By Sammy Reese
During a recent tour of a holster-making factory, the tour guide was busting my chops about always writing about non-leather holsters. Since I was a guest, I was polite. Truth be told, I’m an absolute leather junkie. My grandfather owned a custom leather shop making one-off briefcases and woman’s handbags. Before I took over this column — previously named Handgun Leather — I had already acquired several boxes of leather and a few Kydex holsters.
What I discovered during lots of hours on the range teaching is that kind of intense training wears leather holsters out. So, I experimented with Kydex rigs made with a similar draw-style as my leather holsters. I’ve broken my fair share over the years, but as much as I tried to break and wear out the C!C holsters, they still look and perform as they did right out of the box. My torture test was cut short by an injury to my dominant hand (more on this in a future column). Prior to earning the nickname “Lefty,” I performed countless draws from both holsters and the mag pouches on the range and wore them under a cover-up for daily carry for several weeks. What I discovered was I want to order a few more for other guns I like to carry.
What makes C!C holsters so rugged are the materials and craftsmanship going into each rig. Every holster and mag pouch is made from 100 percent American-made components. Holsters are made from 0.08″ Kydex, the beefy belt loops are made from 0.125″ Kydex and the hardware used is top-notch. C!C uses black oxide Chicago screws and slotted binding posts combined with A-grade rivets in every holster and accessory.
I thought the holster for a light-mounted gun
would be bulky and hard to conceal — I was wrong.
A Kydex Alternative
When I was asked by a reader to take a look at Contact! Concealment holsters (C!C) I had to search the net to find out more about the company. At first glance I liked what I saw, and seeing an endorsement from Paul Howe, I knew right off the gear must be rugged and dependable.
I sent off an email and less than 30 minutes later my phone rang and a very guarded Bruce Weiler was asking if Sammy Reese from American Handgunner had emailed asking about his company. In my prior two careers (USMC and LE) I’ve made a few brothers from other mothers. I guess it’s the camaraderie that builds a bond you don’t get from working in a cubicle. After about 20 minutes I found Bruce and I were cut from very similar cloth.
We are both passionate about teaching cops how to stay alive with firearms and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. My body is a bit beat up from the two previous jobs but I really enjoy training BJJ. Bruce is on a whole different level; he’s the owner of his own BJJ School. We found our conversation had drifted off course but we managed to get it back to holsters. Bruce told me he would send two different holsters and some single mag pouches. “Try your best to break or wear them out,” he challenged.
One tension screw would do, but not for C!C. Two tension points
ensures your mag will be there when you need it.
he two OWB holsters I evaluated were made for a Glock 19. I had one holster made for use with a Streamlight TLR-1 and the other was made for just the gun. I had thought the holster with the light would be hard to conceal, but I was wrong. It carried just like the one without the light. The belt slots are spaced perfectly and lock the gun to my hip. I used them both during long hours of teaching and had no issues.
I prefer to use two single-mag pouches so I can adjust them more easily around my waist. Bruce’s formula for just enough pouch body and two adjustment screws, combined with the rugged loops and hardware, has made these mag pouches my daily rigs regardless of what type of holster I use.
I will always have a soft spot for the look and feel of leather. But with companies like Contact! Concealment making rugged, affordable, highly functional gear — I’m also a fan of Kydex.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/contact-concealment