Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Simply Rugged Opinion

In our society, it is not uncommon for someone to have a die-hard affinity for a brand affiliation and coat their lives in it. We pretty much tend to gloss over the lesser bandages and go for Band-Aids, skip the local hardware store tools and go for Craftsman tool sets, the list goes on.

While I have tried to resist this blanket outlook on life by purchasing value instead of a name, I feel that I have succumbed to exclusively suiting up my guns in holsters from a certain leather working company, one that not only gives me a great value but OUTSTANDING customer service and a feeling of pride every time I slip on my belt and holster in the morning. That, fellow readers, is none other than Simply Rugged.

It all started when I turned 21 and purchased a Taurus Tracker .44mag to match my Winchester 94AE Trapper .44mag. Noticing that a handgun is pretty much worthless unless you can carry it on your person, I started searching around on the 'net to see what was out there for good holsters. Bunches of names flashed up, like Mernickle, Hume, Blackhawk, Our Bandit Leather, Levergun Leatherworks and River Junction Leatherworks, just to name a few. I knew that I did not want to go with kydex since it is clunky and just wouldn't look right with a revolver and while I would be OK with going ultra basic and buying an Uncle Mike's synthetic holster, I knew wanted something more stylish, comfortable and durable.

Not sure which company was worth their salt and my money, I asked about holsters on and, with an emphasis on leather holsters. Looking through all the responses (mostly western-style rigs), I came across Simply Rugged, hailed as a well-priced and highly recommended holster maker.

With a little bit of reading around and a few emails to the owner, Rob Leahy, I made my first purchase, which consisted of a Sourdough holster for my Tracker, a split-six speedloader pouch, a most versatile pouch and a Real Man's belt, all in black (wardrobe requires versatility, though I totally should have done oxblood)

My first impression upon opening that box of USPS wrapped joy is indescribable, everything was perfect! The black dye was applied evenly, the stitching was tight, there were no blemishes whatsoever. The only issue I had was that I ordered my holster with inside-out straps (in case I am to ever get a CCW in this stupid state) and a removable thumb break. Not wanting to part with my new-found piece of leather perfection since it fit my gun like a glove, Rob gave me a 40 dollar credit for my next holster purchase. Just FYI, this is a rare occurrence at Rob's shop and he handled it with the utmost professional courtesy.

It wasn't too long after my first revolver that I started getting more handguns. Shortly thereafter I procured a Ruger Single Six and I used my credit for it. Once again, the holster was absolutely beautiful and perfect and made my Single Six feel like a natural part of my body, you don't even feel the full weight of it, even though the little sucker weighs over 35oz. The full-length coverage protects my gun in the thickest brush and it keeps at the perfect angle for that necessary quick draw.

As necessity would have it and luck would bring it, I came across one of my family's favorite handguns, the venerable and highly reliable Bulgarian Makarov in 9x18 Makarov. Itching to spend some hard earned cash from a recently completed side job, I asked Rob if he could possibly make a holster for the Makarov, even though it is not on his list of guns he makes holsters for, figuring that it might be possible since he makes holsters for the Walther PPK, which is the basis of the beefier Makarov. Rob said that he could make one but he would need measurements, so I took detailed pictures of my Makarov against a tape measure, made a detailed tracing and mailed them on over to his place in Alaska. Several weeks later, yet another beautiful holster came in the mail, along with a matching double magazine pouch. This holster also came with a set of inside-out straps (again, planning for that ever-elusive CCW permit) and my gun sits PERFECTLY on the inside of my waistband. He also sent me a another holster for my Tracker as a bonus! Again, the quality was unsurpassed. It damn near brought tears to my eyes.

My latest purchase from Rob was absolutely extraordinary. Since Rob has decided that he is no longer making holsters in black, I got in under the wire and snagged one last black holster for my Ruger MKII and one of the last black Chesty Puller rigs. I also sent back a few items for Rob to modify for me, like my belt (ordered it too long) and my original Tracker holster (wanted inside-out straps put on it). When I saw that little USPS box outside my door a week later, I nearly had a heart attack! Not only was my Tracker holster fitted for inside-out straps, he made me a brand new holster for it as well! He not only cut down my belt, he gave it a new coating of black! I was so ecstatic I could hardly contain myself. I took that new holster and put it on IWB and wore it that way to break it in and I even showed a guy at one of the local gun shops and told him about Rob while I told him about my .44mag gun selection.

Rob Leahy and his top-notch operation at Simply Rugged make a holster that simply cannot be beat. The quality is unsurpassed, the way his holsters fit your body is almost magical, the customer service is unparalleled and his ability to customize your holster to your specifications means that not only will your holster be your gun's favorite tuxedo, your gun will be there just when you need it, every time.



Simply Rugged

This is from the cover of our local rad, the San Diego Reader. The article is here.


Using my 2nd Amendment to protect my 1st at the Third San Diego Open Carry Meet


From the back. Holds tight, high and perfect.


Belt, Most Versatile Pouch, Split-Six speedloader holder and holster, all from Rob!

I carried my gun in this configuration for 10 hours over 7 miles and I barely felt a thing. No fatigue, no sore spots, no aches. Absolutely an incredible feel!

The three photos above were taken by my friend and therefore all credit goes to her. Click here for here for her website.

Shooting with two of my favorite firearms, my Ruger 10/22 and the Ruger MKII. Ruger MKII holstered by a Simply Rugged Open Top


Packing all kinds of guns here. Tracker on cross draw and the Single Six on strongside (Makarov in SOB with a ClipDraw)


Chesty Puller rig with my Single Six. This rig makes having an extra pistol really convenient, especially when you are donning body armor or need the waist real estate for ammunition, a knife, etc.


Chesty Puller rig from the back


MK II on the hip while shooting the Tracker. Even with body armor on, these holsters still work perfectly!



TrackerPacker said...

My friend Shalina asked me to leave this note for her as a blog comment:

"There is nothing wrong with sensible brand loyalty"

Carry on!

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

I agree with Shalina!!