Okay, I suppose this can’t technically be a Holster Bomb, as there is no rankings to push, but hey, it makes a good title. I want to accomplish the same thing though, in that I know somebody with an awesome product, who could use a boost.
My good friend Wes Dahl has been making custom holsters for years, and he has recently started his own company: http://www.privateerleather.com/
First off, Wes makes awesome stuff. He worked for a really good holster maker years ago, and learned the trade, and then he started making things for himself and his friends. Even the work he was doing years ago was excellent, and he’s improved since we worked together.
Second, and this is why I’m plugging him here, Wes is honestly one of the best men I know. Let me tell you a little bit about him.
I first got to know Wes many many years ago. We’d met on a gun forum, and I had just gotten my CCW instructor certification. He attended one of my very first classes out at the Lee Kay Hunter Ed Center. He was exactly six months from his 21st birthday, because at the time an instructor’s signature was good for 6 months, and then he was going to turn in the certs to the state on his birthday. That is some hard core gun-nuttery right there.
(thinking back to how long ago I got my instructor cert makes me realize I’m getting old)
We became friends and Wes and I went shooting a lot. If there was a charity event, or a scouting thing, or a range day, or anything, he was always the first person to volunteer his time to help out.
Wes has had a tough life. He suffers from a medical condition where he gets severe migraine headaches. And I’m talking bad, like can’t function, can’t hardly talk, so much pain you just want to die headaches. The rest of us can’t even understand what these things are like, but I’ve seen them hit Wes, and they’re debilitating. I consider myself a tough guy, but these things make me cringe in fear.
I respect Wes for dealing with this the way he has. He’s gotten medical treatment from a bunch of different doctors, but they’ve never figured it out. He’ll be fine for weeks at a time, but then one day a migraine will start to come on, and then it’ll wipe him out to where he can’t do anything for days.
As you can imagine, that makes holding down a regular job kind of difficult. Sorry boss, my head is going to explode. I can’t come to work for the next few days. It isn’t the sort of thing you can just walk off. I mean, it takes him out.
When I opened a gun store, and we got to where we were big enough to have employees, Wes was one of the first people I hired. It turned out that he was one of the best salesmen I’ve ever seen. He knew guns, he loved guns, and he was patient and great with new people. I knew about the headaches, so we just worked around them. It was a good arrangement for everybody. He was a hard enough worker that he more than made up for the times he got sick.
Wes worships at the altar of Saint John Moses Browning, only he’s not a 1911 guy. He’s one of those weird, heretic Browning High-Power type infidels. But nobody is perfect. He likes to dress like Indiana Jones. If you want to know what Wes is like, read the Grimnoir Chronicles. The character of Barns Dalton is Wes. All I did was give him magical powers and make the High-Powers full auto.
I started out as an assistant instructor and range monkey for some really experienced firearms instructors, so when I started teaching pistol classes on my own, Wes became my assistant. I was teaching 3 CCW classes a week at the time, and Wes helped out in a bunch of those too. As my business grew, Wes got his certs and became a CCW instructor and started teaching his own classes. He was an excellent teacher.
One of the worst things about losing a business is that you feel like you let down your employees, and I had some awesome guys working there. I sold out, and a year later they went out of business. Wes lost his job, so now he was back to looking for something he could do with his medical condition.
A year later I was the finance manager at a defense contractor, and I told Wes about an admin position at Dugway. He got the job. It was a good paying gig. Excellent. But the nature of military contracting being what it is, a few months later they modded the contract and his position was cut.
Shit. This dude can’t catch a break.
I’ve not seen him as much since I moved up to Yard Moose Mountain. I’ve met him for lunch a few times over the last couple of years, talked to him on Facebook, and would send students his way for CCW after I let my certs lapse to concentrate on the writing. But when I did see him, Wes was always Wes. You couldn’t ask for a more upbeat, can-do person. Wes isn’t a quitter, and he isn’t a whiner. So he kept on working and doing what he could, and looking for something that he could be awesome at.
Hence the holster business.
So I’m plugging Privateer Leather, not just because he produces quality work, but because Wes Dahl is a quality human being.
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