When I first saw the Andrews Custom Leather booth at the NRA Show, I found myself drawn to it like some force field was pulling me in. At first it was the huge array of exotics that caught my eye, then it was the highly detailed work found in each product on display. What I saw were works of art — not just gear used for carrying pistols and revolvers. Mr. Sam Andrews assured me everything he makes is functional, with the benefit of being beautiful to look at as well. I spent so long pawing through all the holsters and talking with Sam I lost track of time and was late getting to my next appointment. While I was walking away I thought to myself, “Handgunner readers need to see this gear.”
After talking with Sam on the phone about gun preference and holster options, I told him it was dealer’s choice on what style and material to use. I was expecting one holster, but what later arrived were three holsters and a belt. About that time my wife came into my office and spotted them on my desk. She said, “Those are beautiful — much too nice for a jarhead like you to beat up.” And I think she’s right.
Saddle Style holster made from tiger shark not only looks great but it will last a lifetime.
The ultimate BBQ rig in Hornback Gator. This is one rig you won’t want to take off.
Plain leather isn’t exotic, but the leather in this shoulder holster is flawless.
Fit and performance of this rig was top-notch.
Off-side double-mag pouch on the shoulder rig.
Simple First: The Monarch shoulder rig wasn’t made out of an exotic skin but I will say the leather used was absolutely flawless. The craftsmanship was perfect in every way. My Glock 19 and two spare mags ride comfortably in this rig all day. The lower backstrap keeps the holster and mags in place when leaning forward. This unique feature negates the need for a tie-down attached to the belt. The addition of the backstrap, although simple, greatly enhances confidence you won’t accidentally expose your rig during daily activities.
Tiger Shark: The Saddle Style holster for the Smith & Wesson Shield is a classic open top belt slide holster. The cognac-colored tiger shark skin is a beauty to behold. Don’t let the good looks fool you though. Shark is one of the most durable and long-lasting materials on the planet. I have a pair of 20-year-old sharkskin cowboy boots, and four re-soles later, they look as good as they did the day I bought them. The saddle-style holster holds the Shield very close to the body and fits excellently. The first few draws were stiff, as you might expect, but it has broken in nicely since. For everyday carry, this holster will get the job done and will look great doing it.
The BBQ Rig: The Andrews Wrapid in black Hornback Gator has to be held in your hand to be fully appreciated — pictures really don’t do it justice. The Wrapid uses directional snaps for easy on and off — although I’m guessing once you put this rig on you won’t want to take it off. I had no problem wearing the Wrapid all day with my Les Baer TRS. I kind of wish I was still a cop and I could wear this holster to court and when I slip off my suit coat in the waiting room all the other coppers would be jealous. It’s too bad this holster is designed for carrying concealed. It really should be shown off where appropriate. I’ll just have to wear it to the next BBQ and make my buddies drool some.
Belted In: I’m huge proponent in using a belt designed for supporting a holstered firearm and accessories. If you’ve read this column before you know how hard I push for the use of a proper belt. I’ve been wearing an Andrews belt made from tiger shark daily and it still looks like it did the day it came out of the box. I don’t wear a ton of stuff, but for supporting a full-size gun, spare magazine and my cell phone this belt gets the job done without showing any signs of sagging.
Do you need a custom exotic holster? Probably not, but sometimes it’s not about need, its about wanting something truly unique, like a classic car, boat or motorcycle. If you can’t justify the exotic, have Sam Andrews make you a holster in “plain” leather. There isn’t anything plain about Sam’s work, regardless of the choice of leather, and you won’t be disappointed.
By Sammy Reese
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/andrews-leather, (386) 462-0576