Monday, February 4, 2008

D.M. Bullard Dual Carry Conceal

Last summer, in an unsuccessful attempt to escape the steamy Texas heat, I headed out to the historical town of Mesquite to take in the local gun show. While perusing the isles I ran across the booth of D.M. Bullard Leather Mfg. To be honest, the generous spread of beautifully crafted leather goods actually stopped me in my tracks, mainly because I am a sucker for fine looking leather. I struck up a conversation with owner and maker, David Bullard, who then took the time to show me a few holsters, and explain the what-for behind their design. David was passionate about his work, and I was impressed by the quality. By the end of our conversation I knew that it was inevitable that I would be ordering a holster from him in the future.

A few months after the gun show I purchased a revolver - the Ruger SP101 in .357 magnum - with the intent of making it my daily carry sidearm to compliment my ever-present J-frame, holstered in-pocket. Of course, I needed a concealment holster for everyday wear, but because of comfort concerns had not made up my mind yet if I should go with an inside-the-waistband (IWB), or outside-the-waistband (OWB) model.

While searching the Internet for a new holster, I remembered my conversation with David Bullard, and stopped by his website to refresh my aging memory. Low and behold, one of the holsters, the Dual Carry Conceal could be worn IWB or OWB. Perfect. The holster sounded like a great option given my situation, and the price was right at $69.95, so I ordered one on the spot.

D.M. Bullard stocks several model holsters for quick shipping, and as luck would have it, my holster was in-stock and on my doorstep two days later. David tells me that turnaround time on custom ordered holsters is about 4-6 weeks at the time of this writing. That’s not too shabby considering some of the lead times on custom leather these days.

Bullard uses 100% Herman Oak leather for the standard Dual Carry Conceal. In order to allow for maximum concealment, the holster in unlined, and the mouth of the holster is not reinforced, but the shape and cut still allow a smooth draw. In addition, the inside layer of leather gives much appreciated protection between the hard, steel surfaces of the gun and skin, and the outside layer minimizes printing. The generous distance between the belt clips does an excellent job of pulling the butt of the gun towards the body - a pet peeve of mine. The DCC comes standard with a healthy butt-forward cant, but if the cant isn’t quite your cup of tea, dual positioning holes allow for additional adjustment.

In the past, many of the leather holsters that I’ve worn have taken quite a bit of time to break in. The DDC was pretty good right out of the box, and within three days it was very comfortable with my 2.25’ barreled SP101 on board, and I‘m sure that it would be just as comfortable with the 3 and a smidge inch version too. Gun retention is just right for my purposes - not too tight, but not too loose either. Like I said…just right. Concealment is more than adequate even under a thin t-shirt, and the belt clips do their part in keeping the holster and gun in one place.

While it doesn’t afford as much concealment as an IWB or a pancake style holster, the option of carrying the SP101 outside the waistband does transform the Dual Carry Conceal into a decent belt holster for field, woods, or range use. A nice touch if you can only afford one holster for each handgun. Changing from IWB to OWB is as simple as removing the screws and moving the black steel belt clips from front to back. If you prefer Kydex belt clips to those made of steel, they are available as an option for $15.00.

D.M. Bullard Leather offers several unique holster designs for both revolvers and semi-auto’s, as well as belts, mag holders, knife sheaths, cowboy action rigs and other accessories. Standard holster material is 100% Herman Oak leather, with tooling and lining offered as popular options. For those of you that like your rigs a bit fancier - tiger shark, stingray, alligator, crocodile, lizard, ostrich, and other exotics are also available upon request.

David is a one-man shop, making quality leather craft with a Texas flair for over seventeen years. Heck, he even wears a cowboy hat.