- QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS -
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our hand crafted leather goods.
If you have any other questions please
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Do you have a printed catalog ?
We currently DO NOT have a printed catalog.
Who makes your custom hand crafted leather goods?
Us, Chuck Burrows and my wife Linda, and us alone. So if you call up and have a question you will be talking to the people who are going to make or are making your gear. Linda also handles the office work.

How long will it take to finish my custom hand crafted leather order?
Our philosophy is simple: we take as long as necessary to make it right. If it is not right it will not leave our shop. It also depends on how many other projects are on the schedule ahead of you. We are a two person shop and since all custom leather is made entirely by hand our normal turn around time, depending on your item(s), is 12 to 16 weeks. If time is a factor for your order then please seek out another maker or ask and we will be glad to recommend someone else.

Do you make replicas or reproductions of original items?
Generally no - our work is all original although it is based on period correct styles using original methods and materials.

Why should I buy your custom hand crafted leather goods and not______? (fill in the blank.)
This is really a very subjective question and one I feel can only be answered by you. Our leather goods are made of the finest materials available to us and what makes them unique is the aged finish. There are only a few other makers who offer this type finish, especially at this price. We make only authentic Old West leather gear and if that is the look you want then you have come to the right place. If price is a constraint (we are not the cheapest nor the most expensive), if you want/need it faster, or you are looking for a more "modern" style rig we will be glad to recommend some other makers.

Why does your custom hand crafted leather work cost more than______? (fill in the blank.)
The main reason is that everything we make is done by hand. This means that all items are individually cut from the leather using a knife and pattern, then it is tooled by hand-either stamped or carved, it is sewn by hand using the traditional saddler's stitch: two needles and waxed linen thread producing the finest stitch available, and finally hand finished with our unique aged patina. It is very painstaking and time consuming work. We am not going to get rich doing this type work, we do it because we love it. Our best reward is the look of joy on a customers face when they get their gear. Most commercial leather crafters use short cuts such as clicker cutting their leather (this is a stamping machine that cuts out the leather using a steel die), they machine sew it using polyester or nylon thread, and do a basic finish. Our aging process alone can take anywhere from one to three weeks. We also do a lot of small things that many other makers don't do that add up to a special product. This does not mean that other makers don't make good products, but they do "cut some corners" in order to keep the price down.

The item shown is in brown. Can I get it in black? The holster shown is in 5 1/2" can I get it in 7 1/2"? ad infinitum.....
A resounding yes. We do not have "stock" items - we are a full custom shop. We will make the item you want within certain constraints. The two parameters we follow are: your custom leather gear must be based on the styles of the of the eighteenth-nineteenth century American Frontier and that it will have an aged appearance. We are well versed in what is authentic and are very proud of our skills used to produce authentic items, so we will be glad to discuss making your item authentic. If you want modern speed style CAS gear, please check out the Kirkpatrick CAS Leather here on our site.

Where are you located and can I visit your shop?
We are currently located near Durango, CO, in the far southwest corner of the state (about 200 miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico). We work from our home and do not normally receive visitors. If you are in town give us a call and we will set up a time and place to meet with you.

Can I have a holster made that will fit both a 4 3/4" inch barrel and a 5 1/2" inch barrel?
We normally make our shorter holsters to fit either of these barrel lengths. We find that when cutting the holster to fit the shorter barrel it makes the holster look stubby and therefore esthetically displeasing to our eye. But you can of course have a holster made to fit the shorter barrel only. We can make a holster for any barrel length from 3" to 16".

What models of revolvers do you make holsters for?
The Colt Single Action Army and it's clones, Ruger Vaquero and Bisley Vaquero, Colt 1872 Open Top, Colt 1851 Navy and 1861 Army percussion revolvers, Ruger Blackhawk and Bisley with adjustable sights, Remington Model 1858/1875/1890, and the Smith & Wesson Schofield and Russian. We can also make them for just about any other hand gun of the late nineteenth century but it may require having the gun shipped to us to make a pattern.

Lined or Unlined holsters?
I have used holsters of both types for over forty years and have come to the conclusion that it boils down to a matter of personal preference. Depending on usage, the lining may add some measure of protection to your gun's finish, but this really depends on the type of lining. Softer linings such as buckskin or suede wear out faster than the inside of the single layer cowhide and can actually increase wear as they tend to pick up and hold oil and grime more quickly. As for authenticity the vast majority of originals were unlined. If you want a lining (at an extra charge) we recommend smooth calfskin or pigskin.

What about the wear on my gun's blue finish?
The best answer I can give is to quote master holster maker, Thad Rybka, "If you are really concerned about your blue job, leave your gun in the factory box and wrapper." I appreciate the fine finish on a new gun, but prefer the fine patina of age that comes from normal use, "used but not abused."

Will the finish you put on your gear rub off onto my clothes?
Maybe, but probably not. We use a clear finish to help prevent this. There are some makers who will tell you that all dyed items will rub off onto your clothes. If this were true Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and every policeman in the world who carries a firearm in a leather holster would have constantly stained clothing as all of these folks wore/wear dyed leather goods. But any treated leather gear, including those that have been just "oiled" (usually neatsfoot), can rub off in the right conditions, such as when they get soaked. How many of you remember the old George Lawrence company and their red oil finish that seemed to ooze for days if not weeks? In fact they used to recommend wrapping your new rig in an old terry cloth towel and letting it sit for several days to sop up the extra oil (and Elmer Keith, the Grand master pistolero, recommended this type of finish and to wear old clothes only until it quit oozing oil). But boy that finish sure lasted forever!

Do you mark all your custom hand crafted leather gear with your maker's mark?
YES!!!. Nothing leaves our shop without our maker's mark. We have been asked to leave off our mark by some apparently unscrupulous persons who we are sure planned on passing them off as genuine antiques (some of these yahoos even mentioned they had original saddle shop stamps from various makers.) We normally place our stamp in an unobtrusive spot, such as on the backside of the holster or under the tongue billet of our belts. Actually, most originals have the maker's mark stamped prominently on the face of the item.

Can you match an item I currently own or that you made two years ago, etc.?
We will try our darndest, but we cannot guarantee it. To further explain: We have cut items, such as cuffs, from the same hide and finished them with the same products and the color/finish came out slightly different. Leather is a natural material and no two pieces are identical. Each hide has its own variations, little nicks and scars that the animal picked up during its lifetime. These are completely natural and are not defects, they should be expected in leather. They add contrast and add character to the leather. If you really want to match items then pick dark brown or black as a color. Also some hardware, especially conchos, are not always available. If you foresee wanting another item to match, then have me order extra hardware. Authentically most original gear was not matching.

Do you put hammer thongs and or leg tie downs on your custom hand crafted holsters?
Both these items are available at no extra charge. Some people will tell you that historically that these were never used on original holsters. Well we don't like blanket statements like that and for a couple of reasons:
1) We have looked at literally thousands of original pieces of gun leather and also contemporary photos and although we have never seen these items we have seen enough suspicious looking holes to think that probably they were used.
2) They were definitely used after the turn of the century and we just don't think they appeared overnight. Of course by this time the holsters weren't quite so enveloping and they may have come about for the reason of helping hold the gun in the holster. Another reason for having a hammer thong with a low cut holster is to keep the hammer from cocking. I remember reading an article by Mike Venturino where this happened to him and I have had it happen to me with a Colt SAA. VERY SCARY!!
3) As for leg tie downs if you look closely at the left hand figure on our
Contact Info page you will notice he has a tied down holster. This drawing was made by Charlie Russell who was known to be a stickler for authenticity. Not for sure proof, but......

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