November 21, 2018
By Eric R. Poole
In memory of Mark Craighead.
Mark Craighead’s legacy continues to inspire those who carry pistols everyday, more than six years after his untimely death at age 43 on August 24, 2012.
Craighead was never shy about discussing his Christian faith or explaining why symbols of the cross appear in the brand’s name, logo and on the holster’s belt clips. He lived by his own mantra, “When you learn to bless other people, you truly get blessed yourself.”
If you’re already familiar with Crossbreed holsters, you know that the brand popularized the concept of attaching a Kydex shell to leather to offer a hybrid holster that form-fits to the waist as it is worn, but doesn’t collapse when unholstered IWB. The Founder’s Series is no different.
Introduced in 2017, the Crossbreed Founder’s Series is distinguished from other models by the treatment of the leather making for a unique appearance. When bent, the leather and its grains appear to change between dark and light tones of brown and tan. The leather is a cowhide, but a type known as “Old World Harness leather.” This leather is stuffed in drums with heavy tallow for exceptional weather wear, thickness, and durability in the field.
The 11-ounce leather is tanned in pure vegetable oil. No dyes or lacquers are part of the solution. The hides then have natural oils and tallows applied under pressure to give each piece a unique appearance ranging from a dark chocolate brown to a light tan. The oils also accent the grain resulting in a holster or belt that stands up to environmental conditions, moisture and sweat. The oils used also help the leather quickly break-in and form to your body when worn. Once used, the leather does show scratches and impressions more than other leather holsters, but these scars contribute nicely to the overall rustic appearance.
Developed for this series of holsters, the Founder’s logo features the brand’s original cross stamp and Craighead’s signature. It is embossed at the top of each holster’s backer to further set them apart from others.
60-Day Carry For this review, I selected a Founder’s Series SuperTuck inside-the-waistband (IWB) for a compact Model 1911 with a round triggerguard. If you prefer to carry a 1911, the SuperTuck is a classic and can be ordered to accommodate virtually every variation including those with rails or double-stack magazines, and 1911s equipped with Crimson Trace Lasergrips and Streamlight’s new TLR-6. Of course, these holster are also available for most popular handguns, and the smaller Founder’s Series MiniTuck IWB holsters can be ordered for compact handguns.
In the SuperTuck, I primarily carried the new Smith & Wesson Performance Center SW1911 Pro Series in 9mm. It features a lightweight scandium-alloy frame that’s makes for a very comfortable ensemble to carry. The holster also accommodated Commander-size 1911s with longer barrels than the Pro Series’ short 3-inch tube. Still, the extra leather material beyond the barrel was never uncomfortable.
Irritating at times was the manual thumb safety catching on the top of the SuperTuck after it shaped to my waist. More of an inconvenience, I had to pull and hold the top of the holster in as I inserted my carry gun.
The Standard Cut can impede a full-firing grip on the draw, and for this reason I would order the optional Combat Cut for an extra $7.50 next time. The metal clips, adjustable for tweaking cant and height, worked flawlessly with the Founder’s Series Executive Gun Belt I added to my order for $85. (The belt is among the best available.)
The Founder’s Series holsters and belts are incredibly attractive, comfortable and easy to live with. Though a little more money, these are practical holsters that look best with wear and age.
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