I always loved shooting and learned a lot about guns, defense tactics and training before I ever bothered to consider accessories. I lived in a state that made it practically impossible to conceal carry, which meant I never put much thought into the importance or options one had when purchasing a holster. I bought my first holster at the same time I bought my first gun, a Sig Sauer P226 MK25. It was the only holster in the gun shop made to fit my firearm and it was a kydex paddle holster. However, it was years later when I finally moved to another state that I finally began using it.
I loved it at first. The kydex was molded to fit the Sig and it gave me a nice clicking sound to let me know the gun was seated properly and securely on my side. The paddle was easy to take on and off and stayed in place when I drew my gun. I was convinced there was no better type of holster out there. Silly me.
It didn’t take long for me to learn how wrong I was. I won’t go into all the problems I had with the holster, but after just a few months I was no longer enamored with the product. My gun was no longer pretty. The beautiful flat dark earth finish was rubbed off in key locations, and I couldn’t pass by a counter, desk, or corner, without banging my gun into it, because the holster rode so far out from my body.
Meanwhile, my friend had been carrying his customized Kimber 1911 in a 1791 leather belt holster. He had had the holster for a few years, wore it every day, and recommended it to anyone who asked. It looked good, not immaculate, but sturdy, lived-in, and dependable. Even so, I wasn’t interested in trying leather, it didn’t provide that click-in noise that I so depended on. I felt like you couldn’t trust the leather to hold the firearm if it didn’t click. Then one day, my friend put all my fears about leather holsters to rest.
My friend was a Harley guy, and loved to ride everywhere when the weather was good. However, being in South Florida, the weather could change on a dime and he ended up riding home one day on wet streets after an afternoon shower. He had an accident. His motorcycle skidded on the slick road and he ended up sliding (on his gun-side) across the pavement of an intersection with his Harley on top of him. Luckily, he survived with no major injuries, just some bad road rash. His gun, however, was pristine. There wasn’t a scratch on the firearm. The 1791 Gunleather holster held that gun securely and safely through a motorcycle accident and the road rash the holster suffered was barely visible. The damage the holster suffered didn’t affect the retention, the look, or the usefulness of the holster and my friend continued to use it for years after.
Needless to say, my next holster purchase was a 1791 Gunleather leather holster and I haven’t bought anything but that since.