When it comes to holsters, the selections available are as varied as the people who purchase them.
A few of the “big name” manufacturers’ holsters I use on a fairly regular basis include Bianchi, Blade-Tech, Galco, and Safariland. Smaller shops include Rafter-L Combat Leather and Simply Rugged Holsters. This article focuses on the latter.
I don’t mind shoving a polymer pistol into a piece of Kydex, but when it comes to a nice 1911, Hi Power, or similar handgun, only a good piece of leather will do. And more often than not, it is a holster from Simply Rugged.
Simply Rugged Holsters started out with the owner, Rob Leahy, making holsters for himself, his family, and friends in his kitchen in Alaska. As demand for his holsters grew, he opened a shop in Chino Valley, Arizona. Rob now employs eight people (mostly veterans) and has sold over 100,000 pieces of gun leather.
All holsters, magazine pouches and belts are made from top-grain cowhide Hermann Oak leather—the highest quality in the industry. My everyday carry (EDC) rig consists of a Nighthawk Custom Browning Hi Power, spare magazine, and SureFire Fury flashlight. The pistol is carried in a Simply Rugged Cuda holster, while the spare mag and light are carried in a CID mag pouch. They have a rich Oxblood finish with Celtic Knot carving and I carry them on a Simply Rugged lined 1¾-inch gunbelt.
In addition to the Celtic Knot carving, other options include border stamping, basket weave, fish-scale embossing, and traditional hand-carved floral carving. Colors choices are natural Tan, Black, and Oxblood.
While other holster manufacturers offer good quality leather holsters, very few offer hand-carved holsters.
If you have a custom handgun or one with special meaning, you may want to consider the custom holsters using exotic hides offered by Simply Rugged Holsters.
Based on availability, exotic hides include Wildebeest, Cape Buffalo, Bison, Alligator, Shark, and Rattlesnake. Many of the rattlesnakes are of the Mojave (sometimes referred to as Mojave Green) variety and are former residents of Gunsite. Mojave rattlesnakes are especially dangerous as their bite delivers both neurotoxic (attacks the nervous system) and myotoxic (attacks the muscular system) venom.
Before anyone points out that snakes serve an important role in the ecosystem, everyone involved understands this, but when they come too close to any of the ranges at Gunsite, they are killed for the safety of the students.
Rob Leahy presented the 1911 Cuda holster, CID magazine pouch, and belt shown in the accompanying photo to Gunsite owner Buzz Mills at a recent pistol event.
Some holsters are completely covered with an exotic hide over cowhide, while some display a hybrid look. The uncovered leather can be left plain or carved. An example is the Sourdough Holster with a combination of Bison and basket-weave stamped full-grain cowhide as shown in the photo.
From plain leather to hand-carved or exotic skins/hides, Simply Rugged Holsters can meet the needs of even the most discriminating buyer.
Perhaps best of all, the holsters will wear for years because, as the name implies, they are Simply Rugged.