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Scott Reitz’s ITTS is top of the line for any­one from ab­so­lute be­gin­ner to sea­soned law en­force­ment or mil­i­tary per­son­nel (www. In­ter­na­tion­alTac­ti­cal.com).

In ad­di­tion to its ex­cel­lent gun­smithing, Robar of­fers a be­wil­der­ing se­lec­tion of coatings that can be mixed and matched to meet your pre­cise needs and spec­i­fi­ca­tions (www.Ro­barGuns.com /cus­tom­firearm-fin­ishes).

I used two dif­fer­ent hol­sters for this course. The one in the pho­to­graphs is the work of Horsewright Cloth­ing and Tack’s Dave Ferry, who also makes cus­tom knives. The carv­ing is done by his wife, Ni­c­hole, who also makes vests, wild rags and a wide range of leather goods for cow­boys. Ev­ery­thing they make comes with a life­time guar­an­tee—no ques­tions asked (www.horsewright­cloth­ing.com).

I also used a Wright Leather Works hol­ster (the Preda­tor model), which has an ex­ten­sion that fits be­tween the ex­posed por­tion of the slide and your body. I be­lieve it was de­vel­oped to pro­tect your waist­line from the slide, but it was rec­om­mended to me be­cause a shirt can rub against the thumb safety of a M1911 and take it off safety. It’s not an is­sue, be­cause you still have both the grip safety and the ul­ti­mate, pri­mary safety (your fin­ger), but I thought I would try it. It worked like gang­busters (www.WrightLeatherWorks.com).

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