Monday, September 9, 2019

Long Term Holster Use

long term holster use review iwb pocket galco tread softly concealment blackhawk m1916

















I’m back and want to talk about something a little bit different: holsters. If you plan on carrying a firearm, you need a holster. It’s as simple as that. As I’ve mentioned in some previous articles, there are different ways to carry a handgun. I prefer inside the waistband (IWB) and pocket carry.

On my review of the Tread Softly Concealment Holster for the Smith and Wesson M&P 9, I got a comment on the video saying that IWB holsters simply don’t last. That gave me the idea for this. I am going to review the holsters that I have in my collection. I only have a few to review, because when you carry a firearm, you should carry the one that you are most familiar with.

When I started carrying, I started out with a Galco KingTuk IWB for my 1911. I then moved on to my Smith and Wesson M&P 9 with a Tread Softly Concealment IWB holster. I still carry that, but when I need to have my shirt tucked in for work, I pocket carry my SCCY CPX-2 in a Blackhawk Size 4 pocket holster.

Here’s a breakdown of each holster with how well or how poorly they have held up over the years. I have one wild card to throw in at the end to show that some holsters can in fact stand the test of time.


Galco KingTuk IWB

At around $60, this is the most expensive hostler I have. I started using this holster back in 2013 to carry my Taurus PT1911. Like any inside the waistband holster, it took a few days to start forming to my body. The thick smooth leather on the back was comfortable, and the adjustable clips were fine from the factory location.

Soon into carrying it though, the holster showed its fatal flaw. One of the clips bent, and there really is no way to bend it back. This leads to the holster not being fully secure on your belt. While the positive retention of the firearm was still there, I was losing faith in the holster.

Overall, it held up well after almost daily use, but at the end of 2014, I had made my decision to switch to carrying my Smith and Wesson M&P 9, and with it, a new holster brand.

long term holster use review iwb galco kingtuk 1911

long term holster use review iwb galco kingtuk 1911

Tread Softly Concealment IWB

At $40, initial reactions were worrisome. The leather and kydex was much thinner compared to the Galco predecessor. The back of the leather wasn’t as smooth and there was one screw holding in the adjustable clips.

Man was I wrong. It’s been almost five years, and this holster is still perfect. The leather has shaped to my body, and it’s extremely comfortable. The clips show no signs of tension loss, and the firearm locks into place better than when I first started wearing it.

I did a review on this holster years ago, and it’s even better now. While worn and discolored, it’s that way due to constant use, and I plan on using it for years to come. Tread Softly Concealment makes top quality holsters at average prices. Get one, and you’ll love it.

While I love this holster, if I wear a shirt that’s tucked in, I have to carry my SCCY CPX2 in my pocket.

long term holster use iwb tread softly concealement smith and wesson M&P 9 review

long term holster use iwb tread softly concealement smith and wesson M&P 9 review


Blackhawk Size 4 Pocket Holster

This off-brand holster has been my go-to since the start of 2014 when I got my first SCCY CPX2. To me, a pocket holster should keep things away from the trigger, but have no retention. I didn’t need anything expensive, so this $10 Walmart special was just the thing I needed. 

Starting flat, it started to take the shape of my SCCY rather quickly. I started carrying my SCCY more and more due to work clothing. In Florida, summer days are easily 105 degrees with humidity, and I sweat… A lot. Recently, this started to take its toll on the holster, and it started to break down. Black particles from the material plague the outside of my SCCY.

After about five years of heavy use and abuse, I’d say I got my money’s worth. With a cost of ownership equaling about to $2 per year at this point, I’m pleased with this results, and will probably get another.

While five years may sound old for some, how about something over twenty times older?

long term holster use blackhawk pocket size 4 sccy cpx2 review

long term holster use blackhawk pocket size 4 sccy cpx2 review

long term holster use blackhawk pocket size 4 sccy cpx2 review

US Military M1916 Holster

The M1916 Holster was developed to fit the military’s new 1911 pattern handguns. This particular holster, made by Sheffer and Rossum out of St. Paul, Minnesota was made in 1918. That makes this over 101 years old.

The strap around it is much newer, made in 1941. That style of strap was worn by the military police. Lightly carved in it are the initials “MB.” Unfortunately I have no backstory behind it.

While the leather is very stiff, and the metal is corroded beyond restoration, the original leg strap leather string still remains, which is almost impossible to find on a holster this old. However, after surviving two World Wars and possibly seeing use in Korea and beyond, I’d say it looks pretty good for its age.

Its days of holding a 1911 ready for combat might be long gone, but its life remains for years to come.

long term holster use review 1911 us military holster wwii wwi sheffer and rossum m1916

long term holster use review 1911 us military holster wwii wwi sheffer and rossum m1916

long term holster use review 1911 us military holster wwii wwi sheffer and rossum m1916

So that’s that! Your holster will probably last you as long as you need it to. The more moving parts it has, the more likely it is to fail. Weather, storage, and use dictate a lot for how long your holster will last as well.

What holster do you use? Let me know in the comments below. Want more reviews like this? Don’t forget to check us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! Thanks for stopping by!


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