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Posts in category Holster Reviews

Gear Craft Holsters IWB & Mag Carrier Review

Let me just start by saying that this holster combination is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!  Makes me want to get another set as OWB just to show it off.  But we are not here to just talk about looks, we need to see how well these works of art stand up to everyday usage.

When I began reviewing this holster set, they were currently on M1 (Model 1). They are now currently on M2, which I did get my hands on and will be basing this review on.

M1 Pattern: Georgia State Flag (Weathered)

M2 Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gear Craft Holsters IWB Holster and Mag Carrier provide you with a couple different methods of carry, which is always a good thing when picking out a holster for you EDC load out. We will go into more detail as we go but here are the basic carry options afforded with this setup:

  • Appendix
  • 4:30-5:00


IWB Holster

As I mentioned in my opening, this holster provides you with several different carry options.  Changing the method of carry is super simple.  All you have to do is loosen the right (if the holster is facing you) screw and swivel the 1.5” belt clip.

The clip features the Gear Craft Holsters logo and works very well.  This is one of the better single clips out there; as it clips very securely to the belt and does not move easily (as long as your belt is also 1.5”).  Swiveling the clip is adjusting the cant of the holster from 0º to 15º.  This gives you the perfect angle for drawing at the 4:30-5:00 position or if you prefer a cant in the appendix position.

Appendix Carry Position

In this position, the holster rides nicely and even without the cant it has enough clearance above the belt to get a full firing grip on the draw.  Even with all-day movement and constant standing up and sitting down, the holster stays in place.  If you have ever used a one clip holster design before you know that this is sometimes a challenge (more like annoyance).

4:30-5:00 Position

Without the cant, this position would not be worth mentioning with this holster because drawing straight up from being the hip is certainly not the most comfortable or smoothest thing one can do.  If that were the only option, this holster would work in the standard 3:00 strong side position (this position, with an IWB Kydex holster, is not very comfortable).


Mag Carrier

When I first received this holster and mag carrier combo, I was amazed at the design of the mag carrier.  At first I believed that it was simply designed to be ambidextrous because it had holes for the clip on both sides.


While this is true, there is another purpose for this. By switching the clip to the opposite side from where you carry it inside-the-waistband you can switch the carrier from IWB to OWB! How cool is that?


Comfort & Concealment 

In both appendix and 4:30-5:00 carry, this holster is a dream.  From M1 to M2, there were some modifications made to the corners of the holster which makes it fit perfectly in the appendix carry position without poking you in the thigh. This is even true in low cut jeans. The Mag carrier on the other hand I find to be optimal when carried, IWB, in the front right next to the holster in appendix carry. This combo sits nicely and is very comfortable. With a good belt, you could forget you’re even carrying them.

img_0426

In every other position, with the mag carrier, I found it to be uncomfortable after several hours. There would be a feeling of soreness around the area where the holster was, which could be due to the sharp edges.  In OWB carry, the mag carrier worked wonderfully as long as there was a belt loop to keep it from sliding around on the belt.

Concealment is great in any position with normal fitting clothing. In some slimmer fit shirts, there may be a slight hint of printing that would not be noticeable to the average person.

Conclusion

After spending several months putting this holster and spare mag carrier through the paces, I find the combination of the two to be absolutely fantastic! Not only do they look amazing, they are well made and provide several options of carry. There are may other patterns and colors available to suit just about everyone.


I highly recommend Gear Craft Holsters for your EDC needs. Check them out and let them know I sent you.

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– Peace

 

Volcanic Kydex Creations IWB Holster Review

The Volcanic Kydex Creations (VKC) IWB Holster is handmade right here in the grand ol’ USA.  When ordering you have the choice of several different colors and the option to have it made with a single, adjustable cant clip (which is what I have) or a tuckable J Hook.

Volcanic Kydex Creations IWB Holster

Retention

Straight out of it’s packaging, the holster has one of the most desirable “chicks” I have heard (it is still there after months of testing).  This positive audible click is usually a good sign that the mold is perfect and retention is very good.  And indeed it was.  In fact, the retention was so good that I loosened it a bit, with the adjustable retention screws, to make for a smoother draw.

This is the type of retention that is perfect for anyone who is very active or ones that acknowledge that running, jumping, flipping, etc. might be required in a life or death situation. (You wouldn’t want to successfully retreat from a bad situation only to discover you dropped your favorite handgun in the process!) It also makes for a very deliberate draw. The gun isn’t coming out unless you want it to. This is great for practicing your draw because it forces you to really work on a solid presentation instead of being lazy.

Comfort

For Appendix In-The-Waist Band (AIWB) carry, full kydex holsters can either be extremely uncomfortable, bearably uncomfortable, or extremely comfortable.  It is clear that VKC thought about this in their design by rounding off all the edges.

Volcanin Kydex Creations

These rounded edges allow you to move freely through the the day. Even sitting is comfortable without having the holster poking you in the thigh, or needing to be adjusted every time you stand up an/or sit. (This of course depends on your belt, which we will discuss later in the next section)

If AIWB carry is not your flavor, this holster still works for you.  The adjustable cant of the single clip option allows this holster to be carried in the 4-5 o’clock position while allowing for a smooth comfortable draw.

I find this position to be great with this holster.

Now to the part that really matters to us here at Dapper Concealed Carry…

Concealment

In both the appendix and the 4-5 o’clock carry positions this holster conceals very well.  The ride height is very generous and allows you to get a full firing grip on the firearm before drawing.

 

Most of the time this is seen as a negative for concealment because the grip of the gun is what tends to be the most difficult part to conceal.  With this holster, I didn’t find it to be a problem.  In fact I find it easier to conceal when the gun rides high.  The thing that helps this with the VKC IWB Holster is a small indenture under the clip to allow the clip to get a good hold on the belt.

Volcanic Kydex Creations - Molded Clip

Speaking of belts, I did run across something to look out for with holster and belts. Belt thickness (not width) is not something that we particularly think about when selecting belts, but with this particular holster’s clip it is something to consider. If you noticed in previous photos that my belt seemed to be pushed over to the side away from the center, this was not on accident. Because of the thinness of my belts, the holster would shift slightly throughout the day, in the appendix carry position, due to constant sitting down and standing up. So to fix this, I put my belts on from right to left; which allows for the excess to be on my appendix side and creates a thicker support for the molded clip.  This adjustment does cause the holster to push out a little further from the body, but not enough to create a printing problem.


 I have not had this problem in the 4-5’oclock position.

Conclusion

The Volcanic Kydex Creations IWB Holster is a fantastic holster that fits into most EDC load outs.  It works well in the appendix carry as well as the 4-5 o’clock positions.  The rounded edges makes it very comfortable and easily concealable.

Currently the Volcanic Kydex Creations website is being updated and I am waiting to hear back from the owner about how you can contact them to place your order.

Stay tuned for the video review coming soon.

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– Peace

Rubber City Holsters: The Akron Holster Review

Having spent almost an entire year exclusively carrying appendix with the Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (you can read my review of it here), I was both eager and skeptical to try out this holster from Rubber City Holsters.

 Retention

Let me start off by saying that, with this holster, the gun is not coming out unless you WANT it to.  The factory retention of this holster is beyond what I consider to be adequate for an IWB holster (it does come with an additional spacer that can loosen it up if desired).  It is absolutely superb and feels as if you could throw it across a room with the gun in it and the gun will stay in place (if you are going to try this make sure you UNLOAD the gun and throw it into a sofa or on the bed, so you don’t scratch up your firearm or the walls).

This level of retention is fantastic for draw practice because you can not lazily draw from this holster; the draw has to be strong and deliberate to get the handgun out.  Check out the following videos to see the draw from this holster.

 Comfort

Previous to this holster, my experience with AIWB holsters was from a few weeks with a DeSantis Pro Stealth, which is made out of ballistic nylon and almost a full year with a Crossbreed Holsters Appendix Carry (Check out my review of it here), which is a hybrid kydex mold with cowhide backing.  I had always been skeptical about a full kydex mold inside my pants.  Just the thought of it seemed uncomfortable because there was no padding or cushion to keep the holster from poking you.  I was presently surprised to find that this holster was extremely comfortable once I found the sweet spot.

There is one caveat.  Depending on the pants and where the belt loops are place, you may not get the holster perfectly in your sweet spot every time until you memorize the location on each pair of pants you have (this is a nightmare if you are a fashion junkie).

The above pictures show the different placements that can occur (Left: inside the belt loop, Right: outside the belt loop) with different pants and trying to achieve the sweet spot.  This approximately 1 inch difference makes a HUGE difference in the overall comfort of this holster because of its rounded edge around the clip/retention screws.

Get the placement wrong and you will quickly realize it after sitting down for a period of time.  When the holster is not in the sweet-spot, this rounded edge digs into your thigh and it can be painful if you do not adjust it.

Concealment

Because of its .08 thickness, the Rubber City Holsters: The Akron Holster slips inside-the-waistband easily and doesn’t add any unnecessary bulging.  Using the injection molded strut with soft loop, the holster holds close to the body and doesn’t move too much once you adjust the loop to your belt’s thickness.  There is also an injection molded clip available that I have not tried out yet, but I will update this review when I do.

This holster is tuckable and even though the loop or clip isn’t hidden, I was never asked about it nor do I think anyone actually saw it anyways; because like I’ve said before, nobody wants to look at another person’s crotch unless they are a pervert.

Adjustments

Sometimes a holster is almost perfect but is hindered by one or two minor adjustments needing to be made.  Rubber City Holsters has thought about this and provide some fantastic height adjustments that make this holster even more awesome.  The injection molded strut and soft loop both have 3 different holes at different heights allowing you to tailor the holster to your likings.  Out of the 9 possible settings, I adjusted mine 3 times before settling on what I find to be the perfect setting for me.

From left to right in the pictures above, you can see the 3 different heights I experimented with.  Also with these height adjustments, I altered how tight the loop was around the belt, which slightly affects the height as well but more importantly how much wiggle you will get throughout the day or when drawing.  If you prefer a deeper concealment you can achieve it and if you want to get a firm grip on the firearm before drawing you can achieve that as well (3rd picture).

Conclusions

At $55 for a handcrafted in the USA kydex holster, The Akron from Rubber City Holsters is a great addition to your holster collection or if you are looking for a new EDC holster.  With its superb retention, ability to tuck, and range of adjustments this holster is definitely amongst my favorites and I currently go to it more than my Crossbreed (gasp).

If you decide to give this holster a try, visit Rubber City Holsters and you can receive 10% OFF of your entire order by using the coupon code “DCCW10” at checkout.

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– Peace

 

 

 

Springfield Armory Holster & Mag Pouch Review

One of the incentives to purchasing a pistol from Springfield Armory is that they come with a Paddle Holster and Dual Mag Pouch.  This makes it easy to start training and/or carrying as soon as you purchase the gun.  But if you spend time on any gun forum, you will likely see a wide range of comments either giving these holster “freebies” a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  This review is based on my experience with the XD-S Gear line of products, but these are the exact same for all of Springfields handguns (XD, XD(M), 1911), only differing in dimensions for their respective guns (XD Gear, XD(M) Gear, 1911 Gear).

Paddle Holster

Because this was my first holster, my initial thoughts was that this holster is pretty nice and I didn’t really understand why there seemed to be so many negative comments about it.  The factory retention was good (until I had something to compare it to) and the holster didn’t make the gun protrude too far from my waist to cause serious printing (this differs outfit to outfit).   If you desire greater or lesser retention, Springfield supplies a hex key for adjustment.  I also really liked the ability to easily slip this holster on or off, with or without the gun, no matter the type of pants, or if I was wearing a belt or not .  For this reason, The XD-S Gear Paddle Holster is my goto around the house holster.XD-S Gear Paddle Holster w/ Sweatpants

The holster has a very slim profile and does not have a lot of extra material adding unnecessary bulk.  Even though it sits fairly close to the body, you are able to get a solid grip on your pistol before drawing.  There is a slight forward cant that makes for a more natural flow of motion on the draw.  This could take a little getting used to if you are used to stong-side holsters without a cant.

Dual Mag Pouch

Unlike the holster, the XD-S Gear Dual Mag Pouch requires a belt (you do wear belts right?); so there is no easy on and off here.   Factory retention is really good and may even be too tight for some.  As you can see from the above photo, there is a good amount of magazine left exposed for gaining a good grip for mag changes.  You can also see the awkward “V” placement of the magazines in this pouch.  This can create a problem on the draw for some.  The front mag (left) comes out smoothly with a natural motion because of its forward cant, but the rear mag (right) has a backwards cant that sometimes works against the natural draw from standard straight up draw of other mag carriers.  You can train and practice to overcome this obstacle, but if you have un-canted mag pouches for other guns, this may offset your muscle memory.

Concealment

With their slim profiles, these holsters conceal fairly well.  But the more form fitting your clothing, the more likely you are to be printing.  The “V” shape of the mag pouch makes the magazines sit higher than usual, which causes printing.  I would put these holsters in the category of being dependent on the clothes.

Conclusion

While some may bash on these holsters like they are the worst on the planet, I find them to be adequate enough for training and carry.  Are there better products available on the market?  Certainly, but these are essentially FREE with you handgun purchase.  And if someone is purchasing their first gun, like myself, its great to not have to immediately spend more money on a holster rig that you may or may not like.  The Springfield Armory holsters and mag pouches provide a viable option to carrying a handgun and additional magazines.

Feel free to comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this holster combination.

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– Peace

620 Concealment OWB Kydex Holster Review

Even though I prefer IWB carry, I cannot deny the pleasure of carrying OWB with a nice kydex holster.  And the 620 Concealment OWB Kydex Holster is just that.  Let me preface this review by stating that my only prior experience with Outside-the-Waistband holsters was the XDs Gear Paddle Holster that comes with the Springfield Armory XDs Series pistols.

Retention

As with every holster that I have purchased or received, the first thing I did after unpacking this holster was UNLOAD my firearm and check the fitment and retention.  The first thing that really stood out to me was that there was this sensationally loud “click” sound when inserting the gun into this holster that I had to recreate several times before further examining this holster.

My first thoughts were, “My XDs Gear holster never sounded like this”. (I soon after dug out the hex key that came with the XDs Gear holster and tightened the retention)

Along side the positive “click” when holstering, unholstering is smooth and requires a minimal amount of force but it is enough to make sure drawing is a deliberate action.  If you have to take off running while carrying with this holster, your gun will not flop out and hit the ground.

Comfort

I do believe that most will agree that, Outside-the-Waistband carry is probably the most comfortable method of on-body carry; even with the super comfortable Inside-the-Waistband holsters available today.  Even while driving, this holster was comfortable.  But because of tactics I usually remove the pistol from the holster before buckling up when carrying OWB.

Concealment

The 620 Concealment Kydex OWB Holster lives up to its “concealment” title.  Even on the first day of carrying this holster I immediately noticed the difference between it and my XDs Gear Paddle Holster.  It’s slim design allows the gun to sit very close to the body, which really aids in concealment when wearing shirts that fit.  Even with this there are still some shirts that will cause printing.  But as I stated in the IWB vs OWB Carry article, it is minimal and a person would have to be look very closely to truly notice.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a Kydex OWB Holster for your Everyday Carry (EDC) or to add to your collection, at this price it is hard to beat this holster from 620 Concealment.  Check them out and please let them know who sent you.

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– Peace

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