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Take Pride in Your Holster

By George E. Kontis, P.E.

Exotic animal skins made into custom holsters? Do these magnificent animal skins do an adequate job in protecting the firearm? Are they legal? Would hunter/conservationists like me find it ethical? These and other questions were answered by Daniel Ashland of Pride Holsters (www.prideholsers.com), who has found his place in this unique niche market.

After a visit to his shop and a chance to see his inventory, there was no question in my mind about the quality and functionality of his products. People like Daniel have a special knack for this kind of work. Daniel can quickly visualize how to make a pattern and he builds models to validate his designs. He follows this to an assured transition into a work of art. Daniel’s grandfather was an upholsterer and Daniel watched him for hours upon end, fascinated by the way his grandfather was able to fit the pieces so precisely to form the various contours of the furniture.

Pass—on Cowhide

As an active left-handed shooter, Daniel became frustrated with the choices of firearms—all designed for right-handed shooters. For him, the gun was ill-fitting and the holster lost its intended functionality. Daniel decided to take matters into his own hands and began building his own left-handed holsters. His first trials were with cowhide. It worked well enough, but Daniel wasn’t happy with it because it scratched so easily. This was discouraging, considering the long hours he had invested in their manufacture. That’s when the use of exotic animal skins came to him as a far better alternative.

Unlike cows, animals like crocodiles and snakes spend a lot of time on their bellies, and for protection against sharp rocks and other hazards their skins have evolved to be extremely tough. As it is with all of the skin he uses, these animals lead a difficult life, fighting predators and enduring harsh elements in extreme weather conditions. Mammals like the elephant, giraffe and ostrich live in hot climates and encounter dense and thorny brush. It is not uncommon for Daniel to find skins with battle scars and other evidence of...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V21N6 (July 2017)
and was posted online on May 19, 2017

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