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My First, Last and Only Gunleather Endorsement

Updated: 5 days ago

You all SHOULD embrace horsehide holsters because horsehide is thinner than cowhide yet is much stiffer when it is 'kiln' dried (hot air, really) after wet-moulding. It's kydex without being plastic! Imagine.

Today only a few American makers even play at offering horsehide and there is only one I know of that uses it as standard.

But there IS one maker whose products and processes are amenable to making a full range of horsehide gunleather: longtime friend Eugene DeSantis at DeSantis Gunhide in NYC. Gene was my very first customer when I pitched the idea of consulting design company Nichols Innovation to holster companies displaying at the 1990 SHOT show. And his remained my 'best and favourite' of two dozen client companies until I closed my operation in moving to Australia in 2000.

I've chatted with Gene about horsehide and he certainly has the capability to turn out a comprehensive line of same. I'm going to suggest that you reach out to the company and enquire. And even to outright encourage the production of DeSantis Horsehide. Horsehide is as smooth on the inside of a holster as the outside and comes from the only first-quality tanner of same that is Horween. And is eminently mouldable to the point where the individual contours of the pistol show through the stiff leather. When I made them I went so far as to hand detail my horsehide holsters but I also know that DeSantis has an even better, trade secret method of accomplishing this; while companies that do hand detailing such as Galco rely on the softer cowhide for detailing.

Above, DeSantis isn't four or five guys in a shed like Milt Sparks' is! Desantis of NYC is the real deal and he has been in business for the exact same time period as Sparks: since 1972. I've been inside Gene's original shop and above is his latest, much enlarged operation.

Email 'em! But don't be surprised if you don't get a direct response because theirs is not a small custom shop, it's a real factory. By all means, though, at least make your voice heard, it could have worthwhile results.

I believe in this concept so much that I will GIVE a free copy of Holstory the Third Edition to each of the first twelve to buy and receive a DeSantis horsehide holster -- when you also send me the dated invoice with Gene's signature above the book's name "Holstory" on it :-).

Below is a screenshot so nothing there is clickable; go their site instead.

Below, the improved pancake holster that I created for Gene during his competition for the FBI's business in the '90s. It won! It is current cowhide production and the pictures that follow it show its processing in today's factory (from a very recent YouTube video).

Let's acknowledge that the originator of the 'pancake' style holster was Roy Baker in 1970. But mine (now Gene's) is waaaayy bettah!

Read more in my book titled "Holstory -- Gunleather of the Twentieth Century -- the Second Edition" that is available at and printed for you/shipped to you in USA.

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