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My 1st Place entry from the 2019World Leather Debut. This makes 4 wins for 5 Shot Leather, LLC.
I am John Ralston, and 5 SHOT LEATHER, LLC. Making craftsman quality gunleather has been my passion for the past 15 years, and I could not have done it without the love and support of my wife and family.
Every item that leaves the shop is hand crafted, and I take great pride in each and every piece. My goal is to provide each customer with a piece of equipment that is a great value and one that they can be proud to wear. I strive to use the best materials available, so that a superior product can be expected.
As you browse my web site, you may see exactly what you are after, but if you don't, just ask. I am more than happy to create a truly custom piece to your liking.
I owe a great deal to the legendary Lou Alessi. Lou shared many, many tips, tricks and secrets of the trade, and is responsible for the quality of the work that I produce today. I could not have come this far without his help, and I am very grateful for that. His passing this year is a great loss to us all, but I am glad that I had a chance to meet him and have him call me a friend. I will truly miss him.
I have also been influenced by the designs, craftsmanship and friendships of others in the business, including Joshua Bulman, Matt Del Fatti and Tony Kanaley of Milt Sparks. I aspire to someday produce holsters that can be compared to the works of art that these three gentlemen create.
Thank you for looking,
The web site looks great, and I wanted to thank you publicly for the very kind words you had to say about me helping you.
What little help I was able to give you wouldn't have mattered if you didn't have the talent, the passion, and the drive to stick with it, and improve your product with every holster you made.
I've seen the transition from hobbyist to professional over the last couple years, and it's been my pleasure, and honor to have had a small hand in your development, but make no mistake, you did this yourself.
I'm proud to call you a friend, and I wish you all the success you deserve.
1911Forum.com 3.31.06 - Reprinted here, with the permission of the late Lou Alessi - 10.28.1944-2.21.2009
Hopefully 2020 will see lead times shorten drastically for all orders. I have brought in an apprentice, in an effort to get my head above water. I have been making good progress this spring, and he is learning very quickly. He has been a huge help in the shop and hopefully will begin stitching and boning by the end of the year.
This Year you can find 5 Shot Leather, LLC Holsters on the Langdon Tactical website. I am making the SME for the Beretta 92 and PX4 and they are keeping them stocked up.
Leather, Dye and hardware prices continue to climb, so you will see updated prices for this year. I haven't updated them since 2017. I can assure you, however, that you will be very happy with your purchase. I still strive to make each holster better than the last and I can see the difference in comparing today's holsters with those from just last year.
Heirloom Precision LLC
I have mentioned in previous blog posts that I tend to favor Appendix Inside the WaistBand concealed carry, colloquially known as AIWB for short. While there are a number of different benefits to “appendix carry”, my primary reason for using it is quite simple: It’s better at hiding a pistol than just about any other method I’ve tried. One of the downsides of appendix carry is that shoving a handgun down the front of your pants can be quite uncomfortable.
A top quality holster made by Mr. Ralston at 5 Shot Leather
Those who are serious about concealed carry are always looking out for good holsters, but for those who carry AIWB it’s an obsession. One of those guys with an obsession for good AIWB carry gear is Todd Green from Pistol-Training.com. He and a good friend (who will not be named for persec reasons) worked with John Ralston at 5 Shot Leather to produce a good quality leather AIWB holster.
The result is, bar none, the most comfortable, best concealing AIWB holster I’ve ever tried. Five minutes after putting it on I was already mad at myself for not placing an order for a Glock 17 holster at the same time I ordered this one for my P30.
What makes it such a good holster?
The leather work on the holster is top notch…perfect edges, flawless stitching, incredible forming detail.
Firstly, the leatherwork is outstanding. Handling the holster you immediately see all the hours that went into forming the leather exactly right for the pistol it was designed for. My pet P30 is pictured and you can see where Mr. Ralston carefully shaped the area of the holster around the trigger guard so there would be no chance of the holster accidentally activating the P30′s mag release levers. The pictures don’t do the contours of the holster justice, as every individual contour on the pistol has been deeply massaged into the leather. From the forward cocking serrations on the slide to the individual accessory rails on the frame of the gun, it’s been painstakingly molded into the leather. As a result, the holster’s construction provides the best retention you’re going to get in a rig for concealment.
Secondly, there is the design. Behold the wing:
The “wing” of the holster, a key part of the design that aids in concealment and stability.
The “wing” of the holster is made of multiple layers of leather carefully formed into a wedge shape that turns the butt of the pistol into the body. This reduces the tendency of the pistol to print, especially when sitting down. All the good AIWB holsters have some sort of wedge method to accomplish this, but the SME does it so well that even I can’t see any aspect of printing when I’m wearing the pistol no matter what position I’m in. When your carry gear reduces printing so much that even you can’t see any trace of printing, it’s darn good. The “wing” also serves as a stabilizer, effectively keeping the holster exactly where you place it on your waistline even if you’re getting up and down out of a chair all day.
…and on top of being beautifully made and intelligently engineered, it’s unbelievably comfortable. I’m typing these words at home sitting down and I can’t even feel the holster. The only way I can really feel the presence of the gun is to slouch forward considerably or wear pants that are so tight as to be…um…socially unacceptable.
Was it cheap? Nope…but custom gun leather rarely comes cheap. It’s more than worth the asking price, though. (And I say that as a guy who bought the holster at full price and waited my turn to get it… I’m not quite popular enough to be inundated with free gear…sad panda.) For the life of me I’ll never understand why folks will spend umpteen hundred dollars on a pet blaster but then will balk at spending money on a good holster that lets them carry it regularly. That’s a rant for another time, though.
For now, I’m absolutely in love with this thing, and by the time you see this up on Gun Nuts I will have placed an order for at least one more.
Mr. Ralston is manufacturing these one at a time by hand, and he’s doing that on top of fielding lots of other orders for custom leather. The SME has made him a very popular man on Pistol-Forum and I can only imagine that when he showed it off at the SHOT show he picked up even more orders…so he’s probably going to be very busy. It may take a while to get one and it will probably be more expensive than what you can get from Uncle Wuzzy’s Haus of Vietnamese Nylon, but the time and expense are worth it.
Front view of the 5 shot SME…note the quality of the belt loop.
Shot holster 5
.The Rapid Force Duty Holster by Alien Gear Holsters
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