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).
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.
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.
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.
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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