Thad Rybka Holsters

Classic, Rugged And Reliable

By Mark Hampton

Wouldn’t it be nice to purchase a product that would last forever? There’d be no need to send it back for warranty work or repair, and it’d look almost as good as it did 30 years from now as when you first bought it. I’ve had one of Thad’s holsters since my first trip to Africa back in 1983 — carried it around Zimbabwe for 10 days and a whole bunch of other places since. The holster has seen many trails over the last 35 years and still functions perfectly and looks good to this day.

Ask any reputable holster maker about Thad Rybka and I’m darn sure you’ll receive kind and respectable remarks. Thad has been designing and crafting fine holsters since 1959. What once began as a hobby quickly became a full-time vocation. He was self-taught back when he was in high school, inspired by Andy Anderson and Chic Gaylord. Andy Anderson was somewhat of a legend in western holster circles. Chic Gaylord was instrumental in designing concealment holsters. These two giants in the leather business had a great influence on Thad and his craft, and he’s built on this early exposure. His minimalist designs are legendary among shooters, and his modest, easy-going style goes great with his leather.

A great field holster, in natural brown, cross-draw with flap. The rough-out leather is rugged,
handsome and looks great for decades!

A Rybka cross-draw rig in natural brown, designed for Ruger’s Single Seven with optic.

Single-Handedly

Thad Rybka (or “TR” as his friends call him) is a one-man band. He told me once, “I’ve always been a one-man shop and plan to stay that way.” He can’t be answering the phone every five minutes and still craft high-quality holsters so you’ll need to write to him. Yup. TR’s leather is true, custom, handmade gear, and his rough-out design doesn’t show daily wear and tear nearly as much as other designs. You’ll see, if you’re smart enough to order something.

The gun rides in the smooth side of the leather, and without any liner, the holster is a tad lighter too. I’ve worn Thad’s holsters for many days, all around the world, and it holds the gun safely and remains comfortable even on long treks. TR’s attention to detail results in immaculate detailing, with the gun fitting perfectly. I have several cross-draw, rough-out holsters Thad designed for Ruger and Freedom Arms revolvers and each one fits the revolver, literally, like a glove.

TR can also personalize a holster, and he recently made a cross-draw holster for me for Ruger’s Single-Seven with an UltraDot micro red dot optic. This handsome, natural brown rig is really nice and I wear it frequently while attending to daily farm tasks. The little revolver fits the holster perfectly and as an added bonus, it’s eye-pleasing to boot.

Whether you like revolvers or semi autos, Thad has a design — or can modify
an existing one — to meet your needs.

Modern Too

Thad makes holsters for semi-autos as well. Recently he crafted a cross-draw rig for a GLOCK 10mm with a 5″ barrel. When GLOCK introduced their Model 40 with a 6″ barrel, I found it would fit the same holster but with the barrel protruding from the bottom, which wasn’t a concern. The safety strap wouldn’t fit however, so Thad made a strap to fit the Model 40. It’s attached by a screw so can be swapped fast.

TR also makes some beautiful carved or stamped holsters in a variety of configurations. Looking for a quality rig for your 1911? No problem. How about a scabbard for your S&W Model 28 or Colt single action? Thad will accommodate. Thad also makes belts, ammo pouches and other accessories. Several good friends and handgun hunting buddies — including our esteemed editor — own more than one Thad Rybka holster and we all feel the same about his work.

Thad doesn’t advertise because he doesn’t need to. He has customers from all over the world and is proof word of mouth may be the best form of advertising. Write Thad a letter explaining what you want. Don’t forget to add return postage too. You’ll receive a letter from Thad with an order form enclosed. Fill it out and return it, then sit back and enjoy the anticipation. Whether you’re a connoisseur of custom leather or just want a holster for daily carry — Thad delivers. Who knows, some day you’ll likely be saying, “Oh that? I’ve had it for 35 years. It’s from Thad Rybka.”

For more info:
Thad Rybka
2050 Canoe Creek Road
Springville, AL 35146

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