The Barranti “Texas Safari” line was born sitting on a ridge in West Texas in the late afternoon sun. Mike had just shot an aoudad after a lengthy stalk over tricky terrain, with a red pad Ruger No. 1 in 7x57. We had about an hour to kill before our ride would show up, and it was one of those days when the light was perfect. I was casually glassing the country to the east, and was struck, as always, by the quantity and variety of game and other animals in our part of Texas, the Rolling Plains. “You know, Mike,” I said, shifting my binoculars back under my shoulder, “the gear on this trip has been just about as cool as the hunt itself.” That was true. Every evening we would sort of pile all our stuff on the kitchen table and decide what to use the next day. Everything from knives to cartridge carriers. Mike looked at me with this raised Sicilian eyebrow. “I know that’s right,” he said. He laid the rifle down in the thin grass. “Like a Texas safari.”
This led to a good discussion on the merits of single shot stalking rifles and the little things that can make or break a hunt. Finally, Mike said, “Maybe I should put together a line of gear – call it the ‘Texas Safari’ line – come up with a special stamp, some new patterns. With a Texas kick to it.” Inspired, he was writing stuff down. “So much of what I build is sixgun or pistol related. It’s time,” he mused, “to add some more things for the rifle hunter.” A new rifle sling design, with a Cowpuncher Bit and Spur buckle on it and no Chicago screws. A culling belt, and an open-top cartridge slide. A binocular strap that is near heirloom quality. An offering of handmade knives suitable for the field or daily carry, all ready to go in a variety of first-quality sheath designs. No need to get fancy with the leather, just the oil tanned good stuff that will last forever.
The next morning, one of our friends along on the hunt, Matt Grabbe of Tyler Gun Works, brought out a set of shooting sticks, more of a cradle, that he had built, and asked Mike what he thought of trying to build them. An intriguing design, they had just started working through the details when some movement caught our eye at the edge of the tree line, a coyote chasing back and forth among some crows at 420 yards. Dylan Tyler went to fetch a rifle, another 7x57, and Matt settled in to a sitting position behind the sticks and pegged the coyote with his first shot. I am not a very good rifleman, and I sat up and took notice. Mike did, too.
Everything about the hunt turned out to be memorable. By the time Mike landed back home, his tablet was filled with sketches of ideas and within a few days, he was already building the prototypes. It is fun watching a craftsman get excited about his trade, especially so when the quality is extraordinary. The logo for the line comes from a nontypical drop tine whitetail I shot some years ago, shortly before I met Mike, and I am thrilled to see the Texas Safari line of leather come together and grow.
Much of our effort has been directed towards handgunners. This line of gunleather is geared towards the rifleman. Just as the North African Aoudad has thrived in the Rolling Plains of Texas, this gear is just as at home here as it would be in the African Savanah.
The Texas Safari logo is sketched from a unique, nontypical drop tine buck shot by friend Mark Hargrove. It seemed appropriate to use a deer he had taken since he has had an active hand in the creation of the Texas Safari™ gear.
Like all our gunleather, the Texas Safari™ Line is built with aesthetics in mind, and an eye towards ‘minimalism’. This, combined with the ‘form follows function’ approach to design, gives you great looking gear with clean and graceful lines.
Each product in the Texas Safari™ Line is built with the input of rifle shooters and hunters. With function and practicality in mind, the goal is to provide the hunter with everything they need, and nothing that they don’t.
These products would be just as at home on a late 19th Century African Safari as they are here in the hunting fields of the early 21st Century. The classical style of this gear could let it be confused for vintage gunleather. The timeless design and quality construction of this gunleather gives you a product that you can use everyday, and pass on to the next generation of hunters.
Classic and Timeless:
The Texas Safari™ Line by Barranti Leather
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