Privateer Leather

527ab3_16bb578a9b894ac9a2d905a3e7821317I know I’ve written about this company before but you’ll come to see that I come back to companies that I like. No, there’s no pay involved or even an extra nice word about us, I simply do it because I really like their work. That’s the case with Privateer Leather.

Service with this company is fantastic. A few months ago a friend was looking for his first carry holster…without a uniform being involved…so I let him know about Privateer. When I sent Wes (the owner of Privateer Leather) an email telling him that I was sending a 527ab3_b254bd78b93440129ca2f6dba19ad6cefriend his way I had a reply the same day. This wasn’t the only interaction I’ve had with Wes and always got the same fast response. I really appreciate a company that is not only prompt but seems genuinely pleased to hear from customers.

So how’s the quality, you ask? All Privateer holsters and belts are made from Hermann Oak, A-grade, leather (hides from American cows, tanned in St. Louis, Missouri). They use bonded polyester thread, for UV and sweat resistance. Where applicable, Pull-The-Dot one-way snaps are used. The belt buckles are made from solid low-lead brass. Basically, the best hardware and materials available.

Privateer doesn’t use double-stitching, normally, because they use thread that’s considerably heavier than what most other makers use. That makes double-stitching not only difficult but also unnecessary. The exception is that double-stitch is used around the belt tunnels on the avenger-style holsters (and Privateer considers it more for looks than 527ab3_0890f733a387472bb183a6cb5d69d990any need for reinforcement). All of their holsters have a body shield and reinforced mouth as standard features (but will make them without by request).

I have one of their Highwayman models. It is probably their most popular model, according to Wes, and I can see why. I love mine. It stays snug against my hip, it’s built like a Marine LAV-25 fighting vehicle, and comfortable enough for all day carry. To be honest it’s my outside the waistband go-to holster.

gunbeltCarry and dress belts are another great result of the product vision of Privateer Leather. I haven’t had the opportunity to try one out yet so I’ll save comments on them for another time. Visually speaking, they look great and would be a fitting addition to casual or even dress attire.

We can’t end without saying something about their mag carriers. They have all the same sturdy construction as their counterparts with some really cool features. Close your eyes and think for a minute…what’s the one uncomfortable thing about carrying mags (no I’m not talking about weight)? I’m a big guy so for me it’s the bottom corner of the mags digging into my side or the corner of the carrier doing the same thing. Well for those of us with that problem, Wes has a solution. I know we all enjoy the body shield section of a holster…well why not include that on your mag carriers too? Privateer has done just that with their Limpet model. They give you the option of full shield, half, or none. See what I mean below.

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Front of the Limpet model

Of course they have a few other models but this was one with features I just had to share. I do enjoy the FBI cant to the mags but of course I

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Rear of Limpet model

have to be difficult. For me, and this is just my opinion for my body type and carry style, I would like to see them cant slightly to the rear. I think, key word there, think that would give the hand a natural angle to fall onto the magazine. Depending on the angle and carrier tightness, one could simple pull almost straight from there with no issues. Again…my funky opinion dealing with my funky body construction.

I’d like to say that was it…but like all good companies Privateer is always innovating. I heard this morning that I will be getting pictures of a new project in a few weeks. That’s right…new Privateer awesomeness. So go take a look. I don’t intend to give these out to everyone but Privateer has earned the Gundoc Seal of Approval.

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Frog Lube

Being in the gun lube business I don’t normally post about any other brands. However, I’m going to take this opportunity to share my first impressions. I’ve heard from others about their stories and haven’t really paid any attention because I was never going to use the stuff. This time is different because I got a sample of Frog Lube included with a muzzle brake. I won’t give the brand of break because I don’t want to cast any light on them because of this post.

Sample Tubes

Okay, here it it. First impression…..

The tube was stiff. I thought that was odd. I had to ask myself, “this is supposed to be oil, right?” Well, I continued to squeeze the tube for a moment and it broke loose and became viscus again.

First thought, “whiskey, tango, foxtrot?”

I don’t want to defame the company in any way here so please don’t take this as having any intention to do so. This experience brings up what I think is a valid question. If it dries out in the tube, which is air tight, what is it going to do on my gun? This tube was hardened like it had a wax interior shell. This stuff does the same thing on your gun because you store it for some length of time and you have the potential for malfunctions because of the hardened lube. Sorry, and truly no offense meant here Frog Lube, but I don’t want a malfunction of my nightstand gun because it hasn’t been fired in a few days. I don’t know how long it took to get that way in the tube but without even opening the sample I already don’t trust it enough to put it on any of my weapons. I think the sample will more likely be headed for the trash. Sorry, bro.

Fortis Switch Handguard

So, yeah I’ve taken a look at Fortis in the past. I always thought their stuff was kind of “novelty gear”. So when I had a customer request a Fortis handguard be put on his Broadsword I was a little skeptical. Customer’s always right…except when their wrong…right?

So this handguard comes in. It was about the same cost as the Apex and more than I expected it to be. I take a look at this thing before ordering it and we’re talking about a keymod handguard with an integral top rail. To be honest that’s all most Broadsword customer’s want, anyway. So I was still okay with it so far.

The thing that got me about the Fortis Switch was the locking system. This thing comes with it’s own barrel nut designed to go with only this handguard. Okay, no biggie because they all do the proprietary thing. The pucker factor came from the fact that this thing basically has a quick release lever holding the handguard to the barrel nut. (pauses till the old horror movie shrieks subside) Okay, skip to the completed installation. I tweak and pull on this quick release handguard and the thing doesn’t move. No….I said did NOT move. This stupid thing was on there rock solid. I look down at the monstrosity I have just created and voice my approval with my best evil laugh.

Though I admit that I haven’t taken this handguard through and extensive rifle course or anything. I did, however, pound it with a rubber mallet and was  pleasantly surprised to find out that this thing is on there rock solid. I’m impressed. Impressing me isn’t an easy thing to do. So I have to tip my had to Fortis for a quality piece of engineering and offer the Gundoc Seal of Approval.

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Rossi 92

I recently had a Rossi 92 in the shop for a Slipstream treatment and action job. On first inspection it looks good. I was shocked to find that the stocks were actually finished properly. Pores filled and beautifully smooth. Then I got on the inside of the rifle….

This thing is NOT a Win92 on the inside. Sure they kept to some of the same principles. The lever is still held in a similar fashion. The bolt has been re-engineered and I’m not a fan. Trigger was still simple. I like simple. Simple firearm mechanisms mean there is less to go wrong.

The action was pretty rough to start out with. Now, some of the issues I’ll go into were on the original 92 as well so don’t take them as horrible factors.

1. Sharp edges. Everything was machined and then left with the razor blade corners. That goes for parts as well as the frame. It took longer than I thought to go through and round out ever edge on every part.

2. I like to see a company polish out the tool marks on surfaces that can’t be normally seen. That wasn’t the case here. With modern manufacturing practices the only excuse for this is a cost cutter. For me I see them taking less pride in their product.

3. If it ain’t broke…DON’T FIX IT. Some of the falling away from the original blueprints wasn’t needed. I’m sure it’s been long enough that you don’t have patent restrictions. Get rid of that ridiculous firing pin safety. The mechanism is so small that I would fear that it wouldn’t work in the first place. There was nothing wrong with the 92’s design. Don’t try to fix it if you don’t have to.

Anyway, final opinion….I hope the customer enjoys his rifle. I’ll make sure I personally stay away from Rossi though.