Monday, October 3, 2011

DM Bullard Dual Carry Holster

Since I said that I would be doing some shooting and talking about gear from time to time, lets talk gear. When I bought my pistol I tried the original holster provided by Springfield Armory. It is a polymer paddle style holster. The pistol fits in there extremely well and it is relatively comfortable however, not what I wanted to use for long term carry. I began to search around for a good leather holster. You would think this shouldn't be too terribly difficult. You would be sadly mistaken. When you want to be able to conceal a full size pistol, the holster is everything. Many people give up on carrying a full size pistol and opt for a smaller, compact firearm in a smaller caliber because they cant find a way to carry comfortably. Thus the search began for a quality holster that would allow me to carry my full size pistol comfortably all day.

I began with general searches and looking at different types of holsters. I reviewed many different gun forums for recommendations. I narrowed my choices down to three different models; the Comp-Tac Minotaur MTAC, the Crossbreed Super Tuck and the DM Bullard Dual Carry. The Mtac and Supertuck are both dedicated in-waist band holsters. Both are made with a leather back that has a kydex holster attached and tuckable belt clips. The Dual Carry is an all leather holster that can be used inside the waist band or outside the waist band. All three are in a similar price range of $70-$90 plus shipping. At first I was very enamored with the MTAC and also impressed by the many, many glowing reviews on the Super Tuck. Both are solidly built devices. Both allow for various cant (tilt) adjustments on the the holster as well as depth of wear. I, being the multi-funtion guy that I am, felt that while both were good at what they did, they were limited to a single wear style.

I then looked more at the DM Bullard Dual Carry. This holster is all leather with metal belt clips. It is hand made in Azle, Texas. Many leather holster are out there but as I looked at them, I felt the workmanship that was used by Mr. Bullard was outstanding. The Dual Carry can be configured for IWB or OWB wear and looks good in both configurations. The metal clips can be swapped out with leather tuckable belt loops if you desire for a small additional cost. I did not go with this option as I was unsure if the holster would work for me or not. I finally ordered his holster and then began my wait. This may sound strange considering that you can walk into most gun shops and there are easily 50 to 100 holsters there on the shelves. However, when you want handcrafted it takes a little more time. Mr. Bullard, at the time I ordered, was essentially a one man shop working from his garage. He made each holster one at a time himself. His popularity meant that he was somewhat back ordered and there would be some lead time involved.

When the holster arrived I was not disappointed with the quality at all. It is made with thick saddle leather, has a re-enforced mouth and heavy duty stitching. The holster fit my pistol like a glove and has remarkable retention all by itself.

I tried it on and after a few minutes of trying in different positions settled for a 4 O'clock position. The holster came set up for IWB carry. This worked very nicely with my belt adding additional retention to the pistol. I then configured the holster for OWB carry. My pistol disappeared beneath my shirt, even when tucked in. The Saddle Brown color of the leather tanning is very sweet. The white thread used for the stitching is heavy gauge and very even. Even when worn OWB, this holster can disappear underneath an untucked shirt.

 The only tiny issue, and one that anyone familiar with quality leather products know of, is the leather squeaks a bit a first. This will reduce over time as the holster is worn more and broken-in.

As I don't currently posses my concealed carry permit, I very much enjoy the fact that I can still use this holster for open carry and that it looks nice when doing it. Once I have my permit, I am still undecided if I will use it IWB or OWB. Most likely I will be switching back and forth between the two (you only need a screw driver to switch it around). I recently checked on Mr. Bullard's website and was pleased to see that his company has done some growing. In fact his popularity has grown to a point where he has added an additional 6 employees to keep up with demand. I would highly recommend the DM Bullard company to anyone looking for a high quality leather holster for their pistol. As I saw on another site for some handmade leather bags, if it is a quality product, leather goods can be passed down. As long as my pistol still works, I hope to pass this down some day to one of my kids or grand-kids.

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