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SHOT Show 2016: Hands-on with Alessi Holsters’ custom leather holsters

These look a lot better than other leather or leather/kydex combinations I saw at SHOT Show


The Talon Plus is a leather IWB holster with a very strong nylon clip that can be clipped either to a belt or to the pants themselves.

Alessi Holsters

After years of wearing both kydex and leather, I find myself going back to leather for overall comfort and fit for certain modes of carry, especially for IWB appendix position carry. While my favorite leather holster makers, Milt Sparks, were not at SHOT Show this year, I did find a couple of interesting holsters at Alessi Holsters.

One is the DOJ Open Port, a compact, zero degree cant OWB holster with a bit of the front cut down enough to allow for a smooth draw stroke. Built to carry on the right hip (right hand version), it has a wing on the back side to hold the butt of the gun closer to the body for concealed carry. It has a leather stiffener strip around the opening to keep the shape of the holster for easy re-holstering. One thing I did not like was the closeness of the leather by the trigger guard to the front strap of the weapon. If you do thousands of draws like I do, that creates a sore spot on the middle finger that is annoying and focuses attention where it is not needed. I would like to see this item fixed and move that leather down a bit on the back of the trigger guard.

The other holster I tried out was the Talon and Talon Plus. This is a leather IWB holster with a very strong nylon clip that can be clipped either to a belt or to the pants themselves. The difference between the two is the sweat guard on the Talon Plus versus no guard on the Talon. While they do have some cant to them, I was told they could build them without cant for appendix carry. The leather is thin enough to wear your gun under a light shirt without looking like you have a colostomy bag at your belt line.

I have read various reviews that the holsters are very good but the wait times can be inexcusably long. Given these are custom holsters, a longer wait is understandable. They look a lot better than the other leather or leather/kydex combinations I saw at the show.

Ron Avery is President and Director of Training for The Practical Shooting Academy, Inc. and Executive Director of the non-profit, Rocky Mountain Tactical Institute - both training institutions dedicated to professional firearms and tactics courses, higher police standards and training and use of force research.

Ron is a former police officer with many years of street experience, which he brings into the training environment. He is internationally recognized as a researcher, firearms trainer and world class shooter. His training methodology is currently being used by hundreds of agencies and thousands of individuals across the US and internationally.

He has worked as a consultant and trainer for top level federal agencies, special operations military from all branches of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies across the US.

He is a weapons and tactics trainer for, handgun, carbine, select fire, precision rifle and shotgun, as well as advanced instructor schools, defensive tactics, team skills and tactics, low light tactics, arrest and control and officer survival. He is also a consultant for firearms training programs, use of force and firearms research, range development, instructor development and other firearm related topics.

For over 25 years he has consistently ranked among the best shooters in the world in national, international and world championship competitions, winning many different titles including two-time National Law Enforcement Champion. In 2002, he represented his country as a member of the first place, United States Practical Shooting Association’s “Gold Team” in the Standard Division in the World Championships in South Africa.

As a published writer, his articles have been featured in SWAT Magazine, Petersen’s Handguns, American Handgunner, U.S.P.S.A.'s Front Sight, Colorado State Shooting Association and other law enforcement publications and journals.