Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions

  1. What type of care and maintenance does my holster require?
  2. What type of tanning is used in your leather?
  3. How is leather thickness gauged?
  4. What is the reason for using exotic leathers?
  5. Why do you use a suede harness on your shoulder holsters when so many other manufacturers tend to use full grain leathers or nylon?
  6. What is Latigo leather?
  7. Is horsehide really better for holster making than cowhide?
  8. What type of thread to you use?
  9. Why do you make your Shell Horsehide belts in three pieces?
  10. How long will a well made holster last?
  11. Do you recommend a double thickness or single thick belt for use with a gun.
  12. What width belt do you recommend?
  13. Other holsters I have used were soft, why do you hard mould your holsters?
  14. What if I get my holster wet?
  15. How do I tighten my holster if the fit is too loose?
  16. How do I loosen my holster if it is too tight?
  17. Can my holster be remoulded if necessary?
  18. What are Chicago screws and how do I care for them?
  19. What type of snaps do you use?
  20. What size belt should I get?
  21. What care and maintenance does my belt need?
  22. Are there advantages to a pre-curved belt?
  23. What is meant by FBI tilt?
  24. What is meant by the term "deep concealment"?
  25. What is your best holster for daily concealed carry?
  26. Do you make a holster suitable for carry and competition?
  27. What is meant by a sight track?
  28. What is meant by the term "full firing grip"?
  29. Do clip holsters work well?
  30. Will a lined holster protect my guns finish?
  31. What is the best carry holster for women?
  32. Are there other holster makers whose work you would recommend?
  33. What is a "thumb break"?
  34. Why don't your holster utilize a thumb break?
  35. Do you make one of a kind custom holsters?
  36. What is your lead time?
  37. Will you make custom modifications to existing concealment designs?
  38. Why don't you make a wallet holster?
  39. Why do you charge so much more tan color?
  40. Can I sent you leather to make a belt or holster from?
  41. Do you repair or make alterations to holster made by other makers?
  42. Do you do general leather and leather repair work?
  43. Can I buy leather from you?
  44. Do you sell extra belt buckles and Chicago Screws?
  45. Do you make knife sheaths?
  46. Some makers have certain styles of concealment holsters you don't have. Why is this?
  47. Do you make long gun leather accessories?
  48. Do you make law enforcement duty holsters? Police leather accessories?
  49. I'm a home craftsman, can you help me locate leather and supplies?
  50. Will you put initials on a holster?
  51. Do you sell KRAMER logo tee-shirts and hats?
  52. What is your favorite handgun, or what do you think about a given gun?
  53. How important is it to be able to reholster your gun with one hand?
  54. I'm taking a firearms class, what holster is best suited for this?
  55. Do you sell gift certificates?

Answers

  1. What type of care and maintenance does my holster require?

    An occasional application of KIWI neutral paste wax is the only routine maintenance we suggest for your holster. DO NOT apply oils or grease in an effort to soften the leather as it was specifically intended to be rigid. Every effort should be made to keep the mold intact. In other words, DO NOT crush and flex an empty holster.

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  2. What type of tanning is used in your leather?

    KRAMER horsehide holsters are made with Bark tanned horsehide. Our cowhide holsters use vegetable tanned leather. The advantages of these tannages is that they provide a leather that will not cause your weapon to rust or corrode the way chrome tanned leather can do when the gun is left in it for extended periods of time. Chrome tanned leather is loaded with salts and chemicals that can destroy the finish on your gun. Want to know if a piece of leather is tanned using the chrome process? Simply cut a splinter size silver of leather and hold a flame to it. If the resultant fire has a greenish flame, the leather has been tanned using a chrome process.

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  3. How is leather thickness gauged?

    Thickness is gauged in ounces per square foot. Most holsters for medium to large frame guns are crafted from 7/8 or 8/9 ounce leather. This means that the leather weights between 7 & 8 ounces per square foot. A typical piece of 8/9 ounce leather is approximately 1/4" thick.

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  4. What is the reason for using exotic leathers?

    Some exotics serve a functional purpose as well as aesthetic. For example, Sharkskin and shell horsehide are extremely durable leathers. Sharkskin is next to impossible to wear out, even when it is being used in a highly abrasive environment such as hunting in thorn bushes or being scratched along the pavement, as in the case of a police officer trying to manhandle an unruly drunk. Other exotics such as snakeskins are rather delicate and best used for decorative purposes such as dress belt and holsters that will not see rough service.

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  5. Why do you use a suede harness on your shoulder holsters when so many other manufacturers tend to use full grain leathers or nylon?

    Suede has the strength to support the largest of handguns in a shoulder rig. Full grain leather is too thick and heavy, and it has a tendency to "print" through clothing. Nylon is too slippery and will slip and slide on the shoulder and create an unstable situation. Suede also drapes very well and contours to your body.

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  6. What is Latigo leather?

    Latigo is a type of tannage used in certain cowhide leather. It is generally quite soft and supple to the touch, and has a slight oily feel to it.

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  7. Is horsehide really better for holster making than cowhide?

    Horsehide is an extremely dense, non-porous leather. Until the end of the 1930's horsehide was the leather of choice for products that required extreme durability. The density and non-porous nature of horsehide which makes it such a durable leather, is also the reason that horsehide does not dye uniformly in colors other than black. If multiple pieces are crafted from horsehide and dyed tan or mahogany, there is a very good chance that each piece will have a slight color variations. Black will be uniform. These color variances are considered part of the natural beauty of horsehide and attest to it's authenticity. Horsehide holsters will last longer and withstand considerably more abuse than a cowhide counterpart. U.S. Navy SEAL TEAMS use our horsehide rigs for extended salt water operations. Cowhide will not stand up this kind of use. YES, there is no question about it, horsehide is more durable than cowhide. This however, is not say that cowhide doesn't make a fine holster that will provide many years of hard service if properly cared for. But, if you want the ultimate in holster leather, horsehide is the answer.

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  8. What type of thread to you use?

    All of our belt and holsters are sewn with a Dacron or Nylon thread. Cotton and linen thread will eventually rot, particularly in humid weather. Although some makers will try to justify the use of natural fiber threads, common sense would dictate that synthetic threads are much stronger and rot resistant, and will last much longer. Consider this scenario. You have two lengths of rope, both of equal length and thickness, they have been stored in a humid warehouse for twenty years. You will be using this rope to repel down a 150 foot cliff. Your choice, natural or synthetic?!!

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  9. Why do you make your Shell Horsehide belts in three pieces?

    The "shell" of the horse is a subcutaneous layer of tissue and muscle below the surface of the "hide". It is the most non-porous leather known to man, and has virtually no visible grain, giving it the appearance of shiny plastic. Over the years as you use a shell product you will notice that it burnishes and gets shinier with age. The typical shell is an oval shaped piece of leather that is approximately 18" in diameter. Hence you must piece it together in order to make an average length belt. Do not confuse "shell" horsehide with the horsehide used to make a holster or heavy gun belt. This horsehide is not cut from the shell, but from the butt of the horse. It is much heavier than the "shell" and does have a slight visible grain to it.

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  10. How long will a well made holster last?

    This is kind of like asking how long a good pair of shoes will last. There are many factors that come into play and no one can give a definitive answer. We can say however, that we have customers who have used their horsehide holsters daily under extreme conditions such as salt water, humidity, thorny bushes, etc.

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  11. Do you recommend a double thickness or single thick belt for use with a gun.

    The belt is an often overlooked piece of equipment. Many people spend considerable money on a superior holster only to affix it to a flimsy belt that will not support the weapon. For medium and large frame handguns we STRONGLY suggest using a double thickness gun belt to attain the best possible lateral support. If you are carrying a small frame gun you can probably get by with a single thickness belt.

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  12. What width belt do you recommend?

    A 1-1/4" double thickness belt will support large frame handguns quite well. It is the choice of most of our police and federal agent clients who must wear suits. Although a 1-1/2" or wider belt will provide even better lateral support of the weapon, they do have a tendency to scream out "this guy has a gun!" If you are used to wearing these wider belts and live in an area where most folks wear wider belts, by all means go with it, as it can only help, but if the wider belts will compromise the fact that you are carrying, don't hesitate to wear a 1-1/4" double belt. It WILL provide a adequate support without giving away your little secret!

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  13. Other holsters I have used were soft, why do you hard mould your holsters?

    Most (not all) soft holsters are generically fit to a frame size rather than a specific gun. Professionals prefer hard moulded rigs as they retain the weapon properly without the use of a thumb break snap or other extra retaining device. You should be able to take a moulded rig and turn it upside down an UNLOADED gun in it, give it a gentle shake (over a bed or pillow or other soft protective surface) and the gun should stay in the holster. The lack of a thumb break provides a quicker draw time and a more comfortable compact holster with fewer protrusions to bite into your body.

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  14. What if I get my holster wet?

    U.S. NAVY SEALS use our horsehide holsters for salt water operations. Although we do not encourage you to soak your holster for extended periods the way they do, should your holster become wet, remove the gun and allow the holster to air dry slowly either in direct sunlight or in a gently heated area such as on top of a WARM (not hot?) hot water or home heating furnace. It is very important that the heat if used, be gentle and warm, NOT hot!

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  15. How do I tighten my holster if the fit is too loose?

    Do not attempt to tighten your holster by yourself. Give us a call and we will make arrangements to do this for you.

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  16. How do I loosen my holster if it is too tight?

    The outer dimensions of specific models of guns can vary considerably between individual guns. For instance a Colt Government Model can have as much as 20 thousandths of an inch difference in outer dimensions, depending upon age, finish, manufacturer, etc,etc. Consequently we prefer to have our holsters start out on the snug fitting side. Should it be necessary to loosen your holster, take the plastic bag that the holster cam in and wrap it around the gun. Insert the UNLOADED gun into the holster and let it set for several hours. This will stretch the leather approximately two or three thousandths of an inch. If necessary, wrap the gun with two bags. You can use up to three bags to stretch the holster. If this is still not successful, give us a call and we will be happy to adjust the fit for you.

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  17. Can my holster be remoulded if necessary?

    Yes. Give us a call. We can remould and recondition your old, used holster and have it looking and fitting like new! We only offer this service for KRAMER holsters. Be advised, that mahogany or tan holsters will be considerably darker after remoulding. We do charge for this service. Call our order desk for current prices.

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  18. What are Chicago screws and how do I care for them?

    Chicago screws are decorative leather screws usually used in belts. They are generally made of brass or nickle plated brass and consist of a male and female portion. We use these screws in the harness of our shoulder rigs and in our MSP Paddle Holster. Once you are sure of the correct positioning of the screws in your holster or harness, they should be "glued" with LOK-TITE. Use a removable strength LOK-TITE. To remove screws that have been LOK-Tited, simply turn the screw clockwise to break the seal and then unscrew.

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  19. What type of snaps do you use?

    Depending upon the application, we will use either standard or high tension snaps. In some case we use "pull the dot" snaps. These are one way snaps and will only snap on and off when pulled in a specific direction. These snaps are used for additional security, when it is imperative that the snap not come undone.

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  20. What size belt should I get?

    Because wearing a holster and gun, whether it's inside the pants or outside the pants on the hip, takes up additional space, we advise that you order your belt an inch or two bigger than your actual waist size. Please be certain that you are choosing the correct size. Though we will advise as to what we feel is a correct belt length, the final determination is up to YOU.

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  21. What care and maintenance does my belt need?

    Allow a new belt to break in gently on its own. Do not fold or bend new belts as they can crack when the leather is new and stiff. Normal wearing will break your belt in, in short order. Belts should be polished using the same neutral KIWI paste wax recommended for use on your holster. Do not oil your belt in an effort to soften it. Exotic skin belts should be treated in the same manner.

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  22. Are there advantages to a pre-curved belt?

    Some manufacturers make their belts pre-curved to fit the body. The claim is that they are more comfortable this way. If we thought this to be true, we would make our belts pre-curved. However, we feel that the extra time and consequent expense in an already pricey belt, simply is not worth any minimal advantages this type of cut may offer. After a few weeks of wear, any belt will take a set or curve to YOUR specific body shape.

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  23. What is meant by FBI tilt?

    FBI tilt refers to a holster that is designed in such a manner that the grip of the gun angles forward and the muzzle of the gun points to the rear, as opposed to a neutral or vertical rake where the gun rides straight up and down. Usually the FBI tilt is approximately 10-15 degrees. This tilt offers an advantage in concealment keeping the butt of the grip from protruding away from the body.

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  24. What is meant by the term "deep concealment"?

    Deep concealment is when it is more important to conceal the weapon than to achieve a fast draw. Belly band holsters and the KRAMER undershirt holster are both good examples of deep concealment holsters.

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  25. What is your best holster for daily concealed carry?

    Choosing a holster for concealed carry will depend upon many factors. How are you built, slim or heavy? What type of clothing do you normally wear? What are your daily circumstances and where will you be carrying? What is the most comfortable for you? How do you prefer to draw? What type of gun will you carry? How large or small is it? Are you male or female? Are you seated most of the day? Are you riding in a car most of the time? Will you be removing the holster frequently during the day? Etc, etc, etc, the list of factors goes on and on. Only YOU can decide which holster will work best for you, and the chances are, that no one single holster will meet all of your requirements. Do not be afraid to buy clothing that will help to conceal the gun. If you wear inside the waistband, you might consider buying pants with a waist size an inch or so larger to accommodate the gun.

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  26. Do you make a holster suitable for carry and competition?

    Yes. The Vertical scabbard is an excellent choice for concealed carry as well as IDPA competition. It is also available with an FBI tilt, on custom order.

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  27. What is meant by a sight track?

    A sight track is a channel moulded or sewn into the leather which allows the front sight of the gun to exist the holster without scraping or gouging leather as it is drawn.

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  28. What is meant by the term "full firing grip"?

    Good holster design will allow a full firing grip as soon as the gun is grasped. This means that you can draw your gun and comfortably fire it without having to shift the position of your hand on the gun in order to attain a more comfortable grip.

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  29. Do clip holsters work well?

    We make a soft unmoulded inside the waistband holster that is affixed to the belt by means of a spring steel clip. As long as the clip is strong enough and the holster has a loose fit, there should be no problems drawing an IWB holster with a spring clip. We do not recommend using clips on any holster that will be worn outside the pants and they should not be used on a snug fitting moulded holster as you run the risk of drawing the holster with the gun.

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  30. Will a lined holster protect my guns finish?

    Generally speaking the finish on a gun is more likely to wear in a loose fitting holster than it is in a snugger fitting moulded rig, since the gun moves around all day long with your body motion. In a moulded rig however, the drawing of the gun will obviously cause more wear than in a looser fitting generic holster that offers less resistance during the draw. It is our opinion that a gun that is carried every day and used at the range to practice one's draw technique etc. is going to wear the bluing to some degree sooner or later regardless of whether or not the holster is lined. Horsehide is usually smooth as any that could be added to the holster and we therefore have elected not line our holsters. A gun is a working tool and if it is used with any regularity, it IS going to show a certain amount of blue wear, if you use your gun, it will shows signs of blue wear regardless of what type of material your rig is lined with.

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  31. What is the best carry holster for women?

    Again, there is no simple answer to this question as there are so many variables involved. We have designed a holster specifically for use by women, and it takes into account a womans different anatomy. The one thing that we can say, is that, if you will carry every day, you are going to have to alter your wardrobe to accommodate your gun. Although not a quick draw holster, the KRAMER undershirt holster is an ideal choice for a woman.

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  32. Are there other holster makers whose work you would recommend?

    This is an often asked question on the lecture circuit. Naturally every holster maker claims, and probably genuinely believes, that he is the best. It is our honest opinion that there are any number of fine holster makers in the industry today. It is up to you, the customer, to choose a maker whose designs and quality meet your needs and budget. Factors to consider are... design, quality, price, return policy, customer service, turnaround time, overall knowledge of the product, material the holsters are made from, and who are some of the "professionals" this maker has done work for in the past? Don't be afraid to ask questions, you're spending a considerable amount of your hard earned money on a quality holster, and you deserve honest, intelligent answers.

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  33. What is a "thumb break"?

    A thumb break is a retaining strap secured by a snap and released by a pushing motion of the thumb. A thumb break usually secures the weapon in the holster by means of a strap going over the hammer, or in the case of a cocked and locked single action auto, it will be placed between the firing pin and hammer. A thumb break should release with a quick, positive, crisp, motion that doesn't have a "spongy" feeling or require any excess motion. To achieve this, we sew a piece of plastic laminate to the thumb portion of the break.

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  34. Why don't your holster utilize a thumb break?

    The only holster we make with a thumb break is the shoulder holster. It is our philosophy that a well designed and formed holster, when moulded to a specific gun, will have enough retentive qualities to secure the weapon without the use of extra retaining devices. We do realize that some law enforcement agencies require the use of thumb break for their concealment holsters. On large agency orders we can provide thumb breaks, but regrettably, we cannot do this on individual orders. As with any holster, whether or not it is equipped with a thumb break, you are best holding onto your weapon in the holster, during strenuous physical activity.

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  35. Do you make one of a kind custom holsters?

    Only with the cowboy/western holsters and canine collars. We will create new designs for law enforcement and military agencies who wish to place multiple piece orders of concealment holsters. No refunds or exchanges will be given on exotic skins, alterations or custom orders.

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  36. What is your lead time?

    In many cases we are able to ship within 4-8 weeks and Confidant shirt holster will ship within 7-10 days from the date of the order. Custom rigs, such as cowboy holsters may take considerably longer, and it is best to check with our order desk for lead time on these projects.

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  37. Will you make custom modifications to existing concealment designs?

    The only modifications that we make are listed in our catalog. They would include choice of colors, belt slot size, and in some cases the angle of rake may be changed.

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  38. Why don't you make a wallet holster?

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms has declared them to be illegal.

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  39. Why do you charge so much more tan color?

    Our standard colors are black and mahogany, since they work best with horsehide, which is our primary material. When we use tan dye, our hands must be scrubbed to remove any dark dye residue, so as not to stain the leather. The work area must be similarly cleaned up, and so on throughout the entire holster making process. Often times the tan dye is unacceptably dark when the holster is finished and we must start again.

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  40. Can I sent you leather to make a belt or holster from?

    In some instances we will accept exotic skins to make belts and holster. Usually these are skins that a client got while on safari. Depending upon the type of leather and how well it was tanned, we may be able to work with your leather, give us a call to discuss it.

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  41. Do you repair or make alterations to holster made by other makers?

    Emphatically, NOT. Please don't ask.

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  42. Do you do general leather and leather repair work?

    NO

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  43. Can I buy leather from you?

    NO

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  44. Do you sell extra belt buckles and Chicago Screws?

    YES

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  45. Do you make knife sheaths?

    NO

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  46. Some makers have certain styles of concealment holsters you don't have. Why is this?

    We long ago stopped trying to be all things to all people. We sell only the holster designs that we have found to be the most popular over the years. This way we are able to provide you with reasonable delivery times, instead of the excessive wait that has become common in many smaller shops.

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  47. Do you make long gun leather accessories?

    NO

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  48. Do you make law enforcement duty holsters? Police leather accessories?

    No, We only make concealment holsters. No duty rigs, flash light holders, handcuff cases etc.

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  49. I'm a home craftsman, can you help me locate leather and supplies?

    In the early years we were more than happy to provide this information. Unfortunately this service was taken advantage of by several unscrupulous individuals and we can no longer do this. We regret having to make this decision, however....

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  50. Will you put initials on a holster?

    YES, for a fee.

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  51. Do you sell KRAMER logo tee-shirts and hats?

    Not yet, but stay tuned.

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  52. What is your favorite handgun, or what do you think about a given gun?

    Please don't ask! These are questions we hear over and over again. They are best answered by folks better versed in the subject than we are. We will be happy to answer your holster questions.

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  53. How important is it to be able to reholster your gun with one hand?

    For police officers it is imperative! When handcuffing a subject, you do not want to use both hands to reholster your gun. For the average civilian, this is a question best answered by the individual according to his or her own needs.

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  54. I'm taking a firearms class, what holster is best suited for this?

    For safety reasons most range master frown on cross draw holsters at the range, since the sweeping motion used to draw the gun can put others on the firing line at risk. Your best bet for a class/range situation in a strong side, hip holster of one design or the other.

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  55. Do you sell gift certificates?

    YES

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