Daniel, a contributor here at BladeBarrelBezel.com, asked to borrow my Ring’s Manufacturing Bluegun replica of a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. He told me he was making a pocket holster for a friend. Several weeks later I discovered–I was that friend! He presented me with a beautifully handmade holster.
A few years ago, Daniel inherited some leatherworking tools from his grandfather, who lived in a town called Shooting Creek in North Carolina. Daniel began practicing, making such things knife sheaths and notebook covers. Daniel had even made me a rich brown flask cozy. His attention then turned to handgun holsters.
I had seen some of the holsters he had constructed. They were far and away better that the primitive leathercraft I had attempted decades ago. Daniel’s cuts, burnishing, and dyeing were very good, but his stitching and stamping had become the work of an artisan.
Knowing I prefer pocket carry, Daniel added several thoughtful details to the black basketweave creation. The throat of the holster is reinforced to make the gun easier to reholster (outside of the pocket, please). It also stiffens the entire holster.
Daniel used the Bluegun to wet-form the holster to the exact shape of the Bodyguard. This makes for better, more positive retention of polymer and steel to leather. A good friction fit is imperative in a pocket holster to keep the gun safely put. The Bluegun is perfect for this task, since it is simply a chunk of plastic and impervious to water.
Because a pocket holster can sometimes “print” and reveal the outline of the weapon in the pants, Daniel made a matching leather panel that can be bolted on the holster to make the rig more wallet-like in exterior appearance.
That same bolt near the trigger guard serves to secure the folded sides, along with a rivet, and can be tightened to add another level of retention for the gun. Because his wet-forming was so well done, though, I found no additional tensioning was required.
Finally, Daniel included a a black spring clip to allow the holster to be used as an inside-the-waistband unit. How’s that for versatility? All these features came to me for the very same low, low price…nothing!
This holster performs yeoman’s service. Because the Bodyguard 380 has such a small footprint, I have used the Shooting Creek Holsters Model 1 (as I have named it) without the need for the flat panel. The gun and unmodified leather disappear into the depths of the pocket.
When drawing the firearm, hooking the upturned rear wing of leather against the trailing pocket edge, along with slight thumb pressure on the reinforced holster throat, makes presenting the gun a simple exercise.
Daniel did a phenomenal job handcrafting this holster. He is a great guy and a truly good friend. Now, he is an accomplished holster maker. We went out to brunch yesterday morning and, of course, his holster was along for the trip.