View Full Version : Best Kydex Holster

Mike Baugh
February 17, 1999, 09:26 PM
I am going to take the plunge and try a Kydex holster . Who has the best ? I want one for a S&W 640 .357 and am leaning towards a paddle style , only because of the short barrel not feeling secure in a leather IWB [perhaps a kydex IWB rides different/lower than leather]. How is the gun retention compared to a leather holster of the same style ? I usually buy Kramer and have had good luck with his but want to try something different . Thanks , Mike...

Scott Evans
February 24, 1999, 10:10 PM
I'll take a stab at this one as no one else has yet jumped in. Retention in Kydex holsters is generally far better then leather especially over time. Leather over time will "break in" and become soft in areas vital to retention. The "break" (that is the point at which the holster lets go of the weapon) is much cleaner and IMO faster with Kydex then leather.

There are several quality makers of holsters who specialize in Kydex.

Gun Glove holsters by Mad Dog have a long standing reputation for being practical, functional and tough. The retention on these holsters is excellent and non adjustable (that is unless you heat the Kydex, which will probably void the warranty). Philosophy behind adjustable tension vs. non- adjustable tension in Kydex holsters varies depending upon who you talk to.

Blade-Tech has had mixed reviews on this forum however, I have never seen anything but quality holsters from their shop. Their holsters all have adjustable tension screws. This allows you to set the tension the way you like it.

There are a few other makers with good reputations and I'm sure the other members will vouch for them however, the ones above and the ones I make are the only ones I have had opportunity to sample in-depth.

As far as who is best … I may not even have to give my opinion on that as Kydex holsters for revolvers (as far as I know) currently are only available from Edge-Works. If anyone knows of another Kydex holster maker who makes holsters for revolvers please post.

Any way Mike I encourage you to try the Kydex. Once you have a quality rig you'll be hooked.

February 25, 1999, 11:23 AM
Just picked up a Kydex sheath for my NAA Mini-revolver on a neck loop cord from Livesay Combat Knives.

Scott Evans
February 25, 1999, 01:53 PM
That's not the one with the muzzle pointing at your head is it?

Rob Pincus
February 25, 1999, 02:13 PM
"Muzzle at your head"..ROTFL... you're killing me Scott!


I need a holster for a scoped 629 Classic, Scott, so add it to my order.

February 26, 1999, 02:54 AM
To add to what Scott has said about Blade-tech, my holsters are a bit of a mixed bag. My right side IWB's workmanship is top notch. I can find no fault in it.

On the other hand, my left side IWB's workmanship seems shoddy. I mean, the molding isn't crisp and clear like the right one. Even worse, the holes for the retention screws are a full 1/8" of an inch off from where it should be. It's as if someone left it in the hands of a moderatedly experience amateur.

I'm sure there is a rational explanation for this. But since I know next to nothing about Blade-tech's manufacturing process, I can't say just what that would be. For all practical purposes, however, both works where it counts, and that's good enough for me.

Another note I would like to add. About a week or so ago, I went to the gun store nearby me and saw a man wearing wearing a Glock with a Mad Dog holster. A brief conversation with him confirmed that it was. Upon close examination, I noticed that the inside of the trigger was exposed by a 1/4" gap! Enough to expose the space behind the trigger. This was quite alarming indeed. But, I didn't mention anything to him. I guess I should've, but he uh.. didn't seem very receptive somehow. Don't get me wrong, of course. My Mad Dog IWB is of excellent quality even if the fit is a bit tight.

Anyways, I am just re-emphasizing Scott's point about holsters being a mixed bag. Aside from minor characterstics that needs to be taken into consideration when selecting a holster, the overall quality of the holster is more important than what brand or who makes them.


[This message has been edited by SB (edited February 26, 1999).]

February 26, 1999, 10:44 AM
Yes the way it came was like that but I ran the loop through one of the side holes instead so that it hangs horizontally now.

Scott Evans
February 26, 1999, 06:51 PM
Good move. How is it wearing it around the neck? I have a holster I made for my NAA .22mag that can be used in the pocket or with a "Mini Harness". (that's a fancy name for a shoulder harness that I make out of a large loop of 550 cord crossed behind the back in a figure "8" / you might try this with yours also) However, it almost always goes in the right front pocket.

Rob forgive my ignorance but what is …ROTFL ?

Also, call me on that order as I want to talk about the other as well

[This message has been edited by Scott Evans (edited February 26, 1999).]

February 27, 1999, 08:48 AM
The only problem with the present carry is that I couldn't double the loop line to make it lay naturally flat against my chest. The open rivet hole is small enough to only allow the parachute cord (?) through once and not doubled as was intended. Thinking about drilling an oversized hole nearby so that I can run a bight through the hole so that it would lay truly flat. Though it's not really a problem until you lean forward, then the weapon wants to twist perpendicular to your front body line. There's just enough weight so that it then prints. Also I've been carrying on an empty chamber, just in case.

Rob Pincus
February 27, 1999, 11:32 AM
ROTFL- ROlling on the floor, laughing.

LMSO- Laughing my socks off

LMAO- Laughing my a** off.

ROTFLMFAO!- That was really funny!

Jeff White
February 27, 1999, 12:07 PM
If you pull the strands out of the center of the 550 cord (parachute cord) and sear the ends with a match, it should be small enough to go through the hole more then once and strong enough or your needs. Unless you envision an emergency rappell escape from a high rise building with your holster :) HTH

[This message has been edited by Jeff White (edited February 27, 1999).]

February 27, 1999, 12:35 PM
Check out a Safariland Concealex paddle. I am not certain if they are made for the S&W 640, but it is a pretty good holster IMO. It is a lined Kydex holster with thumb break retention.


Scott Evans
February 27, 1999, 03:39 PM
Thanks Rob … I was SMHFH (Scratching My Head For Hours) Trying to figure that out.

Some times you just CSTFFTT (Can't See The Forest For The Trees) … KWIM (Know What I Mean) ?

Is that Safariland holster being advertised as actually using Concealex?

March 1, 1999, 01:46 PM
The Safariland kydex holster is actually marketed as part of thier Concealex line. I have not seen any actual advertisements for them, but have seen them at a couple of LE shops. A couple of friends of mine have the duty version and recommend it highly. I intend to get one for my SIG 239 as soon as I find one.

March 1, 1999, 08:32 PM
I have a Blade Tech standard scabbard for a 4" S&W 25-2. Haven't used it much yet but it seems all right. It is secure but fast. I will probably buy more Blade Techs. Bill


March 2, 1999, 08:16 AM
Let me throw in a vote for David Elderton, maker of Ky-Tac holsters.

I have found David's holsters superior to any other kydex holsters I have used or examined to date.


Live Free or Die

March 2, 1999, 11:36 AM
I make kydex holsters, and can make one for the S&W 640 .357 snubby.

I make it is based on the customers preference, since he is the one that's going to use it !

I utilize twin tension screws, as that allows the user to set the tension to their preferences, not mine ! Rivets do not allow that flexibility.

I also make a "Neck Holster," called the "O.S.H." for the NAA mini-guns. I include a "cocker blocker" for safety and twin cord holes at the top to minimize twisting.

Like most of you, I also have a boatload of holsters that were "almost right," which is the main reason I started making my own !



Innovative Kydex Tactical Gear

March 2, 1999, 10:40 PM
Safariland Kydex all the way. Give it a look. You will not be disappointed.

Stay safe.

Rich Lucibella
March 2, 1999, 11:14 PM
As many know, Mad Dog Holsters are a favorite with me due to the positive lock at the rear trigger guard and the lack of tension screws.

However, I'd be hard pressed to knock David's KyTac line. He spent considerable time with me on the phone and delivered well made and perfectly finished holster, mag light holder and mag pouch.
Welcome David.
Rich Lucibella

March 3, 1999, 03:41 PM
Hi, Rich !

I just found this place and I like what I've seen so far !

Rivets can work, as Mad Dog has shown, but there are shortcomings with them, such as, two different guns of the same model probably won't fit the same, loud drawing sound, etc.

Tension screws allow the user to adjust them to fit THEIR gun the way THEY want it. If there is a concern about the screws coming out, then use Loc-Tite and tweak the screws to how you want them.

However, since this is the same reason they make Fords AND Chevy's, I am now offering a riveted holster for $39.50

The downside is, there is no choice to cant, belt width, etc. And it is currently only available for Glocks.

March 3, 1999, 04:12 PM
There's my old friend Dave Elderton, I remember when he was a B shooter. Hi Dave, Nick Jones.

Scott Evans
March 3, 1999, 10:07 PM
Welcome aboard ! You have an excellent site and what looks to be some very fine products. Also, I am glad to see another maker willing to make Kydex holsters for revolvers. I would very much like to see how you make yours. As for the rest; I go back and forth as to the pros and cons of the tension screws with Kydex holsters. In most circumstances for most weapons I am of the opinion that a properly formed and constructed holster that is riveted and fixed at the proper tension will yield the best performance. More "snap and pop" if you will and less drag on the draw. However, you certainly have a point with regard to wide spreads in tolerances among some models. One of the hardest to nail down are the various 1911's as there are so many different makers. For such weapons the tension screws are a good choice for the reasons that you state. Other weapons such as the Glock models are remarkably identical and present no problems in the area of fit from weapon to weapon and holster to holster. For this reason most of our holsters are riveted but are available at the customers request with tension adjustable screws. I like to offer what is, in my opinion, the absolute best holster with regard to fit, finish and function but will still make them the way they are requested.

March 4, 1999, 08:40 AM

Regarding the uniformity of Glock sizes, I have found that to be other than the case.

With one riveted holster the gun was a bit loose, (could be shaken out easily when held upside down) and the other one was too tight for comfortable drawing and reholstering.

Actually, David knows about this, because I told him the results of my experience before I placed my order for a couple more of his holsters.

I don't mean to imply that your holsters are other than excellent, since word of mouth from folks I respect is very good. Just my two cents on the issue with riveted pre-formed holsters which do not allow any adjustment.


Live Free or Die

March 4, 1999, 04:15 PM
Hi, Nick ! Amazing who you "meet" here in cyberspace. By the way, you remember me when I was a "C" class shooter ! (Now, I languish in Master Class.....;-)

Just to catch you up, I won the 1995 Colorado State Championship, Limited Division, Oklahoma Champion twice, and Illinois State IDPA Champion......so far !

As far as rivets, I have a couple holsters I either traded into, or one that was GIVEN to me, since once he got mine, there was no need for this one...even tho it's a major kydex brand.

Another guy was struggling w/ his holster for the entire match, and I asked him about it. It was apparent that he was not pulling straight up, due to his body build, and was actually engaging the trigger guard MORE into the molded detent, slowing/screwing up his draw. I let him borrow one of mine, and made a sale. I got his holster to show others what does not work, and why.

The Molded Triggerguard Detent (MTD) is not, in and of itself, faster than tension, altho the MTD IS louder to draw from.

I can make my holsters ANYWAY I choose to, and I much prefer tension screws.

The Glocks, in my experience, are NOT very identical dimensionally, one to the other, and their magazines are far worse !

If you have an "old style", "new style" and 10 rd mag, they WILL fit the mag pouch differently......and a rivet will NOT work very well. Some mag pouches SAY they are tension adjustable, but are not, to any measurable degree.

There are many opinions out there, of course, but I base mine on actual experience, long term use, and customer feedback.


Innovative Kydex Tactical Gear

Scott Evans
March 9, 1999, 10:24 AM
I love to talk shop as such exchanges benefits the makers and users as well. However, I do not want to run to far off topic in this thread so I will start a new one about "holster features" Please throw in there as you have good information.

As for this topic "best kydex holsters and where to get them" Mike Baugh is looking for good info on his options. Lets make sure he is given enough to make a reasonably informed choice for his first Kydex rig.

I have heard of "Skunk Works" but personally never had opportunity to sample their products. Has anyone else? Any other makers and recommendations for Kydex holsters?

March 20, 1999, 06:23 PM
Ok, no one's brought up an obvious brand -- Edgeworks, the product of our very own moderator. My buddy has several of Scott's custom and production design inside pants rigs and is very happy with them. Scott uses thinner Kydex for these, and it seems to do a fine job of remaining rigid and keeping down the bulk. The rigs are extremely functional. The "snap and pop" retention of the holsters is just right, a trait that can only be had with Kydex. I no longer like leather holsters b/c of the lack of positive tactile feedback upon holstering.

My personal favorite for outside pants rigs is a Mad Dog Thumb Break or Taylor Thunderbolt. I've used them for my Glocks and have had excellent performance and durability with them. The craftsmanship is top notch, and they too have the "snap and pop." The only downside to the MD designs is the lack of adjustability, which has only been problematic for me with 1911's. Different Glock pistols seem to fit the rigs just fine, and though the mags do differ in outside dimensions, they fall within acceptable variances.

Blade Tech rigs that I've seen have varied from excellent workmanship to horrible, so I'm not sure what to make of them.

March 20, 1999, 10:35 PM
Ky-tac, Can you make an ASP holder?, And how about an IWB for a H&K USP .45 full size??