When I was searching for a holster to fit my Arsenal Firearms Strike One in I was left with one option, the Texas-based holster company Comp-Tac. Since the holster was going to be used to shoot in competitions, I decided that the Comp-Tac International was probably the right holster for my needs. After placing the order, the holster showed up in my mailbox about a week and a half after clicking the submit button.
Once the holster came in I had to pack up the range bag and get to the range to get comfortable with the new setup. After dumping the contents of the packaging onto the table, I was met with more parts than I expected to see and a sweet treat that my gut didn’t need. I do quite like Smarties though …
In addition to the paddle attachment Comp-Tac also included a belt attachment and an adapter that drops the holster down and provides a small amount of offset if that is your thing. Comp-Tac even includes a hex wrench so that you can make all the adjustments you want to the holster as well as configure the belt attachment to your liking.
The holster has the Comp-Tac logo and the type of gun it fits molded into the side of the Kydex holster. I really like this feature, I won’t have to try two or three holsters in my box to make sure something fits anymore. The holster body also has multiple tension screws that allow shooters to find tune the fit as well as the retention. Since the Strike One is so long the holster had one more than it would on a more conventionally sized gun.
Flipping the holster over to inspect how the belt attachment is secured to the holster body we find three hex screws. The mounting screws don’t thread directly into the holster body. Instead, they have threaded collets that you can move to the desired angle. Thanks to the adjustable collets the International is capable of being set up for a straight/speed draw, FBI cant, or a cross draw reward cant.
Both the paddle and the belt attachment allow you to use a 1.5″ or 2″ belt. Comp-Tac does warn that once you set the holster up for a 2″ belt, there is no going back. They accomplish this with some easily removable “wings” that open the area the belt rides in up a bit.
While I was at the range, I decided to try out all three configurations to decide what I liked best. First up was the belt attachment set up for a straight draw, then I tried the offset drop and finished up with the paddle.
I found the belt attachment without a drop to be the best option for me at the time. That may change after I participate in a few matches and learn what I like as well as what I don’t much like.
The holster performed quite well attached to the Magpul Tejas El Original belt I just reviewed. I found that the holster did a great job of keeping the gun in place, the retention wasn’t so much that I had trouble on the draw, but it also kept the Strike One right where it belongs.
The International with the belt mount and the drop kit attached wasn’t as good. A lot of the movement might have been the belt, but I felt as though the connecting piece left a place for the holster to flex. I also found that I wasn’t as fast with the drop attachment, probably due to my short, hobbit-like arms.
I didn’t get photos of me using the paddle attachment but found it to be almost as good as the belt mount. It wasn’t wobbly like the offset drop attachment but also wasn’t quite as secure as only using the belt attachment. It wouldn’t be my first choice but would be a good option if I wanted to be able to take the holster off easily.
At the end of the range day and a conservative 600 rounds through the Strike One I feel like I have found the holster I was looking for. Once the gun broke free of the retention the pistol almost had no resistance as it cleared the holster. As the day progressed and I worked more with the Strike One riding in the Com-Tac International with the belt loop attachment, I became faster and faster. While I know I am going to suck quite a lot when I get to a match, it sure is going to be a lot of fun.
As far as the Smarties are concerned, not only are they a favorite of mine on the odd occasion I eat something sweet, but they were quite welcome after a long range day. You might want to know why in the hell they include a little bit of candy with a holster. My understanding is that the owner of Comp-Tac is quite fond of them, and the candy is his little thank you to everyone that buys one of his holsters.
MSRP for the International as tested is $64.99 and includes all the attachments seen in the review. You can learn more about the holster over at Comp-Tac’s page about the International holster.