International Handgun Leather

American-Made Quality.

By Sammy Reese

In a society where newer is supposed to be better, we can all fall victim to the “I gotta have the newest (fill in the blank)” syndrome. I have a box or three of purchases I thought were going to be the newest greatest widgets. As more birthdays pass I’m still excited about new guns and gear, but now I tend to wait a bit and see how things work out before I rush out and buy new stuff. I’m a few generations behind on my iPhone because it works and I’m not willing to go through the headaches of version “Eleventy-Nine” working out its bugs on my time.

Ian Martin believes simple is a good thing. And I don’t mean cheap when I say simple, because when it comes to quality gear you tend to get what you pay for, and a lotta times “simple” gear is of high quality. That’s why it’s good. Ian Martin has been at the helm of International Handgun Leather (IHL) for over 20 years. He’s been involved in shooting sports at the highest levels for more years than he would like me to tell you, but I’ll brag some about Ian because I know he won’t. See, Ian was one of the first group of USPSA IPSC Grand Masters.

Ian’s love of shooting is what drove him to start making simple but very effective holsters and accessories, all proudly done right here in the USA. Every holster, belt and accessory is handmade in the IHL factory using only the highest quality leather and components.

CARRY-1b

Simple works here. IHL’s Trifecta delivers a top-quality
holster, belt and mag pouch.

Quality & Comfort

Ian’s first love, as with many of us, is the 1911. But please don’t send hate mail, because I asked Ian to make gear for my S&W SHIELD in his medium brown color. I still have quite a few 1911’s in my safe but this spring/summer my attire has been shorts and T-shirts and the SHEILD hides really well — and the gun shoots.

For “hidden all day and comfortable doing it,” the Ultimate Trojan IWB holsters worked better than Ian hinted at. I live with some back issues and some types of IWB holsters feel like I’ve got a Tasmanian devil tucked into my pants. The UT molded to my body in short order and has proven to be a great addition to my EDC gun. The sweat/bite guard keeps the gun off of my skin and the reinforced mouth on the UT works as intended. Doing the re-holster hustle on collapsed holsters just doesn’t work for me nor should it for you.

To compliment the IWB UT, Ian sent his Summit Classic OWB holster. The Summit is minimalist in design but high in function. It also has the sweat/bite guard. The craftsmen at IHL put a lot into such a small simple package. The Summit is designed to ride higher on the belt, but since it’s for a smaller famed gun, it doesn’t get in the way and it easily conceals under a loose fitting outer garment.

CARRY-2

IHL’s Ultimate Trojan IWB rig was comfy and
according to Sammy, formed to his body shape fast.

CARRY-3

The Summit Classic is an outside-the-waistband holster.
Sammy liked the fact it rides a bit high, but is still
solid and easily concealed.

The Trio

To make the perfect carry trifecta, Ian sent a single vertical magazine pouch and what I would say is the most important part of any carry system — one of his 1½” Gunfighter belts. I talk about belts a lot and I guess I always will. It makes no sense to me when folks spend lots of hard-earned money and guns and a holster and then use a three-buck swap meet hemp belt. The belt is the foundation of your carry system so don’t skimp on it.

Ian and the crew at IHL have proven “simply designed” gear from quality components made by hand from the best craftsmen will beat new and flashy any day. IHL makes holsters ranging from CCW to cowboy action, so if you need leather, they most likely make it.

For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index

Read More Carry Options

AHJF15_300

Oder Your Printed Copy Of The American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2015 Issue Today!

Donwload A PDF Of The American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2015 Issue Now!

~