Simply Rugged Holsters Sourdough Pancake holsters for Taurus 617 (left) and Smith & Wesson 686 Plus. Belt slot positioning allows holster to be worn either strong-side carry or crossdraw.


Back in December, I had the privilege of attending a class at Gunsite. The class was made up of 18 shooters and focused on revolver shooting with a little bit of lever guns.

I feel right at home with revolvers and lever guns, and I jump on any opportunity I have to attend training to further my skills. I decided to take two seven-shot revolvers with me—a Smith & Wesson Model 686 Plus and a snubnose Model 617 Taurus.

The 686 Plus has a four-inch barrel and has been customized to the extent that I sent it to TK Custom to have the cylinder machined to accept moon clips. TK also chamfered each chamber to further enhance loading. It still can be loaded with individual cartridges or a speed loader.

The now-discontinued Taurus 617 is double-action-only and has a two-inch ported tube. The porting—along with its 28-ounce weight—does help control recoil, but will light up the night sky when shooting .357 Magnum loads.


Holes at top of holsters are for attaching Simply Rugged’s Inside the Waistband Straps, allowing these holsters to be worn three ways. That’s a lot of versatility from a single holster.


While attending some quality training, this was also a chance to upgrade my gear and get in some worthwhile practice with it.

I have used Simply Rugged Holsters for a number of years and have always been impressed with their quality. Rob Leahy, the owner and maker of Simply Rugged Holsters, is a true gentlemen and puts his reputation behind each piece of work. I contacted Rob for two holsters to fit my revolvers for the class.

Simply Rugged’s Sourdough Pancake holsters are made from heavy eight- to nine-ounce steer shoulder. The gun is positioned so the shooter can obtain a full grip, while the trigger is covered. Tightly molded to the gun, the holster does not require a thumb strap for retention.


Double belt pouch for speed loaders or moon clips perfectly matches holsters. Ammo pouch holds seven individual rounds and can also be used with a speed strip.


Three belt loop cutouts, one in the back and two in the front, allow the holster to be carried either strong side or crossdraw. There are also two holes at the top of the holster, for attaching Simply Rugged’s Inside the Waistband Straps. The top of the holster flares out for an easy reholster. The entire holster is dehorned, so it has no rough edges.

The Pancake for my 686 Plus was made to carry on my strong side, and the one for my 617 on my weak side, as I believe in carrying two guns everywhere. Revolvers have a lower round count than most pistols, and while speed loaders and moon clips can be fast with practice, a second gun is faster.

And though I have carry two guns, I still carry reloads.

Simply Rugged Holsters makes a double speed loader/moon clip case that matches the holsters, with the same camouflage tool stamp around the perimeter. The flap closures secure with a heavy-duty snap to keep the loaders in place.


TK Custom machined author’s S&W 686 Plus to accept moon clips.


I also received a Simply Rugged Versatile Ammo Pouch case, which holds seven rounds—either individual cartridges or in a speed strip—for tac loading if the situation calls for it. Like the holsters, the pouches are dehorned and smooth to the touch before leaving Rob’s shop.

On a side note, this was the first time I had done much shooting with my S&W 686 Plus since it was machined to take moon clips, and I quickly saw why many competition shooters use them. With practice, they can be almost—but not quite—as fast to reload as a revolver. Additionally, there’s no chance of an empty case getting hung up in a dirty chamber, forcing you to pick it out by hand before completing the reload.

I used this gear during hardcore training with great instructors at one of the best fighting schools in the world, and never had a problem with any of it.


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