27 December 2014


Yesterday in the mail were two items of note.

The first was a book, Altered Perceptions, that I ordered as part of an Indiegogo project to help an author out with mental issues. It has short stories and snippets (including an alternate ending to Brandon Sanderson's "The Way of Kings" which I won't be  reading until I've finished with the book) from several well-known authors including (obviously) Brandon Sanderson, Larry Correia and John C. Wright. I'm looking forward to the read, but it goes to the bottom of a substantial stack of paper books (darn this Kindle addiction).

The second package contained gun leather. I alluded to having a holster made for Grand-dad's High Standard and promised to elaborate when the new belt and holster for the Sig had arrived. Today is the day. The belt and holsters were made by Ed Hall, and when you order yours as you know you want to you can contact Ed by email at chucksteelman5@gmail.com.

First, the pics:

First impressions of the gun belt:

This is a substantial piece of leather.

This is the first actual gun belt that I have owned and I must admit that I was not quite prepared for the solidity of it. When I threaded the holster on the belt I was impressed by the tight fit of the belt to the belt openings. I actually had to unthread the belt once to reposition the holster because I had not slid the holster back far enough when putting the belt on, and let me tell you once that belt is threaded through the holster the holster WILL NOT move.

Aesthetically it is a fine looking piece of leather as well, the tooling and color is just right to match the holsters and it is just a nice piece of work. I especially liked the intricate weave pattern that the maker put on both the belt and the holsters, it is a nice touch and really ties them together.

Functionally it holds the holster solidly, once you put the holsters in place they STAY in place, just as it should be. It holds the holster much tighter to the body as well, which will certainly enhance the concealability of the rig when such things are an issue (such as when I carry in Florida).

Moving around I liked the way I wasn't constantly knocking my elbow against the gun, and no matter what I was doing I never had the impression that I was losing control of the firearm. The gun butt stayed tucked tightly in to my side, just as it should, which has certainly not been the case with the regular belt I had been using.

I tried it with the Sig's new leather, the Sig's old leather (a commercially made Bianchi Minimalist), the Galco Stow n' Go I use for the Glocks, the Dragon Leatherworks Fugly for the Glocks, and the Galco Matrix paddle holster for the Glocks and the new gun belt held every one of them solidly. I had stopped wearing the Fugly in particular because it felt like the holster was tipping over when I was sitting and I was afraid I'd drop the gun out of it. Since this is no longer an issue I expect I'll be wearing the Fugly more often now.

In short, until you have actually owned an honest-to-goodness gun belt you don't realize just how much you need one.

First impressions of the holsters:

When I got the holster made for Grand-dad's High Standard it was the first piece of leather I had ever had made for that particular item. None of the regular manufacturers, either custom or commercial, had a holster for the High Standard Model H-B, which is not surprising given the age of the gun. Since it was on the way when I was going to Florida for Thanksgiving I contacted Ed, dropped the gun off to him and picked up the gun and the holster on my way back.

As you can see it is a very nice looking piece of leather in its own right, and as can be expected from a custom fit it fits the gun like a glove. It holds the gun securely without hindering the draw, and it is exactly what it should be - an attractive and functional home for the gun when it is being carried.

The Sig's holster is likewise a handsome and functional cut of cowhide. The only caveat about the Sig is that it was made from a P226 form instead of molded to the actual firearm (P220) like the High Standard was so it is a bit tight on the fit.

Ed explained to me that it would likely be this way and included instructions on how to loosen it up a bit. If I had the P220R model with the rails, like everyone else, this probably would not have been an issue but of course I have to be difficult.

At first I had some trouble with the draw, the pistol did not want to come out of the holster. I attributed that to the tight fit, but as it turned out the issue was not a fault of the holster at all but rather with the Sig's front sight.

I had not noticed it before, but the back edge of the front sight was vertical and extremely sharp and was digging into the leather and pulling at the stitching when I attempted to draw. Rounding the back edge of the sight has done wonders in improving the fit of the holster, and the draw is now smooth.

I will of course have to carry the Sig in its new leather for a while before I can give a long-term report on it, but going on first impressions I am both fully satisfied with my purchases and enthusiastically willing to give Ed Hall the Refuge Seal of Approval (for what that is worth).

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