Friday, July 22, 2005


I almost always carry IWB; in front of the point of the hip for compact pistols, behind or SOB for full size; and almost always in kydex, because it holds its shape and doesnt retain moisture.

When I’m not carrying IWB, I have a couple of strong side High-Rides (a Galco Cop, and a Wilson Lo-Profile for my Champion), and a don hume convertible belt slide that can do strong side, SOB, or cross draw; all in leather; but they are all for my 1911's (I DO have a Kydex OWB for my USP compact .45, but that only because it was $10 and I couldnt find a decent OWB that wasn’t $100, except for Fobus. I also have a generic beltslide that will fit any medium to large doublestack, but I still mostly carry it in a Kydex IWB.)

Anyway a few weeks ago, after two years of near daily carry; the belt clip on my Predator Kahr K9 Kydex IWB finally split.

Unfortunately everyone is out of stock for that particular model, so I'm going to have to wait a few weeks to get my replacement (lifetime warranty and all that).

In the mean time, I needed another way to carry the Kahr. Now I've generally stayed away from sheath style IWB holsters; as I said above prefering Kydex because it resists moisture, and doesn't deform, but after trying this out at Sportsmans Warehouse in Mesa, I decided to pick it up

NOTE: there is no model specific to the Kahr, however most soft Colt Officers ACP holsters fit the Kahr K series, and this is no exception.

What is different from most of the sheath style IWBs, is that this is a real holster, not some limp buckskin envelope. It's basically a full wet molded holster, turned inside out. It has a reinforced mouth, sewn in sight rail and every bit of the quality I expect from Galco. Actually I'd say its better made than my Galco Cop series high ride.

But thats' just looks, how does it perform?

Honestly, this is the best IWB I've ever used. It retains the weapon properly, and carries it almost invisibly. Most importantly though, it's the most COMFORTABLE IWB I've ever used as well.

The bigggest problem with kydex is that it is hard, and even when well melted and smoothed, it pokes you (and chews up the finish of your gun too). This is a well molded piece of leather, and it very definitely does not. This is one of the few holsters, and almost the only IWB I've used where I can say, I couldnt even feel that I was wearing a gun. Also Kydex has a tendency to slip forward or back on your belt while you're moving around, even if the clip is very tight. Because of the rough side out, but snag free construction of this holster, it doesnt move unintentionally at all; but it's still pretty easy to move when you want to.

The second msot important thing, is how well does the holster conceal the weapon, and in that regard this holster is EXCELLENT. It's quite thing, but its thick and soft edged enough to prefent outline printing; and it carries the weapon low and at a good angle for concealment. Even with a tucked in shirt, you can barely see that I'm carrying the weapon if I blouse the shirt out loosely.

Actually, about the only thing I would change, is to make it in black, so that it would be even less noticible on my waist (black pants, black shirt, black belt, black guns... brown holster)...

Actually, one more thing: although it holds its shape well, I'd put a spring band inside the reinforcing leather band at the holster mouth just to make sure it wont close after years of use and softening against the body.

The price was pretty good for a qualitypiece of leather, at $55, though more expensive than the kydex eqivalent (I think I paid $45 for the predator). Given the quality, and utility of the piece though, I'll call that a bargain.

UPDATE: Prompted by a comment from reader Quasi, I'm looking for good HK USP Compact .45 holster options.

As I said, I cant find any decent non-kydex options except for getting a custom holster. If there are any that people want to share, please let me know.