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New Pistol Holster Options

This article originally appeared in CONCEALMENT Issue 13

1791 Gunleather BH2.1
Fits: Various models from Glock, Heckler & Koch, Ruger, SIG SAUER, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Taurus, Walther, and more
MSRP: $100

Notes: The BH2.1 is a part of 1791 Gunleather’s Project Stealth lineup, which is the first to combine “the comfort of leather and the extreme durability of carbon fiber,” according to the company. In our experience, carbon fiber isn’t always durable. Depending on the weave, this space-age material can chip and scratch quite easily and, while its strength-to-weight ratio is quite high, can crack rather than bend.

Fortunately, the Carbitex patented CX6 carbon fiber in the BH2.1 is flexible, not just for increased resilience, but also to conform to a wide range of popular handguns, from Glocks to SIGs. Plus, it’s bonded to 100-percent U.S. heavy native steerhide — not just glued together as an afterthought — so the OWB holster feels like one solid unit that’s quite comfortable to carry for long periods of time.

The only quibble we had was when we jammed our S&W M&P Shield 9mm in too deeply; the mag release got pushed inside the mouth of the holster, disengaging the lock and loosening our magazine. Realizing this, we didn’t seat our gun so aggressively thereafter and didn’t have any problems with our magazines or with overall retention.

CrossBreed Holsters Freedom-Carry IWB Holster
Fits: Various models from CZ, Glock, Heckler & Koch, Ruger, SIG SAUER, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Taurus, Walther, and more
MSRP: Starting at $64.50

Notes: The Freedom-Carry strikes a balance between versatility and a slim comfortable carry. Its Kydex pocket handles full-size guns outfitted with lights, lasers, and slide-mounted red-dots, while its comfortable leather backing has an L-shape that keeps your pistol’s frame and slide from touching your body without adding too much bulk to the whole package.

The only gripe we have is that it has only one belt clip, so the holster could shift slightly depending on your carry position, belt setup, and type of body movement (e.g. sitting versus hauling gear out of your truck). Still, this CrossBreed holster performs well and rides comfortably in most non-yoga positions.

The Freedom-Carry has three leather options and five color choices for the Kydex, including FDE and Tiffany Blue. Meant for strong side, cross-draw, or appendix carry, this IWB holster features a locking clip design. But for an additional $5, you can get a J-Hook or a V-clip.

Comp-Tac Victory Gear EV2 Holster
Fits: P CZ, Glock, Heckler & Koch, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson
MSRP: $57

Notes: Looking for a simple, tuckable AIWB option for your compact pistol? The EV2 carries remarkably securely using only a single, over-the-belt nylon clip that snaps over the belt for easy donning and doffing without the need for unsightly belt unbuckling.

While some AIWB rigs feature a wide belt clip to aid in rotational stability, the EV2’s clip is pretty narrow. We view this as a benefit since it reduces belt loop interference and allows it to ride almost anywhere on the belt line between 12 and 2 o’clock. Despite the single, narrow belt clip, the holsters is very stable thanks to outboard tension applied to the inside of the belt using Comp-Tac’s version of a claw strut which they call the Comp-Tac Kick. The belt loop has two ride height positions and a few degrees of rotation adjustment, so you can further tune the grip angle for concealment or draw efficiency.

We found the EV2 comfortable and stable, and unlike some competitors, the Comp-Tac doesn’t half-ass the trigger cover. It covers the trigger guard like a condom on our Sig P365, leaving no chance for something to work its way in.

Safariland Holsters 575 Slim GLS Pro-Fit Holster
Fits: Glock 43, Springfield XDS and Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm, .40, .45
MSRP: $55

Notes: Security is the name of the game with Safariland’s 575 GLS IWB series. The newest version is slimmed down and accommodates a few popular subcompacts, though, the Sig P365 is disappointingly not on the fit list. The 575 Slim uses the company’s GLS retention system that locks the pistol into the holster by hooking the trigger guard. Grabbing a handful of the grip, as you would when drawing naturally, puts pressure on the release pad and seamlessly releases the trigger guard hook.

The wide belt clip, combined with a good gun belt, provides good stability whether worn up front outboard. Comfort is addressed admirably by a fully rounded body, enclosed muzzle, and tall sweat shield and the deeply cut top leaves plenty of room for a slide-mounted RDS. The 575 loses points, though, when it comes to adjustability. You can rotate the belt clip for presentation angle, but you can’t change the ride height.

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