Rafter-L-Gunleather on American Handgunner
November 18, 2008
Anyone who has read the blog knows how much I love the leather products that Erik Little of Rafter-L-Gunleather creates. Well I’ve had to bite my tongue or rather try not to type anything for a couple of weeks until I got the ok but now the word can go out.
Eriks great holsters, belts and mag pouches have been featured in the most recent issue of American Handgunner magazine. I want to share the review with you from the column “Handgun Leather” by Sammy Reese. I couldn’t be happier to see Erik get the attention he deserves from this prestigious magazine.
With many of the old holster makers no longer with us Erik has certainly filled the void!
By Sammy Reese
Not too long ago, I was asked what was going to happen when all the master leather craftsmen are no longer around. Luckily there are still guys out there who like to work with their hands and are taking the time to learn from the great ones, or just go it on their own. Enter Erik Little of Rafter L Gun Leather. Erik is a retired cop and former Jar Head, hence we hit it off the first time we talked.
Erik started working with leather on his family’s cattle ranch (Rafter L brand) mostly out of necessity to keep gear up and running. Later, while a working cop, he often used his skills with leather to fix his wife’s client’s saddles. When his SWAT buddies found out about his skill with leather, they asked him to make some holsters. Erik confessed he was so busy with work and family he didn’t have much time to make holsters, belts and accessories.
In 2005 when Erik hung up his duty belt, he decided to give holster making a go and hasn’t looked back since. After a lengthy discussion, mostly about cop and Marine Corps stuff, we agreed on his number one in tan for my 1911 accompanied by his belt and single magazine pouch. The number one doesn’t usually come with a sweat guard but I talked Erik into putting one on for me.
About a week later I found a package from Buffalo,Wyoming waiting for me on my desk — I still love mail call, especially when it contains leather gear. I have to say, the tan gear is really an eye catcher. I know it’s not as sexy looking as some exotic snake trimmed with shark, but for me simple really looks better.
I made the mistake of sliding my Thunder Ranch Special into the holster. Let’s just say I got a work out trying to get it out. After a little break in, I found the holster very secure and smooth to draw from. After wearing the holster, mag pouch and belt daily for a few weeks, the gear and I molded to each other. My buddy who stopped by asking about holsters tried to leave with my Rafter L set up — I was quicker on the draw and he left without my rig.
The old guard has set the bar very high but don’t fret, the new guys are taking up the slack and are making some great gear. Who knows — the best may be yet to come.
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