Holsters come in all shapes and sizes and it isn’t uncommon for a gun owner to literally collect a drawer full of holsters while attempting to find the perfect match for any number of firearms. Even holsters custom designed for specific firearms are sometimes uncomfortable to wear due to chafing, heat, or shape. Those issues may become a distant memory as holsters made from Kydex are becoming more and more popular.
Kydex is a relative newcomer to holster production, but it’s taking the market by storm. The versatile material is showing up in holsters for virtually every handgun make and model.
Originally developed as a moldable substance for use in airline interiors, a host of industries in the late 60’s figured out that Kydex could be configured into any shape by applying heat.
Kydex LLC was formed in the 90’s and now manufactures the material under the Sekisui SPI brand in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
YetiTac is a custom holster maker that has embraced the Kydex phenomenon and now works exclusively in the material with the goal of providing various holster types for most handguns. One of their most recent creations is the OWB Quick Claw.
Like other Kydex holsters, the Quick Claw uses friction to keep the firearm in place and the draw is smooth, unlike leather where there may be snaps to unfasten and other hand contortions to maneuver before the gun can be safely removed.
The YetiTac is a combination of a paddle holster and belt holster. Author Scott W. Wagner explains why a paddle holster alone is no longer a viable option for a concealed carry holster in his article “YetiTac Custom Quick Claw Kydex OWB Holster” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“Current rigs offer good retention of the gun and holster as a unit, but are more difficult to remove, and sometime require undoing the pants to remove the rig.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
On the YetiTac Quick Claw, two claws are attached to the back of the holster which then interlock with clips on a double-thick trouser belt. The clips firmly secure the holster, but also allow for easy release by alternately pushing and pulling the clips, instead of undoing the belt.
The only issue with the Quick Claw riding on the belt may be with larger weapons where greater care is needed to avoid printing issues. It’s also important to remember that guns are less secure in Kydex holsters and garment coverage not only hides the weapon, but is also an effective deterrent to potential gun thieves.
The YetiTac Quick Claw comes in many color and pattern choices for personal customization. In addition to that, the combination of a 90 hardness on the Rockwell R scale and the ability to flawlessly match weapon shape assures that the holstered firearms will have high abrasive resistance, resulting in negligible wear on the finish.
Pick up a personalized Kydex holster for your gun for about $60.
The decision to purchase a gun for concealed carry usually involves several decisions. Some of the more important include looking into a weapon’s caliber, weight, magazine capacity, and print profile. Yet one important consideration that often becomes apparent after a few hours at the range is firearm recoil.
The perfect lightweight gun with impressive stopping power is out there in the form of a .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver, but unfortunately, the recoil on these Holy Grail pistols is intolerable to many shooters.
Luckily, a happy medium exists in the Smith & Wesson 351PD AirLite .22 Magnum snub-nosed revolver.
This lightweight revolver is on the way to becoming a heavyweight player in the concealed carry market. The frame and cylinder are constructed of a matte black aluminum alloy and tips the scales at a mere 10.8 ounces unloaded. The 351PD fires using a single-action cycle made possible with the exposed hammer.
The grips on this gun are another nice feature. They are made of wood and ergonomically designed with finger grooves. The only thing this model is missing is the traditional S&W emblem that’s usually emblazoned on the grips.
Since the Smith & Wesson 351PD AirLite doesn’t have the formidable appearance of some of its heavy-hitting counterparts, author Scott W. Wagner explains how to boost the 351PD’s first impression in his article “S&W 351PD AirLite .22 Magnum Revolver: Zero Recoil Seven-Shot Defender” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“…I decided to give every tactical advantage to the 351PD and mounted the CTC LG-350G Green Lasergrips that I reviewed in last week’s column. Not only does the bright green laser beam enhance the psychological intimidation capability of the 351PD, [but] the ability to adjust the Lasergrips proved quite handy as well.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
For targeting purposes, the sighting system on the 351PD is fairly intricate. The rear sight is the standard S&W black channel sitting atop the frame, but the front sight is a HI VIZ Fiber Optic setup. This device is attached to a square bracket and comes with a high-visibility orange insert that allows for easy eye-to-sight transition when practicing rapid-fire scenarios.
At the range, the Smith & Wesson 351PD AirLite proved to be reliable and accurate. Using two different types of ammo, Hornady 30-grain V-Max and CCI .22 Magnum Maxi Mag, groupings were consistently in the 3-inch range from 30 feet with negligible recoil. There were no malfunctions, though the trigger pull was slightly heavy. Muzzle velocity averaged about 1107 fps.
Smith & Wesson’s .22 Magnum 351PD proved its mettle at the range. For personal defense concealed carry, its light weight, reliability, and accuracy make it a viable option. As a home defense weapon, the capability to mount a laser light gives the shooter an additional psychological advantage during any confrontation. The 351PD AirLite will serve well as a multi-purpose firearm. It’s also priced reasonably with an MSRP of $759.
Pepper spray has always had the reputation of being a highly effective, easy to use, first line of defense with virtually no learning curve. Yet for many, the most important feature is the low price that allows these self-defense tools to be in just about anyone’s budget.
So when Piexon put a $319 price tag on its JPX Jet Protector Pepper Gun, several people were asking a lot of questions, mainly “What can it do that my $20 can of Chemical Mace can’t?”
Well, the answer is…plenty.
One of the most important features on the JPX is its shape. Not only does the device look like a gun, it operates in the same fashion. The double-barrel setup encases an 11-milliliter charge of a liquid containing 10 percent Oleoresin Capsicum (OC). OC is the active ingredient in traditional pepper spray and is preferred by law enforcement because unlike tear gas, OC is generally effective against all human attackers — even those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
On top of the handy pistol grip setup, the Piexon JPX is also pressurized to propel the OC at an astonishing velocity of 569 feet per second for distances up to 23 feet. And unlike the common aerosol canisters which simply coat the skin, the blistering speed of the JPX actually penetrates the skin pores, allowing for a deeper and longer lasting incapacitation.
In addition to penetration of the skin, the stream causes the eyes to instantly close. Author Scott W. Wagner describes the effect of being sprayed with OC in his article “Piexon JPX Jet Protector Pepper Gun: Hi-Tech Swiss OC Defensive System” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“I’ve tested the previous Kimber version of the JPX during training in my police academy. The effect of the JPX OC is instantaneous and miserable for the recipient with no cross contamination for the user.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Most hand-held pepper spray canisters are “one and done.” When it’s gone, it’s gone, but this isn’t true with the Piexon JPX. The unit is fully reloadable and the quick release magazine allows for a quick return to action. Another nice feature is that the double-action trigger switches automatically between each barrel while firing. There is also a small Picatinny rail housing a laser light operated by a switch under the trigger guard.
Accuracy is also not a problem for the JPX. During testing to the maximum effective range of 20 feet, the spray covered the target silhouette. The noise and smell also replicates an actual firearm, which gives the user an added psychological advantage. The high density of the liquid means it will stay where it lands with very little cross-contamination.
The Piexon JPX is an excellent firearm alternative in areas where guns are prohibited. It is also suitable as a first response. The cost is steep, with MSRP for the laser option being $319, but it provides a level of protection second only to a firearm. The weapon can also be reloaded many times. Accessories such as holsters and magazines are also available.
Depending on where you live, getting your concealed carry permit often can be an arduous and cumbersome task. There may be mountains of paperwork, ornery officials who don’t want to issue permits, and tedious videos. But believe it or not, the class is the easy part.
The hard part starts when you walk out of your home with a gun neatly tucked in its holster; out of sight and under your shirt, pants leg, or in your pocket. Besides the immense responsibility that comes with owning a firearm, carrying a gun all the time raises many day-to-day practical issues that you most likely won’t hear about during CCW permit training.
If you’re truly serious about the CCW lifestyle, then you’re carrying pretty much 24/7, which would include the times you and your gun have to visit the dreaded public restroom.
Going into a stall presents a host of issues ranging from awkward to downright scary. In his article “We All Do It! What Do You Do With Your Gun When Nature Calls?” at USConcealedCarry, author Kevin Michalowski relates how he solved the potential problem of someone from an adjacent stall stealing his gun always choosing the stall at his extreme left:
“With no other stalls to my right, I can keep the gun in the holster, let it pretty much hang naturally in the pile of my pants, and be protected from anyone seeing or grabbing for the gun.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Naturally, the opposite would apply for lefties; they would choose the stall at their extreme right. Both of these scenarios assume the last stall butts against a wall. While everyone will undoubtedly figure out what works best for them in this and other socially awkward firearm scenarios, this particular solution has the advantage of keeping your weapon secure in its holster.
The less a gun has to be handled, the safer it is for everyone. Accidental discharges occur during non-range “routine” handling. Putting the gun in other places while in the stall is a recipe for an accident. Anything hanging on the door hook is an invitation for Bathroom Raiders to reach over and relieve you of your possessions while you are helplessly indisposed.
Concealed Carry is a 24-hour job and in this case, sitting down on the job is part of the description. Sometimes situational awareness means more than observing your surroundings. It means having a solid game plan before you walk out the door.
When Montie Gear introduced its Ultra-Light Knife, company officials anticipated the question most knife aficionados would be asking: “Why would you buy a $400 knife?”
The Ultra-Light Knife is a top-of the line defensive weapon that doubles as an emergency tool and can be quickly and easily accessible. The fact that the Ultra-Light has a futuristic sci-fi design doesn’t hurt its appeal either.
The high-tech aluminum sheath disguises the traditional knife shape and the knife looks like it could have been on the set of Star Wars.
In his article “The Montie Gear Ultra-Light Fixed Blade Knife” at USConcealedCarry.com, author Scott W. Wagner describes how the sheath not only protects the blade, but acts as a safety as well:
“The holster features a steel thumb release lock which is actuated by a natural draw grasp. The thumb release cams a lever when pushed down, clearing the notch on the top of the blade.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Additionally, the release is designed to use the laws of physics to actually help push the knife out of the sheath, allowing for a quicker, smoother, one-handed draw even with gloves. Screwed into the sheath is a polymer BladeTech clip designed for durability and rugged activity.
It opens completely and clamps firmly to belts, backpacks, and other gear. The clip attaches in a way to keep the knife parallel to the ground and when clipped on a belt, it keeps the blade and sheath from rubbing against the leg, impeding the draw.
The Ultra-Light Knife is also pocket-friendly. The latch mechanism allows the user to deftly draw the knife while leaving the sheath securely in the pocket at the same time. Although the attaching clamp can be adjusted to various positions, the Phillips screws that fasten the plate to the sheath should be checked periodically.
Montie Gear handcrafts only a few knives at a time and the quality is obvious. The three-inch blade is fashioned from Chrome Vanadium steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 58-62. Each Tanto style point is honed to a razor sharp edge that will cut whenever and wherever you need it. And the grips for the Ultra-Light are customizable. You can choose the plain style or a paracord wrap that’s available in several colors.
The Ultra-Light definitely won’t slow you down on the trail. Its weight fully loaded with sheath and paracord wrap is only 3.7 ounces. Yet it’s rugged and durable enough to be an integral part of your personal defense plan while functioning as an emergency tool at the same time.