By Brian Jensen
Any handgun works together with a holster as part of a weapon system. It amazes me how many people shell out over a thousand dollars for a pistol, then skimp on a cheesy holster that doesn’t hold it where it’s supposed to be, and looks like it’s a cheap piece of whatever.
Aker is a small company out of Chula Vista, CA, who makes quality leather holsters for people who carry weapons, either in uniform, or out. While the company is not a monster producer of holsters, they do very well, with contracts for government and civilian sales. I spoke to Mr. Aker himself, who said they make quality, molded holsters with a process he keeps close to the vest, but he said it does it faster, and much more economically than other methods.
What they are bringing out for SHOT show this year is a new direction, looking to move into the higher end market; a dressier holster for the distinguished carry of a handgun. When I asked why, they said that basically, they wanted to make a nice, classy holster to complement a fine pistol. This gun could be a “showpiece” as it were, or maybe it’s just your favorite that deserves something nice to ride in.
The new line for Aker will be a line of sharkskin belts and leather with sharkskin holsters. They are still in development, but they gave me a chance to peek at them. They will all be released in 2012.
The first thing they showed me was a nice sharkskin belt that will look classy, regardless as to whether you are carrying a gun or not. The belt has two layers, the sharkskin (brown or black) on the outside, with an inner layer of leather. The width is similar to a traditional “Sam brown” belt, but is sturdy and felt like it would hold a gun firmly in place without issue.
The next thing they showed me was their prototype sharkskin and leather combo holster. This is a pancake-style, open-top holster with button snap straps to that hold the gun on your belt. The holster can then be put on and off without removing the belt. The look was classy, without being too bling. It would be a nice place to put your custom 1911, or even your Glock. The leather first rate, and felt like it would be comfortable to carry for long periods of time. Since these were early, pre-production models I couldn’t wear them around. No model number is out yet, but they are set to release this year.
In addition to this new holster, Aker dressed up one of their standard models, the model 169 Nichol’s Avenger with a new Sharkskin trim. This takes an already successful holster, and dresses it up a bit. It is one of their more successful designs, and gives the weapon good support to keep it close to the body for good concealment and speed with an open top design.
I asked what the price points would be on the new sharkskin holsters, and since there are pre-production, that hasn’t been determined yet. They did say, their goal was to give consumers a custom-style holster at a reasonable price.
For those who carry professionally, they have introduced a method to have a basketweave finish on many of their Flatsider holster series. The lines are crisp, and bring back the weave style. They also have a new, open top holster meant for guns with lights, I saw their prototype, and it’s a no-nonsense leather rig to carry your weapon with light securely.
Overall, the new holsters look to be of great quality, and would be a nice “dress holster”. The new open top light bearing holster is interesting too, as many people are carrying their guns with their mounted lights these days.