Now Is the Time
for Fancy Leather!


The 200AW secures an S&W 5-screw with Herrett Roper stocks and the
55BN carries a Ruger Officer-Style 1911. Below is a ’70s Elmer Keith
commemorative knife from a magazine subscription.

Nothing stirs a shooter’s senses like traditional handgun hide, especially when eye-popping ministrations making the leather become alive with detail. Leather can be carved, laced, hammered, stamped, or dyed to highlight any holster style. You can even choose an exotic hide if you like. Nothing has the looks, feel, and especially smell of leather. It’s mesmerizing!

Retiring your tired, ordinary shuck for a new, extraordinary rig, with any of the above treatments, will surely put a swagger in your stride worthy of John Wayne. Fancy rigs complement favored shooters more than any other accoutrements.

I’ve been fortunate knowing several top hide-stretchers over the years and am sharing their wares with you. During these times of low/no gun availability makes it the perfect opportunity to update your gear. It’ll make your favorite gun feel brand new and will draw admiration from fellow shooters, as they give you a knowing nod, and a tip of the Stetson.

Tank’s Colt New Frontier rides in style with a Simply Rugged carved 120, while
the Tyler custom 10mm/38-40 is carried in an elephant/basket stamped steer-hide Cattleman.

Simply Rugged

Sourdough Rob Leahy, of Simply Rugged acclaim, started his Alaskan business in a small backyard shed, later moving back to his home state of Arizona. Known for his pancake holster design, Rob offers several styles, including more traditional western style holsters. He also implements the use of exotic hides, including local rattlesnake.

I chose Rob’s Cattleman holster design. Mine is basket-stamped steer-hide, trimmed in elephant hide. How cool is that? The holster provides protection and retention during rigorous activity, while allowing a smooth draw. Heavily built, it is strong and will last a lifetime.

For a more traditional look, I went with the SR 120 model, styled after George Lawrence Company’s timeless field holster. John Barranti Leather designed the full welt design for SR. Carved by Richard Gittlein, this traditional design is stylish in the classical sense, perfectly fitting my Colt New Frontier.

The long tail strap allows you to chop up, releasing the snap, as you draw in one continuous motion. A dandy holster, indeed!

A custom version of BL Border Ranger, with lacing, looks fantastic, as does
the hammered and carved Long Horn Companion, holding a Tyler custom
Blackhawk. The .45 caliber is Tank’s favorite

Barranti Leather

Pittsburgh, Pa. is home of the Pirates, Steelers, Primantis and Barranti Leather. A family-run business big on quality, innovation and design, as well as classic reproductions of vintage leather, BL is a one-stop-shop for any leather need.

Doc’s Long Horn Companion is one slick, high riding rig. By unsnapping the retention strap, you can conveniently remove the inner holster from the outer slotted belt strap, without undoing your belt. Returning to armed mode is just as easy.

Doc expertly carved Skeeter Skelton’s Bar-T brand, with hammered background on mine. It fits my custom Tyler Gun Works Ruger Blackhawk perfectly.

Doc’s other creation is a carved and laced custom version of his Border Ranger rig. It’s a re-creation of a holster built by Texas Ranger Tol Dawson. A traditional exposed trigger with forward slant makes this BBQ quality rig functional and stylish. It will surely draw attention while in open carry mode. Doc is a true artisan and can complete any custom rig, or leather design imaginable.

Milt Sparks Holsters

Some styles are endless in form and function when it comes to holsters. The folks at Milt Sparks are committed to producing functional designs for everyday use. Nick Harvey and staff are shooting enthusiasts, licensed concealed carriers and continuously test their wares with extensive field use, training, hunting, competition and everyday use.

Milt Sparks Holsters carries both long-time, proven traditional style and newer, cutting edge style holsters.

The 200AW was a favorite of Elmer Keith. My own 200AW (adjustable welt) was carved by a seasoned saddle-maker working for MSH. Going traditional, by leaving your rig as is, or going with a border stamp, are other available options. The 200AW has an adjustable tension screw for a secure fit. The wrap-around hammer shroud protects hammer and sights.

The 55BN (Bruce Nelson) is a longstanding, minimalist design of the Milt Sparks line. My own 55BNs are boned-out perfection, for whatever gun the holster is made for, proving simple can be beautiful, too. Pistols “snap” in place when holstered for safe, secure carry.

By having your shooter wrapped in quality, fancy steer-hide, you’ll feel the pride only true pistoleros appreciate. It’s the easiest way for dressing up any shooter, and the most noticeable, too!

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