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!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Funny Turner's Story

I went with my brother OJ today to Turner's Outdoorsman to check out what they had and possibly put some .44spl ammo on order since I am running low. As usual, I was I was open carrying and the experience was great up until the very end, which then turned hilarious.

I know Turner's has a "no loaded guns" policy, with the exception of LEO and valid CCW permit holders but since I was unloaded anyways I took no notice. I found out later that they actually CHECK the firearm if it is unloaded prior to entering the store, which has been a failure on their part for the last few transactions I have done through them.

Anyways, I was in the store for about 15min and nobody took notice of my sidearm. It was only on checking out (picked up a bore snake and some Breakfree) that the cashier decided to enforce her apparent cashier duties. Here is the conversation: \

Cashier: Are you law enforcement?
Me: No
Cashier: Is that gun unloaded?
Me: Yes
Cashier: May I check if it is unloaded? We have a store policy about loaded guns.
Me: Oh, OK. Would you like to come over and remove my gun or would you like me to hand it to you?
*Cashier looks confuzzled* *I hand her gun, she checks it*
Cashier: Yeah, just be careful with carrying that around.
Me: Open carry is legal actually, as long as unloaded.
Cashier: Just be careful with it
Brother OJ: Yeah, like don't pull it out and shoot anyone with it. *Laughter*
(OJ hates it when dumb people get the last word)

We then left.

Now I know I shouldn't be counting on the fact that cashiers at a sporting goods store be up-to-date on the intricacies of the law but they should be at least supportive and non-idiotic about it.

In-n-Out gathering

So two nights ago I went to the local In-n-Out joint to have a burger with some friends that I haven't seen in a few years. Since the gathering was at 12AM, it is not all that well-lit and I am, as usual, a concerned citizen, I decided to pack the Tracker.

The result? 2 hours of bliss! About 95% of the people didn't notice I was strapped and when they did they just asked a few questions about it and were not alarmed. I even got a few non-shooters to want to go with me on a range trip sometime so I am pretty stoked about some new converts!

Yet another eventless yet productive open carry outing. Love it.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Union Bank SD

Made a deposit at UBOC on the way back from my brother's house and had no issues.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sam got arrested for OCing!

Yep, Sam got arrested for legally open carrying his firearm down in San Diego today! He was released upon getting down to the station when the cops cracked open a copy of the penal code and realized that he was legal.

The full story will be released once legal consul has been retained and the OK has been given. I will keep you guys posted!

Pleasant Ralphs Experience

In order to kill some time after work and stock up for my weekend post-shooting trip barbeque, I decided to head over to the Ralphs near my work (strapped!) and pick up a few things.

Upon heading in, I grabbed a newspaper ad detailing the specials and sat down at the internal coffee venue (Coffee Bean, I think) to peruse it. After a few minutes I got up and walked to the meat section. At this point, the general manager looked a little nervous but she was not hysterical nor were the employees acting weird.

Since Porterhouse steaks were on sale for 3.99/lb, I picked up a few flats and headed to the self-checkout. I scanned in my first of 3 packs and the computer said to wait for an attendant. Lo and behold, the manager came over and we had a congenial conversation about OCing. Here is how it went..

Me: Umm, it says to get an attendant, do I just put in my phone number?
Manager: Is that a real gun (said really fast)
Me: Pardon me?
Manager: Is that a real gun?
Me: Yep.
Manager: Are you a sheriff or something?
Me: Nope, just a normal citizen.
Manager: Are you allowed to do that with some sort of permit or something? Why not conceal it?
Me: Well, open carry doesn't require a permit and if I conceal without a permit it is a misdemeanor *explained rules here*
Manager: Oh, alright then. Yes, put your phone number in here....

Then she walked away. No problems whatsoever, no rampant calls, no freaking out.

After I left the store I called my dad and asked if he wanted any steaks or anything while I was there and he said to pick up some beans, so went back in and got a few pounds and left again. No problems.

Hot damn people!

OK, off for some errands.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I went with my friend Mel after work to grab some Denny's since she apparently had some coupons or some crap like that. Despite her mild protests about my apparent psychological insecurities and accusations of me attempting to prove my manhood by carrying, much less owning a gun, I packed the Tracker and had no issues. We were only there for 6min or so total since not one waiter greeted us so we bailed and went over to Chili's. No open carrying there, too close to a middle school :(

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Starbucks.

I am at my friend's house right now and we got back a little while ago from Starbucks and grabbing a late-night crappucino, er frappucino. Open carried with no issues. One lady looked confused but didn't ask any questions or raise alarm.

Love it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More open carry joy.

Well, things have been a little interesting as of late. With encouragement from my fellow Calgunner brethren, I have just put in a complaint against the Professional Security Company out of Los Angeles, CA for illegally detaining me at North County Fair in Escondido, CA in a manner not pursuant with the Merchant Law. Overall, I am looking for a written apology and a reviewing of training procedures for their guards. If they want to throw me cash for college I am cool with that too :)

Also, I got this PRICELESS letter from a member named "crazedeaglesfan" about how I am a "raticle" for open carrying. Here is the letter...

I assume you were picked on in school so much to the point you now have to carry an open firearm into the mall to prove a point? I'm a supporter of the right to have a firearm but you are what us regular people refer to as raticle. You are the prime example of why they might eventually outlaw all firearms.

You want to carry a gun? Join the military. Although they'd problably throw you out. You're an idiot.

Grow up and get a real job.

Mind you, this poor excuse for a citizen signed up on for the SOLE PURPOSE of sending me this letter. Sad? Yes, indeed!

Well, I gotta clean up a few things and stuff. I will keep everyone here posted!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Walmart Learning Experience

Feeling a little gloomy after seeing that our nation was duped into electing that gun-grabbing socialist rat bastard Obama, I headed down to my friend Omar's house to chill out. Since the night was young (10pm)and I was still in need of work shoes (previous post explains why I didn't buy them before ;) ), Omar and I headed over to Walmart.

Slipping the Tracker into her rightful place, I noticed a sheriff in his car parked directly in front and to the right of the entrance. My friend made it a point not to cover up the fact I was packing (little bugger ;) ) and no issue was made over it. The entrance way to Walmart, BTW, is 1/2 way lit.

After picking out my new TredSafe shoes, I decided to stop by the ammo counter and pick up a Federal .22 550 pack. While waiting for the key, the teller in the area asked me if I was an LEO and was surprised when I said no. He began asking me about the laws and such and I gave him the basic run down. I also wrote down my blog address and and my handle if he has any more questions and whatnot. He was also pretty stoked about my mall story.

After that, I went to buy a voice recorder but then my friend said that he had one I could borrow so that is just another 40 bucks I don't have to spend. It is in jacket chest pocket right now. :)

Well, off to work a bit early to read. Gotta figure out what I am going to do with a potential impending ban.


Saturday, November 1, 2008


Well everyone, I FINALLY got the cops called on me!

It all started with getting off of work and then heading up north to go to N. County Fair to get some badly needed work shoes. Per my usual routine, I strapped Tracker into her rightful spot and waltzed on through the mall. Half way to my destination (Payless) I encountered a fairly cute Israeli girl trying to sell me some Dead Sea lotions or something of that nature and spent 10 minutes entertaining her marketing endeavors. She either did not notice I was packing or did not care.

Heading into Payless I asked the cashier where I might find Safe-T-Step shoes and she directed me to the back wall. As I selected a pair of shoes to try on and sat down I looked out of the corner of my eye and saw several security guards grouping outside the door, to which I snickered to myself and proceeded to try on shoes.

About 10 seconds later, 4 security guards surrounded me and the head honcho began to ask me questions. Now, Liberty1, please don't beat (much less pistol whip) me for this but I don't have my freaking tape recorder yet so I didn't get the conversation! I will list what questions I can remember that they asked me and list my responses.

-Is that real? -Yes
-Are you an LEO? -Nope
-Do you have a license for that? -As long as I am not concealing it, I am unloaded and not within 1000' of a school it is perfectly legal.
-Do you have any bullets on you? -5 in a speedloader in my left pocket
-I think that is illegal -Nope, its not.
-Is that a knife? -Yes, it is
-Geez, do you always shop like that? -Not always, though I always have a knife with me
-What are you carrying that for? -Protection

As I sat there, holding a size 12 shoe with both of my hands, the head guy kept telling me to not make any sudden movements "for our safety" and to remain seated, etc. Apparently, telling someone that 5 times doesn't normally sink in because he kept repeating it.

Meanwhile, the cops were called in and were on their way. While waiting (15 minutes I think) I discussed the military jobs of the leader and one of his lackeys (both were ex-Marines), legalities of open carry and other such topics. The leader kept saying that he appreciated my cooperation and thanked me for my understanding of the situation and how I just can't be doing this now, given the day and age, etc. He did mention one recent shooting in Arkansas or something and people being nervous about it, to which I asked "A gun-free zone, I presume?" He said he didn't know... it probably was.

After 15 or so minutes and multiple directions for the police to arrive, two officers showed up. I greeted them and they withdrew the Tracker and my knife and escorted me outside. I offered them the opportunity to remove my speedloader but the cop said that I could keep it since I would be better off throwing it at someone at this point.

Here is the conversation that I had with the one officer to my left as I walked out of the mall to the parking lot.

-Him: Do you have a license for this?
-Me: No, I do not need a license for open carry. As long as I am not within 1000' of a school, I am not concealing the firearm and I am unloaded I am perfectly legal in carrying my weapon.

Furthermore, I believe that a memo was released to the Escondido PD about the legality of open carry, if I am not mistaken.

-Him: Ok, Ok. COuld you please explain to me then how the gun was in your pocket?
-Me: The gun was not in any pocket, it was in the holster just as you guys saw it the first time. If I may, may I turn and show you the holster? *Turn and show holster, hands in the air*
-Him: Ok, lets go outside right now. I didn't know that you had a holster on.

So we get outside and I sit down on the curb and they ask me my name, DOB, address and phone number. They ask me if I have any felonies and if the gun is registered to me, to which I reply "no" and "yes", respectively. One officer ran my gun in the computer and one talked with me and another stood to my right. The one in front of me taking my name down and whatnot chatted with me about guns and stuff. I told him about my blog and he wrote it down for future reference and I told the other two cops about it as well. Two of the three cops made it a point to tell me that they are pro-2nd amendment and that they understood why I am doing what I am doing and they mentioned how hard it was to get a CCW permit. I told them I wanted one but that I wasn't a "butt buddy" with the sheriff nor was I a jeweler. I also told them about the OC lunches and the difference in LEO reactions to the first and second ones and they had a good chuckle about it.

About 15 minutes after I was taken outside I was given my gun back and I was allowed to reholster it. The policemen said that I was perfectly legal and everything was kosher and it was now between mall security and myself. Turning to the head of security he said that he appreciated my understanding and hoped that I was treated in a professional manner but the mall can't allow me to have a gun, particularly when children are 10' away. I told him that I understand but that I am not the guy that is trying to cause harm to anyone, I am the guy trying to prevent it. He seemed to have written me off over it. With that, I shook everyone's hand and walked around the mall parking lot to secure my weapon and leave for home.

All in all, it was a decent experience. I wasn't even really nervous at all and if I was nervous it was faaar less than the first few times I OC'd. So now, I guess I am just going to have to go with a really BIG knife or my tomahawk.

A few things I learned.

-Carry at least one brochure.
-Carry and use the tape recorder (Liberty1, it is next on my shopping list, I swear!)
-Mall security, even when ex-military, don't know a lot of laws. (Not surprised, but still...)

Questions I have to ask...
1) The cops took about 20min to get to where I was at, which was about 70' from an entrance. WTF would have happened if I were a determined criminal?
2) What is mall security going to do about someone that is armed and intent on killing people? Beg them to death?
3) Why are law-abiding citizens, such as myself, such a rampant threat to mall security? No parents were freaking out nor were kids scared, it was the security detail that was all hot and bothered over it!

Phew! Glad this writeup is over. Of course, if you guys have questions or whatever feel free to comment either here or on and I will respond to them!



P.S. I have the phone number of the head of security for those that care to have it.... ;)