Elephant Hide? - Pistolsmith

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Old 12-08-2001, 06:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 581
I remember MarkTHG used to sell a Elephant hide holster. Big bucks if I recall.

Anyone know if someone else is now making them?


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Old 12-08-2001, 07:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,831
Actually the price of elephant is extra ordinary. I sent Lou looking for me and a special project I am working on for a good customer. We were both a little dumbfounded.

I suspect some are using only embossed hide that a elephant-like grain added to it and not the real thing. The real thing is hard to fine, has to be bought in large pieces ($1000 at a time or more) and is very expensive per square foot.

Lou will have some soon. "WE" might share if there is some extra :grin:
Old 12-08-2001, 09:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: North Georgia Mountains
Posts: 181
This dude might be able to help you Tom

The Kelly Leather Co. wholesales African Ostrich and Elephant
skins in the USA. Our line of stock includes the full range of
colors and grades.

We also represent US tanners for the finest vegetable tanned
leather for belts, boots, saddles, holsters and tack

Kelly Leather Co.
1812-G Reliance Parkway
Bedford, TX 76021, USA.

Contact name: Jay Kelly
Phone: 817-399-0044
Fax 817-399-0040
Email kelleco@aol.com

Old 12-09-2001, 08:17 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: City of Champions--Artesia, NM
Posts: 270
I know Mitch Rosen has done some work in elephant before. I saw some in a magazine he did for Clint Smith. But, from Mitch when you get it you will be an old man!!

Wait, most of you guys here ARE old men!!

Seriously, elephant is extremely tough and resilent. It will last for dern near forever.
Old 12-10-2001, 12:41 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 326
Dane is right, elephant is quite expensive and tough to come by. I have done some work in it in the past, including a sheath for a Randall hunting knife for Pete Carber of CAC.
What you folks have to realize as customers is that it's just not usually practical for a holstermaker to keep on-hand a large supply of exotic hides. Reason being: most are sold by the square foot (alligator is priced by the centimeter!); but I can't just call a supplier and say I need three square feet of whatever exotic. I must buy the whole hide. The suppliers will not cut it.
Also keep in mind that almost all exotics are sold pre-dyed; not natural like the veg-tanned cow and horse we use to make your holsters. So you want a holster in gold ostrich. I quote you a price we agree on; I call and order a whole hide (8-12 sq. ft.) and make your holster and mag pouch; which require approx. 3 square feet. Now I'm left with this left-over gold ostrich. Sure as hell, the next customer who wants ostrich will want cognac or some other color instead of gold; and the holster maker now has to invest in another hide that he may not get any more call for for some time. This is part of what drives up the cost and leads to the seemingly inflated prices.
As to the elephant trunk leather I've worked with in the past; I do have a contact in the western custom boot trade that will sell me scraps to work in. These are usually large enough to do a holster, and this works great for me; but I'm limited to colors and sizes he has on hand-so it's kind of hit or miss. Hope this helps explain things some.
Safe shooting,
Mark Garrity
Garrity's Gunleather
Old 12-10-2001, 07:02 AM   #6
Posts: n/a
I purchased a lined Elephant skin ARG holster from Mitch Rosen for a 1911 about five years ago and the cost new at that time was $550, it is still in excellent condition and I am glad to hear that the hides are that expensive as my investment is sound.

Mark, gold Ostrich skin huh... are you sure you did not go into the exotic leather business for those dancers...?

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