By Ron Avery, M1 Columnist
After years of wearing both kydex and leather, I find myself going back to leather for overall comfort and fit for certain modes of carry, especially for IWB appendix position carry. While my favorite leather holster makers, Milt Sparks, were not at SHOT Show this year, I did find a couple of interesting holsters at Alessi Holsters.
One is the DOJ Open Port, a compact, zero degree cant OWB holster with a bit of the front cut down enough to allow for a smooth draw stroke. Built to carry on the right hip (right hand version), it has a wing on the back side to hold the butt of the gun closer to the body for concealed carry. It has a leather stiffener strip around the opening to keep the shape of the holster for easy re-holstering. One thing I did not like was the closeness of the leather by the trigger guard to the front strap of the weapon. If you do thousands of draws like I do, that creates a sore spot on the middle finger that is annoying and focuses attention where it is not needed. I would like to see this item fixed and move that leather down a bit on the back of the trigger guard.
The other holster I tried out was the Talon and Talon Plus. This is a leather IWB holster with a very strong nylon clip that can be clipped either to a belt or to the pants themselves. The difference between the two is the sweat guard on the Talon Plus versus no guard on the Talon. While they do have some cant to them, I was told they could build them without cant for appendix carry. The leather is thin enough to wear your gun under a light shirt without looking like you have a colostomy bag at your belt line.
I have read various reviews that the holsters are very good but the wait times can be inexcusably long. Given these are custom holsters, a longer wait is understandable. They look a lot better than the other leather or leather/kydex combinations I saw at the show.