My fellow United States Concealed Carry Association Concealed Carry Expo attendees from North Carolina might have been wondering when they were going to get a shout out as part of “The Gun Industry” (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Well, here we go.
One of the first concealment holsters I ever bought was at a gun show in Winston-Salem. It must have been around 2011 and was made by a company called N82 Tactical. The company name is pronounced “Nate Squared” and reflects the two Nates (Beard and Johnson) who came up with the idea of a holster that would be concealable, comfortable, and protect the gun. Mission accomplished. I am looking forward to taking the short drive from my home to Lexington, NC to get some barbeque and check out their operations. Nate Johnson tells me that they still have the first holster prototype, hand sewn by him, in the office. I can’t wait to see that. (FYI: Nate Beard is pictured below, but Nate Johnson actually has the more righteous beard.)
I have two holsters made by Matt Rector of MTR Custom Leather in Ramseur, North Carolina, who I also first met at a gun show in Winston-Salem several years ago. One of the features he offers is snaps rather than clips or belt loops on his OWB holsters. The snaps hold the holster securely on my (MTR Custom Leather) belt, but also allow me to pop the holster on and off quickly and easily as I need to depending on my circumstances. I can also personally attest to his excellent customer service when he delivered in a matter of days a left-handed OWB holster for a Beretta Nano I needed for a class I was taking in California.
Finally, I went to the Concealed Carry Expo knowing that I needed a new brown belt, having left my only good brown belt in a hotel closet in Virginia. There were a lot of options to choose from, but some custom belts by Andy’s Leather caught my eye. I came to find out that Andy Langlois is a recent immigrant to North Carolina (like myself). I also later realized that we have been “connected” on LinkedIn for a couple of years, even though neither one of us recognized the other. Like my North Carolina neighbors the Nates and Matt, I am looking forward to heading up to the mountains to check out Andy’s workshop, probably pick up another belt, and maybe even get (and learn how to use?) a couple of his slings for my .22 rifles.
The Nates, Matt, and Andy are all people from whom I have bought gun-related products. They are three of the WHOs of “The Gun Industry.”
I have more to say about my experiences at the Concealed Carry Expo, but my apologies to the people whose businesses I have not had a chance to mention in this series of posts.