Posted in Protection, Random

The Quest for the Perfect Holster Part 2

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You can read the first part here.  Continuing my search for a conceal carry holster, I tried 2 new options, the Raw Dog Tactical Holster and Fancy Pants Original Holster.  Here are my thoughts below:

 

Raw Dog Tactical Holster Defender Pro Series IWB20160418_171240

Pros: good fit, great adjustable retention, quick shipping, good customer service, easy to adjust, comfortable once you find the “sweet spot”, “combat” cut for quick draw.

Cons: not tuckable, limited adjustments, most of the gun is above the waist making it harder to conceal, a sturdy belt is a must have, not compatible with ulticlip, prone to showing wear quickly

I had been recommended this holster by several women in my search and the price was right so I decided to give it a shot.

Gap between gun and clip protects gun from scratching but adds bulk
Gap between gun and clip protects gun from scratching but adds bulk

I like that it shipped promptly as I hate waiting for weeks for something to be custom made. There is a gap between the gun and the clip to prevent the screws from scratching your gun which is a good thing except that it adds bulk to the holster.

Huge gap between the grip and my waist
Huge gap between the grip and my waist

The holster is very comfortable but sadly not curve friendly as most of the gun is over the waistband, I can tell that it was designed with men in mind and women just happen to buy it too. Carrying on the back there is a gap between my waist and the holster big enough to fit my hand with space to spare and on the front it conceals great as long as I am standing but when I to sit down and my muffin top pushes the gun down it creates a bulky “shelf” on my shirt.

Impossible to AIWB with the Raw Dog, this happened when I sat down
Impossible to AIWB with the Raw Dog, this happened when I sat down

I really wanted to like it as it’s super comfortable at the 1 o’clock position but it would be impossible to conceal  when sitting down.

I was ready to return it but decided to try it at the 3 o’clock position and that seems to be working, I do have to be exact on the placement as if I put it too far to the front or too far back it stabs my hip when I sit down. While it’s not as comfortable as appendix, it’s still doable and easier to conceal because my hip pushes the grip of the gun into my waist curve, I do get an “uneven” waist but I only see that because I am looking, I have concealed outdoors for 2 days with no issues.

It looks well made although there was a sharp spot that wasn’t sanded down well and cut my finger. However I fear that it will show wear and tear quickly, by the 3rd day of use the clip got a scratch and ruined part of the finish and I can’t figure out what could have caused that as that is in the part that sits over the belt and was covered by my shirt. It’s still functional and just a cosmetic issue.
I decided against returning it because the scratch may disqualify it since you are supposed to return it in new condition and it feels more secure than my TWAW IWB holster. Unfortunately the clip setup is not compatible with the Ulticlip limiting wardrobe choices for this holster.

Wear on the leather from the manual safety
Wear on the leather from the manual safety

A good belt is a must have so this will be limited to the days that I wear jeans and cargo pants. My women’s belts couldn’t handle it so I bought a men’s “work belt” from Walmart and that was sturdy enough to do the trick.

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Fancy Pants Original Holster

Love the Celtic print
Love the Celtic print

Pros: Cute, lightweight, comfortable, looks well made, lots of prints to choose from for a custom look and made to fit your gun. Distributes gun weight very well, perfect for yoga pants, skirts and other clothing with weak waistbands. Pocket for spare magazine or knife and separate pocket for ID and CWP. No worries about the gun being visible when using a public restroom. Woman made in the USA, with very prompt and friendly service.

Cons: Retention strap causes delay in drawing. Long turnaround time of 5 weeks, she offers a few “Quick Ship” holsters that are supposed to ship within 48 hours but mine took just over a week to ship. Very thin fabric makes me fear that the trigger could be manipulated through the fabric but it didn’t happen when I tried. Concerned about durability since fabric is so thin. After I received my holster the manufacturer posted on social media about being able to request a reinforced holster for durability, I wish I had known!

It conceals very well with yoga pants and fitted tank top
It conceals very well with yoga pants and fitted tank top

Finally a holster that keeps the grip of the gun in! I am able to sit down while appendix carrying without getting stabbed in the thigh and no muffin top! Like the Can Can Concealment hip hugger, the elastic band rides up on my butt until it reaches my waist but unlike the Can Can hip hugger, this doesn’t require a tight fit to work so it’s still comfortable and the gun feels secure. I originally measured to wear at my upper hip but the holster is determined to ride on my waist so it’s a little loose but feels secure.

The retention strap is a must have to make sure that the gun stays secure since it’s not tight. I didn’t think it would work with a pair of pants that is too tight at the waistband but it did. It’s very comfortable and forget it’s there most of the time, I am only reminded it’s there when I bend over at the waist and the gun pokes my stomach.

My stomach gets hot and sweaty (I live in Florida after all) but the sweat guard does its job and keeps the gun dry. I don’t think that can be prevented with anything I try although I see the manufacturer beta testing a breathable fabric version so I will look into that once she posts them for sale.

Finally a holster that doesn't print!
Finally a holster that doesn’t print!

My biggest concern is draw time, it’s a LOT slower than my kydex and hybrid holsters and I have to get used to manipulating the retention strap. I have to make sure that I adjust the holster after using the restroom to ensure than an inch or two is above the waistband so I can reach the gun faster. While it’s very well suited for deep concealment, digging through the waistband to find the grip of the gun would take too long.

So far this is the winner in my book. While not perfect, it’s the best in terms of comfort and conceal-ability which is a must for me to carry daily so for now I am willing to sacrifice a second in draw time if it means that I’ll actually have a gun on me to draw in the first place.

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Author:

White collar hippie, Pagan tree hugger and crunchy mama living in Florida with her husband and 2 sons. She works part time as a breastfeeding counselor, freelance virtual bookkeeper, and web designer along with homeschooling her children.

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