16 November 2011
I don't smoke but I do have a habit just as bad. I dip Skoal. Have for about 30 years. I've tried to quit and failed a few times. I always thought I'd do it one day but one day turned into two, then weeks, months, years and I still have that monkey riding me like a rented mule. So I made Michael a wager of sorts.
If we can both kick our respective habits by the end of the year I'll take the money I would have spent feeding my addiction and use it to purchase one of Michael's beautiful custom holsters for Lu. Talk about motivation. I dropped the comment with the challenge on Michael and he's all in. Because that's just the kind of guy he is. Now we both have a carrot dangling before us as well. Can you say Win/Win?
I can't decide if Lu's cheering us on for the health benefits or because there's a beautiful holster awaiting her should we be successful. (I'm betting on the health thing because that's just who she is but that holster is pretty darn nice icing)
Michael, thank you for the inspiration and taking me up on this challenge, it's just what I needed to do what I should have done a long time ago. As a man who has built his own business out of his courage and skills I know you can do it and hopefully drag me along on your coattails. I do fancy myself as a man with a certain amount of discipline so know that I am committed to wholehearted to this. Hang in there my brother, we're adding money to our pockets and cancer free years to our lives.
Good luck to us both. Words of encouragement to two men trying to give up the scourge of nicotine addiction will be greatly appreciated. Lu has promised not to take any sudden attack of the grumpies by yours truly personally. Angus has promised to take me for lots of walks. I've got a store of gum laid in.
Today is Day One for me.
Update: Michael left me a comment that maybe others might want to join us so I'll invite anyone with a tobacco jones to join us in kicking the habit. I'm on day one but Michael is tobacco free since Saturday. Angus is doing his part, he hauled me and Chrisi out to Jem Trail for a nice hike.
04 May 2011
I've been following The Ogre for a while now and he seems like a very knowledgeable guy and a good instructor. We've chatted over e-mail and through his website a bit and I'm comfortable turning myself over to him. It should be fun and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm a firm believer in training and this course should be a good one to re-acquire my base and get me back up to speed. I haven't shot competitively or in a true training environment in over a year. When you're a bit rusty going back to the beginning is often a good way to get your head straight. I plan on keeping my mouth shut and my ears open. It's just a one day course but The Ogre wants us to bring at least 300 rounds so I anticipate a lot of trigger time. I'm hoping to get in at least one more course this year, maybe something longer and more advanced. Provided I don't embarrass myself on Saturday. This is a good chance for me to evaluate Crusader because they're Utah based and not only do training but also have a line of pretty cool weapons as well as a lubrication system that looks very interesting.
I'm going to bring 2 guns and 2 rigs. My primary will be the new holster from Michael's and the G34. My backup will be a Sig 226 .40 in a nylon duty rig. I'll be bringing the camera so pictures will be forthcoming. I'll also have a write up on the training and how the new rig performed.
Now if I can just remember how this goes. Ogre, be gentle with me.
update: Thursday. The day I need to pack and get ready. Yeah, I'm sick. Frickin' fabulous. I'm still going though, if I have to have Lu haul my semi-comatose butt to the range on the trailer.
update 5/8/2011: The class got cancelled. Apparently on Friday the range decided they needed 700 bucks from Crusader before they'd allow the class. It never ceases to amaze me how short sighted some can be. It costs the range literally nothing to allow us to shoot there. I could totally see a modest fee for 'range upkeep' or some such but $700? Now I have a negative view of the range and will pass along that view to others. Maybe they don't care. My only answer is we're all in this together. If this is your attitude you're not only doing nothing to bring in new shooters to your facility, you're actively damaging the sport and potentially damaging the possibility of bringing in new people to the sport period. Get your heads on straight. Kudo's to The Ogre who did his best to notify us of the issue in time to avoid problems. That some of us didn't get it in time isn't his fault but the ranges and the idiots who are running it.
15 February 2011
This is the holster with mag carrier, belt and two extras; a small wallet with allen wrench and extra screws for the retention system and a nice dust bag for the whole rig. The first thing I noticed was the quality feel and absolutely perfect finish. The leather is thick and well formed with a nice softer leather lining. Hardware is brass, which sets off the brown color nicely if I do say so myself, with stainless screws. The edges are dyed black, including the belt slots. It's obvious that Michael's attention to detail is first rate. The basket weave pattern is sharp with darker dye in the crevices making it really pop. The three pieces color match very well.Here's the rig with G35 and two extra magazines in the carrier. The holster covers the trigger and the muzzle is flush with the bottom. The magazines sit high for easy access but there's sufficient coverage to hold them securely. They're still stiff from no use but even so both pistol and magazines fit well and release with a good tug. Both holster and carrier have an adjustable tension system that Michael came up with himself. Note the well formed pistol outline and the lack of visible stitching on the exterior of the holster and carrier. Both are made with hidden stitching. The belt has visible black stitching that is a nice, subtle touch while being virtually invisible. The holster has a slightly forward cant but is nearly neutral.
Here's the back of the rig. The belt lining is smooth tan leather while the holster and carrier are unfinished leather that's tough and I expect will wear well. Note the brass plates with stainless steel allen head screws. That's the adjustable tension system. It'll allow me to adjust the tension holding in both pistol and magazines on the fly and as the rig wears in. The pistol and magazines cannot release during hard use and competition but also can't stick. They have to fit snugly enough to be retained but release when I need them. I'll most likely end up using Blue Loc Tite on the screws but I won't know until I've run it for a while. The belt buckle is brass as are the retention screws. You can see the white stitching on the back of the holster and carrier.
Here's an overhead view inside the mag carrier. You can see the lining and the tension system. On the right you can just see the hidden stitches. How the heck does he do that anyway?Another view of the wallet, allen wrench with extra screws and dust bag. I have always said that I'll pay more for good service. It's the little things that make me smile and these were an unexpected and delightful touch. A small thing I know but very much appreciated. Way too many folks out there will give you the absolute minimum, only what they must and has been contracted for. Customer Service doesn't begin only if you have a problem. If the relationship starts out well it's a good indication it'll end well.
Here's an end view showing the black dyed edges and the thickness of the leather as well as the inward curve of the holster and carrier. I didn't get a chance to try it on yet (that should happen tomorrow) but in holding them up to my waist they fit very naturally.
I am just as pleased as punch. This is the first custom rig I've ever had and I couldn't be happier so far. It's exactly what I had in mind when I first started down this road and that's thanks to Michael's hard work and devotion to giving me what I envisioned along with what I needed. When ordering a custom rig like this one it's vital to have an open dialogue between customer and holster maker and Michael and I spent a lot of time trading ideas back and forth until we narrowed it down to what you see here. It's absolutely drop dead gorgeous. Pictures truly do not do it justice. It's a work of art. Fit and finish are first rate and the quality of materials and craftsmanship really shine through. Michael is an artist.
The proof is in the pudding however and I intend wring this rig out as hard as I can. Time will tell but from initial impressions I'm confident it can take anything I can dish out. I'm certainly intending to run it as hard as I can. This will not be a closet Queen. It's a competition rig and will be used as such.
I am so happy. Thanks Michael.
22 January 2011
Michael sent me a picture and it's sweet but I'll let you decide for yourself.
Pure, unadulterated awesomeness. Holster, mag carrier and belt all as a matched rig. He has finish work to do yet but the rig is essentially built and it is a very large slice basketweave goodness. I cannot wait to get it in my sweaty hands. As soon as I do it'll be out to the range for a test run and some break in time.
I'm going to be sitting out on the front sidewalk waiting and watching for the delivery guy until it gets here.