This review marks the next in our series of NPE carry holsters. Over the past several months I have worked with several Non-Permissive Environment carry holsters. This article is our Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster review.
Full Disclosure: Galco graciously provided this holster to me at no charge, for this review. I receive no other financial incentives or compensation from Galco.
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Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster
The Galco Front Pocket Horsehide holster is the first leather pocket holster I worked with, having previously used the Desantis Super Fly and Mika’s holsters. It is made from two pieces of horse hide. Running contrary to most leather holsters, the rough side is out and the slick side is in. This lets the rough exterior provide friction on the pocket to hold onto the holster, and the slick inner portion release the gun cleanly, a task it does well.
Again, there is no slick, polished exterior, but his holster is a testament to fine leather work. It is boned for a precise fit, much more precise than the nylon and “not leather” I worked with previously. Nothing wrong with those holsters, but their softer material doesn’t permit the same tight fit. The stitching is durable, waxed nylon with double stitches in some places and the edges are burnished.
The holster fits deep in the pocket, and thanks to the strength of leather, is very thin. Though not as rigid as other horsehide holsters I’ve worked with, the mouth stays open for holster if you must holster inside the pocket. Aside from the rough exterior, the Galco also has some pointy features – one along the front strap and one under the grip – to catch the pocket as the gun is being drawn.
I studiously clocked my hours with the Galco Front Pocket Horsehide Holster in my pocket. I carried this holster for 160 hours for this review, all in my right-front pocket.
A pocket holster should do several things. Let’s see how the HOLSTER performs in each of these categories, on a pass/fail basis.
1. Protect the trigger. This holster does a great job of that. If I did accidentally put something else in this pocket I feel like the trigger would still be reasonably well-protected. PASS
2. Keep the gun in a consistent orientation. The flat bottom of the holster, along with the rough exterior kept it always up. No complaints here at all. PASS
3. Break up the outline of the gun. This holster does break up the outline of the gun. However, the leading edge of the holster is rigid and sharp, sometimes causing a hard, conspicuous line down the inside of the pocket. PASS
4. Release the gun cleanly when drawn. The rough out/slick inside, release the gun smoothly. As a fail-safe there are some catchy-bits to snag on the pocket, but in my somewhat limited experience I never needed these. PASS
5. Protect the pocket from the gun. Yes, and it is comfortable to boot; this holster does a geat job. . PASS
Also, many pocket holsters are ambidextrous. Is this one?
Ambidextrous: YES. This holster can be used in either pocket. The boxy shape of the bottom may make it less than ideal for coat-pocket carry, however.
I really enjoyed my time with this holster. First, this holster provides probably the best in-pocket, firing grip of any pocket holster tested thus far. It us cut low enough on the gun to get you really get your hand around the grip without having to withdraw the gun from the holster. My one nit-pick with this holster is the hard leading edge.
Being made from two pieces of leather instead of one, folded piece causes this. This edge really printed, glaringly in my opinion. Over time this leading flap got bent back some and was less obvious, and doubtlessly many more months of carry would probably soften the appearance even more. I also found that it “creaked” a little bit at first and I worried a bit that this might get me some looks, but over time this faded.
The Galco Horsehide Front Pocket Holster is available for a wide variety of pistols and revolvers in the “pocket gun” category. With prices around $100 this is certainly more expensive than other offerings we’ve reviewed, but it is a really excellently-built holster, and one I would expect to last a lifetime. Based on my experience I would have no problem recommending this holster for pocket carry.