Friday, September 19, 2014

Hooray! I found my holster!

Not for me, you understand, which is why I was so very, very annoyed at not being able to find one of my holsters. I found someone who wanted to trade my XD.45 for a Glock 19. The XD wasn't precisely what he was looking for (and he's still looking for an XD or XDM in .40 if anyone's got one) but he liked that I had two holsters to offer with it. But you know how one is none and two is one? Two holsters turned out to be one once I tried to figure out where I had last put the Crossbreed Supertuck I had promised to trade. It took me a week to find it (that's a week after the trade was made!) and I was actually planning to give up today and order him a new holster. I didn't want to do that, of course, but it was a little late not to deliver what I'd promised. Luckily, giving up and deciding not to look for the thing anymore did the trick (as it so often does) and I found it sticking out of a drawer of clothes this morning. No idea how it got there; the last time I remembered seeing it was when I brought it into the house from the trunk of my car about three weeks ago.

The first holster I'd bought for the XD had been a BLACKHAWK! SERPA, followed by a BLACKHAWK! Sporter, the same basic holster without the SERPA retention device.  I trashed the SERPA early this year after learning that a rash of negligent discharges upon the draw were leading many instructors to ban it from gun school. I never had a problem personally, and in fact I liked the fact that, with my particular draw, the SERPA lock button tended to place my finger high on the frame, nowhere near the trigger. But there seemed to be little point in taking the risk, especially for a holster I wouldn't be able to use at gun school, and once I found videos of SERPAs locking up when they got dirty, there was just no point in messing with it. There are a LOT of holsters out there.

I held on to the Sporter, because without the retention device, it makes an excellent holster for range time and USPSA competition. It's secure, the big front cutout aids in reholstering, and the paddle attachment is robust and well-designed. My only comparison, from personal experience, is admittedly a Comp-Tac International competition holster . . . but that sample of one left me unimpressed. I like the Comp-Tac and continue to use it in USPSA with its slotted belt mount, but the paddle is thin and fragile, as if it were designed to save weight. Mine cracked in two across the top of the mount the first time I tried to slip it on. The Sporter has held up to years of use. 

Anyway, all that aside, I didn't lose the Sporter. I traded it with the pistol last weekend, and I was pleased to find that my new Glock came with the same holster (with the paddle already mounted.)

No, I lost that Crossbreed Supertuck that I had customized with my own "Combat Cut." Back when concealed carry in Illinois was more of a possibility on the horizon than a fait accompli, I wanted to carry my modern polymer pistol in a modern holster designed for it, so I looked around and noticed that all the buzz was about these Crossbreeds and other "hybrid" holsters. They were supposed to be the ultimate in comfort, and that sounded good, and they were "tuckable"for the ultimate in concealment, and that sounded great. I picked one up when my friends at KAP Guns were clearing them out at half price, the owner having been offended by something Crossbreed had done on their last order.

And I carried that XD across Missouri and Kansas in that holster, and it worked as advertised. It really was pretty comfortable, and I began to realize how little attention people paid to the odd bulge here or there on a clean-cut guy with his shirt tucked neatly in. It was carrying that XD across the west that made me rethink my assumption that I would need to get a small subcompact pistol "when carry passes." But it was also bulky, and it was very hard to do anything more athletic than a brisk walk with a full-weight service pistol in it. Today, I don't have a "hybrid" for the Glock I carry, and I won't be adding one. Instead, I'll be carrying the G19 (once it's vetted with carry ammo, which no, I haven't done yet) in the same Raven Concealment Phantom I use for the G17. I use the tuckable belt loops, and unlike the Crossbreed, that holster is locked onto my belt and going nowhere. I've actually carried after the gym with the RCS Phantom on a Volund Atlas belt worn over my gym shorts with no problems. The Phantom is a big wide kydex unit itself, but still significantly narrower than the Crossbreed.

The biggest difference of all may come down to the difference in belts, since I've made big changes toward stiffer, stronger gun belts since I stopped using the Crossbreed, but it is this: the Supertuck allowed the butt of the gun to jut out far from my side, while the Phantom causes it to tuck in. I can wear a G17 just behind my hip, and I'll feel the grip against my back most of the day. I *like* that feeling; it feels like I can wear a better-fitted shirt without giving away the game. I don't have to wear tighter shirts, of course, but I've lost 110 pounds over the last two years, and I'd hate to have to keep wearing big baggy stuff just so I could carry a big, bulky gun.

(Speaking of which: I've only tried on the G19 for a few minutes at a time, but I can't believe the difference such a small change in grip length makes. It may be that one day I'll have that G17 cut down to 19 length, if it's that big a payoff. We shall see.)

1 comment:

Tam said...

RCS makes nice stuff. I like my RCS holsters a bunch. And the belt really does make all the difference, doesn't it? :)