In 1988, I became one of the few Ohio law enforcement instructors certified in both defensive tactics and firearms. This dual skill set allowed me to understand weapon retention vs. fast draw (defensive tactics vs firearms instruction) when it came to selecting department duty holsters.

When I review various concealment holsters, I try to keep both issues in mind. This way, I am recommending holsters that address these primary considerations, as well as comfort and accessibility. The new Urban Carry LockLeather outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster does a great job of balancing all of these requirements. The result is a concealed carry holster that is better than perhaps any OWB holster I’ve worked with before.

LockLeather from Urban Carry Holster Description

Its name alone explains what is unique about this holster. It is a leather holster with an ingenious built-in, polymer trigger guard locking system that helps keep the weapon secure without slowing the draw. It is simple, effective and intuitive.

The Urban Carry LockLeather holster starts as 100 percent American-made, premium leather. It is 25,000-pounds pressed and form-fitted into an open-top holster with extra reinforcement at the top. The leather models are available in brown or black.

Two built-in belt slots for belts up to 1.75 inches wide are provided. Magazine holders are available separate or attached. The LockLeather’s ultra-thin profile keeps the handgun — in my case a Remington R1 Ultralight Executive .45 — tucked in close to the body. But it’s not so close that grasping the grip is difficult.

The most important feature is the seamlessly integrated locking mechanism concealed inside the holster. When you holster your handgun, pushing it down in until you feel it “click,” the polymer locking mechanism clasps the trigger guard to help retain the handgun. Instead of utilizing a release lever to draw the handgun, the wearer simply gives his or her handgun a firm tug. The locking mechanism is cleared as part of the draw stroke.

While this system won’t protect the handgun from being taken in a prolonged gun grab attack, it will slow them down long enough for you to counter or draw a backup. And it will certainly keep the gun from popping out of the holster during exertional movements. There is a Phillips head screw adjustment to customize the tension of the locking device to the user’s preference.

Wearing the LockLeather Daily

The LockLeather is an extremely comfortable holster due in a large part to a sweat guard that extends slightly above the rear of the slide/frame. The guard keeps the hammer and thumb safety from digging into your side. The LockLeather rides well on the waist, positioned neither too far above nor below the beltline for an optimum draw.

I requested my LockLeather sample in plain brown. It arrived as stiff as new leather can be expected. To smooth it out, I worked my unloaded R1 in and out of the holster and tweaked the lock tensioning screw. Once it was more broken in, I practiced drawing an unloaded gun from the LockLeather mounted on an Urban Carry belt that I’ve worn regularly for several years. The excellent (and must-read) directions that come packaged with the LockLeather unequivocally state the holster must be used with a stiff belt. Weak, thin belts that have slop in them will prevent clearing the lock and drawing the handgun.

I expected to need to tug harder than when using a holster without the automatic lock but was pleasantly surprised to find the draw required a similarly firm tug as should occur naturally.

Urban Carry on the Street

I’ve been carrying Remington Ultralight in the LockLeather rig all week and really love it. It’s comfortable and accessible when driving, on walks or while attending double church services. The LockLeather easily conceals the R1 underneath a sweater, vest or casual shirt. And I had no concerns about it being noticed.

The webpage shows the holster is not designed to work with a trigger-guard mounted laser. However, it works fine with the Crimson Trace LaserGrip I have mounted. The price of Urban Carry LockLeather holster is $69.95. An inside-the-waistband version is available for the same price.


Urban Carry:
Remington Arms:
Crimson Trace: