Lou Alessi made custom holsters for nearly 50 years. He became recognized as one of the top holster makers in the world. All his work was/is done manually, and hand finished. As far as quality, Alessi holsters are second to none. The quality and performance of Alessi holsters matches up well against the upper ranks of custom makers like Del Fatti holsters, Milt Sparks, and Josh Bulman holsters.
The only downside to with Alessi is the wait time. Since everything is basically done by hand, it takes anywhere from 9 to 24 months to get a holster completed. I’ve got a couple of Alessi holsters and I’ve waited anywhere from 12 months to 22 months for them to arrive.
Alessi holsters produces a number of excellent designs including the following models:
Alessi CQC – The CQC (which stands for Close Quarters Combat) is a belt holster that is designed to be worn on the strong side. It mounts to the belt using fore and aft belt slots, although Alessi also offers the CQC-S, which snaps onto the belt.
DOJ – The Alessi DOJ was originally created for the California Department of Justice. It proved to be very popular, so Alessi began offering it to the public. The DOJ is an Aksins Avenger type pancake holster that is designed to be worn on the strong side. The original DOJ series had no cant (or 0 cant), but forward cant models were later introduced.
Talon IWB Clip – The Talon originally started out as a clip-on IWB holster made from soft, pliable leather. When the weapon was drawn, holster had no reinforcement so it collapsed. Eventually, Lou started building the Talon’s out of cowhide and began using his patented “Talon” clip as a means to attach the holster to the belt. I’ve got a number of Alessi holsters, but the Talon is still one of my all-time favorite clip-on IWB holsters.
Ankle holster – The Alessi ankle holster is really the Cadillac of ankle holsters on the market. Unlike some other brands, the Alessi is designed to be worn on the weak side ankle versus the strongside ankle. I have one of his ankle holsters, and it’s hand down the most comfortable ankle rig I’ve ever owned.
From a price standpoint, Alessi holsters aren’t cheap, but they aren’t the most expensive thing on the market either. You know the old saying, “you get what you pay for”? Well, with these holsters, you really do get what you pay for.
Unfortunately, Mr. Alessi passed away in February of 2009 after a brief illness. Having met Mr. Alessi at the Shot Show a few different times, I can tell you that he was one of the most generous, honest, and down to earth people I’ve met in quite awhile. He will be sorely missed, however, his wife Idamarie has decided to continue Lou’s holster legacy so his holster business will continue to produce some of the best gun leather in the world.
I actually have an Alessi Talon IWB for an S&W J frame that is close to 25 years old, and it looks like it’s seen better days. Over the years, the Talon clip has broken a few times. As the Alessi stuff comes with a lifetime guarantee, I sent the holster back to Alessi for repair. Each time, I sent it back to Alessi, and they replaced it with no questions asked. Every time the staff at Alessi replaced the clip, they basically refurbish the holster by cleaning and and treating it. Now that’s what I call a lifetime warranty and customer service!
The Alessi family sold the holster business in 2019, and in 2020, Alessi Holsters went out of business for good.
However, two former Alessi employees who make excellent holsters in their own right are these two:
Ritchie Leather Company: https://www.ritchieholsters.com/
5 Shot Leather: http://www.5shotleather.com/