Friends don't let friends carry nylon

I mentioned this a little obliquely on last night’s Gun Nuts Radio (have you heard it yet? www.blogtalkradio.com/gunnuts if you haven’t) but a recent post by James Rummel about holster selection has me seeing red. The post in question is here:

http://www.hellinahandbasket.net/2009/06/real-men-carry-nylon.htm

Last night on the show, I asked Tam, Leah, and Breda all what kind of holster they use for on-body carry, and the answe was generally the same across the board. Each of the ladies, two of whom do this for a living, select high quality leather holsters paired with a quality leather belt. Myself, I carry in a Safariland holster that BJ Norris gave me when I’m carrying a 1911, which while not as pretty as leather provides the same level of retention with a higher rigidity.

The point is that cheap nylon holsters don’t hold the gun in a consistent location. For self defense or competition shooting, the butt of the gun needs to present in the same place every time, regardless of whether or not you’ve been moving around, getting in or out of a car, etc. In a stress situation, your hand will go to where the gun SHOULD be based on your muscle memory and training. A proper kydex rig such as those from Blackhawk, Safariland, Blade-Tech, et al is going to provide a faster draw and a much more stable platform for your firearm than a cheap nylon holster.

I am not trying to start blog drama here, but recommending that people trust their life to a 10 dollar piece of nylon stitched together in a sweatshop in Vietnam is irresponsible. You spent good money on that gun, take a little time and spend money on a good holster.

40 comments for “Friends don't let friends carry nylon

  1. Robert
    June 17, 2009 at 09:55

    And if it’s a $50 nylon holster hand made in the USA? Does your comment still apply?

  2. June 17, 2009 at 10:01

    Doubly so, because if you spent 50 bucks on a nylon holster you made a bad purchase. You can get a Blackhawk Serpa for less than that, or a Galco Royal Guard, etc, etc. The bottom line is nylon holsters are cheaply made and do not provide adequate levels of weapon retention or speed of access.

  3. June 17, 2009 at 10:14

    Plus what’s the point of sticking a $600 gun in a $30 Holster?

    I mean is James also going to advocate we all buy Lorcins, H&R, and Hi-Points so we don’t go “wasting” our money on those (comparably) expensive Glocks, Sigs, 1911s, and S&Ws??

    Certainly he DOES have a point that they are cheap, and the ability to buy 6 different rigs for the price of one when you’re first trying out different modes of carry (of course if you buy a GOOD rig, and find you don’t like/use that method of carry it’s not hard to unload a rig for a simialr loss as the cost of a nylon cheepie) But even in the end once you decide “Yeah I really do like 4:00 IWB, or Shoulder Carry ect” you’re then going to just toss your cheap nylon rig in the parts box when you drop some REAL money on a nice holster that will last many years and keep your gun from scooting across the tiles of the Food Court when you bend over to pick up your shopping bags.

    Sure there are places advertising hand-engraved holsters, and uber-mega-metro-tactical gun belts for money north of a semi-custom 1911, but as Caleb listed above, there are a ton of good leather or kydex holsters out there that will run circles around nylon for 10x the service life for not too much more money.

    Hell my day-to-day carry is a Galco Miami Classic II shoulder rig that I picked up on Midway USA with my C&R discount for $130. No that isn’t pocket change, but I’ve been wearing the rig damn near every day for a year in intervals that run around 16 hours straight, with the exception of some sweat stains that vanish with the aplication of a damp rag, the rig looks and functions as if brand new, and is as comfortable as they come.

    Great post Caleb, I’m behind you 100%

  4. June 17, 2009 at 10:29

    I think many folks who pick up nylon holsters are doing so to try it out. I think the problem is they base their opinion of a certain carry method on the nylon holster, and don’t give kydex or Leather a try in the same method because they don’t like carrying IWB in Nylon.

    That said, there are really poor quality leather, plastic, and kydex holsters out there, and there are the occasional good quality nylon and/or canvas rig as well.

    I like belly bands for business casual wear. I can’t imagine one made of anything but nylon and elastic working as well.

  5. June 17, 2009 at 10:42

    BTW – The Accumold series from Bianchi isn’t a bad nylon holster… Cheap, very durable, and works with their belt system. (Not IPSC legal, tho…)

    That said, I like a well thought out kydex holster:
    For range games they seem more durable.
    For IWB, they don’t get as nasty (put ‘em in the dishwasher to clean…)

    Last think I’ll add is that some holster is better than no holster – i.e. Mexican carry.

  6. Atlashrugg
    June 17, 2009 at 11:01

    Hey Caleb, could you post the brand of Leah’s holster? It wasn’t clear and I’m researching a holster for myself.

  7. Mikee
    June 17, 2009 at 11:41

    I first used cheap nylon holsters. Then I got my first and so far only good holster, a Kydex and leather Comp-Tac.

    Now my nylon holsters are used only for gun protection in my truck’s glove compartment.

    Save your money, don’t get nylon. For the price of the two or three nylon holsters you go through getting one that is servicable, you can get a nice leather or Kydex rig.

  8. June 17, 2009 at 14:52

    Mikeee – Leah’s is a JBP Holster.

    http://www.jbpholsters.com/

  9. Dave R.
    June 17, 2009 at 15:28

    First Tam, now Caleb. Sometimes it seems like the gun blogger community thinks self defense belongs only to those with money to spend.

    I bought the cheapest holster I could find, nylon, and for now and the immediate future, it would be irresponsible of me to spend more money than I absolutely have to on my carry gun and accessories. I take the comparison of leather or kydex to nylon at face value, but I’m not skipping a bill to buy a better holster. Maybe I just haven’t shopped around enough to find a good value, but I can’t help feeling that the people who know the most about guns aren’t up against the budget limits of some of those who need guns.

  10. Tam
    June 17, 2009 at 15:48

    First Tam, now Caleb. Sometimes it seems like the gun blogger community thinks self defense belongs only to those with money to spend.

    I’m calling bullshit on that.

    I said that the most important things about a holster are that it grip the gun securely, and that it rides in a fashion such that it doesn’t flop around and presents the gun to your hand consistently. There are plenty of kydex and Bianchi Accumold-type holsters that will do this for under fifty bucks.

    “Pretty” doesn’t matter spit. It’s concealed, so who’s going to see it? A properly rigid belt and belt loops sized to match it are a whole lot more important than the name on the bag.

    Also, a good belt and a holster that fits it snugly will make the gun a lot more comfortable to carry than an ill-fitting sausage sack that flops and shifts all day.

    Incidentally, you can find quality used leather cheap at any gun show or on eBay. Folks are all the time cleaning out their holster boxes; it’s not uncommon to be able to pick up a good Galco Summer Comfort for well under $50. I have a friend who’s been using the same Summer Comfort for longer than I’ve been carrying.

  11. June 17, 2009 at 16:42

    Robert, I take objection to the insinuation that this is somehow about money. As a couple of people have mentioned, you can get a decent kydex or a Bianchi AccuMold holster for around $20-30. My PRIMARY reason for being “anti-nylon” is because when you carry a gun for self defense, you’re not just betting your life on the gun. You’re betting your life and your capacity to defend yourself on you system of carry. You're assuming that your holster will hold the gun where you need to be, that your belt and belt loops will retain the holster, etc. It is contrary to good sense to spend $600 on a quality defensive firearm you know to be accurate and reliable and then run out and buy a cheap, shitty holster that won't provide the highest level of reliability and repeatability.

  12. June 17, 2009 at 17:06

    You think I’m “irresponsible”?

    Well, that’s different.

    James

  13. June 17, 2009 at 17:12

    Well, if you want to take it personally I can’t stop you, although that wasn’t my intent. But yes, I do think that recommending gear that has a higher chance of failure in a crisis situation to someone is an irresponsible thing to do. I wouldn’t recommend that someone carry a Lorcin or a Hi-Point, and I wouldn’t recommend a nylon holster (save the aforementioned Bianchi AccuMold) for the exact same reason.

  14. Ludwig
    June 17, 2009 at 18:38

    The best inexpensive holster I’ve ever seen was a pocket holster made out of a mousepad. The deskside of the mousepad goes on the outside, the mouse side on the inside.

  15. June 17, 2009 at 19:06

    The guy at the Tactical Store was trying to sell me a $95 Bianchi, so I went home and bought a Gould & Goodrich for my Sig p220 off eBay — but I don’t carry so it’s more like I spent money accessorizing. :-)

  16. Larry
    June 17, 2009 at 21:40

    Nylon – Good for only zippered gun rugs to transport multiple guns to range in the same range bag.

    Good leather, Galco or Bianchi, I use both.

    Kydex – Blackhawk Serpa or other good kydex one for OWB.

    Belt – Used leather before but switched to tactical belt from Wilderness Tactical. Their 5 stitch belt works great for either OWB or IWB. Easy adjustment when you only need extra 1/4″ room for comfort.

  17. June 17, 2009 at 22:19

    From the original blog post: “Just stuff I bought piecemeal to replace worn out gear”

    That’s one of the problems with nylon. Stuff just wears out quicker than leather or Kydex, doesn’t it?

    A buddy of mine broke 4 cheap nylon holsters, the only thing he could get his hands on, in Iraq getting out of his tank. Gun would snag, holster would give away. Made sure he got a good leather rig of his own when I heard about it.

    I prefer not to carry my gun around in a holster that’ll give way before my pants come off me.

  18. Mike
    June 18, 2009 at 01:23

    People outta just not carry unless they can afford good guns and gear. What’s the point in even trying to defend your life if you can’t even defend your pride?

  19. dagamore
    June 18, 2009 at 03:19

    It will cost you more if you buy cheap, cheap tools never last, and are never worth the savings. I do own a nylon holster for each gun, but its only for safe/range bag transport, Not for daily carry. I have 4 good leather holsters and they work great with all of my guns. If you are short on money get a holster that will work with more then one gun. I.e. my leather shoulder holster, custom made by a saddle maker in Olympia WA(under $100 in 2001) works great with all of my 1911′s, it dont care if its a Commanders or full size, it holds them great. And you can find great holsters for under $50, thats about the price of 50rds of carry ammo. If you cant scrape up 50 bucks for ammo or a good holster you need to look at your spending habbits. If you just skip your morning stop at Starbucks for 10 days, and you have saved the cost of a holster, or bring you lunch and eat at home for every meal for a week and most people will have saved enough for a decent holster and a box of ammo.

  20. June 18, 2009 at 16:47

    I don’t use a holster for the Seecamp- back pocket fits perfectly. I do use a piece of leather to break up the outline. Like the mouse pad idea, smooth inside against the pistol, rough out against the cloth.

    And the leather is from a pair of Maxwells made in 1928. So there.

  21. Rick R.
    June 18, 2009 at 17:15

    Even if you’re “buying cheap to try out different methods”, you WON’T save any money with nylon rigs.

    Pick up Kydex rigs secondhand off eBay or gun shows for about the price of NIB nylon rigs, and try with teh Kydex.

    Not only is there a WHOLE world of difference between how a Kydex or quality leather rig holds a gun and a cheap nylon or split grain suede holster, you may find that you do NOT have to upgrade your carry rig from the test rig.

    Heck, if I hadn;t upgraded to a Milt Sparks Summer Special from my cheap ass Safariland suede and Bagmaster nylon IWB rigs, I’d probably have either given up carrying IWB, or switched to a poodleshooter. (It was pure stubborn, “Jeff Cooper won;t love me if I don’t have a 1911 in strongside IWB!” macho BS that kept me going long enough to break down and buy a quality holster.)

    Once I got a good holster, carrying a steel Commander IWB in that rig was easier than carrying a PPK in a cheap nylon rig. I usually forget I’m wearing it, until I reach for my wallet (being dreadfully righthanded, I carry it strong side as well).

    Same-o-same-o for shoulder rigs. I have an Uncle Mike’s nylon rig that has been the “universal reserve gun” as my “sh*t and git” grab and go rig or the “I’m too lazy to go put on pants with belt loops” rig, in which sits whatever my Number 3 handgun is at the time. That rig has served several people (with a wide variety of body shapes) as a loaner rig, and has carried a PPK, a Chief’s Special, a variety of 3″ and 4″ K-frames, Commander and Government model 1911s, etc.

    But I never really liked shoulder rigs as a primary method. ALWAYS noticed it while weaing it. And that rig had a choice of “slow” or “not secure”.

    Then I tried a couple of GOOD shoulder rigs. World of difference. I borrowed my wife’s Galco to wear her service sized Combat Tupperware around the house all evening, just to see how comfortable it was. I forgot I was wearing it within ten minutes.

    Now there ARE places for inexpensive nylon rigs. “Once in a Blue Moon” carry pieces, where you have a carry holster more as a loaner or in case your other five guns are all felidstripped and you need to go get milk. Military, hunting, or plinking rigs (sometimes — note that a Bianchi UM84 holster is nylon, but NOT cheap. . . and I’d rather have it than a dozen Bagmasters if I had to strap a sidearm to webbing). Fanny packs. belly bands. Maybe ankle rigs, if the damned gun will stay still.

    But these are specific situations.

    “Testing carry methods ” with cheap nylon rigs is like “trying out” base jumping by tying bed sheets together with clothesline and jumpin off a building. It’s silly, dangerous, and you don’t learn anything about what you’re TRYING to explore.

  22. bjnorris
    June 18, 2009 at 19:39

    On another note… How do you like the 5188 Caleb?

  23. June 18, 2009 at 20:34

    I love my little Made in Vietnam holster. It ain’t good for anything but open carry. I’d like to talk Uncle Mike into making me a holster with a wider swath of faux suede between the gun and my spare tire. I’m getting gouged a bit.

    Someone on Tam’s blog sed “if the holster won’t stay open, you fail.”, Jeff Cooper says “There ain’t no ‘speed holstering’ contests…..

  24. June 18, 2009 at 21:49

    BJ- it’s pretty kickass. I’ve been using it in practice for a bit now and it’s really grown on me. I’ve got some upcoming single stack matches where I’m going to use it.

  25. June 19, 2009 at 02:46

    Caleb, I think Rummel’s problem is that you took what he said about “nylon” and responded as if he’d said “$10 crap stitched together in a sweatshop.” I don’t think he thinks those two things are equivalent.

    I must say I agree with him. He’s not training people to shoot the Bianch Cup, and he’s not training people who “do this for a living.” Their purpose is different than yours and they have different resources and needs than you do, so their choice of gear probably won’t be the same.

    My dad sold a lot of Bryco and Jennings in his shop. He didn’t like those guns, but they were what a lot of people in our small town could afford (or were willing to pay for) and they were a big improvement on nothing.

  26. RC
    June 19, 2009 at 09:27

    What about those of us that carry even a slightly unusual pistol. I carry a Beretta 9000S. There is one or two kydex pieces available for it, notably from Blade-Tech but a lot of the really nice rigs don’t have a version for the 9000 (believe me I’ve looked). An Uncle Mikes nylon belted properly doesn’t shift and keeps the butt of the weapon at the same place all the time. One thing is that it is helpful (regardless of the holster material; I’ve found this for nylon, kydex and leather) to make sure the belt loops on your pants are positioned such that they actually contribute to holding the holster in the correct location.

  27. RC
    June 19, 2009 at 09:28

    BTW, I’d buy a Serpa for it in a heartbeat if it was available. My wife bought me the Serpa holster for my “Heller” J Frame and I love it.

  28. Rick R.
    June 19, 2009 at 09:41

    Don,

    He talks about the nylon as a cheap alternative, so people can afford to get a bunch of different holsters for the price of one quality leather rig.

    That AUTOMATICALLY means we are talking about “$10 crap stitched together in a sweatshop”. And I agree with you that, while almost ANY holster is superior to just shoving it into your belt, even a pot-metal POS is worth a $15 used Kydex that WORKS holster versus a $10 brand new nylon one that can’t control (or retain) the gun.

    john b,

    There aren;t any “speed reholstering events”. But it IS important to be able to reholster your piece with either taking off your pants, OR having to jam your fingers into the holster in front of the muzzle to get ot to shove in. Not every defensive draw is going to end with you gently laying your pistol on teh deck when the cops arrive — what if the miscreant sees your gun, and runs away? You planning on walking down the street the rest of the night with a gun in your hand, going to drop trou in the middle of the street, or were you planning on shooting your own fingers off?

    You MUST be able to readily and safely reholster your gun afterwards. While there are some designs where you will need two hands to do it (most horizontal or inverted shoulder rigs, tuckable IWB, ankle rigs, etc.), you should be able to stuff the GUN in one handed, and only need to use the second hand to either move a garment out of teh way, or apply the retention system AFTER the gun is safely stuck into the bag.

  29. Rick R.
    June 19, 2009 at 10:26

    RC,

    If you’re carrying something like a Beretta 9000, you AREN’T in the Venn circle of “people who can only afford crap”.

    Don Hume starts leather Beretta 9000 holsters at $30, and runs all the way to the “financially crippling” price of $60. (And that’s ordering direct — you can save another $10 by price shopping distributors.)

    Ross makes leather holsters for your piece, starting at about $50.

    Fist starts holsters (and Beretta 9000S is one of the guns they make them for) at about $35 (leather).

    That’s three manufacturers that make reasonably priced holsters for YOUR gun, found in about two minutes via Google.

    Hell, the Uncle Mike’s basic pancake holster (Hip Holster w/Thumb Break) is listed at $26 on the Uncle Mike’s site. Bagmasters start (on their website) at $24.

    You REALLY going to try and tell me how much money you’re saving?

  30. June 19, 2009 at 12:58

    I like serpas and they are quality holsters. Good CCW holsters, however, they are not. Well, at least not for my preferred style of carry.

  31. Robert
    June 19, 2009 at 15:24

    “Robert, I take objection to the insinuation that this is somehow about money.”

    Actually, it was more about the “Made in Vietnam” part of it. If you have a good leather holster to recommend that fits a Glock 21 that has accessories on the P rail then please let me know.

  32. Robert
    June 19, 2009 at 15:26

    Oh, I don’t buy ANYTHING made in Vietnam, or China.

  33. Rick R.
    June 19, 2009 at 16:19

    Have you asked any holster makers?

    Most of the smaller guys will happily make whatever you think you want — probably a LOT cheaper than you think. Kellog Custom leather, for one.

    Custom Kydex may be even cheaper, and kydex yields teh saem kind of imporved performance over nylon as good leather does — just in a different way. Look at Buy brown Industries.

    Considering that most people do NOT carry concealed with a rail mounted light, it’s not surprising that most large manufacturers aren’t geared up for off the sehlf product variations for your particular rig.

    Just becuase a zillion sweat shops sew crappy shaplkess bags that happen to fit your gun with accessories doesn;t mean that’s the only (or best) way to go.

    And if you’re already carrying a Glock with accessories, it’s a fair bet you’ve been doing this long enough to know what carry position and method works best for you — so you migt as well order a couple fewer pizzas over the next few months, and order a quality custom rig.

    “Custom” DOES NOT mean “$300 handtooled shark skin, rubbed between the thighs of a 14 year old virgin for final molding, and oiled under the light of teh new moon.” Sometimes it merely means, “Dude, can you whip this up for me?”

    You can make (and mold to custom fit) Kydex holsters AT HOME — all you need are the gun, some Kydex sheets, a work table and a sharp knife, an oven, and some Chicago screws. The stuff is a low temperature thermoplastic, for God’s sake — and it’s NOT not “unobtainium”. even a crappy molding job will give you a better, more secure, rig than almost ANY nylon holster out there.

    The problem with nylon isn;t that it’s cheap (as I illustrated above, it isn’t). the problem is that it is a generally CRAPPY material to make a holster out of, outside of a few specialty applications where the lack of friction isn;t an issue.

  34. June 20, 2009 at 00:27

    Sure, Rick, you’re right. If there’s $5 difference between a nylon holster that doesn’t allow reholstering and a kydex holster that does (not a given . . . Fobus are terrible for this in my experience) then it makes sense to buy the kydex.

    IF the man’s students were faced with that choice, I imagine he’d agree with you. What he’s saying, and what everyone is still ignoring, is that his students aren’t spending their weekends going to gun shows and shopping for the best deal on used kydex. You can insist that they should all you want, but he’s not dealing with what they should do but what they do. He’s trying to give them the help that he can.

    He’s also not advising people to buy a bunch of different nylon holsters. He’s advising them that they probably will buy a lot of different holsters over their lives (and if you disagree with that, I disagree with you.) Again, is that the best way to find the holster that works? Probably not. Is it the way most people who carry guns do it? Absolutely. All he’s saying is that their first holster is very, very unlikely to be their last, so it might as well be something that’s inexpensive, can be a useful backup (read: used with more than one model) and can be thrown in storage or in the trunk of your car for those times when you may find yourself wanting a holster. I have an old nylon piece in my trunk for just such occasions.

    There are people who shoot USPSA in my local club with nylon holsters. They don’t work as well as my old FOBUS, which didn’t work as well as my SERPA, which isn’t in the same league with the space-gun race holsters . . . . but all those choices work. They work in different ways for people with different priorities.

  35. June 20, 2009 at 00:30

    At this juncture, I think really the only appropriate response for me is to yell something about DOCTRINE IS LAW or something. But I’m not really sure.

  36. June 20, 2009 at 00:33

    Mr. Gwinn is s smart guy.

    James

  37. Timbo
    June 20, 2009 at 14:15

    Really? Someone is going to argue that nylon is the best route to go in a self-defense role?

    I don’t think Caleb is saying that nylon sucks for everything, I think he is saying that for competition or for carry it sucks, and I can’t help but agree with him. My carry holster isn’t nylon, and my P90 rides in a kydex holster.

    That being said, I have a few nylon holsters, and for what I use them for, they work out nicely. My MkII rides in a nylon holster when I go afield, I store three of my pistols in nylon holsters, and for the type of fun shooting day that I typically engage in, nylon holsters work just peachy.

  38. Rick R.
    June 22, 2009 at 10:31

    Hold on a second.

    When I’m making the $5 price difference comparison, I am NOT comparing new nylon to used Kydex or leather.

    I am comparing new nylon to NEW leather or Kydex.

    I spent two minutes on Google, and found new Don Hume leather for $23. Not discontinued, not some special price, just a Don Hume distributor who sells for approximately $10 less than Don Hume factory direct. (Not surprising, almost ANY manufacturer sells at “MSRP” when they sell direct — it’s kinda hard to argue that your MSRP is a reasonable price if even the maker won’t sell it that high, and retail sales are a PITA to a manufacturer anyway.)

    Now, you’re looking at saving $5 — less than a Subway foot long sub after tax.

    Is Kydex or leather worth an extra $5, even if you’re 90% sure you’ll end up switching to something else?

    You bet. Especially since, once you find teh carry method you’re going to adopt, you aren’t stuck with a nylon holster AND having to buy a decent rig as well — you can just keep the last kydex or lether rig you tested as you final solution.

    Meanwhile, you can eBay the box of “nice, but not quite what I want” Kydex and leather holsters to recoop your expences.

    Judging by prices on eBay (and the obviously widespread myth displayed here that Kydex and leather cost so much more than nylon), you probbaly end up selling your gently used holsters for MORE than you paid for them — which is not typical of nylon. (Frankly, it’s easier to sell stuff on eBay for stupid money than to buy it at reasonable prices. All you need is ONE idiot who thinks a Don Hume MSRP $30 holster that you paid $23 for is a $50 holster.)

    You’ll almost certainly sell them for no greater loss than selling gently used nylon rigs.

    Not only is nylon a bad idea for most carry rigs — it will likely cost you MORE to try out nylon holsters than to try out leather or Kydex rigs.

    Admittedly, there are places where nylon shines — and I named a few. (One more often forgotten — uniformed cops, carrying QUALITY nylon, like Bianchi Accumold. . . nylon is generally more scuff resistant while rolling on the pavement with a belligerent drunk, and nylon decontaminates better after Joe the Crackhead bleeds all over you.) And I do have several nylon rigs lying around in my gun stuff, four to be exact.

    1 gets kept because I haven’t found ANYONE who wants a nylon fake-suede IWB collapsing clip on for a pocket pistol. After a week, I ended up using it solely as a pocket holster when I couldn’t conceal anything bigger than a Baby Browning. (That gun has been long relegated to just being part of the “historical” part of my collection.)

    The other three get kept because they will fit almost any gun. That’s NOT a recommendation. . . the reason they fit almost any gun is that they really don’t fit ANY gun.

    1 gets kept because it’s an adequate field holster for walking around the woods. The 1950′s style retention strap (on a holster bought in the 1990′s and still made and sold today) is adequate for that purpose, even though it’s absolutely a NO GO for defensive carry. I got it to use as a pistol case I could — if need be — carry. It’s spent most of it’s life with a Ruger .22, mag case with both mags, and an old field dressing case with earplugs and a couple of boxes of .22, all on a nylon equipment belt, so I can chuck it into the car on a moment’s notice with my 10/22 (also in a nylon case) and head on out to go kill the fearsome Nilla Wafers, crackers, and paper plates.

    1 gets kept because it’s a shoulder rig that has held anything from a PPK to a ChIef’s Special, to a 1911 to a 4″ Model 65. It’s slow, uncomfortable, awkward on and off, and doesn’t conceal well. . . but I can hang my #3 gun on a hook in te gun closet with two spare reloads and a flashlight onboard “just in case”. While I’ve worn it out a a few times, and lent it to friends who needed a temporary carry rig, it’s really my “grab and go” 3 AM system so in one place I have a gun, spare ammo, and a light. If I had to base my opiniomn on shoulder rigs off THIS rig, I would be admantly opposed to them in any shape or form, but hey, it was free from a friend.

    1 is a pancake rig I used as my first carry holster. After two weeks, I upgraded, and it instantly became my back up rig for the spare gun I kept at work in case my primary was somewhere else or down. Another free holster, it has the advantage that it can sit at the bottom of my range bag and get ignored, and if someone ABSOLUTELY needed a holster for a service sized piece, we could probably get it to fit in this. But you could say that about an old GI flap holster, too.

  39. RC
    June 22, 2009 at 11:06

    Rick R,,

    You might try reading for comprehension. No where in my posts was cost an issue. In point of fact it is not an issue (within reason). Yes, I’ve seen most of those holsters as well as several more. Mostly I go with the Blade-Tech when I can, nylon Uncle Mikes when I can’t, the leather just don’t work for me for various reasons, all of which are personal choice/comfort related. My point that you seemed to miss is that MANY of these great holsters out there are largely for the most popular weapons and those of us with less common weapons are dealt out. When you can’t find the custom molds to your need you don’t have much choice but to go with a general purpose nylon. As I also mentioned I tend to adjust my belt loops so that my holster is held horizontally by the belt loops as well as the holster fasteners. I’ve had good quality leather slide around as much as nylon on pants I haven’t fixed the belt loops on so the “you need a holster that doesn’t move and presents the weapon consistently at the same place and that means LEATHER or KYDEX but NOT NYLON, GOD NO, NOT NYLON” proclamation leaves me supremely unmoved.

  40. Rick R.
    June 22, 2009 at 12:39

    “Reading for comprehemnsion”?

    First, COST was teh issue from the very beginning of the thread — the POST these comments are all supposedly about made COST a primary driver.

    You never indicated you refuse (for whatever reasons — good or bad) to wear leather. Therefor, your inability/unwillingness (and it’s irrelevant to the discussion which it is) to wear leather only became part of this discussion this morning. Judging PREVIOUS comments on my inability to read your mind isn’t a failure of my “reading comprehension”

    I have no magical mind-reading talents.

    Any modifications to the attachment methods that can be made with nylon can ALSO be made with leather. If you look REALLY hard (like about 10 minutes on Google), you’ll find a plethora of leather holster makers who will either make the loops to YOUR personal specs, OR who offer readily replaceable loops in a variety of sizes (and often, configurations).

    Nylon is not some magical material that can be altered, while leather and Kydex cannot, short of a professional manufacturer.

    I never missed your point that the most popular holsters are only for the most commons weapons.

    In fact, YOUR comprehension is suspect, because i acknowledged that very fact — yet pointed out the SPECIFIC “oddball” weapon in question (YOUR Beretta 9000S) was widley available in a variety of inexpensive quality holsters. I also pointed out a couple of holster makers who would be willing to make a holster to fit any particular gun, IF YOU ASK THEM.

    There is no magical mold that must be obtained form an esoteric source to properly make a leather holster. Using YOUR gun is easy enough. Making a CAST of your gun is almost as easy, and doesn’t require the holster maker to keep your gun as a mold.

    Kydex is even easier — it can be molded to fit your gun in MINUTES, without risk to the gun.

    Of course, not every leather design has to be wetmolded to the gun. Even if it is fit only about as well as nylon, leather will retain the gun better through friction. If you want more retention, but feel like you may want to adjust a retaining strap, sewing velcro pile to the sides of the holster, so you can use an Uncle Mike’s adjustable retention strap * is no exactly rocket scientist for a guy making a simple folded holster body for you. (by the way — such a holster will readily acocmodate any similar shaped gun, just as a nylon one would.)

    Nylon is not some magical material that is the ONLY thing that can be used in a “less than perfectly boned” environment.

    ********************

    * See, ANOTHER place where nylon shines. . . just not as the holster BODY or BELT LOOP for a concealment holster.

    I’m an engineer. Just as I would recommend against building a warship out of balsawood FOR MATERIALS REASONS, I recommend against MOST nylon in MOST concealment environments FOR MATERIALS REASONS.

    It provides WORSE performance for EQUIVALENT price.

    Since the reason nylon was recommended in the original post was SOLELY because it was “cheaper” yet supposedly provided the “same” performance. He stated that $20 nylon holsters were just as good as leather holsters that cost “somewhere north of $100″

    ALL of these statements are FACTUALLY false.

    1. Unless you’re talking the absolute BOTTOM of the nylon world (BELOW Uncle Mike’s, BELOW Bagmaster), decent leather and Kydex rigs start at the same price. Even Uncle Mike’s and Bagmaster normally retail closer to $25 than $20 (and that’s a simple OWB or IWB belt holster). If the nylon rig is built “as good as” a quality Kydex or leather holster, it will cost AT LEAST as much. The major cost in holsters (outside of exotic leathers. . . which we are NOT discussing) is workmanship and labor.

    2. Nylon has DEMONSTRABLY poorer perfomance than equivalent Kydex or leather holsters. It’s simply the basic properties of nylon versus leather or Kydex — to whit, nylon is more flexible and more slippery (in non technical terms) . . . these are BAD properties to have in the area we are talking about. (In other areas, these are good properties to have. . . but not most concealed carry applications.)

    3. Good qulaity Kydex and leather holsters DO NOT start at above $100. They start (as stated earlier) at under $25. Making a $100+ strawman to knock down doesn’t help tehoriginal poster’s case.

    I’m NOT “anti-nylon”, I’m “anti- recommending to newbies that they spend as much or more money to get worse perfomance, under the guise of saving them money”.

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