In January, Ryan Kuhl of Louisville Leather emailed me with an interesting proposal. He'd send me a holster if I'd give him an honest review. We emailed back and forth and he sent me a left-hand, OWB holster for a Glock 19. In a few days I got the holster. It looks like this one.
The holster itself is a good looking piece of leather, and I like leather holsters. I also like pancake holsters and we'll get into that in a moment. The leather is sturdy, the stitching is uniform and well executed. The holster is molded to the gun, holding it securely. This particular example I let my son wear for a couple of weeks and he wore it to PawPaw's House today for Sunday lunch. He's a cop in a plainclothes assignment and spends a lot of time with concealment holsters.
Let's talk about pancake holsters for a minute. The reason I like a pancake holster is based on the design. A good pancake holds the firearm close to the body, with a little forward tilt and conforms to the circumference of the body. In short, it's tight when worn with a good gunbelt.
A gun that's tight to your body is harder to snatch, and a gun that's tight to your body is easy to conceal. A holster that "flows" with the circumference of the body won't create any "bumps" that a disinterested observer might notice. If you want to go concealed, a good pancake holster is a great choice and this Louisville Leather holster is a great one.
For plainclothes police work, or for individual carry, a good pancake holster. Let's look at two that I've used over the years and really like. Both of these are commercial, factory holsters and representative of the style.
Oh top, we've got an old (ancient) Don Hume model H950 for the J frame Smith and Wesson pistol. I've had this holster since the mid '80s and strapped it on for many years. It's considered a level two holster because it has a thumb break and the user has to draw the pistol forward before he can clear leather. It's very fast and very resistant to a snatch from behind. The pistol must come forward to clear leather. I like this holster a lot, and I wish that Don Hume still made it, or more particularly, that I could find any more. In my mind, it is the best pancake ever made for the J frame Smith revolver.
The lower holster is a DeSantis 1CL85, for the 1911 pistol. It's got a thumbreak and fits the weapon very closely. It's also easy to conceal, for all the same reasons that any good pancake is easy to conceal. It holds the firearm tight against the body and matches the contours of the torso.
But, back to the Louisville Leather OWB. It's a great holster made of good leather and has that cool little stiffener sewn on to the top. I like the holster and my son likes the holster. If we have any criticism of the holster at all, it is that it is not available with a thumbsnap. Thumbsnaps are critical in police work. Often, they're the difference between a holster being approved for carry and a holster not being approved. In fact, my son told me, "Pop, if it came with a thumbreak, I'd spend green dollars getting one for duty carry."
As it is, the Louisville Leather OWB is a fine example of a concealed carry holster. Prices start at $65.00, which is fair (even low) for a custom holster of this quality. They get exotic leathers occasionally and special products can be ordered as desired. If you're looking for something a little bit different, custom made at a good price point, I'd give Louisville Leather a chance to get my order. Give Ryan a call at 502.403.8002, or email him at this link if you have any questions. Louisville Leather has the PawPaw seal of approval.