Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cats and dogs, living together...

The Blade-Tech/Looper Hybrid is marketed as a pancake-style holster that ships with a second set of belt loops that allow it to be used as an IWB rig. It's constructed of a leather and kydex "sandwich" that places the kydex on the inside, next to the gun, and the leather on the outside, on the parts of the holster that other people can see, or which touch your buttocks when worn inside the waistband.

Its overall shape and dimensions are similar to the Versa-Max II which I normally carry, and so I figured the adjustment period would be brief. Oops.

First: A holster this wide works as an IWB in leather because, no matter how stiff that horsehide is, it has some "give" to conform to your body. In the leather-over-kydex Hybrid, there is no real give, and so it's like trying to stuff a slightly-curved dinnerplate into your trousers. This may work if your waistline is approximately eight feet in diameter, which mine isn't.

Second: Dear holstermakers, If your product includes more than one detachable part or replaceable or adjustable component, you should include at least a simple instruction sheet, perhaps with a line drawing. It would enhance the customer experience ever so. Kthxbye!

Third: There are no such thing as belt loops that 'fit 1.5"-to-1.75" belts'. Either they fit 1.5" belts, or they fit 1.75" belts. Plus, the extra loops made for IWB use are full of fail; they flop around on the belt and allow the holster to pop a good three-quarters of an inch out of the trousers before releasing the pistol.

On the upside, the kydex lining gives a clean release, and the adjustable tension screw lets you determine how much retention the holster offers. When used in conjunction with my 1.5" Milt Sparks belt, the OWB loops grip firmly and hold the holster stable.

Verdict: While comfortable, stable and adequate as an OWB pancake holster, the Hybrid is made of lose and fail as an IWB rig. Avoid.


(FTC Disclaimer: I wasted my own hard-earned cash on this dog, so go piss up a rope.)

18 comments:

Alan J. said...

Thanks for the good review, Tam. I've considered buying a hybrid holster before, but given the cost and the low odds that I'll ever need to do a 'quick draw' I figure I'll just stick to a nice plain old leather one instead. I'll admit though, that practicing a safe quick draw technique is still a good idea.

Kristopher said...

Sounds like they could have made it work by only sandwiching the kydex in the portion that holds the pistol, and not stiffening the rest of the pancake.

Anonymous said...

Of course you could stop out at the many eateries in broad ripple to improve your waistline until it approximated that magic 8 foot number.

No getting around you then, at least not without a long walk.

DaveFla said...

Their (presumed) unwillingness to stand behind the product with a returns policy leads me to observe that I won't be buying anything at all from them, let alone a 'hybrid' experiment...

Tam said...

It's useful enough as an OWB pancake holster that I intend to keep it for that purpose, since I needed one anyway.

Had they not pimped it as a "convertible holster", I probably wouldn't have had a complaint, but it's such a failure as an IWB rig, that it really disappointed me; that was the role for which I originally purchased it, after all.

I bought it on closeout from Midway. I have no idea what Blade-Tech's or Midway's return policy is.

ZombieRush said...

The one star ratings on Midway didn't scare you off? The complaints almost read verbatim what you wrote.

vw: rathr- I'd rathr have another holster....

Anonymous said...

Or maybe something touching your buttocks was the "draw"! Ya Hoosier ya. ;-)

CIII

Will said...

I came to the conclusion long ago that there is no such animal as a true dual-use holster. Mostly they are good to great in one use, and worthless in the second. Or, they suck in both, if the design isn't focused on one of them.

If possible, I cut away or remove the extraneous bits that "enable" the second use. This tends to slim them down some, which enhances their concealability or comfort.

bedlamite said...

It seems like the Blade-tech was made backwards, I've been considering a hybrid IWB, but with leather on the inside like the Crossbreed Supertuck or Comp-Tac Minotaur. Do you think that would be better for an IWB?

Tam said...

bedlamite,

"Do you think that would be better for an IWB?"

In a word, yes.

og said...

"it's like trying to stuff a slightly-curved dinnerplate into your trousers."

While I have no particular desire to carry IWB, and in fact have a physique- so to speak- that practically prevents it, I have, oddly enough, jammed a dinnerplate in my trousers.

Discobobby said...

og,
Whatever you were doing with a dinnerplate in your trousers, you were doing it painfully wrong. ;)

wv: uptedent - I'll just stick this dinnerplate upteden.... OW! OW! OW! BLOOD! SO MUCH BLOOD! I NEED A TOURNIQUET! NO, WAIT, NOT ON THAT, JUST LET IT... AHHHHHGH!!!

og said...

Actually, it was sort of enjoyable, though i wont expound on that.

Tremaine said...

Wait. You BOUGHT a kydex holster? Like, one made from cheap polymer plastics and not the finest skin of the rarest shark? Truly the end is nigh.

Sport Pilot said...

I own several Blade - Tech holster’s and found their IWB to be far less comfortable than a Kramer horsehide IWB. Years ago some very savvy gunnies told me they preferred the Milt Sparks Summer Special and simply replaced theirs on a yearly basis because of its construction. But then they wore these holsters on a daily basis and put them through the ringer. As for their 1911’s,pretty much no finish left on them at all but otherwise well maintained.

Tam said...

Sport Pilot,

"they preferred the Milt Sparks Summer Special and simply replaced theirs on a yearly basis because of its construction. But then they wore these holsters on a daily basis and put them through the ringer."

I've worn my horsehide Sparks VM-2 from the time I put on my pants in the morning until the time I put on my jammies at night for over three years now. It has been to two Awerbuck classes and one Todd Green class in that time. I could probably wipe off the jeans lint and sell it as "New" tomorrow.

You need to stop hanging out with people who secrete molecular acid. ;)

Anonymous said...

Try a kholster from www.holster.com. I've no connection with the company other than I bought one for my daughter's Keltec P11 when I gave her the pistol for her nineteenth birthday. She loves it. I made a copy for myself to carry an RIA 1911CSP. Adjust it for the proper cant for your draw and position, give it a week to mold to your body, and you can sleep wearing it and forget you've got it on. Leather to mold against your body, Kydex to hold the pistol in place. They're great.

Anonymous said...

I solved this issue 8 years ago with my pancake and removable inside the waistband straps.
Shoot me an e-mail I send you a sample.
Rob Leahy
simplyrugged.com