By Sammy Reese
I learned a long time ago not to criticize the cuisine until I had a taste. I’ve made some assumptions about a piece of gear just by looking at it and found I was wrong. I don’t think I need to break down the word assume to this crowd.
I’ve bought a few pieces of gear thinking I’d found “the ultimate” — fill in the blank — and found it was all hype. I’ve also made the mistake of saying something looks like a piece of junk without trying it, only to later eat a huge helping of crow when I found out it worked better than advertised. It takes a while to get the taste out of your mouth when there’s a boot and pile of crow in there.
I’ve had the opportunity to see all kinds of holsters and gear, ranging from exceptional to scary, and everywhere in between. When it comes to holsters, especially inside the waistband (IWB), what feels great to me might feel like a live porcupine to someone else. It’s rare there is such a huge difference in what works, but we are all built differently.
A common theme when I’m talking to holster makers is comfort — “mine is the most comfortable holster ever made.” Always makes me think, “I’ve heard it before. Prove it or at least let’s see if it works for me.” My good friend Clint Smith has a saying “Guns are supposed to be comforting not comfortable.” While I agree with comforting, I have to confess I like it even more if it doesn’t make me need a shot of morphine at the end of the day.
As an IWB (Inside The Waistband) holster, make sure you buy
your pants an inch or two larger and loosen up your belt some.
If you try to use your regular pants, you may find things a bit
tight, depending on your build.
The back is genuine suede and helps the holster
to stay put and keep you cooler at the same time.
Several years ago Nate Beard and Nate Johnson were having a chat about what was missing in the concealed carry holsters they were using. Many a great idea has been born from a simple conversation like that. Nate “Squared” (Get it? Two Nates?) Tactical Holsters was created out of a need for something not currently available. The Nates wanted a holster designed to keep the gun secure, yet with 100 percent of the gun off of the wearer. The backing had to be flexible enough to allow a smooth draw and the material had to provide a moisture barrier to protect the firearm. The problem was neither of them knew anything about sewing or building holsters, so they did it the old fashioned way — they learned how.
At first glance the professional holster didn’t capture my eye like a fully-carved leather rig, but it’s unique enough to make me take a second look. I’ve pretty much learned my lesson now and I wanted to find out for myself if the N82 holster would work as advertised.
The Professional Model is a combination of several technologies combined to make a very comfortable yet secure holster. The three-layer system starts with a backing made of suede. Suede is naturally grippy — it holds onto the skin or undershirt helping to keep some of the weight off the belt. The suede also keeps things feeling cool. Summer has brought high 80’s and low 90’s days so I found out just how cool suede really is.
In the middle is a piece of neoprene designed to help keep the holster flexible while providing a barrier to protect the gun from moisture and the body from gun oils. The other half of the sandwich is oil-tanned leather. It helps keep the flexibility and smoothness in the draw stroke and protects the finish of the pistol.
Red arrow points at triggerguard retention system,
a simple detent in the plastic, but it works well.
A Unique Feature … Or Three
the “holster body” is made of an extremely durable polycarbonate. Built into the body is a very simple triggerguard retention system. A very slight twist toward the body releases the firearm. It took me about 10 draws to get it down. I even tried it while lying with all my body weight on the holster. Once I got my hand on the gun my body weight didn’t impede me drawing the gun.
The last part of the holster is a super tough pivoting metal clip. It’s adjustable for cant and the clip has a unique tuck-in-the-shirt feature. If a tucked in shirt is how you dress, the Professional works as advertised, but keep in mind the shirt can only be tucked in so far. If the shirt tail is long it will bunch up. Remember what Clint said about comforting?
After some daily wear I’ve found the Professional to be everything the Nates told me it would be. It’s comfortable sitting, or walking around. It doesn’t shift around and the suede backing makes all the difference. Before I head out I do a few practice draws just to reinforce the slight twist needed to complete the draw.
If you carry a handgun IWB, the holsters made by the Nates are worthy of consideration. They are proudly made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty for normal use — not eaten by your dog.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner/product-index, Ph: (336) 237-1943