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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Privateer Leather

If you haven’t heard of Privateer Leather…shame on you. They make a fantastic holster. There really isn’t enough I can say about the quality. The stitching is even and tough. The leather is top quality and a great thickness. The mouth of the holster stays open for re-holstering. Is there really anything else we look for in a holster?

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Changes at Crusader

There is going to be some big unexpected changes around here. They aren’t changes I wanted to make but the time has come to face them.

With the loss of our Senior Trainor just over a month away we’ve had a lot of things to consider. What happens to the training program that he spearheaded? Does it die, here on the Wasatch front, or do we continue to carry the torch.

My decision came after a lot of thought. We still have our Concealed Carry instructor. We can build on that and work our way back into the other courses. In doing so we have the opprotunity to make a lot of improvements.

For starters we will expand on the Concealed Carry concepts. We will be adding three courses to do just that. By summer we will be able to move new and more experienced shooters through CCW courses into our new Defensive Mindset course. From there we’ll get them on the range for Basic CCW Concepts and into Advanced Concealed Carry. These are courses I’ve had on the back burner for a while now. It’s time to roll them out.

We’ll be re-adding our other courses as well. Though George is never truly leaving us (he will still have his promotional duties) I think we would do his memory a disservice to let the courses he spearheaded die out. He trained us, his staff, well. It’s time for us to get some practice in teaching and then bring it back to the public. We’ll be taking a close look at everything while we do. If there’s room for imporvement it will be made before it goes public.

So, while we’re all sadened at the loss of our Senior Trainer, his work will go on.

Utah Permitless Carry

I’ve been following the Constitutional Carry bill here in Utah. Well that’s what it started out as.

In it’s original form it was a bold piece of legislation that made all of us proud. Then came the pressure from the Salt Lake hippies. Before the bill was even contested…I mean there was barely time for the assigned committee to discuss it…and the bill’s author neutered it. The Constitutional Carry portion was reduced to not needing a permit as long as there was no round in the chamber. To carry loaded and ready you still need a permit.

Through my disappointment I completely missed the one good point that was left. You see, if the governor signs this then we don’t get charged charged with disturbing the peace the next time someone spots you carrying and freaks out. We have open carry here but that means little if a scared little sheep reports it. Soon that will no longer be an issue.

CCW Discussion

As a topic of discussion Concealed Carry is a vast topic. Everyone talks about the big issues, hoster choice, EDC pistol, number of magazines carried, and even carry position. I think we miss some of the smaller areas and it’s really a shame. I’d like to post up a couple that have been on my mind and encourage you to reply with other such smaller CCW skills.

Jackets are fantastic for fall and winter. They make concealment a lot easier. Here’s one thing that I make a personal practice that no one talks about. Make sure your jacket has pockets that zip closed. Carry your car keys in the strong side pocket. This gives some weight to that side of the jacket and will give some decent momentum to the corner of the jacket. This makes it easier to toss aside that side of the jacket if you have to draw your weapon.

Another aspect of a jacket or hoody is the pocket itself. I make it a point, every time I get in the Crusader Battlewagon or any vehicle for that matter, to do a quick double check of the pocket. If it has a zip closure, which I recommend for a concealment jacket (for your keys), if it isn’t zipped up and you have to “roll out” it could snag on your arm rest and prevent you from getting out of the vehicle. It’s a “when seconds count” issue. If you have to exit the vehicle in a hurry to deal with an issue (draw fire away from kids in the car, for instance) and the jacket pocket snags on the arm rest….you’re fighting the jacket to get out of the car instead of fighting the enemy.

So, like I said. No one discusses the small things but we should. It’s the small things that can make a big difference when it hits the fan. With the slight rise in mass murder in the US we Sheepdogs need to be able to talk about our readyness level and how to improve reaction times.

Need some help

I need all of your input on something. I thought I had run into an isolated insident but recently I ran into the same wall. Alright, maybe a little back story is needed.

A few years back an old boss brought in a new business manager. He was a Marine recon sniper. He knew his guns, obviously, but his attitude toward civilian guns was really off. His view was that the military and law enforcement was the only ones worthy to be armed. He still worked in the firearm industry even though he was opposed to anyone being allowd to buy what he was selling.

Now, just this past week at church, I find another one. We have a Navy Special Warfare officer. Worked “with” the SEALS, been through Airborne school, deployed in the war and now is finishing his 20yrs out in the reserves. A man full of honor. Or so one would think. He’s one I just can’t get a bead on.

For someone with his background he should be confident, right. Well he’s been put in charge of teaching the young men at church. Shouldn’t be a big deal for an Anapolis grad with a bad to the bone background yet I see him asking the kids if he did a good job, looking for their approval, and genuinely sheepish about the answer. I don’t get that. I don’t get that at all.

The latest insident that made me shake my head…there’s a group of guys at church wanting their concealed permits. They see it as a way to be better prepared in a world that’s increasingly going down the tubes. Especially after the election and I’m glad to see some of the “sheeple” waking up and wanting to become sheepdogs. When our Navy man was asked if he wanted to be an addition to the CCW class we’re putting together. His reply was in the negetive but the most interesting part was HOW he said it. “With the things I know I don’t ever want to carry a weapon again.” His eyes betrayed him. I’m sure on his deployment he saw some nasty stuff. But it wasn’t the things he did, or saw, or anything else. It was the things he knew that made him not want to be around weapons. I’ve had this guy at the range. In trying to get one of the boy scouts we took shooting to have a decent stance….his for wasn’t just practiced it was perfect. He knows his stuff. But why would that push you away from what you do best?

It went further. He commented later that the guys at church that was in the little self defense group, he actually trusted to know martial arts, and would be the only ones he would trust with a weapon much less a CCW.

I have a problem with that. Everyone has the right to defend themselves and their family. I’ll be the first one to admit that there are some out there that need more training that others to just get away from being a danger to themselves and others with a firearm. But even they have a right to safety.

All of that aside, my big question is this, is there a growing trend in the military that is anti second amendment? Is there a growing culture within our warriors that sees themselves as the only one worthy of carrying or owning a weapon? Much like the Samari culture was. Only they were allowed to carry a sword. What makes a warrior fear his own weapons and make him want to keep others from them?

Concealed vs. Open Carry

There’s a lot going around the internet on this subject lately. A seemingly endless barrage of videos can be found on YouTube of people carrying in the open just to get attention from law enforcement. If you don’t agree with those folks you’re berated for not believing in the Second Amendment.  It’s something that’s worth saying a few words about.

First off I believe in having open carry laws on the books. All that really does is gives us a “cops be gone” card. Here in Utah we have an OC law and I have carried in this manner on occasion. At first it was just for work. The local shop that I gunsmithed for had a no compromise OC policy. I have to admit I loved it. But being in a gun shop it made sense as a deterrent.  After all, who wants to knock over a shop full of guys carrying openly. It basically says, “robbery attempts will be shot to death…and then a few more full magazines will be applied to make sure you’re not a zombie.” When out in public I found here that if you dress like you know what you’re doing, you are clean cut, and you’re not a jerk then most think you’re a plain clothed cop. They stair to see what you’re carrying and what holster. I was really surprised when I had to meet my wife after work and I had nothing to cover my gun up with. We were at the mall, of all Ungodly places. I expected to have a run in with people calling the police about a madman in the store with a gun and had mentally prepared myself for that. I actually sailed through the entire evening without a second glance. One of those, look and act professional and no one cares, type of nights. I was actually relieved to not have big hassles.

Now, I’m not going to go into the tactics of each. I think both carry options have their advantages and disadvantages and is better served by an actual discussion rather than a “this is my blog, my opinion, and I don’t give a crap what you think” kind of post. It just wouldn’t do the issue any good.

Here’s my issue. In places were open carry is legal there are a lot of people that do so quietly and I have no issue with that. If confronted they are respectful to law enforcement, present their I.D. or carry permit, and if the establishment they are in has a problem with open carry (or any carry for that matter) they act in a way that doesn’t cause alarm. Other people are just out for a pleasant evening and it would be rude to disrupt that. Besides, look at it from their perspective. You make a scene and have to be escorted off the premises by police and you look like a criminal or at the very least a complete jerk. But like I said, for the most part that isn’t an issue.

Then there are those that, as a rule, only carry concealed. I have to admit that I typically fall into this category because it’s the kind of guy I am. Kind of the “sheepdog in sheep’s clothing” type of thing. It’s not because I’m scared of the masses or of getting harassed by the police. I just value the ability to blend in. No one really sees you coming and it gives you a trump card instead of having all your cards on the table before a bad situation starts. I think most concealed carry folks think similarly.

Now, there’s a third group which I just can’t condone. These are the in your face, walking down the street with an MP5 clone on my back, openly carrying just to get the reaction of law enforcement on video, I know my rights but don’t care if it scares the sheeple type of guys. These morons make us all look like a bunch of loud mouthed redneck asshats. There’s a huge difference between knowing you can openly carry, doing so, and calmly dealing with law enforcement in such a way that the sheeple see that you treated them with respect and acted in a professional manner. These people see us throwing a fit and quoting legal code and all they see is that they are glad the the police have shown up to deal with a potential deadly situation. Act with respect and have the police check your ID and send you on your way, probably thanking you for helping them keep the neighborhood safe, and the sheeple will think something different entirely. They will see that you are competent, intelligent, and an asset to sheeple everywhere.

Come on people. No one wants you to fold on or give up your rights. We want respectful gun owners adding to the community. Not asshats being a thorn in law enforcement’s side and making a scene. You want to be drama queens, go into community theater and quit making gun owners everywhere look bad.

Carry on…

-GunDoc