Simply Rugged – Practical Holsters for Everyday Use
By Jim Taylor
Earlier this year I felt it was time to upgrade my CCW gun. The one I was using had been in service over 20 years and was getting .. well, I guess “tired” would a nice way to describe it. My personal philosophy is that my life or the life of someone I care about may depend upon that piece of hardware and it should be in good shape. Eventually I found a good deal on a Taurus Model 605 .357 Magnum at local gunshop and they made me a deal I could not pass up.
Purchasing a new CCW gun requires a bit more than all the proper paperwork. There is the issue of carrying spare ammo. This often requires speedloaders of some type to be purchased, especially when the firearm is a different type or style than the previous one. And then there is the problem of how one is going to carry the gun. I did not have a single holster that would work with the Taurus!
I did check some holsters in the store, then went home and began to do an internet search on my computer. It’s amazing what is available! There is everything from $10 “gun socks’ to custom-made rigs costing several hundred dollars. Like everyone else, I am looking for a good deal, but I also realize that “cheap” is not usually the way to go. After all, we are talking about something that could potentially be used in a life or death situation.
Sometime during the internet search my mind suddenly began working and I realized that I knew a gentleman who had a holster-making business in Alaska. His name is Rob Leahy and his business is called “Simply Rugged”. As the name implies his holsters are of a simple design but the design is rugged. These are holsters for everyday use, day in, day out. Holsters that can be counted on to hold the firearm securely and that will take the wear and tear of constant use.
His on-line catalog describes them thus: "Most of the Simply Rugged holsters are of the Pancake design, the gun being held firmly between two pieces of leather, the wide set belt slots hold the gun in close to your body and apply tension to the gun. It is a very stable design concept.. the gun rides with your body and does not flop around. This provides good retention & concealment and causes less fatigue for the user."
Mr. Leahy makes these holsters for single action revolvers, double action revolvers and some autoloaders. His on-line catalog lists 9 different types of holsters including one called THE
TRIBUTE which is a Memorial to Roy Baker. Roy Baker was the originator of the Pancake design. Well, I have an original Baker Pancake holster that I use quite often so I am familiar with the design and know how well it works. This sounded like what I had been looking for! I searched the on-line catalog and sure enough, Simply Rugged makes a little pancake design for the small-frame double actions called The Silver Dollar Pancake. The advertising said it did not need a thumb strap or other retention devices and that it would hold the gun securely. And the price was most excellent .. $35.00 including shipping!
I emailed Mr. Leahy and asked about him making a Silver Dollar Pancake for my Taurus Model 605 and within a short time had a reply that he had some on hand. He asked for my belt width and what color of holster would I prefer. I emailed him the information and specified a black holster. I also told him I was putting a check into the mail in the morning, which I promptly did.
About a week went by and then I received an email notice that my holster had been shipped to me. A few days later it arrived. It was like Christmas, opening the package. Inside I found a small pancake holster along with a note saying that they appreciated my business and if I made another order to include the note with it and $5.00 would be taken off the next order!
The holster is handmade which I like. I have nothing against the commercially produced holsters from the larger companies, but there is something about a handmade one that appeals to me. It is stamped on the back with the makers logo and name. There is one belt slot in the rear of the holster and two in the front. This allows the holster to be worn on the strong side straight up, on the strong side with a forward cant, or to
be worn crossdraw. I find this versatility to be extremely useful in a CCW holster. Depending on what clothing is worn the position of the gun can be “tailored” to the situation.
After wearing the holster for some time I find that it does indeed hold the gun very securely. And it is comfortable. My personal preference is strong side carry, straight
up. This allows me to pull the gun with a locked wrist and seems easy for me. Since each of us are individuals we each need to find what works the best for us. Crossdraw carry is also comfortable, especially if sitting a lot. Whatever way you carry, practice using it. Practice getting the gun into action from various positions. This holster allows me several options which I really enjoy.
You can contact Rob Leahy at:
1730 N. Lacy Loop
Wasilla, AK 99654
They have their catalog online at http://www.simplyrugged.com/
and you can email Mr. Leahy at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will find them a pleasure to do business with.