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Old July 23, 2000, 08:05 PM   #1
Cobra 4-6
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I don't want to start any holster makers out there throwing incendiary devices at I'll ask quietly.

I just received a leather holster from an un-named manufacturer. It's really a nice piece of work, however, it took almost 5 months to arrive. This seems nuts to me. When I contacted him a week ago, he responded that he was doing it especially quickly as any other maker would take 6 months for a left-handed, hand-made, yadda, yadda...

I responded that if the holster wasn't here in a week, he could keep it. The holster showed up in 4 days.

So, here's my question. Does it really take that long to make a holster or are these manufacturers just understaffed. If it does take 6 months, why? Don't they keep leather on hand? Just what is involved in the process that takes 6 months (or 1 month for that matter?)

[This message has been edited by Cobra 4-6 (edited July 23, 2000).]
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Old July 23, 2000, 08:36 PM   #2
Jim V
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Six months seems a tad long for a holster, unless he was raising his own cows, horses or elephants for their hides.

I can not think of any reason a holster should take 6 months not even if it is a one man shop, or it is a new design that recieved a good review in a gunrag and there are a backlog of orders. However, even the big name shops can get swamped, the Milt Sparks Watch 6 holster has a 6 week + deliver time because of the demand.

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Old July 23, 2000, 09:36 PM   #3
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I'm left handed, I know "our kind" have to pay a bit extra at times, or can't get a holster at all that we want, at times (like from Horseshoe Leather), or have to allow "lead time" (Dillion Leather) or wait a bit more from some shops. Six months is too much when there are excellent makers that can do it in 6 weeks. Wonder how much money I could make with a little internet store that stocks ONLY left handed shooting gear?

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; IT IS that they shall be destroyed forever...Psalms 92.7
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Old July 24, 2000, 12:13 AM   #4
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I just got a left handed holster made for my Glock 27 from Fist,It took them a little less then two weeks to get it to me. Nice holster and the workmanship seems good to me. I'm pleased,this is the second one that I have purchased from them

Yes we lefthanders do suffer a bit

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Old July 24, 2000, 01:43 AM   #5
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There is one maker, Mitch Rosen, whose lead times are often 6 or more months. His work is impeccible, but demand simply exceeds supply. I believe he has a "rapid response" line now that is pretty much ready to go, but his custom line is just that.

If you are in a hurry, there are quite a few guys doing custom leather that must have better turnarounds.

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Old July 24, 2000, 09:48 AM   #6
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I got an IWB#3 holster, belt, and mag holder from Kramer Leather in less than two weeks. If you call on the phone, you even get a live voice who is knowledgeable about the products!

I think that a six month lead time is way too long.

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Old July 24, 2000, 11:16 AM   #7
Cobra 4-6
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I'm afraid I sent this thread in a direction I didn't intend. What I really wanted to know is the following:

What is it that takes holster makers such a long time to construct a holster? Is there some kind of secret, mystical process that we mortals wouldn't understand? Or, as I suspect, is it simply a question of them not being able to coordinate orders, labor and inventory? Remember, the holster I spoke of above somehow was shipped in 4 days after I issued my "ultimatum".

We speak of a 6 week turn-around as being "reasonable". How come? I would think a 6 DAY turn-around as "reasonable"?

Thanks for any help you guys can give me.
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Old July 24, 2000, 12:24 PM   #8
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Hi Cobra 4-6;
There are simply customers "in line ahead of you" to account for 6 weeks of turnaround time.
Some holster makers will speed up the delivery if requested, often for a slight financial incentive.
The actual time involved is simply for pattern-cutting, wet-forming, dyeing and sewing the leather. It takes a few days.

Some makers of true custom leather (Ken Null, for instance) have sent me work in 7 days, from order to doorstep.

"Potius sero quam nunquam."

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Old July 24, 2000, 02:21 PM   #9
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Let's not confuse an "off the shelf inventory" holster for one that must be created for an individual. We do, most times, receive a holster we have ordered in a only a matter of days. However, these can not be compared to a holster that must be crafted by hand.
When running my shop I was constantly behind on orders. I am a perfectionist and will not allow anything to leave my shop that is not absolutely perfect. But I told all my potential customers how long it would be before they would get their custom gun before they committed to an order and sent money for a deposit. Any reputable and experineced business man will know approximately how long it will take to deliver a product. Baring anything unforeseen he should then deliver. Holsters are no different than widgits in that regard.
You do not say the name of the company, type of holster, if it is a specialty holster or if the owner told you how long to anticipate. I certainly understand and repsect your reasons for not saying the name of the company. However if it is a small operation that will, of course, affect the amount of time to produce the holster. If it is a specialty holster being constructed by hand and not a "main stream" design that to will increase the amount of time required to deliver the final product. If the person told you it would take "X" amount of time and greatly exceeded that you have every right to complain.
It is difficult to answer your questions about the art and mysteries of creating custom, quality leather without knowing the type of holster. For example a simple FBI slide type holster will obviously take less time and skill to produce than a custom double Buscadero cowboy rig with floral tooling, double stitches, fancy conchoes and trim. There are makers of such holsters that can not produce them in less than a year. Their customers are people that understand this and are willing to wait.
So based on what you have said it is not really possible to answer if six months is too long to make a holster. However based on the fact that after complaining you received the holster so soon I'd say the person was filling other orders and put yours on "the back burner". I suspect that he is behind on all his orders and those filled first are the ones of the people bitching. If it consistantly takes him six months to complete a job and he told you this you have no complaint. If it takes him this long consistantly and he did not tell you leaving you to believe it would be be done in a few weeks he is not honest, in my opinion.

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Old July 24, 2000, 10:20 PM   #10
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Thanks, guys.

Gunslinger - the holster in question was right out of the catalog; nothing special whatsoever. I was initially led to believe there would be about a 4 week delay. I'm not sure if I got that impression from them or where it came from. I certainly agree with your statement re a specially tooled product. However, this was not the case.

As Sawbones said, this is a 7 day job. Any longer means that these guys are taking too many orders for them to fill. In my business (computer software), we turn down jobs rather than subject our customers to extensive delays - and we are perfectionists, too.
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Old July 25, 2000, 10:21 PM   #11
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Life's too short to wait six months. I like Lou Alessi's leather. Hand made, excellent quality, fits perfect, and you got you're order in under a month.

"Get yourself a Lorcin and lose that nickel plated sissy pistol."
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