I learned a valuable lesson this weekend. Comfortable is not the thing to look for in a holster. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a comfortable holster as such, but a comfortable holster that is hard to draw from is…well…a death sentence. Let me explain.
I bought a holster from a company I used previously for my Smith & Wesson M&P Model 2.0 Compact, and it fit well. It also covered that rather scratchy part of the danged grip that feels like you’re sitting next to a porcupine. It was, in a word, comfortable. But it had not come in the first time I went to the range, so I used an Aliengear holster that worked for the Glock 19. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked and I could draw from it. I just had that “porcupine” problem that the new holster solved.
So, being the smart guy I am, I got my comfortable holster and have been wearing it for the last two months. All’s good, right?
Up until Friday, I would have agreed. But Friday I went to the range, and try as I might, I could not wear my pants with the belt cinched in a way that didn’t show my butt, and still draw from that holster. In essence, there is a twist associated with the draw stroke that, in an emergency (or a perceived emergency, is going to cost you an average of 1.7 extra seconds. How do I know this? I used a shot timer.
My P320 RX however, was much harder to fit into a holster, and I had waited going to the range until I had a holster that fit it. That came from Concealment Express (via Amazon) on Friday morning, and I put it to use Friday afternoon. It is Kydex on both sides, and as a result, feels a little bit like someone shoved rock between your waistline and your belt. It was not particularly comfortable at 3 o’clock on my hip, but completely workable, if not greatly comfortable, at the 5 o’clock position.
Using the first holster and the M&P it took me an average of 3.5 seconds to get off my first shot. In other words, I was worm-food in a gun fight. With the Sig and the Concealment Express holster, my first shot came in between 1.4 and 1.8 seconds every time.
Here are the strings:
Average First Shot: 3.25
Average First Shot: 1.60
Difference: 1.65 seconds
That’s a heap of difference in a situation where lead flies and lives are what’s at risk.
Having worn the holster now for several days, I am much more comfortable with it at the 4:30 to 5:00 position than where I normally wear my concealed carry pistol, and that will take some getting used to. But the holster itself has excellent retention (you can insert the pistol, hold it upside down, shake it, and the pistol doesn’t fall out). The belt clip is very secure, and more importantly, the pistol does not rattle on your body, being held up close to your body by the Kydex (though, perhaps not as close as if the back were leather). Though it doesn’t have any leather in it, it is I think maybe the best Kydex-alone holster I’ve used. I have tried the Sig and Safariland holsters (don’t care for their retention devices). Most of those would be best in OWB. The great thing about this one is it can be IWB or OWB as you choose, and more importantly, it can be right hand or left hand, as you choose. For $34.95 you are unlikely to find a better, more serviceable holster.