Raven is going to be the first in a series of Company Spotlights we plan to do in the coming months. We expect to focus initially on a series of Midwest-based companies producing American-made products or services.
For those who do not know, Raven Concealment is often looked to as the benchmark of American made Kydex and injection molded holsters.
The evolution of holsters from large leather outside the waistband (OWB solutions) to more compact inside the waistband (IWB) over the last several years has been a change that is interesting to watch. Like any industry in a capitalistic environment, you will find a company who tries to make a better widget. There will be leaders, followers, and imitators. Raven concealment is without a doubt a leader that focuses on doing what they do right.
I had the chance to sit with their new CEO, John Chapman or as many know him “Chappy.” A retired police officer that worked at both federal and local levels, a featured BCM gunfighter, owner of LMS Defense and so much more.
Chappy was brought into the company with a focus on spearheading products designed for concealed carry with end-users spanning across Gov’t agents, law enforcement and responsible citizens. Chappy is building on the success established by Raven’s owners who had already grown the company into the first nationally branded Kydex company. Indeed when I am approached by Kydex manufacturers to do a review, it is often with a line such as “our holsters are (as good as/ better than) Raven’s”.
Where Raven excels is in understanding machining and repeatable processes. I have run into some great Kydex benders who put time and effort into each product they ship out the door, an expensive and time-consuming problem caused by hand manufacturing. Raven understands this and has developed manufacturing processes that replicate the precision and repeatability of injection molding but with a Kydex product. This process assures there is no fluctuation between the holster your buddy ordered during the quiet season 6 months ago and the one you placed today in the height of the Christmas rush.
Raven Concealment controls manufacturing for 99% of the parts they use on their holsters and accessories. Fasteners being the only purchased items and rumor has it even that is coming in-house. Their manufacturing includes making their own injection molded belt loops and over hooks.
Part of their attention to detail stems from a corporate philosophy of living the lifestyle of the customers they service. Many employees carry every day. These are people who in many cases have used a gun at one time or another to defend their life or the lives of others. So when you call about an issue you’re getting someone that understands the importance of your holster working and fitting properly.