June 01, 2020
Even after 40 years, DeSantis Gunhide remains a family owned and operated American business. Sixty tables each complete with sewing and stitching machines run continuously with real people sitting behind them who take pride in crafting DeSantis holsters by hand.
Handgun hunters know the struggle in finding a holster for a scoped revolver. Most holster companies don’t even attempt to satisfy this category due to the number of different combinations of makes and models of handgun and optics. Holster makers that do offer a hunting rig typically design a universal cradle that leaves the barrel unprotected to accommodate any length.
DeSantis once recognized the category lacked options and so it developed its pouch-like scoped revolver holster as part of its lineup. It was available as “The Predator” for 8 years, but due to declining sales and waning interest in handgun hunting, the holster was discontinued. However, Smith & Wesson continued to buy it from DeSantis as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) product, which was sold with an embroidered S&W Model 500 logo on it. S&W no longer offers this holster as an option. Today, DeSantis’ Scoped Revolver Holster is only available as a custom order when clients ask for it.
Though handgun hunting with red dots enjoys a resurging interest, certain areas prohibit the use of an electronic sight, so traditional scopes are still in use. You can find handgun scopes from Burris, Bushnell, Leupold, Nikon and Weaver on the market, but production is low volume. In January 2019, Nikon announced that it’s getting out of the scope-making business altogether.
Ahead of a deer and pig hunt in west Texas, I added a Ruger Super Redhawk in 10mm to my collection of hunting handguns. It features a 6½-inch stainless steel barrel and measures 12 inches in overall length. The cylinder is the gun’s widest point at 1¾ inches. With this information, I contacted DeSantis for an enclosed holster to protect the scope’s zero and the revolver from stalking rough country.
Constructed primarily from one piece of 1050 denier ballistic nylon fabric over ¼-inch padding and slick pack cloth, the flap folds over the back of the revolver and secures to the main compartment by an adjustable strap threaded through a two-finger pinch buckle. With the flap secured, the bandoleer-style holster envelopes the entire scope and revolver except for an inch of the grip.
The only ornamentation on this holster is a 2-inch by 4-inch leather label embossed with DeSantis’ branding. A spare-round carrier can be requested and sewn to the holster’s exterior. The holster has an adjustable, foam-padded shoulder strap that is worn across the chest, around the neck and down the back. A pair of tension-lock buckles accept the nylon straps at each end of the shoulder sling and keep it from stretching between different lengths. Each buckle is secured to the back of the holster by a pair of leather tabs and two Torx-head screws.
The bottom leather tab also features an 11-inch leather strap to thread around your belt and is secured by a button for additional retention. The length is generous and this security prevents the muzzle end of the holster from sliding between your groin and hip. However, the holster can be comfortably worn with the belt strap snapped and stowed.
The shoulder strap is 21 inches long and constructed of nylon and synthetic suede to minimize chafing against the neck. The strap is nearly 2¾ inches wide, which means that it comfortably distributes the weight of a scoped revolver. My rig weighed 4¼ pounds, so I appreciated this feature.
At the range, I was able to unbuckle the flap, extract the scoped revolver, aim and engage a silhouette target at 25 yards in less than 4 seconds. While on a hunt with Steve Jones’ Backcountry Hunts (backcountryhunts.com), I verified its speed when I encountered a passel of pigs. I managed to take one with a single shot at 50 yards.
Though DeSantis’ scoped handgun holster isn’t offered as a standard-production item, I think it should be. It accepts more than just a scoped Super Redhawk, but also accommodates many other scoped handguns with a barrel length of 9 inches or less. The comfort, versatility and durability will endure the toughest of climates.
DeSantis Gunhide Custom Scoped Revolver Holster
*Draw-to-fire time is the average of five clean draws producing an A-zone hit on a stationary target positioned at 21 feet.
- Materials: 1050D ballistic nylon, suede, pack cloth, plastic (buckles); leather
- Carry Type: Chest
- Retention Type: Level 2; bulk strap buckle; leather belt strap with adj. button snap
- Adjustability: Yes
- MSRP: $150
- Handgun Fit: Revolvers with handgun scopes and barrels up to 9 in. in length
- Accessory Accommodations: None (Available for custom order on request.)
- Positions to Carry: Chest, shoulder
- Average Time to Attach: 2 seconds
- Comfort Rating: 4/5
- Concealment Clothing: n/a
- *Average Draw-to-Fire Time: 3.6 seconds
- Manufacturer: DeSantis Gunhide, 631-841-6300, desantisholster.com
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