1. The Sunnto Ambit Watch
  2. The Powertac E5R
  3. The Southern Grind Jackal Knife Review
  4. Guncraft Arcane Holster for Glock with Surefire XC1 Quick Review
  5. Glock 22

12821600_1740769646155411_207928551066436655_nWatch Features

The Suunto Ambit 2 is my favorite watch hands down and in the last 37 years I’ve been a runner and athete I’ve had many watches. The Ambit2 R is a running-focused watch which comes as a derivative of the Ambit2 line that was introduced earlier last year. What makes it a good watch are its features, a sleek-simple look, reasonable price and overall it stacks up very well against comparable models from other companies. If you are a very active person and get outdoors a lot to cycle, swim or run then this is the watch for you. Being able to track your times and distances is going to let you track your progress. This means you can aspire to be a badass because you have a plan. Don’t screw this up-stay focused and use this thing to get where you need to get going.

Here are some of the features:

  • App Zone – Use apps like Interval Coach, Ghost Runner, Running Efficiency, and Marathon Estimate.
  • Cadence –During certain time intervals it tracks how many steps you are taking.
  • Customized Workout – You can develop your own workout, input it, and go.
  • Full-featured GPS –The watch connects rapidly to satellite in less than 5 seconds; includes Navigation and Routes.
  • MovesCount Interface – Great feature for runners. Just download the apps, load your workouts, and share.
  • Real Time VO2 Max – Provides you with a VO2 measurement mid-run to see how hard you are working.
  • Track back / Find back – If you get lost, these features direct you back to the starting point of your run.

Appearance

I don’t even know where to start. If you want a killer looking watch with super solid features that can be worn just as easily on your daily commute as it can on the trails then this watch is for you. There are a long list of uses for this watch for runners, swimmers and cyclists. In a world where there are a lot of options to choose from, trying to find a good watch is difficult, in fact where do you start? For a watch right under the price of $250.00 this is the one. Add $50 more for a heart rate monitor band.

It has a sleek look and I like the orbicular face in comparison to some of the boxier looking watches that manufacturers like Garmin offers. The watch looks stylish without being overly tactical looking or too flimsy.  With its clean lines, this watch looks good, and can be used as an excellent training aid.

When I first tried in on I thought it looked overly large but the larger face lends itself well to spotting your time on the trails even at nightime. On smaller wrists it may feel large and where the strap meets the body it might feel sharp at the wrist bone. Try the watch on at the store and make your decision.

Comparison

The Garmin Fenix is one other option but topping out at $550.00 it may be too pricey for most. It can be found for cheaper on the net. The diameter of the watch is around 50mm and the band thickness is 16 mm. There is a silicone band which feels soft to the touch. The two watch straps prevent the excess band material from floating around.

There is a slight weight difference but not much between the Fenix and the Ambit.

Garmin Fenix 82.9g (2.9oz)

Suunto Ambit 2 89g (3.1oz)

The Suunto Ambit 2R isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic value for money. It is worth the price tag and new models can be found on the net for around $175.00. Shop around.

The Ambit 2 also had a good battery life. Battery life ranges from 8-24 hours depending on the user-selected accuracy. The manufacture claims 16-50 hours is possible, (this broad range is dependent on the GPS accuracy) with the GPS system running.

The screen is easy to read in dull light or backlight. Bright sunlight doesn’t prevent it from being read either. You can flip the format of the screen from clear text on a black background to black text on a clear background. There is a dedicated backlight push-piece at 4 o’clock for those who prefer to do their running at nights. The watch face, features a glassfiber casing comprised of reinforced polyamide that protects the mineral crystal lens display. Good stuff for clumsy guys like me who trip on trail and bash rocks.IMG_2219-768x576

Running

Let’s discuss some of the features of the Ambit 2R. It tells the time accurately (with GPS synchronization), has the date, day of the week, stopwatch and an alarm clock. For those who want to track their activities this watch allows you feedback from all the data you enter after you hit complete your training and hit those targets. Running, for example, is easy to track the minute by minute time of every mile you run regardless of the terrain. You can do this because the watch provides GPS co-ordinates on demand. It uses its own accelerometer to estimate your running cadence (and thus efficiency of your training).

Mountaineers, trekkers and any athlete will appreciate the Ambit2’s GPS capabilities. The GPS will link up in under 5 seconds even when in the mountains. Just follow your waypoints back to where you started if you get lost and it will get you home. The built-in GPS and accelerometer provide accurate speed, cadence, speed and distance, while full route navigation offers you the freedom to check out the world. The HR version comes with a Heart Rate Monitor which goes around your chest to provide data to the unit via wireless means.

The running apps, heart rate monitor and the training plans will also make it easy to improve and keep track of every aspect of your performance. The simplicity and usefulness makes the Ambit2 R the perfect starter sportswatch for those eager to keep track of their running performance. Sign up for a Movescount.com if you want.  Movescount.com provides things like specialized apps, training programs and the ability to share fitness progress with other members of the Movescount community. First time users will have to sign up for a free account and install the official Moveslink application to download the apps and routes.

Swimming

The Ambit2 can also be worn as a day-to-day watch by turning the GPS off, giving it approximately 15 days of battery life. It’s also waterproof for up to 50m, making it perfect for other activities like swimming and snorkeling.

Swimming allows you to count the stroke rate, rest time and the lengths of time you’ve swam. The Ambit 2 is water resistant to 100M and will take the surface impact of swimming without damaging the unit.

The watch is easy to use. The manual isn’t really needed because everything is very straightforward. Look at the watch face and you’ll see five clearly marked buttons around the face. Pressing on the main navigation will give you prompts on where to go next. The Ambit 2 menu is simple to navigate. Each Ambit2 R pack includes a quick guide manual, limited warranty, and a special USB cable for charging and synching with your computer. There’s also the option of adding on the Suunto ANT Heart Rate Belt.IMG_2217-768x576

Pros and Cons

Cycling

Pros:

  • If you pre-set a route on the GPS it gives you a big arrow on the screen to keep you on track.
  • It has a handlebar mount and it stays in place because of the rubber.

Cons:

  • When compared to Google Maps, Map my Run and the Polar GPS tracker the GPS distance was a bit off. This can be improved in the future.

Trail Running

Pros:

  • Easy to read screen when running.
  • You can keep the light on.
  • You can invert the screen text to make it easier to see when running at twilight.

Cons:

  • You can’t switch from running to bike or swim and need to stop the current session and begin a new session.

Overall

Great watch. I love this thing. Overall, I think this is an excellent product. Well made, light-weight, durable, and comfortable. How can you go wrong? You can’t.

Product Scores

Functionality: 5/5

Weight: 4/5

Durability: 5/5

Cost: 3.5/5

Comfort: 5/5

Total Score 22.5/25

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased the SUUNTO Ambit. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  • Suunto Ambit2 R GPS Running watch specification
  • Price: $249 (plus $50 for a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) band)
  • Power reserve: 12 hours (with GPS activated)
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, FusedSpeed, running cadence, track-back and full navigation (downloadable routes), GPS
  • Available apps: Interval coach, Ghost runner, Running efficiency, High intensity intervals, Marathon time
  • Case material: Rubberized
  • Bezel material: Matches case
  • Crown material: N/A
  • Case shape: Round
  • Bezel shape: Round
  • Case size: 50.00 mm
  • Case height: 15.50 mm
  • Weight: 70 g
  • Lug width: No data
  • Dial: LCD, monochrome
  • Water resistance: 50 meters
  • Strap: Silicone band

Do you carry a flashlight as part of your EDC? I consider a flashlight an essential component of your carry system. From general utility tasks like lighting a path, working on your car if you break down, finding something you dropped, etc to emergency tasks like being able to see during a power outage, to tactical use such as target identification and searching, a flashlight is worth the effort to integrate in your system.

Today I’d  like to tell you about one option, the Powertac E5R.

Over the years I’ve carried several different flashlights as part of my off duty EDC, all with pro’s and con’s. I’ve also used several different lights as a backup light on duty in my job. I’m a firm believer in Surefire and Streamlight lights, but have carried a couple other brands with some success.

So far, none have rivaled Surefire and Streamlight in reliability and durability. About a year and a half ago, I learned about a company based in Raleigh, NC: Powertac, LLC.

After having several issues with the issued duty light, a number of my coworkers went and bought lights from Powertac to carry on duty instead. The lights have survived all weather conditions, temperature extremes, drops, and more and still run perfectly (as should be expected  in a duty light).

I was initially hesistant to put my trust in a previously unknown brand, but after seeing how well their lights performed, I start looking into this company more.

I ended up buying a light from Powertac in January this year. The model I chose was the E5R, and I think it represents  a great option for both EDC and as a backup duty light. The E5R is a 1,000 lumen, multi-mode, USB rechargeable light. The biggest attraction for me is the USB rechargeable feature.

Tactical lights are known to burn through batteries like there’s no tomorrow, and having the option to simply plug the light into any USB port with a standard USB cable is awesome. It includes a USB cable, and a AC wall plug adapter The beam has a 241 meter throw, and produces a bright central hot spot with a smooth halo around it.

It has a reversible pocket clip, and also comes with a belt pouch and lanyard. The light has a Type III anodized finish, crenulated bezel, and is just under 5” long. It is waterproof to IPX standards. The lights also have a no hassle lifetime warranty.

There are five lighting modes: 1) Firefly – 0.49 lumens, 32 day run time, 2) Low – 134 lumens, 13.4 hour run time, 3) Medium – 594 lumens, 3 hour run time, 4) High – 1000 lumens, 2.7 hour run time, and 5) Strobe – 1000 lumens, 5.4 hour run time.

Although run times are typically never as long as the manufacturer suggests, a nearly 3 hour run time for 1,000 lumens of light is fantastic. There is an auto-memory feature that will turn the light on to whatever setting it was at when it turned off. This allows you to choose what setting you want the light to be at when you turn it on, so you don’t have to cycle through all the modes each time.

If you’re looking for a new light for your EDC, a backup duty light, a light for your emergency kits, or to keep around the home for storm or disaster preparedness, take a look at the lights from Powertac!

MSRP: $79.99-99.99

Functionality: 5/5

Durability: 5/5

Cost: 3/5

Comfort: 5/5

Weight: 5/5

Overall Total: 23/25

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased the Powertac  with my own funds. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

IMG_3220My dad was reckless.  It was a different time, but even for the late 70’s giving your 5-year-old son a Swiss army knife and letting him play unattended probably wasn’t the smartest move.  I can probably see where my lack of risk averseness comes from, but that’s not pertinent to this particular body of work.

I’ve had a knife in my pocket or in my hand nearly every day since then.  Literally hundreds of knives; boot knives, butterfly knives, hunting knives, big buck knives, all before the time I knew anything about them, except that I always had a strong internal feeling to have one on me.  That feeling grew, and as my income increased so did my taste for quality knives.

When I joined the military in my early 20’s it was a perfect fit.  OF COURSE I needed a knife on me!  Who cares if I was a computer geek and spent my days troubleshooting 82 pin cable connectors?  What was important was that I had a folder, a multitool, and a flashlight on me at all times.  And then I decided to change things up.  I decided that I wanted to be a survival instructor, and clearly that meant I needed a real knife.  A knife that I could skin game, build a shelter, kill a bear, you know, all the normal survival tasks.  That knife was a Busse Steelheart IIE, and the E meant the handle had a bit of a curve to it, and that curve meant it was very ergonomic in my hand. (This ISN’T a review of that knife, only used for reference)IMG_3216

Wow, that was longwinded.  I said everything above to get to the review of the Jackal Knife from Southern Grind. As soon as I opened the very well packaged knife, I picked it up, drew it from the perfectly fitted sheath (more on that later), and knew it was a great knife.  You see, I’ve had hundreds of knives in my hand, and I’m sure many of you have too, and these days I know immediately if the knife is for me.  It felt great in my hand, in large part due to the curve of the handle, not as drastic but similar to the previously mentioned Busse, but also because of the scalloped G-10 scales, and the blade not being too thick or too long.

Let me back up for just a moment.  Like all things, one should apply the right tool for the right job.  So what is the “job” of this particular knife?  It’s a fixed blade knife with a 4.75 inch long blade and 9.25 inches in overall length.  It’s got a full tang, and a pseudo clip tip.  It’s got plenty of belly in the blade and it’s big enough for most chores I’d use a knife for, except the largest of chopping jobs.IMG_3215

So to answer the original question, what is the job of this particular knife, I think the answer is almost anything.  It’s a great all around knife.  It feels great in the hand, except under long hard continuous use.  It’s extremely sharp out of the box, and should keep a good edge if the user does their part.  What I mean is ANY blade will dull with use, but if the user touched up the blade occasionally, and especially before a knife gets too dull, the blade will remain serviceable for a very long time.  It’s big enough to count on for real knifework, but small enough for detailed work and carries small and light, which is always a good thing.

I started taking the Jackal with me on several outdoor excursions, but the first thing I did was throw the sheath on my belt oriented horizontally to see how it concealed and how well I could get to it.  The sheath holds the Jackal very well, and the belt attachment worked well, but for this kind of “do it all” knife I’d prefer to have a tek-lok attachment to add to the diversity of mounting options.

I took the knife with me on some motorcycle trail riding, knowing I was going to get into some mountainous woodland areas and I wanted to use it for some of the normal camping or outdoor tasks one would ask of a knife like this.  I pulled over to a previously used campsite and started making some repairs to the existing shelter structure.  That meant I needed to cut down some small saplings to replace the existing dying ones.  This was a pretty tough task for the Jackal because it’s not quite big enough for chopping, but the sharp blade and the curvature of the handle made it a passable duty for anything under about a 1-inch diameter.  Clearing the smaller branches off the saplings was an easy chore.  One quick swipe of the blade easily removed them.IMG_3217

Next I used the Jackal to cut the 550 cord to replace the existing rotting cordage that kept the shelter frame together.  I cut what I needed, but then continued to cut 550 just to see how well the blade held up, especially after some chopping.  I noticed no perceivable dulling or difficulty cutting through a few pieces of 550 at a time.

The final chore for this short adventure was starting a fire.  This actually involves a few steps with a knife, and if you don’t have a decent sharp knife, life becomes a bit more difficult.  First, I used my knife to acquire some dry dead wood.  The ground was damp from some earlier rainfall so I had to use the Jackal to remove some of the wet outer wood to get to the dry center.  Then I had to whittle down some of the dry wood to create some tinder (yes that’s a term used before the dating app).  Because I knew the kindling would most likely be damp I made sure to make much more tinder than I normally would.  Again, the knife showed no signs of dulling.  I continued to get long strands of thin dry wood for my tinder.

Once I gathered some fuel to sustain the fire I began shaving the magnesium from the “mag-block”.  This is where you’ll know if a knife can hold an edge.  Carving a magnesium block to get the small flakes for igniting a fire is torture on a blade, but it held up great.  Once my magnesium shavings and my tinder were ready I pushed the blade of the knife into the side of my boot and pulled the ferrous rod against the edge of the blade to create a spark.IMG_3219

On a side note, this is BY FAR the biggest mistake I see people make while building a fire.  DON’T push the knife away from you to create spark.  You risk knocking your hard earned magnesium and tinder all over the place and having to start over.  Not fun when you’re cold, wet, and tired, in the dark.  Keep the blade in place with the tip held against the rubber sole of your boot and draw the rod back toward you.  With practice and a little aiming the sparks will fall right into your tinder pile.  You’re welcome.

I digress.

Once the shelter frame was completed, and my small fire had run its course I fully submersed the few charred pieces of wood in water and cleaned up after myself.  I put the Jackal back on my belt and jumped back on the KLR650 to finish out the trail ride.  It was a complete luxury knowing I had a fixed blade knife that could handle almost any chore I threw at it.  My only very small complaint is that after so much use cutting the saplings, creating the tinder, and shaving the magnesium, the handle began creating a small blister on my hand.  Not a huge deal at all, and happens with most knives.  I’ve only had a couple knives where this was a non-issue.  It’s often a tradeoff between long term comfort and having a great grip in multiple environments like when the handle is wet from rain, blood, or just perspiration.

Overall I really like the Jackal.  It’s a terrific all around knife.  It’s affordable enough for the materials and sheath you get.  It feels great in my hand, like it’s an extension of me.  It’s big enough to handle most tasks, yet small enough to not be cumbersome.  It holds an edge very well, and the blade shape and geometry allows for multiple applications.  Aside from the very minor issues mentioned (tek-lok and long term grip fatigue) this is a knife that hits all the marks of a perfect investment.

Price – 4 of 5 Stars (Jackal Knife-Black Blade/OD Green Handle) $229.95

Materials – 4.5 of 5 Stars

Build and Quality – 4.5 of 5 Stars

Versatility – 5 of 5 Stars

Ergonomics – 4.5 of 5 Stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Jackal Knife from Spotter Up. I was not required to write a positive review-Josh B.

re·fined

adjective: refined

  1. with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing.
  2. elegant and cultured in appearance, manner, or taste.
  3. developed or improved so as to be precise or subtle.

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For the last three years, I’ve been carrying a gun concealed almost everywhere on a nearly daily basis. This isn’t a long time by the standards of most armed professionals or any other legally armed citizen, but in that time I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t, and I’ve experimented with a lot of variations on holsters and carry methods. Everybody is built differently, so what works for my body type may not necessarily work for yours, although I have a pretty average build for an american.

At the time of this holster review, I’m not exactly at my fighting weight, and the added mass around my waist makes comfortably carrying and concealing a firearm more difficult than when i was leaner. However i think the added challenge of being out of shape equates to a higher standard the holster is required to meet in order to pass my personal bar of comfort and concealability, which works well for a good evaluation and review.

The majority of my time carrying a concealed handgun has been with an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster in the appendix position (ie. 1 o’clock) but I’ve also carried strong side hip (3 o’clock), kidney position (4-5 o’clock) and used pocket holsters for sub compact backup pistols chambered in .380 acp. Once I discovered how comfortable and concealable appendix carry can be, it was quickly solidified as my default carry method.

My personal choice for a concealed carry pistol is the Glock 19 with a Surefire XC1 weapon light. I like this setup because it’s about as compact as you can get while still having a full size pistol and a light. The Surefire XC1 was designed for the Glock 19 and came to market in late 2015. Two large and reputable holster manufacturers jumped to deliver holsters for the Glock 19 with XC1 immediately–Raven Concealment Systems Phantom holster and Gcode’s Incog Shadow Eclipse–and i bought one of each, seeing different uses for both. Both of these have been excellent holsters, but the Gcode Incog has been my default holster for appendix carrying my Glock 19 with XC1 for the last year.

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Holster comparison (from top): Gcode Incog; Raven Phantom; Guncraft Arcane.

The Gcode Incog is a fine holster, but one thing I’ve struggled with is keeping the pistol grip from sticking out too far on my right side and obviously printing through my clothes–essentially revealing the fact that there is a foreign object sticking out of my pants near my waistline. For leaner people I think that this may not be as much of an issue when carrying appendix, but as I’ve gained weight over the last year I’ve had to try to mitigate the printing issue by wearing my Incog closer towards my strong side hip until its more at a 2 o’clock position, as opposed to the 1 o’clock position which is the most comfortable. So essentially I’ve had to sacrifice comfort for concealment, something that is actually a real problem if you wear the gun for long periods of time. I needed a solution.

Enter the Arcane, a full kydex holster from Jeremy Williams of GunCraft. I first discovered GunCraft via their social media presence (Instagram can be really useful for inspiration and product research), and I was extremely impressed with the designs and apparent quality of the holsters they were putting out. The variety of designs and customer driven custom patterns looked classy, finely made, and at the same time functional and durable. They stood out in a crowded kydex market. Here is part of Jeremy’s mission statement directly from his website (http://guncraftusa.com/about/):

“GunCraft was founded with the concept of bringing innovation to the kydex market. We offer an array of options to let the customer get as creative as they want during the build process. GunCraft has the goal of placing no restrictions on you, the client from getting exactly what you want out of a holster.”

Aside from being drawn to GunCraft for the quality custom craftsmanship and classiness of the holsters, I was most interested in the Arcane holster because of the wing attachment that Jeremy has integrated into this model. The purpose of the wing attachment is to provide a protruding point of contact for the holster on inside of your belt line closer to the pistol grip, the net effect of which is that the pistol grip is turned towards your body and is therefore more easily concealable. Since the edge of the pistol grip is the hardest part of the gun to conceal, this small modification to IWB holsters actually makes a significant difference in how much your gun will print through your clothes.

 

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Original design concealment wing attachment. Source: Instagram [gun_craft]

There are other holsters makers on the market who use something similar. In fact I believe that Kyle Defoor and Raven Concealment get the credit for first bringing this feature to market in early 2015 with the super-concealable Eidolon for the Glock 19 (not compatible with weapon-light). Since then other companies have used the Eidolon claw on their own holsters in imitation, or used other similar pieces of bent kydex or rubber in order to get the same effect.

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The eidolon from Raven Concealment uses the claw attachment (circled in red). Source: http://rcsgear.com

One of the things I like about the GunCraft Arcane, is that it uses an original design “concealment wing” which they developed to be low profile but still effective in turning the gun into your body. The wing also looks great, as it has a finished quality to it that the Raven claw and other custom designs are lacking, and the lo-profile nature of the wing adds to the overall classiness of the holster. It’s not too big, or too tactical. Combined with the beautiful custom options, the overall effect is what I can only describe as a gentleman’s holster, which is not something you usually associate with Glock pistols.

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Speaking of custom options, through their excellent website Guncraft offers a variety of customer driven choices, such as a wide variety of kydex colors, outer suede finish colors, hand stitched thread colors, eyelet colors, various belt clips and more. GunCraft will build a custom holster using whichever combination of clips, claws, wings, colors and finishes that you want. I plan on ordering a full custom package from Jeremy in 2017 to upgrade my everyday carry kit to the level of a true tactical gentleman. On a related note, GunCraft appears to have an advertising partnership of sorts with Agency Arms, who provide complete custom Glock packages for those who really want a gorgeous and high performing pistol. They pair with Guncraft holsters like a New York Strip pairs with a good Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Custom holsters from GunCraft. Source: guncraftusa.com

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Custom holsters from GunCraft. Source: guncraftusa.com

My search for a solution to my concealed carry printing and comfort issues landed the GunCraft Arcane at the very top of my list. A quality kydex IWB holster for the Glock 19 and surefire XC1 with the lo-profile concealment wing was exactly what I was looking for to allow me to wear the holster at 1 o’clock and minimize the grip printing issue. When my Arcane arrived it was packaged in a small cloth bag like a bottle of bourbon, and had a simple business card inside with the GunCraft logo on one side and Jeremy’s contact info on the other. Classy.

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The first thing I noticed about it was the positive retention based on the kydex around the trigger guard. The gun and light slide smoothly into the holster until you hit the trigger guard, at which point there is light resistance as it slides the rest of the way in, fully seating with an audible “click” as the holster grabs the gun and basically locks it into place. Drawing the gun back out of the holster when you’re wearing it is smooth and easy, but it won’t come out on its own.

I don’t necessarily expect to be doing somersaults or hand stands but its nice to know your gun isn’t going to come out if you find yourself inverted or otherwise tumbling or wrestling on the ground. Not every custom quality holster provides this kind of positive retention, so this is another check in the plus column for the Arcane.

I began wearing the Arcane immediately and have worn it daily since. I made no adjustments to the retention screws and the large clip that comes with it is perfect for me as it makes putting on and taking off the holster very quick and easy.  The ride height is not adjustable, but i found it to be perfect as well, as it is right where it needs to be to allow a full grip while drawing, but not too high so that it affects concealibility. You can also order soft loops or a smaller tuckable clip for the holster from the website if you choose, and based on what I’ve seen you can ask for virtually any type of belt attachment that you desire through the custom shop.

After wearing the holster for entire days at a time, I have found it to be comfortable and highly concealable. I spend a lot of time in the car, and long drives can be a real litmus test for holster comfort as they can be really uncomfortable and start digging into your body over time. I’ve had no issue with this holster bothering me more than any other holster I’ve worn, and in fact this holster has a nice uniform footprint and even surface area against the body which I think makes it arguably the most comfortable appendix holster I’ve tried. I’m wearing it as I write this sitting on a couch as a matter of fact and it’s perfectly comfortable.

I let my buddy wear it for a couple of days (he also uses the Gcode Incog usually) and he liked it but said he thought the wing attachment made it feel like it was pushing into his body more than his Gcode Incog. I haven’t found that to be true, and I prefer the Arcane to the other appendix holsters I’ve tried for the reasons listed herein, however your mileage may vary. The benefit of the wing attachment is apparent and obvious, and the fact that its being used by multiple kydex holster manufacturers speaks to its effectiveness.

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The wing attachment subtly pushes the gun inwards, but the difference in concealability is noticeable.

The Arcane is designed for appendix carry, and it excels in this position for its concealability, its comfort and its performance at the range. I tested its utility at the strong side and kidney positions and found it to be as comfortable and concealable–if not more so–as any other holster I’ve tried which were designed for those positions.

I also ran this holster appendix style during some local IDPA practice matches where i was able to test out the performance of the holster under the stress of the timer and an audience. Drawing from concealment in the appendix position is faster than drawing from other carry positions in my experience, and this holster makes it easy. The concealment wing turns the gun into your body just enough to really eliminate the grip printing issues I was having with the Incog, still allows me to wear the gun closer to my 1 o’clock where its most comfortable, and doesn’t affect my ability to get a firing grip on the gun during my normal draw.

An added bonus of this holster using the trigger guard for the retention mechanism, is that you can fit any similar sized Glock frame into the holster and it will fit perfectly. I attached the XC1 to a Glock 17 and it fit the holster like it was made for it. The end of the Arcane is open so a longer barrel will fit through without issue, even if its threaded. Additionally the Arcane comes with space for an RMR if your gun is cut for one, and suppressor-height sights will fit as well.

Additionally, I found that you can run a Glock without the XC1 in this holster as well, and it will maintain good retention without any play or wobble. However in the FAQ section on the GunCraft website they recommend against doing this, as the possibility for the gun to shift inside the holster exists during explosive movements, however I tried to force a Glock 19 without XC1 to shift positions inside the holster and couldn’t do it manually, its locked in there really good.

Overall I couldn’t be more pleased with this holster. It does exactly what I was hoping it would do, and its an elegant and efficient solution to my original problem. The design is clearly the result of a lot of testing and development by Jeremy Williams and his crew at GunCraft, and the attention to detail and thought that went into it is apparent. I’m very pleased with their take on the concealment wing, and I’m impressed with how much of a difference such a small feature can make.

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The difference is subtle but significant. The magazine extension helps visualize how much of the grip hangs away from the body.

As my tastes and tactics change over time, I have gravitated towards simplicity and efficiency in my every day carry loadout. The Glock platform works for me and I don’t plan on changing my concealed carry setup anytime soon. My preference for appendix carry is the result of the last three years of experience with different methods and products, however i wasn’t 100% happy with my setup and it had become a problem for me.

I had high hopes that GunCraft had the solution I was looking for, and I am not disappointed at all. While the other holsters i have mentioned are excellent options and are quality products, the Arcane is my new daily carry rig and will force the others into the retirement box. GunCraft has taken the concept of Kydex holsters and truly made concealed carry refined. Find a way or make one–sometimes you luck out and the solution is custom-made for you.

Spotter Up!

Find your quick ship Arcane here:

http://guncraftusa.com/product-category/gc-core/

Find you custom dream holster here:

http://guncraftusa.com/product-category/custom-shop/

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About The Author

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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