Have you been shopping for a Kydex holster and come across a video of the holster fitment where the holster maker inserts the gun into a holster and shakes it upside down or slowly inserts it so you can hear the click?
Sure, you can fix Kydex holster fitment with a heat gun, hair dryer, or flame in about 5 seconds, but stop and think that there are a lot of shooters out there that don’t know that it is that easy.
I ran across these videos on several smaller holster maker’s sites a while back when I was searching for a good holster for a new gun. Unfortunately, I can’t locate any of the videos leading me to believe that the holster makers closed up shop or the internet just doesn’t like me today. Thankfully I was introduced to an almost perfect holster than I use every day (you can read the review of the Old Style Designs Holster by clicking the link HERE) but I ran through several subpar holsters that showcased their fitment just as I described.
There is a problem with this though. In almost every instance, the holster is not on a belt and is not being worn by someone so the retention the holster provides will almost always change once you put it on. Kydex flexes a bit and will change shape when it is put on a good gun belt and the belt is cinched down. This means that previously “perfect” holster fitment has now changed, likely to a point where the holster is too retentive and probably not as adjustable as it should be to get back to ideal retention.
Youtuber Leadfarmer INC did a pretty spot on video about it that got me thinking even further.
The thing is that a gun audibly clicking into a holster or doesn’t fall out when the holster is turned over and shook off a belt isn’t really a sign of quality or proper fitment, just that the holster has a molded in retention mechanism that is tight or aggressive enough to be audible.
As soon as you put that holster on, the level of retention is going to change when your body puts pressure on the holster and can create a situation where that so called mark of quality creates a situation where the holster holds onto the gun far too tightly.
Recently, I reviewed a NovaTac Designs holster that was advertised in exactly this manner. Novatac had several videos showing the holster clicking into a holster audibly as well as the ‘shake it like a polaroid’ test as well. As I quickly learned when I put the holster on, the retention was far too tight for the holster to be useable.
With a leather holster, the gun remaining in the holster when shook is a perfectly acceptable test of fitment and identifying if the holster needs replacement. Kydex doesn’t retain a gun in the same manner as leather and shouldn’t retain the gun when shook unless it is a retention holster.
So holster makers, please stop.
I would much rather see a video of someone wearing the holster and drawing with the belt visible. How much movement there is when the gun is drawn is far more telling than someone clicking a gun into a holster and shaking it upside down.