Review: Novatac Designs AIWB Holster | A Lesson In Too Good To Be True

    When I was first trying out appendix carry, I decided to buy several different styles and brands of holsters to see what worked for me. Not only did I buy one Novatac Designs AWIB for My Walther PPS, but I also bought one for my Glock 43 during their Black Friday Sale.

    Full disclosure, I haven’t carried with the Glock 43 holster very much since I was introduced to a holster that blows the Novatac Designs holster out of the water, but I have carried the PPS in the Novatac holster a few times begrudgingly while my Glock 43 was getting frame work done.

    Novatac was selling the holster with an included trigger guard cover/holster for $25 shipped. It seemed like a really solid deal and the advertised lead time was only a week! Little did I know that they had either underestimated the demand for a cheap holster set or had severely overestimated their capabilities. Lead times quickly moved into the 6-week timeframe and then past a couple of months. Not cool.

    Overall the holster looks reasonable decent given the price point, it isn’t until we look a bit deeper that we see where the Novatac falls short.

    The shell of the holster is well molded to the gun and provides relief in all of the areas you need it to achieve a smooth draw, except for one area, the retention mechanism in the trigger guard. It is not adjustable and provides a bit too much retention. When you draw the firearm, the holster sometimes will follow the gun even with a good gun belt.

    Edit: I misspoke, there is an adjustable retention screw but turning it does absolutely nothing to change the lever of over retention that the holster provides. Regardless of how loose or tight it is, the holster still clings to the gun like an over attached first girlfriend. 

    Past the overly retentive design, the belt clip is the biggest failure of the Novatac holster. The holster body and the bottom of the clip are separated enough to allow the holster to come off your belt when drawing at a less than optimal angle. For this reason, the Novatac holster isn’t one that I rely on and has been left in my box of unwanted holsters.

    How about the Glock 43 holster? The same drawback apply. While it appears nicely finished and looks like a great rig, the design falls short of expectations.

    Not that you would have suppressor height sights on either gun in this review, but if you did they wouldn’t clear the sight channel. Also notice that the gun is not centered in the holster body for whatever reason, specifically the sights in the sight channel. Could this contribute to the holster coming off the belt in a draw? Maybe.

    The trigger guard covers that were included in the package are extremely tight and again, not something that I would ever consider using for any reason. The only time I see it as being slightly useful is when placing a loaded gun into a lock box mounted in my truck should whatever bbusinessI am about to walk into has signage that prevents me from carrying a gun.

    Both the Glock 43 model and the Walther PPS model are unsuitable, but the Glock guard is slightly better than the Walther. I found the PPS model to be near impossible to get off the gun without really yanking on the 550 cord lanyard.

    I took both holster designs out to grab a draw on camera, excuse the slight belly fat, laziness has certainly taken its toll. I started with the standard holster and was able to get one good draw stroke on camera. I did run into a couple of issues where the holster didn’t stay attached to my Magpul Tejas El Original belt.

    Moving onto the trigger guard cover, the disappointment really set in. You can really see how much movement that the draw required to get the gun free from the trigger cover and it is far too much for my tastes.

    Novatac Designs has since gone defunct, but he is now selling holsters on eBay under the username ‘thatscustomkydex‘ for whatever reason. I feel like he bit off a bit more than he can chew and got so behind on orders that he ruined the Novatac Designs name given how long it took me to get my holsters.

    I can’t say that I would recommend buying one of his products based on my experience. There are plenty of other holster makers out there that produce quality products in a timely manner. As for the one holster that I stull use? I will be replacing that with another brand holster as soon as I find one that I like for the Walther PPS because the Novatac is nothing short of subpar.

    If you really want to take a look at what Novatac Designs is now offering on eBay, check out his store under the name thatscustomkydex HERE. MSRP is kind of all over the place, but I paid $25 per holster set on a Black Friday deal and I don’t even feel they are worth that much.

    Finding a good holster and gun combo that serves you well fro concealed carry is tough, and you will go through a lot of holsters. Hopefully, this review will save you guys a few dollars when trying to find the right combo.

    Consider yourself warned.