"Helping Others Carry Concealed"

recent product reviews

Bianchi Allusion

Bianchi released a three part series called the Allusion in April 2012. Surprisingly, it flew under my radar for several years. All three holsters in the series integrate leather and thermoplastics. The first two (Model 125 ‘Consent’ and 130 ‘Classified’) offer a pair of loops so the user can alternate between OWB and IWB. The third (Model 1.5 ‘Allusion’), is strictly an IWB holster and mimics the Comp-Tac MTAC. “With the Allusion series, we have combined tradition and technology for the 21 st century. We’ve successfully integrated Bianchi’s ingenuity in handcrafted leather design with the technological advances that Safariland has made with synthetic materials.” -James Dawson, Safariland Category Director for the Bianchi brand. The notable difference between the Model 125...

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Comp-Tac Kydex Reinforced Contour Belts

We’ve all heard, ‘buy once, cry once’, and that rings true with the top of the line carry belts. The Comp-Tac leather belt is pricey, but once you get it, you’ll wipe away the price tag tears. The Comp-tac ties craftsmanship, quality parts, and innovative options to provide an extremely durable belt that will last a lifetime. This belt has kydex reinforcement — a strip of kydex that is sandwiched between the two layers of leather and sewed in place, preventing unnecessary wear down the road. The belt also comes with a mild curve. This author believes the kydex is molded to ensure the shape is maintained for lasting durability. Comp-tac offers an interesting velcro interior lining to use...

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Gould & Goodrich Gold Line Shooter’s Belt

The Gold Line Shooter’s belt by Gould and Goodrich may very well take the cake for best leather concealed carry belt under $80. With its vegetable tanned leather and being created in the USA,  along with the technical attributes, it’ll be hard pressed to be beat. The Gold Line Shooter’s belt weighs in with a hefty 3/16″ – 1/4″ thickness and has a removable 1.5″ buckle (so you can proudly display that cowboy buckle). It’s a great place to hang your holster, whether large or small and has a clean, classy look in either saddle brown or black. At $60, you’re teetering in the range of a cheap, faux leather belt. Don’t let the price of this belt mistake...

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Galco CCP OWB Holster Review

Galco boasts its new CCP (Concealed Carry Paddle) is widely considered to be the finest professional-carry paddle holster in existence… offers all the features expected in a modern defensive holster: open top, secure retention, combat grip accessibility, and covered trigger guard. It adds the convenience of Galco’s unsurpassed adjustable paddle design, with unlimited range of holster angle options. That’s a bold statement. The adjustable cant is mildly reminiscent of the Blackhawk SERPA thigh holster design, allowing you to adjust to a vertical through FBI cant by the turn of an adjustment screw. One perk is the ability to adjust the angle for crossdraw carrying. The belt slot fits a 1.75″ belt. This adaptability does deserve a tip of the...

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Galco Gladius Holster Review

The Galco Gladius is Galco’s continuation of the Side Snap Scabbard (SSS) holster. Changes include a more ‘minimalist’ look which allow the compatibility of different length model firearms (i.e. Commander and Officer 1911s), along with a thumb break. The Gadius holster does not have a retention screw like its predecessor. The cant and strong molding remain the same, as well as accepting belts up to 1.5″. Partially due to the thumb break, Galco does not offer this model for revolvers. The author’s negative thoughts were made clear in the aforementioned post, and Galco’s remake of the Gladius is nothing to be impressed about. I’d much rather keep my fold-able portrait of Benjamin Franklin, or spend it instead on a...

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Galco Combat Master Holster Review

Galco’s Combat Master is a well executed OWB holster. It’s double stitching and long width allow even distribution and a tight fit utilizing a pair of 1.75 belt slots. There are no fancy tightener or reinforced mouth, just thick leather, thread, and tight molding.The holster rides high with a slight cant allowing for the concealment of larger firearms, and ease of draw. On a personal note, this is the holster I use when shooting IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) sanctioned events. After the initial break in period of a month, the Combat Master has become an extension of myself. I confidently know where my firearm is, every time I draw. Of the boxes of holsters that I have amassed,...

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Galco Side Snap Scabbard SSS OWB Holster Review

Galco’s Side Snap Scabbard (SSS) OWB holster (not to be mistaken for the Desantis Scabbard) is a take on the fad of snap loops. In lieu of belt slots, two fastened leather strips are joined by a snap to give the user a convenience factor not seen in traditional slots. This design first surfaced commercially around 2004 and has yet to become overly popular. Although easier to don and doff, side snaps tend to be less conforming to the waist, offer the chance of unsnapping, and lack the clean aesthetics wearers are used to. With that said, the Side Snap Scabbard offers quality leather, a retention screw, and a high gloss finish. Unlike forgiving belt slots which commonly fit...

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Bianchi 100 Professional IWB Holster

The Bianchi Professional is an IWB holster designed under the K.I.S.S. principle- keep it stupid simple. This holster uses old yet proven designs to secure and conceal small frame firearms. The details and leather are of the quality John Bianchi would stand behind. The metal clip that fits up to a 1.75″ belt is rudimentary, straight from the 80’s. The holster lacks cant and rides rather low. The Bianchi Professional did take several days to break in, however afterwards it fit like a glove. Holster makers understand that leather stretches. This is why holsters out of the box tend to fit snugly. It is best to have a tight holster stretch to a good fit as opposed to a...

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Galco Avenger OWB Holster Review

Galco Avenger Belt Holster The Galco Avenger Belt holster is based off a traditional Askins design (there are some great biographies about the wild Col. Charles Askins). The Askin’s design of today commonly features a retention screw. The chief complaint is it’s lack to pull the holster close to the body due to the loop behind the gun. This restricts the size of gun that can be conveniently concealed. Because of this, the Galco Avenger is recommended for small to small/medium sized pistols. A subcompact 1911, Glock, or Sig would see the most benefit with this design. The Galco Avenger is designed with double stitching on the trigger side, and the leather wraps around the slide, doubling at the...

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Carry Belts Explained

Belt Designs And Types Rigger/Rescue The Rigger’s belt, also known as a Rescue Belt, is commonly seen in law enforcement, military, and fire/EMS/rescue scenes. It is the BDU Belt of the US Marines. This standard 1.75” wide nylon webbing belt topped with a hard rubber clasp. The Rigger’s or Rescue Belt is designed for bearing the weight of weapons, tools, and accessories without sagging. Most belts come in three different strengths- low (3 stitch), med (5 stitch), and high (poly lined). For carry belts, most choose 5 stitch belts. The down side of the Rigger/Rescue belt is its iconic look. For those not wanting to look tactical or militaristic, these belts may not be what you are after. While...

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Comp Tac MTAC Holster (Minotaur)

Comp Tac MTAC (Minotaur) Hybrid Holster Review Comp Tac’s hybrid, MTAC (aka Minotaur), is a patented tuckable, slim holster with changeable bodies and adjustable cant. It pains this author to concede, however some Kydex is acceptable on a handgun’s holster. The half Kydex ‘shell’ is interchangeable, allowing you to use the same leather for different guns. The Kydex belt clips contain multiple holes so that you can adjust the height the holster rides on. Different style and colors of clips can also be purchased, and all products are covered by a 1 year warranty. At first glance, the holster appears uncomfortable and intimidating. The two belt clips provide a great fit and are very rigid. Your shirt can tuck...

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Hybrid (Kydex and Leather) Holsters

  This author has made his stance on Kydex holsters clear. However, the issue of ‘hybrid holsters’ (the union of both leather and Kydex) must be addressed. Kydex is a strong, mold-able plastic, and when used in its entirety for holsters, gives the user durability and economy, while negating comfort, concealment, forgiveness, and furthermore increasing wear on the gun’s finish.  Hybrid holsters are typically comprised of the outer panel of the holster and the belt attachments consisting of Kydex, while the backing is leather. The forgiving leather diminishes some of the Kydex’s detriment. There have been many companies rising up to offer these hybrids. The original makers include Comp Tac and Crossbreed. Crossbreed’s design is crude and simple. The leather...

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Maxpedition Liger Carry Belt

Maxpedition Liger Casual Belt The Liger is a unique composite 1.5” wide belt designed for concealed carry. Engineered by EDGYGEAR INC, “Ligerthane” claims to be a resin with a fabric core that has 2,000 lbs of strength. Maxpedition claims this vegan friendly belt to be abrasion resistant (a nice perk for those who have scuffed nice leather), impervious to liquids, bendable yet stiff enough for a carry belt, contains a gripping interior side, and a fake leather exterior side. Maxpedition also states the Liger belt is made entirely of American materials and created in America. The belt does appear to be of good quality; however I am partial to leather products. Friends and colleagues have given the belt glowing...

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Aker B21 Carry Belt

Aker B21 Carry Belt This concealed carry belt has a polymer insert (with rounded edges to prevent fraying) to provide  additional support for your weapon. This plastic is sandwiched between two layers of nicely stitched leather. The Aker also has metal snaps securing the buckle, thus making the buckle interchangeable so you can wear your big rodeo trophy. Upon analysis and wearing, the Aker B21 is a great belt without having to compromise price for quality (or vice versa). It is durable, inexpensive, and stiff. Because you should expect at least three years of great service from this belt, at $50 it is an Editor’s Choice. The Aker B21 is 1.5″ wide(standard belt width), and comes in either tan or black. Purchase the Aker B21 Carry Belt...

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Aker 151 IWB Holster

  Aker DEA Model 151 IWB Holster The Aker D.E.A. Model 151 IWB concealment holster boasts a reinforced mouth, a tension screw, and dual belt loops that feature one way snaps. Aker began in the early 1980’s, and claims to be the “first choice for the California Highway Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; NCIS, FBI Academy, Honolulu PD, U.S. Navy, the U.S. Postal Service, the Los Angeles Police Dept. and the San Francisco Police Dept.,”. MSRP on the Aker D.E.A.Model 151 is around $88. These concealment holsters have gone on sale recently and can be found in the $40-50 range. At that price, the Aker is highly recommended for small and thin framed firearms.     Here is...

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Gould And Goodrich Model 808 IWB Holster Review

Gould & Goodrich Model 808 Holster   Gould and Goodrich claim “the finest genuine leather holsters in the world”. One only has to view the image above to understand how fictitious that statement is; did you also see the craftsmanship? A wraparound style holster, especially with a wrapped reinforced mouth (which the Model 808 does have) is not easy to engineer. It involves attention to specific measurements and angles unique to each firearm. Here you can see the unacceptable fit that is the result of the daunting task. The trigger is not fully secure, nor is the firearm completely secure. Gould and Goodrich also boast about their Model 808, “smooth side to the interior which allows for a faster...

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Gould & Goodrich Gold Line Pancake Holster Review

Gould & Goodrich Gold Line At first glance, the Gold Line holster is a spitting image of the Blackhawk CQC 3-Slot Pancake Holster. However, a second glance reveals a more stylish, and better quality OWB 3 slot holster. The Gould and Goodrich Gold Line 3 Slot (the Gold Line is a complete line of authentic leather goods including an IWB, ankle, and SOB holster, as well as magazine holsters and belts) pancake OWB holster designed with a thumb break, double inside line stitching, and strong molding. Aesthetically speaking, the G&G Gold Line looks like your stereotypical Federal Agent holster seen in movies. Looks of course, are mooted if functionality is sub-par.  Just grasp a Gould’s holster, and you’ll be...

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Desantis Cozy Partner IWB Holster Review

Desantis Cozy Partner Holster Review Gene Desantis  began making holsters in the mid 1970’s. The company has blossomed over the years into many different aspects of leather goods for gun related tasks. The Cozy Partner holster is an IWB holster featuring a retention screw, a re enforced mouth that continues up the sweat guard, two belt loops, and double stitching in the interior sides. The molding and closeness of the stitching to the firearm are typical for mass production holsters, though not ideal. The belt loops are not spaced very wide, delegating this holster exclusively for small to mid weight firearms. Overall, if you are in the market for a durable IWB holster which will be worn in the...

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Galco V-Hawk IWB Holster Review

Galco V-Hawk IWB Galco’s V-Hawk Holster was released in early 2011 to mixed emotions. Some feel it copies the design of Milt Spark’s Versa Max II Holster. The friction runs deep between the holster makers as there is also a similarity between Galco’s Summer Comfort and the Spark’s Summer Special. The Galco V-Hawk comes with a pair of leather 1.5″ belt loops, 1.75″ ‘C’ shaped hooks, and a pair of 1.75″ tuck-able metal belt clips.  A true trifecta of belt attachment options. The V-Hawk IWB Holster offers a re enforced mouth as well as a sweat guard. The spread between belt attachment points lends to assisting in the distribution of the weight and helps conform to the natural curve...

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Galco Summer Comfort IWB Holster Review

Galco Summer Comfort IWB Holster Review The Galco Summer Comfort Holster is an IWB holster designed from premium leather. It features a re enforced mouth with the rough side out, and the two belt loops accept the industry standard 1.75″ belt. The fixed belt loops offer a mild and very appropriate cant for those wearing the holster in the 3:00 to 4:30 position. The only dissapointing feature of this holster is the absense of a sweat guard. The holster is designed for small to medium sizes firearms as the holster is not capable to dispersing the weight. The Summer Comfort IWB Holster is priced at $57-$71. This Galco IWB holster is a great find for those with lightweight firearms...

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