Don Caswell discovers RMK Leather Works fits a perfect niche
Combining leather accessories with blued steel and timber, as in a classic rifle, really rings my bell.
I have for many years carried a few spare rounds on my belt in custom-made leather pouches. Growing wear and tear on that gear, and the need for some other leather carry pouches, prompted me to look for an Aussie-based leather craftsman.
I am happy to support local craftsmen and don’t mind a small premium for true quality and a personal connection. I grow frustrated with Chinese-made produce that has replaced so many, formerly reliable, everyday items.
These days, my search took me straight to the computer and the internet. I had already seen some promising posts for Australian-made leather gear on Instagram. I searched on an array of appropriate #tags and followed links back to websites. I also browsed the posts, comments and reviews of happy customers.
It did not take long to find what I was looking for and that turned out to be RMK Leather Works Australia based on the Sunshine Coast of southern Queensland. Their website is rmkleatherworks.com and RMK is also quite active on Instagram as @rmkleatherworks where they present examples of their handiwork with good quality photos and descriptions.
RMK Leather Works specialise in minimalist everyday carry solutions, which is one of my favourite themes. My immediate attention was drawn to the ammo pouches and other bush carry pockets. They do the sideways mounted knife retention sheaths for a number of knives and carry out custom jobs on request.
Their concise pouches that hold a handful of useful carry items, like folding blades and mini torches, also stood out to me. Urban usage is also catered for with wallets, multi-purpose pouches, belts and car organisers, among other things. All the leather is high-quality and the workmanship first-class with perfect stitching and excellent embossed designs. Not only are RMK Leather Works’ products extremely utilitarian and useful to the road or weekend warrior, they are also eye-catching accessories in their own right.
RMK Leather Works is a family outfit. Matt Keillor is the creator. Himself a keen shooter, he was inspired by some shooting accessories produced by his hobbyist leather-working father. That led to the formation of the company, which now employs other members of the family.
RMK strives for continuous improvement and is constantly looking to expand their product range with innovative adaptable options. They use a mix of Australian and internationally sourced leathers to make practical, minimalist carry solutions for the tools we love to carry about with us. As the expanding family workforce take over more the day-to-day production, Matt will be freed-up to develop new accessories.
First in line there will be a larger cartridge pouch that can handle longer big bore calibres. Also in the pipeline are cartridge loop belts, bolt pouches and simple, Rhodesian-style rifle slings.
I bought their eight-round ammo pouch and a Leatherman purse. The ammo pouch features an adjustable stud that allows this current version to cater for centrefire ammo in the .222 to .30-06 size range. Inside the pouch is a foam block that holds the rounds securely. Like the Leatherman pouch, there is a strong metal clip, rather than a simple belt loop, that allows it to be attached and removed without needing to unbuckle your belt. The full range of products is shown on their website. The logo is a pop culture reference that viewers of The Simpsons will notice resembles Grandpa Simpson’s WWII tattoo.
RMK Leather Works is offering a 15 per cent discount to Australian Hunter readers until December 31, 2022. The promo code for that is HUNTER15 and it covers belts, ammo pouches, holsters and pouches, patches and tags – visit rmkleatherworks.com