How to Choose a Good Shoulder Holster

Shoulder holsters look very cool and conceal the weapon well; little wonder then that people are drawn to them. They’ve become very popular in the recent years, because cops and law enforcement officers in TV shows and movies are often seen carrying them. If you want to use a shoulder holster, you need to choose it carefully.

Make the right choice.

At Black Hills Leather, we believe the suggestions mentioned below would help you choose the right holster for you.

  • The Position – Shoulder holsters come with different orientations that impact how you draw your weapon. You can choose between vertical and horizontal holsters based on your weapon and personal preference. Vertical holsters are suitable for larger, heavier guns that should be held in an upright or downright angle.
  • These are more comfortable than horizontal holsters, and are often used by law enforcement officers. The vertical holster also allows you to draw your weapon more smoothly. A horizontal holster is great for smaller weapons and they’re quite safe. They point the barrel of the weapon away from the wearer’s body so there’s no risk of any accidents with them.
  • Comfort-People often underestimate just how uncomfortable ill-fitting holsters can be. Those that fit well aren’t as noticeable and the wearer doesn’t feel any constant nagging discomfort that ill-fitting holsters tend to cause. It’s vital to choose a holster that would sit comfortably on your body and still hold the gun securely.
  • Gun Fit-The best holsters are the ones that fit your gun well because they’ll help improve retention, accessibility, and draw time. If possible, try to find shoulder holsters that fit the type of gun you possess, as  that would improve your overall experience with them.
  • Retention -You don’t want your gun to fall from your holster during strenuous activity or confrontations. A holster should retain the gun even if you’re jostled and are involved in a tussle.

BH7D Double Shoulder Rig, Military and Law Enforcement Shoulder Holster

This isn’t always possible, especially if you’re in a serious brawl, but you should purchase a holster that would keep your gun as secure as it can possibly be. Ill-fitting holsters won’t retain the gun easily. The two levels of retention devices in holsters are:

  • Level One – This level has one retention device, which is essentially a strap and a thumb break.
  • Level Two – This consists of a strap, one thumb break, and an internal retention device.
  • Materials- Leather is the best material for gun holsters because it’s durable, comfortable, and looks great. The leather should be cut and shaped well to ensure it has a good fit. Some manufacturers will also crave intricate designs on the leather to make the shoulder holsters more attractive. The choice of material and design depends entirely on your budget and preferences. Just keep in mind that the holster should be sturdy and able to endure a certain amount of wear and tear.

If you have any more questions about our Shoulder Holsters, don’t hesitate to give us at Black Hills Leather a call on or email me at We’ll be happy to help you shop.

Happy Trails,

Rudy Lozano
Master Craftsman
Black Hills Leather

Handmade Custom Leather iPhone and Android Cases

Smartphones began catching on nearly a decade ago and their dominance in the mobile phone market has only increased over the years. While Apple made smartphones fun and accessible for everyone, Android has made owning one more affordable.

Regardless of whether you prefer the iPhone or Android, protecting your smartphone is important to making it last for years. Plastic phone cases can help protect your phone, but a leather smartphone case can give your phone added protection.

Here at Black Hills Leather, we put the same quality craftsmanship into our custom leather smartphone cases as we do for our gun holsters. We carry a wide selection of designs for you to choose from and you can even customize your smartphone case yourself on our website!

Design Choices

One aspect of Black Hills Leather that sets us apart is our wide selection of leather smartphone case designs. We don’t offer one or two options, but more than 30 designs for you to choose from and customize. We carry western style smartphone cases that are sure to satisfy your inner cowboy.  

Of course, if a western style smartphone case isn’t what you’re looking for, then perhaps our basket weaved leather options are more your style. You can even choose the color of your preference. Best of all, all of our smartphone cases can be designed to fit any model iPhone or Android. Just let us know the specifications and we will craft a high-quality leather smartphone case specifically for you.

Exotic Leathers

While a handmade leather smartphone case will surely be one of a kind, you can further the uniqueness of your case with one of our exotic leathers. Harvested sustainably, these exotic leathers will set your smartphone case apart from everyone else’s. Some of the exotic leathers we have available are:

  • Stingray
  • Ostrich
  • Elephant
  • Crocodile
  • Alligator

If you are interested in any of these exotic leathers for your custom leather iPhone or Android cases, we can design it specifically for you.

Handcrafted by Black Hills Leather

While we have been well-known across Texas for our custom leather gun holsters, our smartphone cases are relatively new. Whether you need a case for your iPhone or Android smartphone, you can rest assured knowing that we have used the highest quality leather and tools to craft your case.

Crafting handmade leather goods runs in our blood so if you are interested in one of our high-quality smartphone cases, you can view our entire online selection here.

New Texas Handgun Licensing Laws

In the past few years, many new handgun carry laws have passed through the Texas State Legislature. Many of these laws have replaced older, out of date laws. Previously called Concealed Carry Licensing, the Handgun Licensing Program in Texas has changed dramatically as much of the red tape surrounding handguns has been removed.

As the leading provider of handcrafted, quality gun holsters made right here in the Lone Star state, we here at Black Hills Leather thought we would fill our loyal customers in on these changes. Since the middle of 2015, eight new handgun licensing laws have gone into effect, with the most recent going into effect on January 1, 2016. One more handgun law is set to go into effect in August 2016.  Learn more about these laws and how they affect you below.

Open Carry and Campus Carry

The two most meaningful bills that have passed through the State Legislature are the open carry and campus carry laws.

As of January 1, 2016, Texas is an open carry state, meaning that with the proper license you can now carry your handgun openly, not concealed.  A separate license is not required if you already have your concealed carriers permit, however, you may not openly carry a handgun on certain premises, like on a higher education campus. The open carry law requires your handgun to be in a shoulder or belt holster.

While openly carrying a handgun on a college campus is still illegal, starting August 1, 2016, Texans will be able to carry a concealed weapon on these grounds. Once this law goes into effect, there will be nine states in the nation that allow concealed carry weapons on college campuses.

Other Law Changes

In addition to these changes, there have been a few other changes in handgun law in Texas. Six new laws went into effect on September 1, 2015. These laws have had various implications on handguns laws. Some of these changes were:

  • Amended the Penal Code to add a defense to the prosecution of a gun holder at airport security
  • Reduced license to carry fees for Juvenile Probation Officers
  • License to carry exemptions for Peace Officers and state military forces
  • Accepting concealed carry handgun licenses as valid proof of identification
  • Voluntary contribution to the fund for veteran’s assistance when applying for a concealed handgun permit
  • Allowing carrying concealed weapons on property owned or leased to a government entity

In addition to these six handgun law changes, retired judicial officers, like federal and state judges, were given a reduced fee when applying for a concealed carry license. This had previously been the case for retired state judges, but on June 16, 2015, the law went into effect for retired federal judges as well.

With these changes having gone into effect, you should consider upgrading your holster collection. Here at Black Hills Leather, all of our products are handmade with the highest quality leather. You can view our selection of holsters on our website by clicking here.

Thanks to James Portman

Than you Jim and God Bless you! – Rudy


From: James Portman 

Date: July 30, 2015 at 6:45:27 PM CDT” 

Subject: Holster

I received my shoulder holster today what a great piece of crafter ship you guys are above and beyond qualityI received my shoulder holster today what a great piece of crafter ship you guys are above and beyond quality well worth the weight very happy customer you are blessed . I will be recommending you to every one I know.


Jim portman
May God be good to you and you’re staff

Sent from my iPhone

Black Hills Leather, gun leather proudly made in America.

Hello Chuck,

Thank you for your kind words.

Your comments made my day and I will share with my customers in our blog.

Have a blessed day!

Rudy Lozano


Date: March 13, 2015 at 3:21:35 AM CDT


Subject: Holster order


I placed an order for a holster earlier today and I was very impressed with the courtesy you extended on the phone. At the time I did not realize I was talking to the same person that would be making my holster and when you said you would make a beautiful holster I thought you were someone that took orders and was exercising a sales technique; however researching your website I realize what I had heard was your pride in your craftsmanship. It was a pleasure dealing with you today and I look forward to receiving the holster I ordered. I stand behind “made in America” and I would not hesitate to recommend you.


Chuck Reeser

Thank you Doc Doolittle

From: “C. D. Doolittle” 

Date: December 23, 2014 at 3:14:48 PM CST

To: Rudy Lozano

Subject: It’s Here!

Hi Rudy…..The holster came, today. It is a work of art! I LOVE it! The Gun fits [tightly, as expected], the mag pouch works with both size magazines, and the workmanship is first rate!  :>)  Thank you very much for putting up with me, and for making such a beautiful holster for me!…….Merry Christmas and have a Very Happy New Year!…….Your Friend,

Doc Doolittle

A comment from our customer Ken

I ordered a shoulder holster in august which I finally got this November.  I thought because you missed the significantly the projected delivery time the quality was going to be substandard as well.

I had to let you know that the holster you sent is exceptional in quality and performance.  I am extremely pleased with your product.  Any holster purchase I make in the future will be from Black Hills.  I will certainly recommend you to my friends.

Thank You,

Ken Fleck

Happy customer – thanks Scott.


You were right, I am very happy with my holster/mag carrier. In our original conversation, I do not remember ordering my rig with the detailed embossing. When I first received my order, I thought I would have return it, but was afraid it would take another 8 weeks. I tried it on for size and really liked the way it fit and looked, so it’s a definite keeper!

I have several holsters, Galco, Mitch Rosen, DeSanties, and am so very impressed with your product. This is my second order from Black Hills Leather and I am a big fan; Thank You so much for taking care of me. I hope to be able to call on you again when I need a holster.

Scott Lyons

Black Alligator Exotic Leather Combo – Testimonial

Hello Amigos,

I want to share this testimonial and pictures from Thomas about his new alligator concealed combo that includes the holster, holder mag and belt.


I thought you would like to see the fruits of your labors combined.I apologize for the picture quality (generally I shoot things with guns not cameras). I want to thank Both of you for the quality of your work and the beauty of your products.

Also to finally have what I see in the gun mags and hear about from rich guys on the internet. My own one of a kind Custom 1911 and holster. Thank You Very Much. T J Rauch.”

Alligator Concealed Holster

Alligator Concealed Holster, Mag Holder and Belt

Thank you Thomas and God bless you!

Rudy Lozano