ARCHIVE - ISSUE TEN - JANUARY 2015 COVER - FEATURED PICTORIAL - TRAINING - LIFESTYLE - REVIEWS ARCHIVE - ISSUE TEN - JANUARY 2015
Leather Handgun Bag by ChickaBomb Review
I’ve got range bags and tactical backpacks galore, so when I head out to practice or training I’m all set. But how many of us have a cool little bag for JUST our gun, for when we want to take it somewhere and don’t need to bring ammo, eye/ear pro, and everything else we pile into those range bags? That’s where the Leather Handgun Bag from brand new company ChickaBomb comes in.
Now, it just so happens that the owner/designer at ChickaBomb is none other than Sure Shots co-leader Carrin Welch, and if there is anyone who has a handbag obsession, it’s Carrin… so I knew even before seeing these bags that they’d have to be something special. And they are!
ChickaBomb’s leather handgun bag comes in 3 sizes and various colors. My favorite is the small bag, with soft embossed leather in red. It’s perfect for small guns, like the Ruger LCP or a snub-nose .38 Special. It’s so beautiful it can be carried out in public, but can also easily slip into your purse. It’s also a lovely way to store a gun in your safe, and saves on space, since it’s much thinner and smaller than the average gun box—and all you have to do is just grab it and go.
The bag is made of bright, embossed leather with a really cool retro graphic-design fabric padded interior, and heavy duty zippers. And an added cool-factor: It’s made by hand, by women in Washington state.
- Niki Jones
Gun Sleeve by Saddleback Leather Review
A few years ago, a client gifted me with the most gorgeous leather tote bag I'd ever seen. I was unfamiliar with the brand--Saddleback Leather—so I looked it up, and I was blown away that I'd had no idea this company existed. While the promotional and marketing of this company reads somewhat like the J. Peterman catalog on Seinfeld, it's interesting to see Saddleback's owner, Dave, traveling around the world with his gorgeous leather goods, snapping photos of the bags in exotic locations. Yes, this is a very high-end "lifestyle" brand. But unlike many other high-end brands, Saddleback Leather has the quality and craftsmanship to back it up. Plus, a lifetime guarantee.
In September of this year, when Saddleback announced that it had some brand new items, I couldn't wait to check them out. Imagine my surprise when I saw a menu item called "GUNS"! And there they were: two of the most beautiful gun bags I'd ever seen. One was called a Pistol Wrap, and the other was called a Gun Sleeve. But, this was much more than a gun sleeve. When I think "sleeve", I think of something simple and open-ended. This was a true rifle (or shotgun) bag, in Saddleback's heavy, sturdy, top-quality, smooth (and delicious-smelling) leather. It is comprised of two pieces, with a belt-buckle strap that is adjustable so that the bag fits to the length of the shotgun or rifle inside. While Saddleback bags are all lined with a durable pigskin, THIS bag has a fluffy, removable, washable sheepskin lining, so your gun won't get scratched or banged up. The bag also has a sturdy top handle as well as a removable shoulder strap.
I ordered mine immediately, just in time for the Remington Great Americans Shoot where I was volunteering as a trapper. We got to shoot the entire sporting clays course beforehand, and the bag was so comfortable to carry—the shoulder strap length was great, and the balance/weight of the bag was perfect while carrying with the top handle. So, of course I needed to show it off, so I set it on the shotgun rack at my station, and watched as the teams came through throughout the tournament. Of course it got noticed! Just like my Saddleback tote bag gets compliments everywhere I take it, this Gun Sleeve gets just as much attention. I even keep it out in my house; I couldn't imagine putting this gorgeous item in a closet!
Like all of Saddleback Leather's items, the Gun Sleeve is available in their four signature colors: Carbon (a cool dusty/distressed black), Chestnut (a rich reddish-brown), Dark Coffee Brown, and Tobacco (a distressed warm honey). For mine, I chose Chestnut, because it matches that gorgeous tote of mine and also reminds me of saddles and other happy horse memories!
- Niki Jones
"Athena" Inside the Waistband Customizable Leather Holster
by Gun Goddess Review
In our last issue of Sure Shots Magazine, I talked about how Inside-the-Waistband holsters were my go-to way of carrying, and I reviewed a custom Kydex holster from The Well Armed Woman that I loved. It was black and white zebra, and super cool! But what about when you want a more low-profile option? I have found a beautiful and comfortable IWB holster from Gun Goddess. It's called Athena, and it's awesome.
First, it's completely customizable. You choose your gun model as well as your leather color (5 different options) and thread colors (26 different options). I chose black leather with red stitching for my Sig P928.
When the holster arrived, I was impressed with the quality of the leather. It was thick, and the surface was very smooth and soft. The design of the Athena is perfect in that there isn't any extraneous material—just what is needed to safely hold the gun in place. This is important to me because when I'm carrying in the waistband, I want there to be as little volume taking up the limited space in my waistband as possible. The muzzle end of the Athena is open, which is great because there's not that extra few millimeters of seam to close it, which sounds negligible, but actually makes a big difference in whether or not it jabs into my leg when I sit.
The best thing about the Athena, for me, is that it rides low enough that the grip of the gun is only 1/4" to 1/2" above the waistband, so it is super low profile, even if your shirt should ride up.
I never wear a belt, so the strength of the clip is very important to me. The Athena did not disappoint. It grabbed onto my waistband and was not going anywhere no matter how roughly I drew my gun. The tension in the holster itself is the perfect amount of tension—I never feel like it's going to fall out when I bend over.
The Athena did need to be "worked in" a bit: At the very beginning, when it was brand new and the leather was a little stiff, my 938 often got jammed down into the holster, making it too tight on the rear sights, so it was tougher to "free" it to draw. This problem was very short-lived—it just took a week or so of putting the gun in and taking it out to work the leather to a more pliable state, and it hasn't happened since.
Often I get asked by husbands who want to surprise their wives which leather holster I recommend, and the Athena is the answer. But, all you husbands… good luck picking the right color combo—for that, you're on your own!
- Niki Jones