Leather holsters have been used for ages because they offer reliable weapon retention, durability, comfort and aesthetics. Many designs and variations exist, but cowhide leather remains among the most popular holster materials on the market today.
However, for those folks seeking an added touch of class, holsters made from exotic materials offer a unique style and are tough enough to withstand the rigors of daily carry.
When it comes to unique style, exotic leathers are an excellent choice. You may be familiar with many hides like pig, alligator and ostrich. But other leathers such as cape buffalo, hippo, stingray, elephant, lizard and even frog are also available, each of which make for great holster designs. Which one you choose has to do with your personal needs, your tastes and your budget.
It's important to note that the leather holsters listed here all come from animals that are either farmed for consumption (pig and ostrich) or the skins are harvested legally from species that are not endangered.
This showcase of exotic holsters is sure to take you for a walk on the wild side.
Andrews Hornback Crocodile Wrapid Thumbreak Holster
makes this Wrapid Thumbreak Holster in Hornback crocodile. Crocodile and alligator skin is tough, and the hornback version gives each piece a uniquely rough exterior.
Andrews 2-Gun Alligator Rig
This Alligator skin rig from Andrews
adds a unique, rough texture that is both durable and striking.
Andrews Ostrich Saddle Holster
This is an Andrews
Saddle Holster made from ostrich skin. Ostrich leg is a popular holster, and the skin has variable texture that looks great. It's also a very durable choice.
Andrews Spinal Stingray IPSC Saddle Holster
This is an IPSC Saddle Holster made by Andrews leather in spinal stingray. Stingray skin has a smooth, tight surface that is comfortable to wear against the skin. It's also popular because it is resistant to the wear.
ETW Stingray Paddle Holster
] holsters are constructed from premium grade North American steer hide (highest quality leather available for manufacturing holsters) with your choice of exotic skin on the exterior, ' says Megan Whitley of ETW Holsters. This is an LCP paddle holster with stingray skin.
ETW Chocolate Elephant Rig
Chocolate Elephant Rig (pancake holster, magazine holder and belt) has slots that accommodate dual layer gun belts up to 1 ¾ inches.
Megan Whitley of ETW says, 'Two slots allow the holster to be pulled tight to the body. The flat back side of the holster conforms to the curve of your hip and the sweat shield keeps the firearm from rubbing against your body for a comfortable all day carry. This classic design is fit for open or concealed carry. '
ETW Brown Pancake Gator Holster
Brown Pancake Gator Holster has a glossy, highly-textured exterior. All ETW holsters are hand-molded using a technique called 'boning. ' The resulting holster offers superior retention qualities and a distinctive fit.
ETW Shark IWB Holster
Like all other ETW
Holsters, the IWB (inside the waistband) shark is made in America. Shark skin is smooth and comfortable to wear, even against skin, but it is an extremely durable exotic that can stand up to serious use. It's also one of the most economical options. ETW has two employees that make their exotic holsters, and between them they have over 40 years of combined leatherworking experience.
ETW Ostrich Paddle Holster
This is the ETW
Ostrich Paddle Holster.
'The comfortable leather paddle slides over the top of your pants so there is no need to wear a belt, ' says Megan Whitley. 'You won't find a holster easier to take on and off, perfect for people on-the-go. As a female I prefer this style. It isn't too bulky, it looks really good and I can't even tell I'm wearing it. Holster is lined inside and sweat shield keeps the firearm from rubbing against your body. ' .
ETW Gator Inlay Paddle Holster
Gator Paddle Inlay has black trim with white alligator skin, a striking combination. This holsters offers the texture of gator skin with the comfort of smooth leather, and the bi-color design makes it look great.
Galco Pigskin Holster
Most of us don't consider pigskin exotic, but it has one of the tightest grains of any leather and it is very smooth and durable. It's also one of the most affordable options in exotic leathers. This Galco
model is designed to fit a standard 1911.
Galco Alligator Holster
This is a Galco
alligator holster in dark brown. Alligator skin is perhaps the most distinctive of all exotics, and the rough texture gives these holsters a unique look. It's also very strong and durable, so gator skins aren't simply for looks.
Galco Stingray Holster
1911 stingray paddle holster is shown here. Stingray skin has a very smooth exterior and it is resistant to moisture, an important consideration when selecting a holster for concealed carry.
Galco Shark Holster
is one of the largest holster manufacturers, and they have a large lineup of exotic options. This black tigershark rig is a popular option.
According to Galco's Mike Barnham, 'Tiger Shark is our most popular exotic hide. It combines rarity, beauty and durability at a price most people can afford. '
Andrews Blue Frog Rapid Holster
This is an Andrews
Blue Frog Rapid holster for a carry revolver. Most people don't immediately associate frogs with holster leather, but frog skin is tough and has a smooth texture.