Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Bill McLennan Leather


I like leather holsters, belts, and mag pouches, and it takes an artist to create leather gear that works well and looks good. Assembly line products function well, but there is a difference between that and a piece of gear that was created by someone who worked with care through each step of the process. For this type leather Bill McLennan, www.texasholsters.com, is at the top of the list.

Bill was one of the original “Death Cheaters,” a nickname for instructors at the Thunder Ranch Texas (TRT) location. I met him during my first class there, and after I became an instructor there I got to know him well during hours spent around the “campfire” at the instructors’ bunkhouse after classes. He is a true Texas gentleman, one of the most knowledgeable men I know when it comes to art of gunfightin’, and a gun-leather artist.

After many years of teaching, in San Antone as their P.D.’s rangemaster and the majority of classes at TRT, he’s seen a lot of gear, and as he says on his website after watching thousands of students and their holsters the ones he builds “work or I wouldn’t build them.” Bill’s designs and skills are heavily influenced by the work of Bruce Nelson, Milt Sparks and Tony Kanaly, and Thad Rybka. (Search the ‘net and you’ll figure out that these are solid people to have as mentors.)

Texas Holsters has a limited product line, which is the way Bill likes it. He makes holsters for 1911’s, the Glock 22 and 27, S&W 2 inch J frames, and 4 inch barrel K and N frame Smiths. They come in smooth-side out or my favorite, rough side out, and any color as long as it’s natural color leather; he doesn’t dye or work with “drum” dyed leather. Bill offers a couple of outside the waistband style holsters, which work well for concealed carry, and inside-the-waistband models for more concealment.

A good holster requires the proper belt, and Bill offers these as well as mag pouches, slings, and nice cuffs for shotguns and lever actions. I own several examples of Bill’s work, and for carry they fit and function as it should. Bill’s leather also looks good, which is why I use it for my Sunday go to meetin’ leather. After all, there are times when my work leather, which sees constant use and abuse, just doesn’t meet the dress code.

Check out Bill’s website, and if you see something you like get with him at texasholsters@gmail.com. But I have to warn you, Bill is through and through Texas, which means he doesn’t have a lot of time for idle chit-chat, so for my sake don’t waste any of his time. On Bill’s website it says: “Gun Leather: made by hand, by one man, one piece at a time.” For fine leather that will withstand actual use and looks good this is the way it should be.

October 20, 2011 - Posted by | Gear

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