A buddy of mine, Eddie is an old-school Airsoft player who goes by “Eddie” on the local forums. He’s also an avid real steel shooter who is to date on trends in both the real gun and Airsoft markets. He’s definitely a gearwhore, so when it comes to holsters, Eddie knows his stuff.Eddie recently offered me a free holster for testing. Eddie is starting up his own yet-to-be-named custom holster company that will be producing low profile, custom, Kydex holsters. Expect to see these being sold sometime in April… I think.
I opted for a M&P holster, as I’m considering eventually getting a real S&W M&P9 after handling my WE M&P GBB over the past few months. In terms of options, I just specified that I wanted a slight forward cant, 1-3/4″ belt loops, and a medium-height sweatguard. I got my holster in about 2 weeks. This holster looks well done to me – especially at the projected ~$100 price tag for a custom holster made to your specs with your gun locally, as compared to some of the real holsters out there that cost upwards of $200 USD that need to be shipped out from the States with a waiting period of months.
More pictures and thoughts after running it for one game day after the break.
The holster is nice. I like it. Airsofters who know their gear were noticing last weekend on the field – it loosely resembles the cut of the increasingly popular style of Kydex holster, produced by brand names such as Raven Concealment.
Holster looks good aesthetically. FDE Kydex wasn’t the best of colours for everyone, but I like it myself. Eddie does have a darker CB shade of Kydex in his supplies, as well as a variety of colours and other thicknesses at his disposal.
Draw and holster motions were super slick, thanks to Eddie’s job of blocking out certain channels for various protrusions from the M&P design. Actual retention as from Eddie was a light… Which leads to a personal note on the T&E holster I’ve got – I wouldn’t mind a little more tension on this OWB (outside waistband) holster. I generally like my holsters a little tighter, especially those that don’t have active retention (a locking mechanism) and rely on Level 1/passive retention (tightness of fit only). I actually had my M&P bounce up and out of my holster while weaving around, through, and over some of the obstacles on the field last weekend.
However, do note that retention is adjustable. Just takes a quick pass with a heat gun and some minor forming of the Kydex to mold around the trigger guard for a little more retention. Eddie offered to do this for me, but I ended up just going ahead and doing this on my own a few nights ago. Eddie did mention in passing while handing me the holster that the retention was quite tight – though I suspect that the retention was tight with the M&P blue gun he modeled my M&P holster off of was tighter than the fit you find with the WE reproduction of the M&P.
Even after re-molding the holster for more retention on the trigger guard, drawing and holstering was still super easy. My WE M&P now pops in and out of place with a more reassuring click, as the Kydex flexes out to allow passage of the trigger guard.
Eddie ended up bolting on a pair of short malice clips instead of belt loops. For mine, he trimmed the longer adjustment hole to make it fit better on a 1-3/4″ belt that I was intending to run minutes after he delivered the holster to me on the field. Note that the final production model with not have trimmed malice clips – that will be up to the end user.
Even though the pair of malice clips don’t actually line up with the 1-3/4″ belt, the holster was surprisingly solid on the belt with no noticeable wobble due to the holster or belt loops – excellent for Airsoft applications as I find myself moving quite a bit and a holster that doesn’t hug my body will tend to flop around significantly when in full tilt. Two major advantages here – short malice clips can be used to mount to MOLLE. Malice clips are also easily sourced for replacement belt loops if need be in the future.
If I wanted to, I could remove the Malice clips and attach something like pull-the-dot loops to the outside face of the holster for wearing IWB (inside waistband). I will probably not do this, as the holster as is has an extremely low profile already. I find it more accessible OWB when wearing plate carriers and chest rigs, as I generally do when playing regular Airsoft run-and-gun games.
The holster features a nice contour to the users hip – much more comfortable and lower profile than belt loops you usually find on holsters such as Blade-Tech, Safariland, and Blackhawk (these are the ones I use on a regular basis). This also results in a much lower profile holster – perfect for concealment, but just as useful for preventing the holster from snagging on foliage or whatnot.
Note that the finishing/buffing on the cut edges of the Kydex isn’t perfect – but I can live with this as it doesn’t affect the functionality or overall aesthetics of the holster. There is some wear inside the holster due to miscellaneous bits of dirt and foliage and mud getting into my holster during the one day I ran it hard on the field, though the inside surfaces remain slick – nothing to fear here, as far as I can tell.
No brand or model name is available yet. Many options are available, though I don’t have a list on what they are or what costs what at this point in time.
If you’re interested in ordering, let me know and I can provide you with Eddie’s contact information. When his holster company and holster lineup have names, as well as a business email address, I’ll post that up here on Overhoppers.
I’ve actually requested that Eddie do two more projects for me at this time – one 1911 holster for my KJW/TM KP-07/MEU hybrid, and one AK mag pouch for those Beta Project AK PMAGs. I’m excited for both – this time I left each with him so that he can actually custom fit the holster to the item being holstered properly and adjust retention accordingly.