With the popularity of concealed carry, handgun owners are now, more than ever, in need of holsters. Before concealed carry was legal, people kept their handguns in the manufacturers box, a range bag, or anything else they could transport them with. Now, with concealed carry legal in all 50 states, the need for quality, concealable holsters that provide good retention has skyrocketed.
Holsters were traditionally constructed of leather. These holsters came in every form for any function. Everything from cowboy action holsters to belt carry, inside the waist band carry, and ankle carry. The problem with carrying a leather holster directly against the body is sweat. We sweat especially when we press leather against our bodies. Leather absorbs sweat and it will change the form of the holster over time. Another down fall is that, while in some cases, leather looks great, with the character of many years of beatings, a lot of holsters just wear out.
Along came kydex holsters. Kydex is a moldable thermoplastic. It starts as a sheet and when heat is applied to it (200 plus degrees) it will mold to a shape. When the kydex cools, it holds its shape very well and is very rugged. Many people have begun to make their own holsters out of kydex. I never have, but I’ve seen videos and it looks like it can be done with some practice. Some people need the practice. I have seen some of the worst looking things called holsters made in garages across this country.
Kydex holsters are usually very similar in design. They usually consist of two sheets of kydex molded with the gun in the middle or one sheet folded over and molded with the gun between to two ends. Once the holster is molded, it is trimmed; shaped, recessed, and all other accoutrements are added.
Being that most kydex holsters are of similar design, my reviews will cover things outside of normal design. My reviews are going to cover my overall impression of the holster, the finish of the kydex, the blending of the edges, and the feel of the holster.
I received a holster and magazine pouch from Tap Rack Holsters. Tap Rack is a holster and custom kydex company out of Fresno, CA. Tap Rack started when the founders began to shoot in pistol competitions and found a need for quality holsters for their weapons. Since then, they have worked to produce holsters and carry accessories for not just themselves, but for other shooters as well.
Andrew at Tap Rack sent me an Outside the Waistband holster and magazine pouch for a Glock 19 to test. When I received the holster and pouch I first noticed that it came in a sturdy plastic bag with information about the company. A lot of smaller manufacturers will just throw the holster in a box and mail it. When I pulled the holster out of the bag, I gave it a visual inspection. I looked good. It was matte black with two piece
construction. The edges were very well blended, without the sharp ends that I have seen from some other small manufacturers. I observed that the holster had noticeable and clean detail in the modeling without being overly dramatic. The rivets were cleanly placed in the holster and the belt loops looked sturdy.
I placed the holster on a 5.11 Tactical operator belt. The holster rode high enough to be concealed with an untucked shirt and was held securely and close to my body. I holstered the weapon and began to move around to get a feel for the holster on my body. It stayed in place and the gun stayed very secure. I then began to practice draws with the gun. At first, probably 25-30 draws, the gun felt like it was sticking. I continued to try draws and found that the gun drew much easier, while maintaining its original retention. Like many high quality molded products, it felt like it just needed to be broken in after being recessed when produced. I continued to draw the gun and became quite comfortable with the holster.
I then placed the magazine pouch on my belt and did the same as I did with the Glock 19. I practiced reload drills. The magazine pouch, while not as slim on the belt as a design by Blackhawk or 5.11, looked very good with the holster and worked great. The magazine pouch kept the magazine secure while not binding when I practiced reloads. The quality and finish equaled that of the holster.
My overall impression of the Tap Rack Holsters Glock 19 holster and magazine pouch: quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and quality materials. With a retail price of $55.00 for the compact holster and $25.00 for the single magazine pouch, either product is a winner. Tap Rack Holsters offers an unconditional lifetime warranty on their products as long as they aren’t modified. Form what I saw doing this review, there is no need to modify anything.
You can check Tap Rack Holsters out at: