I truly enjoy designing and creating custom leather. Some projects are fairly straight forward and others provide more challenges.
Recently, a gentleman asked me about building a bandolero rig for his Taurus Raging Judge. The Raging Judge is a very unique revolver with very limited holster options. This pistol is a beast...firing the .454 Casull, the .45 Long Colt and .410 shotgun shells...13 1/2" in length and weighing in at about five pounds!
I don't have a Raging Judge to use for the design work. When I don't have a particular pistol for design, I will normally use what is known as "molding drones." The drones are realistic, non-working replicas and there are several companies that create them. I checked with all my normal suppliers, but no one had a drone for the Raging Judge.
The following shows how I was able to help this gentleman...
Working with my customer, I requested photos of the revolver from various angles. I also requested that he include a ruler in each shot to allow me to determine the dimensions needed for the design.
Using the dimensions from Step 1, I was able to build a paper template allowing me to design the holster for the bandolero rig.
With the holster pattern designed, it was time to start building the rig. The design included a cartridge/shell carrier. As the Raging Judge can fire the .454 Casull, .45 Long Colt and .410 shotgun shells, I needed to design an ammo carrier. I built a carrier that handles ten .45 caliber cartridges and six shotgun shells.
After each piece was completed, I burnished the edges to make them silky smooth, hand-rubbed each piece with a combination of bee's wax and mink oil to recondition the leather and finally added a top coat to protect the rig from the elements.
I wanted to get an idea of what the rig looked like with a pistol inserted into the holster...I choose my most robust revolver, a Ruger GP100. The GP100 is not a small revolver, but it was "swimming" in the holster!
I boxed up the Bandolero and shipped it to my customer. Here's a portion of the review he posted to Etsy..."My rig for my pistol was exactly what I wanted. It fit my pistol perfectly."