By Michael King
Michael King is a southwest Wisconsin Police Chief with a background in tactical operations and firearms training. He has been a member of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association since 1990
During the last decade, the trend in law enforcement firearms carry gear seems to be moving toward the use of high tech synthetics. While the synthetics are cost effective, durable and practical in most respects, I’ve never been particularly impressed with the stuff. Maybe my age is showing, but I still prefer to carry my pistols in a well designed holster built from quality leather. No doubt there are of custom holster makers who provide a superb product — but at a price and time frame that the average police officer may find prohibitive.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve located a manufacturer that satisfies my requirements for a quality holster at a reasonable price. High Noon Holsters is a relative newcomer to law enforcement leather. My introduction to High Noon Holsters located in Florida came a few months ago when I was in the market for a high ride thumb break duty holster for my Colt 1911. Since I rarely work in a uniform there days, I favor a pancake style holster that rides high and close enough to clear my desk (my office environment these days) and yet still offer a natural draw. The thumb break is appropriate for those times that I do work in uniform. During my search, I was thumbing through a national firearms publication when I noticed an ad placed by High Noon. The add included a photo of a well designed holster of exactly the type I was seeking. I contacted High Noon by phone and had my holster in short order.
The Sky High holster I received is well designed, well built and beautifully finished. It is fitted perfectly to the pistol and rides just right for a natural draw. The belt loops are triple stitched and the wet molding is just detailed enough to provide a perfect fit without hampering a smooth draw. Do I sound impressed? Well I really am. I was so impressed that I immediately ordered a similar one without the thumb break for off duty carry. While waiting for the second holster to arrive, I had a discussion with Michael from High Noon about various options that were available. I’ve been a real fan of suede lined holsters ever since Safariland introduced their green Orthopedic Elk suede lined holsters during the seventies. Not only did Michael offer to add this option to my future holster orders, but he eagerly agreed to exchange the holster I had already purchased for a similar lined model for only the cost of the optional lining. Talk about exceptional customer service!
The second model Topless holster was easily the equal of the first, and perfectly suited for concealed carry. Its been my daily companion for about three months now and I have yet to find any flaws. In addition to the duty holsters, I secured a Need For Speed model for IPSC competition. The Need For Speed model is reminiscent of the Bianchi Askin Avenger although, by my estimation, its a bit more sturdy and secure, with a molder sight track and adjustable retention screw.
High Noon also markets concealment type magazine pouches. I prefer a single mag pouch for both duty and off duty carry. The Tie Breaker carrier offered is first rate. It features a one way snap on belt tunnel, tension on the magazine is adjustable with the same type of screw retention device used on High Noon’s gun holsters. Magazine access is excellent and the fit and finish of the carrier is outstanding. High Noon offers the quality conscious buyer a series of extremely rugged and well designed holsters that easily is the equal of the far higher priced custom makers.
Comments, suggestions, contributions? Let me know