Versacarry Vintage: Luna Holster and Underground Carry Belt
August 2nd, 2023
6 minute read
Let me start off by saying that, yes, I fully realize and accept the fact that polymer-framed guns and synthetic holsters and gun belts are the leading sellers for civilians and law enforcement alike. This is because polymer-framed guns and equipment offer major advantages in terms of durability, weight savings, price savings and ease of maintenance. But there are other considerations…
A Sense of Elegance
One of the things that I feel has been lost due to the “polymer revolution” in terms of the carry of handguns is a sense of elegance. Look back at photographs of handguns from the 1900s through the 1970s. Blued and nickel finishes on handguns abounded, with other touches like color case hardening applied to various controls or operating surfaces. Fine hand-checkering was used on firearms parts that you would never see it on today.
In my opinion, one of the best such examples of elegance in weapon design is the original 1911 (not A1) .45 issued to the U.S. Military at the onset of WWI. The first of these handguns that arrived for use by our troops on the battlefields of Europe featured highly polished deep blue commercial finishes, as well as finely checkered hammer spurs, thumb safety levers and walnut grips — features normally found today only on custom handguns.
Even into the 1980s, elegance in handguns persisted across the U.S. For example, at the sheriff’s office in which I began my law enforcement career, the primary handgun carried by the deputies were steel 1911A1s with checkered walnut grips. One lieutenant in the Civil Division carried a snubbie revolver that was aftermarket gold-plated and equipped with pearl-handled grips.
Despite the changes over the years, I believe there are still plenty of handguns around that, due to their elegant nature, deserve leather gear that is similarly elegant.
Versacarry Vintage Holster/Belt Lineup
Known for their tough water buffalo holsters, belts and accessories, Versacarry products are durable with a distinctive style in terms of design and construction. They are at the top of my list in terms of durability, draw, carry comfort, and accessibility.
For 2023, they have upped their game by introducing an enhanced line of holsters and gear known as the Vintage Series. As soon as I heard about the introduction — being on the vintage side of things myself — I was eager to get a sample of both a Vintage holster and gun belt for evaluation.
The Vintage Series of holsters and the matching Underground Carry Belt are not designed to look old, distressed or vaguely worn out. According to the Versacarry press release, “The leather in the Vintage Series goes through a special tanning process that gives the leather a stylish look with a durable finish”. khaki thread is used in stitching to stand out adding to the look.
The Vintage Series of Versacarry leather gear will be available for the Guardian Holster line, as well as for their belts, rifle slings, and wallets. The optics compatible Guardian OWB holster will feature three different available models with nine color variations for a total offering of 27 different holster design options. The Guardian is available in four sizes in right- and left-hand configurations to fit a wide variety of handgun models.
For testing, I chose a Luna Model with “distressed brown” as the base color and black as the patch color. I matched the holster with the same pattern for the Underground Carry belt. The black patch on the holster is circled by the khaki thread — which highlights the stylized Versacarry “V” emblem in the center. Currently the only buckle color is silver, but a gold color buckle would look awesome as well. Chicago screws hold the buckle in place.
The khaki thread is applied in a single stitch on most of the holster, with double rows of stitching used on the Underground Carry belt to hold the main portion of the belt together and another two rows used to hold the contrasting black accent band.
The Luna holster I tested fit the Springfield Armory SA-35 I own. A gently upgraded version of the original P-35, I rate the SA-35 as the most accurate — and easy to shoot — commercially produced double-column 9mm pistol on the market today. In elegance, the SA-35 has no peer among production 9mm pistols.
The all-steel SA-35 weighs in at 31.5 oz. unloaded. With a full magazine, we are talking about a fairly hefty loadout, making the SA-35 the perfect test handgun for the Versacarry Vintage Luna Holster and Underground Carry Belt.
The Luna Holster itself has a number of features that make it a great holster regardless of handgun carried — especially cocked-and-locked 1911-type pistols or the cocked-and-locked SA-35. These features are as follows:
- A full-wrapping pouch design that enhances the protection of fine firearms and facilitates a smooth draw and safe re-holstering.
- Forward cant draw angle, with ideal draw position and natural access.
- Optics compatibility.
- Manufactured in the U.S.A.
- Double-ply raised backing that shields the wearer from irritation from cocked-and-locked hammers and frame corners.
- Flexvent Technology for additional comfort.
Although the Water Buffalo construction of both the belt and holster is initially stiff, as it should be, break-in time was relatively short. In fact, the Luna holster itself didn’t need ANY break in time — which is what I found with the other two Versacarry holsters I previously tested and still use.
Much of my wear testing with a “live” gun was during church services carrying the SA-35 under various 5.11 Tactical short-sleeve button-up shirts with a spare magazine in my front left pocket — I had not thought to ask for a Versacarry magazine pouch which is unfortunate as several models are available.
The Luna rides close to the body, but still provides easy draw access due in part to its near-perfect muzzle forward cant of the handgun grip. The draw angle is naturally smooth and re-holstering is easy. The entire rig remained concealed well under the 5.11 shirts I wear, with no noticeable bulges and certainly no discomfort, despite carrying a pistol the size of the SA-35. The comfort of the rig was excellent, especially as the belt became more flexible.
There is one other significant thing to remember about the Vintage Luna holster and Underground Carry Belt — they are designed to be carried openly as well as concealed. Why come up with a stylish yet practical rig if everyone carries it under shirts, sweaters or jackets all the time? It’s designed to be seen under the right, legal conditions — at the range, for informal competition, or as a dress holster and rig for a barbecue or other gun-friendly event. I could see wearing this rig openly while operating a farm tractor, hiking on one’s property, cutting the grass, or engaging in other outdoor activities.
Not only does the Versacarry Vintage Luna Holster and Underground Carry belt make for a splendid and practical carry rig, but it is also durable and great looking. Better still, it is also reasonably priced — a custom-quality rig priced like those that are mass-produced. The Luna Vintage Holster is priced starting at $49.99, while the matching Underground Carry Belt is priced at $69.99.
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