TFB REVIEW: DSG Arms Kydex Holsters

by Pete

Buying a holster for a friend or a family member is akin to picking out a special sweater as a Christmas present – everyone has their own tastes, body styles and requirements. It’s best to buy a gift card and write a meaningful note rather than risk getting them something that will never leave the bottom drawer. Along those same lines, you won’t hear me suggest a style of holster in this review (hey, if you want to triple-mag appendix carry, that’s on you). However, without spoiling the rest of the article, I can fully recommend the Kydex holsters made by DSG Arms, no matter what style makes you feel like John Wick.

I am going to be honest here: I have a bias towards the men and women at DSG Arms. Their support of military, law enforcement and responsible civilians to buy and own firearms and accessories is top notch. The two places I check first when I start shopping for gear are DSG and another place that is not Amazon (hint: it rhymes with “Townells”). In short, I can’t recommend DSG enough.

But, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t call out faults in their holster line if I found them. The importance of a quality holster ranks up there with carrying spare magazines, a flashlight and good old common sense. Unfortunately you can’t store that last item in a Kydex pouch (if you could, I’d suggest buying the DSG Arms Kydex common sense carrier). In all seriousness, despite my admiration for DSG, if their holsters sucked, I would tell you why.

But first, my standard preamble: I am not a gunslinger. I don’t claim to have hundreds of thousands of pistol rounds down the pipe every year. That being said, I have carried a gun nearly every day for the past 20 years and have gone through my share of holsters – good and bad. So I feel that I can bring you a honest opinion of DSG’s new holster line and give you enough information so that you can take a look at all of the available options on the market today and make a decision.

Alright, enough of the babble, let’s take a look.

DSG ArMs Hotrod Kydex Holsters:

First up is DSG’s Hotrod (HR) line – a small footprint outside the waistband (OWB) holster made for comfort, concealability and style. The HR is available in both straight vertical and 15 degree cant versions. Both have a slight concave bend to pull up tight towards the belt and body.

Available in two colors, black or E2-Tan, the Hotrod was my personal favorite during my three week affair with DSG Kydex. They ride high for better concealment and have zero extra material around the base to dig in to your sides while sitting at a desk or driving.

Holstering and unholstering are boringly reliable. I think it only took two full turns of the retention screw to get to my preferred level of friction. No secrets here: use a Phillips screw driver to turn right to tighten and left to loosen. Don’t forget to unload your pistol and practice all the safety rules before adjusting your new ride.

My previous holster would sometimes snag on clothes or gear. Not with the HR. All of the edges and seams are ground and polished to a smooth round surface. Like any real quality gear, the DSG Hotrod holster just works. It nearly disappears on your belt and performs flawlessly.

DSG Hotrod ‘HR’ Holster:

The new stream-lined OWB holster from DSG Arms is now available in Black and E2. Engineered for minimal presence and maximum comfort, this holster is perfect for threaded barrels. Assembled and finished with the attention to detail and quality construction you can always expect from DSG branded gear.

This holster model is canted or non-canted

  • Injection molded 1.75” belt loops on all HR models.
  • Designed to accommodate threaded barrels.
  • Adjustable retention.
  • Formed for close-to-the-body fit.
  • Refined chamfered bonded edges for comfort.
  • 15° cant on left hand/right hand models.
  • Durable thermo-resistant kydex construction in Black or E2-Tan.

DSG Arms Kydex Magazine Carrier

Simple, yet functional; DSG also offers a variety of magazine carriers.


  • Suitable for inside or outside waistband wear.
  • Adjustable retention.
  • Retains magazines inserted either direction – with bullets facing forward or rearward.
  • Rubber mounted injection-molded 1.5” belt clip.

Carrier Fit:

  • 1911: Most 45 Single Stack Mags, Some 9/40 Single Stack Mags, All 1911 Mags , XDS 9/45, Sig P290 & more
  • .380: Most 380 Mags, LCP, BodyGuard, Sig P238 & more
  • 9mm/40 Cal: Most 9/40 Double Stack Mags , 9mm PMAG, Glock 19, Glock 17, Glock 26, Sig P229, Sig P320C, Sig P320, Sig P320SC, MP9C, Hk VP9, Taurus PT111 & more
  • 45 Cal Double Stack: Double stacked 45 Cal
  • Glock 42: Glock 42
  • Glock 43: Glock 43, Shield

DSG Arms Kydex ALPHA Holster:

With a little extra Kydex around the gun to provide extra stability and adjustable cant, the Alpha is an OWB holster more suited for range and duty use. The hardware for the belt loops can be moved up and down to adjust the draw angle. Like its more casual, off-duty or concealed carry cousin the HR, the Alpha features the same rounded edges, corrosion resistant hardware and adjustable tension screw.

My previous holster for my Glock 17 with Surefire 300 weapon light served me well for several years. However, because retention was based solely on friction, I was always aware that the heavy 17 was being held in place mainly by gravity. With a light or laser mounted, a friction-only system has difficulties providing suitable retention.

The the Alpha, the tension screw gives the user the ability to adjust the clamping force. It works very well.

Which brings me to another point: DSG has worked hard to find a brand of heat resistant Kydex that is stable at any temperature. Take a cheaper brand of holster and leave it in a car on a hot day and you’ll find that friction retention is now lacking.

DSG Alpha Holster:

The DSG Alpha Holster is a full-size outside-waistband holster for duty and training use. All models feature adjustable retention as well as cant and carry height designed for all-day-long comfort.


  • Adjustable retention for lighted and non-lighted models.
  • Improved 1.75” belt loop design and materials.
  • Routed, bonded and riveted edges.
  • Holsters designed to work with Glock MOS version slides with modern red dot optics.
  • Formed for close to the body fit.
  • Adjustable cant and height.
  • Durable thermo-resistant kydex construction in Black or E2-Tan
  • Models for Surefire and Streamlight weapon lights.
  • Please note: Holsters for light attached weapons will not retain weapon without light attached
  • Right hand and left hand models available.

DSG Arms CDC Kydex Holsters:

Even though I did not have a Compact Discreet Carry (CDC) holster for review, adding a new Glock 43 to the lineup means that my next purchase will be a light/holster combination. In my opinion, no defensive weapon is complete without a weapon light or a small handheld flashlight at the ready. For my uses, the Streamlight TLR6 and DSG Arms CDC holster will be the perfect combination for the mini G43.

Compact Discreet Carry (CDC) – Inside Waistband (IWB) Holster


  • Adjustable cant
  • Upright/vertical for appendix – forward for behind the hip
  • Smooth texture for comfortable carry
  • Rubber mounted easy-on and off belt clip
  • Belt clip designed for positive retention
  • Belt clip is for 1.50″ belts (1.75″ belt clip available for separate purchase)
  • Adjustable Weapon Retention
  • Engineered sight channel for night sights
  • Smooth Draw

DSG is adding new models all the time. The benefit to being a major distributor and retailer while still manufacturing holsters in-house means that they can build new product lines quickly and easily.


The DSG Kydex holsters are quality gear, built to last, They provide solid yet adjustable tension, are heat resistant and are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. And they are very affordable. Head on over to DSG and take a look at the hundreds of makes, models and configuration combinations. It’s impressive.

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