Solutions for Big,
Less Big, and Small


The Hunter’s series holsters are designed to be “one size fits several.” The Model 50 worked just great for John’s 7½" Super Blackhawk.

Like any of us who carry a firearm for whatever reason, I need holsters. And like most of us who live the concealed carry lifestyle, I’m not a big-shot and well-connected writer. I don’t get invited by the Captains of the Holster Industry to visit their facilities and try out their latest innovations for free. I must figure out for myself what I need and then wrangle with the budget to find some loose coin.

Getting familiar with what’s out there and learning what others have found works for them is the easy part. Flip through any issue of American Handgunner and you’ll find the information necessary to get you going in the right direction; and this regardless of the depths of your budget woes. Those big-shot and well-connected writers can be useful, you know.

Bear Package

My first holster fulfillment requirement came upon me in the days before the Internet satisfied every conceivable marketing niche. I needed a functional and reasonably priced holster for my Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk chambered in .44 Magnum with a 7½” barrel.

I always thought those bandoleer-style setups looked really neato. Tracking bear sporting a big revolver strapped across your chest on a nice leather rig laced with steel rivets and spare cartridges made you look, well, like a serious bear hunter. I had two reasons I didn’t need no stinkin’ bandoleer. The first was money. The second was given my “robust” featured midsection, a big revolver strapped across my chest would tend to complicate the search-and-locate maneuver when I needed to ben over and retrieve the cartridge I just dropped into the weeds. My choice just needed to be functional. I would leave neato to the big shots.

While holster shopping brick and mortar style, I found a Hunter’s Series 1100 in size 50 designed for, among other guns, a Super Blackhawk. It’s just a light brown leather holster with a belt loop. Here’s the best part: Creditors across the nation were not imediately alerted when I handed the holster to the cashier.

What I needed to address was how to open-carry my Ruger in this holster while on the hunt without having hypothermia hound me. I found my solution in the “big man” store I’ve been alleged to frequent — a 3X-Large leather belt. This belt wraps my cold weather attired circumference and leaves plenty of slack to pull my holstered Ruger in nice and tight. I wear the .44 on my right hip because that’s where my trained draw instinct is focused. Ya never know when you’ll have to Wyatt Earp a big ol’ belligerent bruin.

For 1911 carry, John went OWB with a Galco Concealable all-leather holster.

Urban Carry

Fast-forwarding to the 21st century, I found myself in possession of a Ruger SR1911 chambered in .45 ACP. I always wanted to carry a 1911. What I needed to address here was how to carry concealed this big gun comfortably and seamlessly.

My first attempt was a CrossBreed Super Tuck Deluxe IWB hybrid (Kydex and leather!) holster. My thinking was the large belt clips would hold this gun on no matter what, and they did. What also happened was, and this is according to my simple machine calculations: The combined vectors of the waistband, the belt, the holster, the clips and the pistol provided the gun’s weight enough leverage to torque my drawers down. I was able to somewhat mitigate this effect by cutting more holes in my belt or by wearing suspenders. I needed another holster and decided to return to just functional.

This led me to a popular gun-stuff website where I found the Galco Concealable black leather OWB holster. Again, it’s just a holster with belt loops and I love it. My choice analysis was rather complex, so pay attention: I liked the way it looked. In this holster, the 1911 wears close and tight and I can comfortably and seamlessly wear my big pistol all day and all night if I feel like it. Also, no governments were shut down when the acquisition was proposed.

The CrossBreed SuperTuck Deluxe is a solid offering.
John uses one sized for a J-Frame.

A “Cross” Match

Moving on to the holstering requirements for my S&W J-Frame, I did not give up on CrossBreed. For the J-Frame, which serves as my backup and light carry gun, I went with the same model CrossBreed Super Tuck Deluxe IWB, but for a J-Frame. In this class, there’s more tolerance for my robustness. With no perceivable net leverage vector, my J-Frame just hangs there almost without notice. CrossBreed’s workmanship is excellent and the price quite reasonable. Also, the Kydex holstering pocket makes a nice audible click when I re-holster the little revolver. That’s about as close to neato as I ever get.

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