This is an ongoing product review series that the I’m writing about my commemorative 1911 project, the custom grips were covered in an earlier TFB post and the frame and process of completing the 1911 will be in ensuing posts. This one will cover the custom Kydex holster.
It seems that within the gun world, or even the modern commercial world in which we live in today, it used to be that if someone wanted a custom product, they had to go a very long way to a dedicated craftsman such as a specialized gunsmith, or a leather worker and pay a small fortune for a custom option on a product. With the current development in technology, this process is still available for the high end customer, but some companies are taking custom work to a whole new level and as a prime example, the We Plead The 2nd holster company is a prime example.
We Plead The 2nd isn’t just about making custom made holsters, they are nothing but custom made holsters. It’s hard to order a holster from them and not pick something that will be individual to you specifically. Even the stock holsters they offer have different options of belt loop sizes and holster cuts. To break it down, there are the categories they offer, apart from the already vast array of handgun sizes and weapon lights you pick from.
These options are available on the basic holster order that goes for around 70 dollars. Adding a custom image to the holster makes the order go to about 100 dollars. The types of holsters they make are Out Side the Waistband and pancake, Duty Drop holsters, Inside the Waistband, Trigger Guard, magazine holders both OWB and IWB, as well as numerous other holsters designed for specific tools such as their Bond Arms Snake holster and their Ka-Bar TDI knife sheath. They even make a custom tactical dip can holster which I found truly amusing. Seeing that Kydex is so moldable to the object, it is surprising that there aren’t more knife sheaths.
While dealing with the company over the order details, the e-mail replies back from We Plead The 2nd were answered within hours of sending them, an attention to professionalism and detail that is not always present when dealing with companies and individuals these days.
The company also sells a variety of other products, some they make themselves but others they are simply a third party to. These products range from ammunition, and decals to various articles of tactical gear such as gloves and backpacks. They also have a good selection of various weapon parts and magazines.
As the holster is apart of a commemorative unit 1911 project, I wanted it to fit in with the backdrop of being apart of the 1st Battalion 9th Marines. So he choose a variety of images and options that fit with it that are explained in the images above. Safety Orange was chosen for the back Kydex portion to really emphasize safety with firearms handling. The company uses blue training handgun models to mold the Kydex to whatever the firearm the customer wants, but attaches appropriate tactical lights to the handguns so they can get that portion in as well. I wanted the holster made with a high enough sweat guard so the holster would be pushing the 1911 safety into the safe position when the pistol was holstered. Because the company uses training handguns with the safety in the fire position, they couldn’t accommodate this. I would have liked this option but alas one can’t have everything and thus had to be satisfied with a mid length sweat guard.
An interesting note about these Kydex holsters that are made for weapons with lights is that since the light is the widest portion of the handgun inside the holster, the holster’s retention is based on the light and its fit. So you can’t holster the handgun without the light on it, it’ll just jiggle around in the holster and there won’t be any retention. Another antidote is that with Kydex, after a number of years the material will wear down, and it is commonly said that when this happens, just reheat the holster and fit the gun back to it. I don’t know how this reheating will affect the personalized image on the front of the holster.
On the topic of protecting the design, I went to a local hardware store and bought some Rust-oleum sealant spray. After applying several coats of the spray to the front of the holster and letting it dry for 12 hours between coats, an effective protective layer was successfully applied. Although it did somewhat smear some of the letters in center and it left small air bubbles in some parts of the front, the overall effect of protecting the holster was achieved.