Good day Folks,
I'm Eric Larsen, Owner and Maker at HBE LeatherWorks. I've been making custom Concealment Gunleather for 20 years this year. I started off making leather for me and my circle of friends. Now, with the help of the best mentors/makers in the market, my leather is what it is today. I have a great appreciation and gratitude for all of their help.
I do things differently than most other makers. Simply put, everyone is different. These differences i.e. your build, environment, profession, carry weapon, level of experience and so on. All of these factors affect what style of holster will work the best for you and your needs. It's all in the little details that makes it work "better" for you. Most people who have carried for years, have a drawer full of holsters. They got them trying to find the "best holster" for them. It's my job to help you get that holster, without the drawer full of lessons you had to learn.
I will make you a holster that will work for you the first time. It will be molded only to your weapon, in the material that best suits your environment, in a style that suits your concealment needs. With the cant and ride height that works for your build and carry location. It will be in the color you want and have any extras you want. There are many options to choose from.
My professional goal is to offer you very high quality gun leather at reasonable prices. I do this by using the best materials, production techniques and proven designs. Choosing the right details for your gun leather can be very confusing, so I am here to help you figure it out. Picking out the right carry gun is hard and picking the right carry holster can be harder....but it doesn't have to be.
I am here to help you out. If I don't make the gun leather you need, I will help you find a maker who does. Thank you for looking at my website and products. Peace and Prosperity.....Eric Larsen/HBE
Ok..this is just basic info to get you thinking the proper way. Although I cannot teach you how to pick the perfect holster in a couple of lines of text, I can start to begin to steer you in the right direction.
What is your level of experience? If you're new and need help..then read on. If you are an old pro.....skip this as you already know what you want!
First off...Please forget some of what you've heard or read on the innerweb. Horse hide is not better or more expensive! IWB carry does not mean you have to buy all new clothes! Thumb breaks are not needed for CCW leather. Did you see a great SOB holster in a movie that looks so cool? :) You get my point..... Einstein said "question everything".
Now....Think about the size of gun you have...how will it carry? Is it small and non intrusive or a 5" 1911? How are you built physically? Are you a big guy who can hide a cannon or smaller framed and need a Micro 9mm? How do you dress and where you will go while carrying a gun? Are you a jeans and Tshirt guy or Semi Casual? Do you think you want to carry OWB or give IWB a try?
For OWB CCW work, this is easy. Pancakes are usually a better choice for most people.
Pancakes hold the gun so closely to the body, that a body shield is standard on them. Body shields
protect you from the sharp parts of the gun. A fairly large t shirt will hide properly made pancake.
Thinking maybe IWB? Hmmmmmm. There are 2 types of IWB, regardless of who makes them.
1) Stacked loop design (like my Pro or a Summer Special) The term "stacked" means the spring clip or snap loops, are stacked over the body of the gun. This can make the holster thicker, front to back, than the latter type. They can have banded mouths for strength, but like my Pro Slim can be very slim and very convenient to carry. These are great for short term carry, like after work or running errands. If you carry a snub nose revolver, this is not a recommended type of holster.
2) Offset loop design (Com series, Pro tl) The term "offset" means the spring clip(s) or snap loops are offset away from the gun. They are usually on the outside edges of the holster and this makes them thinner, front to back, than the previous type. A dual offset loop has an increased width, that helps them spread the weight out of a heavy gun, more efficiently. They are also more flexible and move with the body. They can hold the gun closer to the body than the stacked loop type.
Revolvers are the thickest at the cylinder. An offset loop type will keep that bulk down and is more comfortable, for most people, than the stacked loop type. This is from personal experience and 15+ years of customer feedback.
No type is better than the other, both offer different strengths and weakness's. It depends on what your priorities are for your holster and personal tastes as well.
How do you want it to attach to the pant/belt? Steel spring clips are very secure and very quick! Snap loops are more of a classic look for belt retention but require a belt all of the time. Spring clips can be worn without a belt, but we always try and recommend you wear one.
The mouth of the holster is where the gun goes into it. These can be strengthened by adding material around that area. This makes is easier to re-holster the gun. Some models can be reinforced/banded....some cannot. If you are very new to CCW, a banded mouth can make it easier and safer while you practice/train and get used to your gun/holster.
Most people carry between 2-5 Oclock on their strong side. (look at the FAQ page for terminology) Most of those carry between 3-4:30. This allows for great comfort, concealment and access to you gun, should you need it. Always consider the fact that you may need to get to your gun with one hand when choosing a style and carry location. If you are fighting off an attacker with one hand, you want to be able to get your gun.....quickly and conveniently!!!!
I hope this has helped you narrow down your choices or at least educated you a little and got you thinking! :) Also, trust your first instinct or gut feel. If you are attracted to one style over another, there is usually a reason for that.
Check out my HBE Facebook page for ALOT more pics, articles, videos and customer reviews!!!!!
HBE Specialty LeatherWorks
Click the FB link for more pics and information on HBE
*** I do have already made CCW holsters for sale all of the time. Just check out my For Sale page. Eric
Some tips on how to choose a better holster.......
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