Elegant Concealment – Andrews Custom Leather
By Paul Pawela
Let’s face it the parallels between life insurance and legally carrying a concealed weapon are identical, with life insurance your paying a company every month a good chunk of money betting them your going to die and the insurance company in turn take’s your money betting on the odds your not going to die when you think you are.
Same goes with carrying a concealed weapon, the majority of society tells you that you’re just paranoid and you should not worry about having a gun on your person, why that’s what the police are for right? Yet you buck the odds and say wellll maybe not, but you rationalize it’s better to be safe than sorry right? Yes Sir both are Insurance policies for sure.
Half the battle of carrying a concealed weapon is figuring out how you’re going to carry your concealed weapon.
You see you can probably go to a local gun range and test fire the particular gun your thinking of buying but I have yet to see a gun shop any where that has a dressing room that you can try on the latest fashion wear in gun holsters.
Men don’t you laugh at me for that statement because like my wife says (we’ll just call her- she that shall not be named) men are no different than women when it comes to getting dressed, just cause we men are always complaining how long it takes women to get dressed, do these shoes go with this dress? Does the jacket match the pants suit etc. this doesn’t mean we men don’t take just as long to get dressed when we are trying on different holsters to match our own a tier.
Well, she that shall not be named says I’m just as bad when it comes to getting dressed.
And you know I’m kind of ashamed to admit this but she’s right. I must have at least thirty different types of holsters for different types of firearms. I have pocket holsters, inside the waist band holsters, cross draw and shoulder holsters, ankle holsters you name and I bet I have it. And yes I have holsters made out of every known material from kydex , nylon and everything in between but the material I still prefer the most for a gun holster is Leather.
Contrary to popular belief the number one reason for a gun holster is to retain your gun the most secure way possible. Many gun writers will tell you their exploits of bravado of their vast knowledge and experience of what they think what equipment works and what does not, very rarely will they tell you they learned lessons the hard way of what does not because the experience may have embarrassed them.
My situation is no different, I have many embarrassing moments in the field where my equipment failed me and I will share these with you so you don’t make the same mistakes.
Scenario one working as a reserve police officer I was in trilled that I was able to carry my brand new Smith and Wesson model 5906 9mm semi-automatic pistol, I proudly carried my new gun in my ever so cool guy nylon holster complete with thumb break and the item that sold me on this holster a built in magazine pouch for an extra magazine pretty cool ugh? It was until I got in a foot chase with a couple of kids I was running after at which time that chase stopped immediately when I heard a clunk sound of something metal hitting the ground. To say I was horrified to see my brand new gun on the city pavement is an understatement but lesson learned, so I thought.
Scenario two I was attending a pretty high speed national SWAT school to which I show up in tow with all my standard cool guy equipment, part of my gear included the standard cool guy SAS nylon leg holster for my SIG-226 semi-automatic. The holster caught the attention of my Nationally recognized SWAT instructor as he points out it’s( my holster) no good, surly you jest says I, are you not aware this particular holster is approved by Navy Seals? Maybe so replies my skeptical instructor however he continues, if you make contact with a suspect on an entry that you’re not able to shoot then your going to have to go hands on and use defensive tactics and you will have no time to use your thumb brake to secure your gun.
Sure enough, when we got to the point of that part of the SWAT class that is exactly what happened in front of twenty five of my peers, I did a simulated knee strike on my instructor who was holding a kicking bag and my Sig 226 came flying out of it’s holster as predicated by my Instructor, oh yea it was great fun and entrainment for my class mates until half of them realized they had the same exact holster.
Scenario three, I am attending a course at Thunder Ranch, one of my class mates is showing off his customed built 1911 Thunder Ranch special 45 serial number two no less, I asked what the heck he was using that gun at the course for? It’s my carry gun he proudly states. OK let me get this straight you have a over two thousand dollar gun and your holstering it in a twenty five dollar kydex holster what kind of sense does that make I asked? Further adding insult to injury, I continued with if that is your carry gun you might as well throw that gun on the gravel right now to get that first ding in it.
He not only looked at me like I was crazy he said so too and politely reminded me he was not spending good money to hear me lecture him, fair enough I said, but half way through the course one of the student requirement’s was to climb up a ladder on a high tower that was several stories high, to get to the top of the roof to work your way down for the shooting exercise and I will give you one guess who’s expensive gun free falled to earth from it’s holster from more than three stories up?
Lesson’s learned here folks, test your equipment don’t rely on just some ones word about a product it’s up to you to test out equipment you might have to use in the worst case scenario of your life remember that your betting your life on that equipment.
I have owned plenty of leather holsters in my time there are about four manufactures that I personally swear by and one I use more than others and that is Andrews Custom Leather. People have told me I am prejudice about Mr. Sam Andrews because he is a personal friend of mine, my response to that is what’s your point?
First I have known Mr. Andrews for over twenty some years and in all of my dealings with the humane race I haven’t met too many people that were as fine as a humane being as Mr. Andrews is.
Any one who knows Sam will describe him at the consummate gentleman and in this industry that goes a long way since the majority of people are so anal anyway, its refreshing to talk to a man who is both well mannered and dignified.
Sam Andrews is not a new name in the business infact he has the reputation as a master leather craftsman for several decades now.
What separates Sam from the rest of the pack is, Sam is literally a one man show (for now, more to follow latter) so he takes his work very personal but it really goes beyond the scope of a lively hood for him because of his intense work ethic he is very proud of the quality he puts in his products and rightfully so.
Andrews Holsters come in a wide selection and Varity of styles to choose from depending on what make, model and caliber of weapon you have, remember on many of Sam’s orders he is making that holster specifically for your gun. As previously stated every attention to detail is put in Sam’s holsters from refining, slicking and sealing the outer edges of the holster to make it completely snag free when you draw the weapon and all holsters are hand boned as well making for that perfect fit.
Sam Andrews makes very practical holsters to fit the needs of the common person who is taking an interest in learning the best way to conceal their weapons, to making that special holster for seasoned deep undercover government operators who bravely go into harms way every day.
My personal favorite Andrew holsters are the Monarch shoulder holster due to the fact it comes with a Varity of accessories one of which is a tactical knife holster for a tactical knife of course, this might appear to be a bit Ramboish for some of you but consider in a tight altercation you might not be able to draw a gun as the person who is fighting you is trying to prevent you from drawing your primary weapon, that would be your hand gun.
So that leaves your other hand free and clear to draw the very nasty sharp secondary concealed weapon attached to the shoulder holster to dissuade the assailant from trying to stop you from obtaining you from your primary weapon nuff said.
Another favorite Andrews holster is another shoulder holster called the Urban Safari Rig this holster as one might suspect this holster(s) is designed to carry two guns again this may sound a little over the top but hear me out on this one my wife she that shall not be named can carry but doesn’t like to when she can have her humane mule do it for her.
Instead of pouting about the idea of having to tote two guns I welcome the notion because she that shall not be named is a darn good shot and my odds improve dramatically when she is around if trouble is on the horizon, since we have a GLOCK 21 and a GLOCK 30 both guns will accept the GLOCK 21 magazines between us that’s about 30 rounds of 45 caliber that could possibly go down range if need be, personally I like those odds.
All kidding aside I have on two occasions in my life used Sam Andrews Holsters for real world situations, on one occasion when I worked for my Uncle Sam he saw fit to send me in a hostile environment where he told me if I should encounter local hostiles I should use stern and harsh language at them. Seeing the error in this wisdom Mr. Andrews provided me with a daily planer leather notebook that I was able to carry a Para Ordnance 45 in since no one was the wiser no harm no foul and I slept a little bit more soundly.
The other situation happen just recently as I grow older and get a tad rounder I tend to put on the holster that is the quickest for me to get on and off my belt and is the most assessable to my hand gun and that holster is The Andrew counter car jack holster probably my most favorite holster in the world because one it’s a cross draw holster and since I travel a lot it makes sense for me to have this type of holster two the way its made is the flap goes under the belt loop and snaps together on its button making it very secure.
I was recently at an intersection in my local community driving my car accompanied by she that shall not be named and was immediately cutoff and nearly hit by a rather rude wreck less driver. In my heart accelerated paced rate with my middle index finger I should my contempt and distain for this persons bad driving , now I know what your thinking shame on me and you would be right and that’s just what Mr. Un Social able thought as well. The very person who endangered not only my life but that of my beloved was going to give me a lecture on manners as he made a fast running exit out of his car with tire iron in hand and since I was buckled into my seatbelt the only option I had was to draw my 442 Smith and Wesson j-frame revolver from the counter car jack holster and put the nice little red dot from my Crimson Trace laser grips on the nasty mans chest, he took notice of the little red dot and subsequently apologized for his rude behavior.
Both stories are in fact true, while I have tried to enlighten you with a little humor on a very serious subjects the best endorsement I can make is do I trust my life with Sam Andrews holsters the answer would be not only would I but I have on more than one occasion.
What makes Sam an even better prospect to buy a holster from is he is a devote family man and is passing on his trade to his younger son who is making his own quality holsters does it really get any better than that?
And just for the heck of it if you promise not to tell anyone Mr. Andrews’s motto (Polcherem Occultationem) in Latin means Elegant Concealment and one look at Sam Andrews Holsters I think that says it all.
For further information please visit Sam Andrews website at www.andrewsleather.com