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RCS Launches the Eidolon

Many of you old timers reading this will remember the bygone days of carrying a handgun in stitched animal hide. Some of you might even still do it. The last several years have certainly changed the way many people carry their weapon, and Kydex holsters have gone from a curiosity to what is arguably the new norm. One of the first companies to start selling Kydex holsters on a large scale was Raven Concealment Systems of Cleveland, Ohio., which got its start about a decade ago.

As a shooter, one of my greatest frustrations back then was locating a concealment holster that accommodated a weapon light. No coincidentally, my first Kydex rig was handrafted by RCS. Today you'll find a great number of Raven holsters out there, including many used by “big name” trainers, competition shooters, LEOs and in certain niche parts of the DoD. It's among the Average Joe Concealed Carrier, however, that RCS has built its largest and most solid customer base, in no large part because of Raven's innovation and quality. There are now, of course, many other custom Kydex companies out there (and Raven certainly wasn't the first company to mold Kydex) but they were certainly one of the very first to do it well and do so consistently.

Now in a radical departure from the custom à la carte designs they are best known for, RCS has released a production holster – the Eidolon (eye – DOE – lun). It is intended to allow the user to individually customize mode of carry, retention and comfort. I recently visited F3 Tactical in Chantilly, VA to watch as well known instructors Kyle Defoor (Defoor Proformance Shooting) and Matt Jacques (Victory First, and a RECOIL contributor) helped officially release it.

F3 TacticalEidolon means specter in Greek, and the holster has been a long time coming – in fact, according to Defoor, Jacques and Raven's Michael Goerlich, the system has been in development for several years (a process that has involved the input of numerous professionals both ‘on the job' and in the training industry). The new holster design has its catalyst in the form of a request from a government customer. That customer need a holster that would work for a wide variety of shooters, concealment techniques and applications. Since its rare two find two individuals with the same body shape and identical preference in carry, it has traditionally been difficult for any agency or organization to find a holster that works well for all its shooters. Usually when such a rarity is located, it still requires a variant or modification of some sort to work for another shooter. Differences in hand dominance, garments, belts and waistlines all effect the way the holster carries, conceals, and is drawn. This is more than just a point of aggravation for the individual trying to pick the best holster, it's a huge issue for larger agencies and organizations looking to source a single holster for all of their members. The DoD and LEO agencies love uniformity and a set standard; it's been an ongoing issue. It has been hard enough for such organizations to standardize a regular outside the belt duty style design, let alone for them to do the same for concealment rigs!Eidolon 2

The Eidolon was created to solve this problem.

RCS Eidolon

Jacques - Eidolon

Kyle Defoor, a former Navy SEAL and firearms instructor, was a part of the project from the very beginning and heavily influenced the final outcome.

“We wanted to create a holster that worked for everyone, regardless of their application,” he says. “RCS would 3D print a modification to the design, send it out to me and I would take it to the range. I would wear it daily, find failure points and respond with changes.”

Ultimately this went on until the Eidolon had undergone more revisions than any previous RCS product. The team collaborated until they felt they'd gotten it completely right, then began to “vet” the design.

RCS Eidolon2

Now, I should admit, having carried a Glock extensively in a RCS Vanguard 2 minimalist holster, I was reluctant to fully embrace the new design when I first received a pre-production Eidolon a few months back. After all, less is more when it comes to comfortably wearing a gun, right? Turns out that is not the case with the Eidolon. The ability to fine-tune the holster ride position that equals increased comfort and less movement during the draw. The retention is firm but smooth and adjustable to taste. With the full Eidolon kit, an individual or agency can purchase the holster and set it up to individual preference (or agency requirement).  I'm unaware of any other holster on the market that has this much potential for individualization.

This is without a doubt the Eidolon's greatest strength.

Jacques (an instructor whose unique background allows him to focus almost exclusively on fighting from concealment), explains.

“The primary difference between the Eidolon and the other systems out there is adaptability. We wanted to create the most adaptable, modular and user-configurable holster yet and I feel like RCS has accomplished exactly that..”

Defoor - Eidolon Tip

Defoor “Eidolon Tip”: When using the soft loops, fine tune the adjustable depth while wearing by slightly loosening the screw in the slot. This needs to be done in coordination with which holes you choose to use where the soft loop is mounted to the holster. Goal should be that the grip is easily attainable when drawing by just being ever so high above your belt.

His enthusiasm for the design was echoed by the several hundred people who filtered through F3 Tactical to check out the design. Defoor, Goerlich and Jacques provided ongoing demonstrations throughout the day; not surprisingly, many in attendance left with a new holster.

F3 Tactical's owner Jimmy Smith was extremely happy with the response.

“We are truly humbled by today's turnout,” he told me. “As an RCS dealer [the first, by the way], we have been waiting for the Eidolon launch and are excited to finally see it. From the looks of it, so are our customers!”

F3 is in its third year of operation, by the way, and has established its own reputation as a one-stop pro shop. Their ability to build and maintain strong personal relationships, their choice in gear and of course ongoing willingness to host a wide array of events have helped them grow very quickly.

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 7

 

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 5

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 6

Jacques - Eidolon - Sirloin

As you can see in this Victory First photo, the Eidolon has somehow developed the nickname “sirloin.” No doubt there's a story there – more on that later.

I spoke to Goerlich toward the end of the day as he was sorting through donated dog toys (F3 and RCS accepted dog toys throughout the day in return for a raffle-like shot at a $500 F3 gift card – these were later given to a Cleveland animal shelter).

Jacques - Eidolon2

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 1

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 8

“The Eidolon project has been like building the Spruce Goose,” he laughed, “given the amount of time, resources and energy we've put into it. Only ours can actually fly!”

Asked what RCS might have in the works, he just smiled and said,

“The Eidolon is only the beginning of a new era of innovation at RCS. We have already started on the next project in our skunkworks!”

In the meantime I'm looking forward to seeing how the Eidolon holds up to use, abuse and repeated draw strokes – we'll see if it lives up to its promise!

Learn more about the Eidolon here: http://raven-concealment-systems1.mybigcommerce.com/eidolon-holster-system/

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 4

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 3

RCS - Eidolon - Release - F3 - 2

Jacques - Eidolon - RCS Bag Man

RCS “Bag Man” at the NRAAM.

Defoor - Eidolon Box

Nathan Murr is a freelance writer from the wilds of Pennsylvania. A Marine combat veteran and acknowledged gear thief, he has written for a number of publications, including RECOIL, Military.com and BreachBangClear.com.


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