Holsters come in 3 different types. Compression, Tension and Retention. Holsters that use compression to hold the pistol are designed in a way that the tightness of the holster itself is what keeps your pistol secure inside. A holster that uses tension has some type of screw or device that you adjust to squeeze the sides together to achieve that just right feel to hold your pistol securely inside. A holster that uses retention is one that has some type of physical device (thumb strap, thumb brake, buttons, ledges or levers) that have to be disconnected for your pistol to be released. You might even have a holster that has one, two or all three of these methods to secure your pistol on your side.
The 1791 Gunleather holster I received is one of of their new designs from their Carbon Fiber line. 1791 Gunleather uses a combination of quality 100% American steerhide leather with bonded carbon fiber, in doing so 1791 Gunleather made an affordable quality leather holster look like a custom made holster. Using compression to hold your pistol inside, they made a holster that covers a wide range of pistols. My BH2.1 holster in Stealth Black is made to fit Glock 17, 19, 26, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, and 33. Ruger SR9. Sig Sauer P228 and P229. Smith & Wesson Shield, MP40, MP40C, MP3. Springfield XDS. Walther P99 and PPQ. Also CZ75, H&K40C and Beretta 92C.
First impressions were that it was a damn good looking holster and how well made it was. No thin leather, no flimsy design, no sharp edges on the exterior and the flaps on the side where your belt goes through looked very sturdy.
Inside the packaging were directions for breaking in the holster. My Glock 19 did not fit well at first. I was barely able to push it into the holster. Talking about compression!! Following the directions (and using a unloaded pistol), I put my Glock into a plastic freezer bag and inserted it into the holster, twisted it about 1/16” in both directions 6-12 times and left it in place for about 15 minutes. When I took the gun out of the holster, removed the plastic freezer bag and tried to reinsert it into the holster the fit was still too tight. I had to repeat the process 4 – 5 times to be able to draw my pistol. I still had to work on drawing it as the sides still compressed up against my pistol tightly.
I was also sent one of 1791 Gunleather’s gunbelts to try out with the holster. The belt was well made and thick enough to be a good platform for carrying a pistol. The first couple of times inserting the belt into the holster flaps and putting on the holster, the belt was difficult to insert into the belt loops on the holster. It took over a week of wearing to became easier to do so but was still an effort to insert the belt and that tightness made the holster difficult to move to fine adjust. It took a lot of effort to move it to that sweet spot that I like my holster to sit. While wearing the holster I started to get a feel of how the Carbon Fiber holster sat on my hip and began practicing drawing and re-holstering my Glock.
Here is where my only issues came from. I still felt that the holster was too snug, even after doing the recommended breaking in. I found the holster worked well for me on my hip at the 3 o’clock position. I usually carry a little further back to make my silhouette as slim as possible while carrying at the 3:30 – 4:00 position. Having the holster further back made it really difficult to draw my Glock due to the compression of the holster on my pistol. With the holster at my side, I was able to draw straight up and then present it with significantly less difficulty but still required effort to do so. Drawing and re holstering my Glock did get a little better as the weeks of use progressed.
I ended up soaking the holster in water and then repeating the break in instructions. Using a full size Glock and a freezer bag I had it inside the holster as it reformed while drying. There was a significant difference between before and after in drawing my Glock. I did not compromise the compression and still the pistol was shake free when inserted and held upside down. Now I was able to put my holster where it was comfortable for me and not have the issues I had before while drawing.
In wearing the holster daily for the past weeks I found it to not only look really good but, it was functional. What I mean is that the holster and pistol concealed well in the environment that I was in. Going to and from work, walking to and from my vehicles in the parking lot and out in public shopping the holster was not an issue in concealment, even while I was carrying the 3 o’clock position. All that was needed was to make sure that the clothes I was wearing allowed for the extra width to my hips. I did try a Glock 17 and 26 with the holster and the results were the same as far as the compression of the holster to the pistol before and after reforming it.
So, if it wasn’t for the breaking in period and how tightly the flaps on the side of the holster were when I first inserted my belt, I would be giving this holster top scores. I know that there are out of the box holsters out there but, I do like that now I have a holster that is just right for my Glock. The 1791 Gunleather Carbon Fiber 2.1 in Stealth Black was sharp looking, well constructed and one of the sturdiest holsters that I have felt. I do recommend it as long as you take the time to make sure that it fits, feels and functions for you and your pistol choice. MSRP is only $99.99 for the holster. Don’t forget to also look into their leather belts.
Remember to practice, practice and practice perfectly before using any new holster out in the real world.
Overall Rating: Good.
The scale is defined as:
Poor/Unacceptable: Worse than expected, or desirable: of a low or inferior standard or quality.
Fair: In conformity with reasonable expectations, but in comparison to competitors it may be deficient.
Average: Common item; item neither lacks from or is superior than a competitors item.
Good: The item is desirable and has qualities that excel in comparison to a competitors item.
Excellent: Outstanding, possesses superior quality remarkably good.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so that I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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