reholstering feel natural

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That second set needs to be brought in to the front quite a bit. Once you have them in front, the cant and outset will make drawing and reholstering feel natural

 

that was really helpful advice, I repositioned them, and you were right, that makes it feel much more natural. Here's what that set looks like now. thanks!

 

31529638924_feec065a45_z.jpg

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Assuming you are not shooting B-Western, where you'd need a buscadero rig (low slung, double strong side) rig, then I'd suggest you get a conventional set up like Mernickle's High Performance rig and have him make you a third holster for cross draw. That way, you'll have matching gear for either double strong side or cross draw shooting. The extra holster is about $150 IIRC. I bought a B-Western rig before I really knew what I was doing, and used it for a year. Switched to the HP rig last year. Mernickle stuff is top grade, and Bob's a hoot to talk to on the phone. With the Mernickle HP rig, you can move the holsters around to suit, so you have flexibility in positioning them.

 

Ripsaw, I appreciate these comments as well. Haven't given much thought to cross draw, everything I read when I started suggested learning to shoot double strong side. I also went on Mernickle's site and was overwhelmed, wasn't quite sure where to start. Still trying just to learn what features are important for function and smooth shooting technique.

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Mr. Parker:

Is there a reputable leather works within driving distance of where you live?

The reason I ask, is that I am a new shooter also, although I have not yet attended and shot at a match. My concern with either mail order or trying holsters on myself, such as you are doing, is that I would not have that one on one with the experienced leather works person.

I therefore, looked for someone near me and found Classic Leather Works in Altoona, Florida and with my wife, met with the owner, Half-Breed Don.

What a pleasure it was to talk CAS with a veteran shooter, and learn all the valuable information that could not have been obtained through any other means, other than face to face. He showed me various styles of holsters, we talked about what category I would be shooting in, what guns I would be using, etc. I was able to try on various styles of gun belts/holsters, learn of their specific characteristics, and more importantly, have the design and construction of the rig explained and visually shown to me. With examples of lesser quality rigs on hand, Don was able to show me the drastic differences between lower quality materials and the materials he uses. The same went for the shotgun belt.

My rig fits like I was born with it on. And the quality is beyond what I expected. Don has guaranteed that this rig is built to last and it is reflected in the finished product.

I no longer have to worry about saying " If I could do it all over again, I would choose to meet with a leather works person face to face".

Best to you in your endeavor for a great fitting, great looking rig.

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Personally I like the first set but that is how I like my holsters. The second set may be fine as well if you wear them as Straight Arrow Hombre suggested but however you wear them just know that you may be banging into your grips no matter which way you set them. It's all in what you like.

 

I would put each pair on and just walk around with them going about what you normally do (at home, of course). Walk around, sit down on a stool, bend over, move about a bit. DO motions that you may do at a match. Pretend to pick up brass. Pick up your long guns and move about with them as if you going to and from a loading / unloading table. See if either pair feels awkward...well, awkward in the sense that one feels less awkward than the other.

 

The first time I wore my guns I felt odd but that sense of oddness goes away with familiarity.

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Personally I like the first set but that is how I like my holsters. The second set may be fine as well if you wear them as Straight Arrow Hombre suggested but however you wear them just know that you may be banging into your grips no matter which way you set them. It's all in what you like.

 

I would put each pair on and just walk around with them going about what you normally do (at home, of course). Walk around, sit down on a stool, bend over, move about a bit. DO motions that you may do at a match. Pretend to pick up brass. Pick up your long guns and move about with them as if you going to and from a loading / unloading table. See if either pair feels awkward...well, awkward in the sense that one feels less awkward than the other.

 

The first time I wore my guns I felt odd but that sense of oddness goes away with familiarity.

 

Pat, this is really good advice, when I readjusted the second set of holsters I wondered what they would feel like if I had to bend down--picking up brass might be a challenge I think, so I'll have to try that. Great piece of advice.

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Do a timer test. If you do not have a timer with a par time feature, borrow one and see which set is faster for you. I would suggest draw one revolver, cycle it once, reholster and draw second revolver and cycle it once. I think you need to cycle each gun at least once (one cock and hammer fall) to make sure you have a functional grip. Repeat as much as necessary to find out your best time for getting off two "shots" with each rig. Then come back a day later and do it again. There will be a learning curve each day. It may take you several days of experiments to draw conclusions.

 

There are several possible outcomes of the experiment: You will either find out that one rig is faster for you, or not. You may find out you don't like the way either one works for you and then you will have a better idea of what you need based on experience rather than guessing or someone else's opinion. If there is no difference between the two rigs and you like the way they feel then pick the one that has the most eye appeal for you.

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That second set can come in another couple of inches. I started wearing holsters with a fair amount of outset and lots of cant (similar to the ones you have). I wear them in front, which is very natural and efficient for what we do in our game. Not at all useful for wearing on a horse or out and about. I put my guns in my cart when I'm not at the line. When I need to bend over I slide the holsters out.

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I started SASS shooting with a set like the first picture... :)

After a few years.. Found the disadvantages with the first picture set.

I now have the second picture set.. Bettererer.... :)

Ya might make sure the area of the belt in front is wide enough to supporters the holsters..

My first set I could not move the holsters to the front as much as I would have liked them

because the tapering of the belt around buckle area..

 

Rance ;)

Thinkin ya done good by askin'. :)

Edited by Rance - SASS # 54090
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Mr. Parker, The gentleman that sent you the holsters is top of the line. Mine are like the second set but I also had a matching cross draw made. Fit and feel is a personal thing to shooters. We can make suggestions and talk about our personal preferences all day long but you have to make that final decision. Not much help, just the truth.

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I too have a set like unto the second set shown. I pull them over my pockets for shooting, then slide them over my hips for walking around.

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Just a little note. The holsters on my Ted Blocker are similar to yours although they hold the gun low enough to be legal for B-Western. Also, I really like the extra ammo setup. Mine was designed for a woman.

 

http://www.tedblockerholsters.com/DixieBellRig.html

 

Like Ripsaw mentioned, the Mernickles make quality holsters and Talks A Lot Bob is a hoot. http://www.mernickleholsters.com/

 

Good luck!

 

Allie

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I too have a set like unto the second set shown. I pull them over my pockets for shooting, then slide them over my hips for walking around.

+1

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That second set can come in another couple of inches. I started wearing holsters with a fair amount of outset and lots of cant (similar to the ones you have). I wear them in front, which is very natural and efficient for what we do in our game. Not at all useful for wearing on a horse or out and about. I put my guns in my cart when I'm not at the line. When I need to bend over I slide the holsters out.

Except for that fact that it is very unappealing to the eye. The "crotch holsters" are the most ridiculous looking thing ever to come out of SASS.

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Except for that fact that it is very unappealing to the eye. The "crotch holsters" are the most ridiculous looking thing ever to come out of SASS.

Please don't look at my crotch if we ever cross paths.

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Except for that fact that it is very unappealing to the eye. The "crotch holsters" are the most ridiculous looking thing ever to come out of SASS.

Don't look at it then. Just like any cowboy would do I adjust my gear so it's at it's maximum effectiveness for the task at hand. For me bandoleers are the most ridiculous in my eye but I'd never tell someone that on the range.

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Please don't look at my crotch if we ever cross paths.

Haha touché

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Don't look at it then. Just like any cowboy would do I adjust my gear so it's at it's maximum effectiveness for the task at hand. For me bandoleers are the most ridiculous in my eye but I'd never tell someone that on the range.

I would never say anything disparaging to a cowboy on the range either. I'm just pointing out something that looks ridiculous to my eye here on the wire. Which is exactly what you just did. So what was your point again?

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I guess you are going strong side rather than cross draw. I like my holsters where my hands fall=at each side. Some guys I shoot with like them closer together (they shoot much better than me). +1 for trying both on a timer. Try them two fists apart as well. On the belt, I like a belt with a width that matches the loop to take up slack. Notice the holsters are meant for speed so the pistol rides high so you can grab it and get your finger in the trigger guard quick but the draw back is running fast between stages the pistols can come out sometimes so check out the retention factor by play running between stages. I would chop off the extra length on the tail end of the belt so you do not have to tuck it behind the left hand holster. Help it helps a little and welcome to cowboy!

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xt613.jpg

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J-Bar and Major Walker made very good points, Rusty Parker. Aside from what something looks like to someone else it is you that has to decide. Depending on how long you have these loaners it would be great if you could try them at a match in actual use. Use one set for a couple of stages and then switch them out for couple more...or do what J-Bar recommended. And Major Walker is right, who ever loaned you those holsters is a class act. Not many people have that level of customer service. If a vendor did that for me I would buy from that vendor, provided they priced their good to match the quality as well as the service.

 

You said you had one season of shooting so you know what you used for that season and if you are looking for something else at least you have that experience to go from. Since you didn't say what holsters you used before I am guessing that these are different from your originals. If so, you have 3 different sets or styles to compare.

 

I have tried a few different configurations over the years and sometimes what others like or what works for them does not work for me. You just have to try them out and see what you like and what works for you.

 

Not to add to your troubles in making a selection, Ripsaw mentioned a crossdraw. You also might want to consider that as well. I like them, some people don't, but always keep "The 170" and gun safety in mind no matter what you try.

 

Regards,

Pat Riot

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I really, really appreciate all the comments so far, even the ones about crotch holsters. :lol: I'm going to try timing my draw and reholstering with each. I don't have these until the start of the season and will need to return them shortly, but I do have enough time to play with them for several days and to get out in the backyard and actually shoot some steel from each. I think the main concern with the second set would be the mobility factor when not shooting, the belt loops on these are suede-lined to keep them from shifting on the belt, and they really do stay put. And I'm not sure I'd want to take the belt on and off between stages and hang them on the cart. Also the white belt is simply a sizing belt he uses to determine the actual belt size, so to Ventura Slim's comment there won't be a long tail on the belt to deal with.

 

The holsters I used last year were simply some inexpensive Hunter 1100 holsters that fit the revolvers, and a cheap belt that at least got me going. I did have some issues with reholstering cleanly and obviously wasted time there.

 

any other thoughts, I'd love to hear them. The person who sent these has been great to work with so far and will also be very helpful when we talk again about designing the rig and making adjustments based on trying these.

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The person on the back side of the camera can get people to do some strange things.

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Hi they are only dudes with the equipments funished by the photograph, not actually used on the range. Do they know how to ride???

Edited by Curly Red Ryder

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Don't look at it then. Just like any cowboy would do I adjust my gear so it's at it's maximum effectiveness for the task at hand. For me bandoleers are the most ridiculous in my eye but I'd never tell someone that on the range.

I found a bandolier for about $12 to try. I see them working for some folks.

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Rusty..

In yer last post you mentioned taking your holsters off between stages..

A lot of folks take their guns out only.. between stages and place them in their gun carts..

They usually leave their holsters on..

It lightens the load a lot when doing posse duty..

 

On my second set.. I did not want bullet loops around the back..

If they ain't filled with bullets they don't look quite right..

And.. If they are full of bullets they look good.. But Again.. Packing around a lot of extra weight ..

A couple of well placed cartridge loops for a fast reload (like replacing a jacked out rifle round) might be handy..

I reload jacked out rounds off my shotgun belt..

 

The suede on the inside keeps you guns where you want them..

They won't ride up or down with fast running movement

 

Rance;)

Thinkin that's about all else I can think of..

Edited by Rance - SASS # 54090

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