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Old September 19, 2007, 01:38 PM   #1
j-framer
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A few questions about Rafter S. Gunleather

Hello friends,

I've been thinking about getting a Rafter S. Gunleather holster (OWB model). Though their name isn't tossed about as much as the "big name" holster-makers such as Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen, Garrity, Alessi, Brommeland and others, I have seen nothing but positive reviews on their products.

Did a search here and turned up some good info, but nothing too recent. So, for those of you who have patronized Rafter S., a few questions:

In general, were you satisfied with the overall quality?

A BIGGIE - how long are their wait times, and do you know if you must wait longer for an exotic-skin holster than for a regular one?

How was the cant on their OWB model? Not enough, just right, too much?

How was the fit of the gun in the holster?


I have been to their website and seen the pictures of their holsters. Though it's true that they offer limited models, those photos set my mouth watering, truth be told. Very impressive.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old September 19, 2007, 05:26 PM   #2
Jinzoningen80
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I bought a Rafter S holster for my 1911 in 2004 and it's been perfect. I still wear it daily. I didn't realize just how great it is until I was forced to carry a snub-nose revolver in a kydex holster for a month (1911 was in the shop.) What a pain that was! Even though the 1911 weighs almost twice as much, the holster made all the difference in comfort.

The cant is slightly more than i would have liked but it does conceal better.

The gun fit in the holster is perfect. Even after almost 4 years of use, i can still turn it upside-down and the gun wont fall out.

I wish I could answer your wait time question but that will depend on whether they have it in stock. I placed the order for mine on Dec 31st and got it on Jan 15th.

here are some pix i took back in 2004:







I can't praise Rafter S's holster enough but that spring clip on the mag pouch is unbearable! I'll never buy another clip-on after dealing with my rafter S mag pouch's steel clip constantly digging into my side.
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Old September 19, 2007, 07:52 PM   #3
j-framer
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Thank you for your efforts, Jinzoningen80.

The pictures are great, I was going to come back tonight and edit my OP to say "Any pics would be appreciated"! Always good to be able to see the item from different angles instead of just the front view, as is the case on Rafter's website.

I was considering an exotic, so I don't think they will have what I want in stock. Nonetheless, I'm encouraged by the short wait time in your case. Only a little more than two weeks, that's good no matter what. I could easily wait a couple months with no sweat, if it comes to that.

Quote:
The cant is slightly more than I would have liked but it does conceal better.
Since I'm small, more cant is better than less, so that portends well for me (I assume that cant is not customer-specifiable with Rafter).
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Old September 23, 2007, 07:21 PM   #4
N-frame Smith
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J-framer,

I just now saw your post, and while I don't have a Rafter S holster I've heard plenty of good stuff about them. You may have called them by now and answered all your questions, but if not I wanted to let you know that they do make other styles of holsters besides the ones shown on their site.

A poster on another forum had them make a pancake holster with a thumbreak. They already had a pattern for a pancake holster and they had no problem adding the thumbreak. Here's a pic of his fancy rig, I'm sure he wouldn't mind me sharing it:



Good luck to you and be sure to show us what you get!
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Old September 26, 2007, 08:13 AM   #5
j-framer
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N-frame Smith,

Thank you! I have been away for a while and only checked this thread this morning.

The pictured holster looks very classy (appears to be elephant with alligator trim?).

Quote:
You may have called them by now and answered all your questions...
Actually, I emailed them close to a week ago requesting an approximate turnaround time. No answer yet. This is a little strange, since most of the reviews I read about Rafter cited prompt communication as a big plus of these people's operation. I should call them, and probably will soon.

On their website, right at the top of the home page there is a note: "We would like to thank everyone for being so patient while we worked through out machinery break down." Huh. Don't know exactly what that portends, but since "worked" is past tense it seems whatever troubles they're talking about are over - hopefully.

Doing searches about Rafter S over on another forum, I came across a post from August of this year in which somebody references another holster maker's backlog and compares it to "Rafter's backlog once the word got out".

Doesn't sound all that good, though as I pointed out above, a wait of even several months would still be okay for me - though I used to hear about much shorter turnarounds from them.

One other thing I saw somebody mention on this other forum - something that I'd not seen in any other review - is that their (Rafter's) OWB holster doesn't ride that close to the body, and is therefore not that concealable. Needless to say, I was not too encouraged by hearing this. The fundamental nature of OWB means, of course, that it won't be as hidden as your average IWB rig. But I was still hoping for a nice, snug, close ride. The only front-wrap OWB holster I currently own is a JIT slide from Don Hume, and it sits very close to the body and is quite concealable. Maybe Jinzoningen80, if he sees this, will chime in again to comment on this issue. That's a relatively heavy gun he carries in his, too.

That's why I was hoping to hear from people who have Rafter holsters. It seems that while back, I used to hear quite a bit about them, but not so much anymore.

If anybody else happens along with any information/reviews/comments, please post!
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Old September 26, 2007, 08:24 PM   #6
Semper Paratus
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Honestly Della and Steve; the proprietors of Rafter S, are terrible with the Email thing. I am a 4 or 5 time repeat customer and when I want to order or check status or ask questions I just call. I think that they may be technology impaired but I know they are leather gifted.
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Old September 27, 2007, 03:10 PM   #7
j-framer
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Just called them now and had a pleasant conversation with what must have been Steve, I think. I was surprised and pleased to learn that their turnaround time is...

6 weeks!!!

right now. This is quite an attractively short turnaround, as I am used to waiting much longer for holsters.

Semper Paratus said:

Quote:
I am a 4 or 5 time repeat customer
Aha! The Rafter owners are emerging, slowly but surely. Since you have several pieces of leather from Rafter, could you by any chance elaborate on what model(s) they are (I'm thinking of OWB, personally), what guns you had them made for, and, if you do own any of the OWB variety, please comment about this issue I mentioned above:

J-framer said:

Quote:
One other thing I saw somebody mention on this other forum - something that I'd not seen in any other review - is that their (Rafter's) OWB holster doesn't ride that close to the body, and is therefore not that concealable. Needless to say, I was not too encouraged by hearing this. The fundamental nature of OWB means, of course, that it won't be as hidden as your average IWB rig. But I was still hoping for a nice, snug, close ride. The only front-wrap OWB holster I currently own is a JIT slide from Don Hume, and it sits very close to the body and is quite concealable.
I'm not ready to forego ordering a Rafter holster solely on the basis of the one report I reference above, but I am hoping that some other Rafter customer(s) will relate their experiences and opinions about the concealability of the OWB model (regarding how close to the body it rides, not the necessity of a longer covering garment, which of course can't be helped).

If you're out there, Semper Paratus and any others, come on in and discuss! Thanks.
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Old September 27, 2007, 06:47 PM   #8
Jinzoningen80
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I forgot to post this pic from earlier.



As far as concealability goes, I'm a fairly large guy (larger love handles than in this pic) and no one has spotted me carrying yet. I usually wear a sig-tac vest and tuck my shirt in. It hides it easily. I have worn a loose button-down shirt and as long as I avoid bending at the waist to pick something up (bend at the knees,) it won't print.

in summary: I haven't seen a need to find a more concealable holster. When I absolutely can't hide the .45, I throw my snubby in my pocket.
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Old September 27, 2007, 07:24 PM   #9
spacemanspiff
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I love the holster and belt I bought from them a few years back. I got the black sharkskin, IWB, fits great. Gun rides well in it.
I'm about ready to replace the belt, its held up my gut rather well.
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Old September 27, 2007, 08:02 PM   #10
Semper Paratus
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Brown leather IWB for Officer size 1911, Brown Sharksin IWB Commander size 1911, Brown Shark OWB Commander/officer size 1911, two brown leather 45 mag pouches. one brown leather1-1/2" belt, One black sharksin 1-1/4" belt one black sharkskin 1-1/2" belt. Good equipment ready to buy OWB and IWB for 2" model 60. Daughter has digicamera full right now. Maybe pictures soon. The OWB tucks in well when worn at 3:30 to 4:00 and hides under a polo shirt or heavy tee shirt as long as I am not sweating too much. The IWBs are as comfortable as any I have used and a 1911 positively disappears again if I am not sweating too much. Pistols and mags very secure. Comfortable cary even with full steel or CRES framed pistols. Excellent workmanship nice people. BTW I am 6'4" tall 240# and wear a 48 XL suit coat (When I have to dress up)
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Last edited by Semper Paratus; September 27, 2007 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Additional intel
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Old September 28, 2007, 09:44 AM   #11
j-framer
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Many thanks to all of you, you've been a big help.
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Old October 1, 2007, 08:40 PM   #12
Erik
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I'm a huge fan of their belts and have done my best over the years to convince people to try them out. One of these days I'll get around to their other offerings.
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