the first custom quality holsters I obtained was a Kramer
Vertical Scabbard. I still have the holster and it has served
admirably for over a decade. I think that we have come to accept
and appreciate Kramer a great deal over the past few years, but
until recently I was ignorant of how the company originated.
I think that the history of this company is interesting.
Kramer began his long apprenticeship in leather in 1976, working
with DeSantis Holster and Leather Goods first on a part
time, then on a full time basis. At the time, DeSantis was
located in Long Island, New York. Greg Kramer moved to
Washington State in 1978 and continued working with leather
gear. For five years or so, holster making was a hobby shared
with his friends. But by 1983 Kramer had advanced to the point
suggested he form his own leather company. The company
was born under a different name but soon become Kramer Handgun
Leather. The rest is history!
the meantime, Greg Kramer took a job as a mail carrier and made
holsters at night. Then, a young solider named Duane Thomas
ordered several holsters and also produced a magazine article,
one of his first, featuring Kramer Handgun Leather. The magazine
was Handguns, now headed by the knowledgeable publishing
veteran Jerry Lee.
I learned of Kramer holsters from Handguns magazine.
Editor Jan Librouel, now at Gun World,
seemed particularly impressed by this gear.
Kramer always kept his ears open and appreciates customer
feed back. As new-found publicity and customer satisfaction came
to his shop, new designs came from dealings with professionals
in the industry and warriors such as Navy SEALs and big city
the most successful holsters Kramer Leather markets is the MSP
paddle. Originally designed as a standard off duty holster for
the Michigan State Police, this is a first class all leather
paddle. It must be worn and used to be appreciated. The all
leather paddle fits against the body comfortably and a special
stabilizing strap uncommon to paddle holsters is also used.
Overall, this is among the very few paddle types I find
acceptable for harsh duty.
An advantage is the fact that this holster has just
enough offset to be truly fast. I have performed rapid draws
from many holsters but this holster stands alone in allowing a
rapid presentation while maintaining security.
was among the first, if not the first, to work exclusively in
horsehide. Even today, horsehide is his forte while he allows a
discount if the holster is ordered in leather. Pound for pound
horsehide is stronger than leather, allowing greater strength
for equal weight.
Horsehide is much less porous than regular leather,
shedding oil, moisture, perspiration and cleaning solvent in a
superior fashion. Overall,
Kramerís dedication to horsehide has been appreciated by
have used several of Kramerís cross draw holsters with good
results. I appreciate a good cross draw for many reasons. When
seated, the cross draw offers an efficient draw. If you are
behind a desk or driving,
the pistol is accessible. This is not true with a strong
side belt holster. Strong side carry is the best choice for most
situations but the cross draw offers real advantages in certain
situations. When you need a proper cross draw holster, the
Kramer product is among the best.
IWB (inside-the-waistband) line is extensive, with
purpose-designed holsters for various handguns. There is even an
inexpensive holster that fills the bill for low risk use. But a
hard look at the Kramer line shows nuances in design not
appreciated by the uninitiated. I think that those with more
experience with handguns and concealed carry will appreciate the
line more. Several of the IWB holsters are well suited for the
long, slim 1911 pistol. They stabilize easily due to the long
slide and weight of the 1911. Such holsters are equally well
suited to the Browning High Power design. However, some
holsters presented a problem when the SIG and Glock
pistols became popular. It is a simple matter to obtain molds
for the individual handgun, but when it comes to designing an
effective holster the nuances of each handgun must be taken into
Glock is blockier than the 1911 and the holster must be designed
to accommodate the square slide and keep this slide away from
the body. As for the SIG, the balance is more in the handle and
the holster must tilt the handgun to accommodate this balance.
Some of the earlier IWB designs just didnít work, or at least
didnít work as well, with the new pistols coming into service.
Kramer quickly developed superior designs to accommodate
bulky slides and frames with a different balance than the 1911.
Considering that all of the popular fighting handguns,
from the 1911 to the Glock, were designed as military weapons
for open belt wear, Kramer has done an estimable job in
designing and manufacturing holsters to adequately conceal such
also offers holsters for the Baby
Desert Eagle pistols, excellent-all around double action
pistols with impeccable credentials.
has not simply rested on his laurels after his pace-setting work
in horsehide. He moved to exotic leather and has become the
recognized leader in this field. Sharkskin is a specialty
material Kramer especially excels in.
Sharkskin is rugged and will take abrasion far better
than any other material I am aware of. While expensive, in
comparison to the long service and pride of ownership afforded,
I consider sharkskin a bargain. As a bonus, when a sharkskin
belt is added to the ensemble, the surface tends to mate
together strongly, preventing slippage when the two are cinched
Altogether, for a hard use holster material for the armed
professional, sharkskin is possibly the best choice.
the material, Kramer holsters feature excellent design.
Tunnel belt loops, reinforced holster mouths, and well
designed spines with excellent stitching are part and parcel of
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