We recently got our hands on Cross Breed’s latest addition to the companies continually growing IWB holster collection, the Founder’s Series. In particular we took a look at the Founder’s Series SuperTuck® IWB Holster, in addition to the Founder’s Series Executive Gun Belt. Although the introduction of the Founder’s Series holsters is new, the designs themselves are not, having been around for while. However, the company is making a number of changes to the design that we see here today.
Full disclosure, I’m an appendix carry guy through and through.I need to mention this because the Super Tuck IWB isn’t meant to be in an appendix position, instead being in a waist mounted configuration (this one being right handed) If you’ve read my review of the Taurus Curve, traditional belts versus Cobra buckles, or the IWB Warfytr Holster system, you’ll notice that I stick to appendix throughout my writing reviews. I didn’t always used to be that way, always experimenting with different positions such as small of the back (a very large health risk, not to mention impossible to know if you are brandishing or concealing), various traditional carries either forwards or backwards of my waist, and even ankle holsters and holster shirts. Personally I think appendix conceals the best throughout a wide number of body motions if used with a proper belt/pant/shirt setup, you have one hundred precent visibility of whether your firearm is printing or not, and it allows a very fast draw time if practiced.
Now, it does have some disadvantages and that is where waist mounted holsters such as Cross Breeds come in very handy. Appendix carry can be very dangerous IF not trained for correctly, and if someone doesn’t have much experience with concealed carry responsibilities. Some appendix holsters can be excruciatingly painful at the end of a day when they constantly rub into your stomach, or jam up against your crotch while sitting down. Sitting cross legged or “Indian Style” can be painful as well. Some people cannot carry appendix due to weight issues or perhaps an injury to the front of their body, maybe even having their actual appendix removed. This is where a traditional waist mounted solution can be very beneficial. It puts the handgun on the hip or at least around it, freeing up a wide range of motion in the front, allowing a much more comfortable, all day carry position if the proper holster is used. It can be extremely comfortable to carry in a car, especially while actually driving in the front seat. It relies on two point of retention to a belt, instead of the one that an appendix holster usually relies on. In addition these points of retention can be much stronger than an appendix because they are metal and are bolted to the IWB leather sweat guard.
Cross Breed has really established itself as a high quality holster maker, and has managed to keep itself competitive, especially with the advent of Kydex, and a growing trend away from traditional leather sweat guard IWB holsters out there on the market. The company prides itself on its founding values very deeply. This was evident in the signature of the person who made the holster that was sent to me, signed directly on the inside of the leather. My text exam ple came with two separate cloth bags, one carrying the actual holster, and another with the Cross Breed belt. It also came with some pages of instruction on care, and some leather softener chemicals. You don’t have to buy the belt, but the company offers it as an option to buy it together, or separately.
My first impressions of the holster were that it was very well made, and had a nice traditional look. None of the screws holding it together were loose, nor have they come loose over the use of the holster. Up till now I’ve probably worn it for a number of weeks, to include a week long road trip to Colorado and back. I think what I liked the most was the plastic portion fitting my Glock 19, it being very rigid and well formed to the handgun. The shape was very well maintained from the Cross Breed factory, it formed an excellent outer shell of retention on the gun when it was inserted. Of course, most of the retention of a handgun in the holster comes with your body pressing up against the leather sweat guard, thus actually “retaining” the handgun. A major advantage to a traditional hip mounted IWB is that if someone is used to drawing from a hip mounted OWB holster, then an IWB is simply adding an extra step of removing an outer garment before the draw. This makes transitioning much easier than if it were to an appendix.
The actual leather is also such a relief in this age of nylon and plastic. It will form to your hip over the course of wearing it, in addition to feeling much softer on the skin than most other materials. Plus it doesn’t come with the accidental discharge of old leather portions getting caught in the trigger guard. I will recommend to at least wear an undershirt underneath the holster, and not “bare back” it so to speak.
Putting the holster on requires some getting used to. Take some time to actually “place” the holster where you want it on your hip, get it comfortable and tight, with your firearm already holstered will save some discomfort later down the road. It does take a little bit longer than an OWB, or a kydex IWB, but this really isn’t a point to fret over in the least.
Compared to an Appendix IWB, the safety aspect is much better for an unexperienced shooter not used to handling a firearm while carrying concealed. Of course there is always the chance of a negligent discharge, and even one being pointed at your leg, but some folks out there will never allow the muzzle of a loaded firearm that close to their crotch in their life times. That’s fine, I can respect that, I used to be of the same way. For those folks, the Cross Breed will work perfectly because it is completely a crotch no-go zone
I actually like the belt that came with it so much, that I wear it as a regular belt when I can’t concealed carry, just because it is a very strong, and even stylish belt. I like that the Cross Breed cross crest is very subdued in the metal so it doesn’t scream “5.11” or “BLACK HAWK!” if someone sees it on me in public and takes me for carrying. If they even can see it for that matter. The buckle is streamlined and slightly larger than the width of the belt itself, allowing a full range of movement with it on, instead of having something like a huge Cobra buckle, or even a traditionally huge buckle (isn’t that like standard issue to newborns in Texas?). I like that the tip of the belt is cut at an angle, very useful for threading through belt loops that might be tight, or just quickly. I’m actually still wearing it, several months after I got the belt in for review.
Here is what I didn’t like. My first point of contention is the range of movement. If the holster is set in a traditional position on your hip, bending over, or even bending down requires proper care in order to not have the grip of your handgun jutting out like a stone Gargoyle at the Notre Dame from your waistline. The second point I have is acquiring a proper grip. I believe that a proper draw begins with a firm and correct grip FROM the holster. This means I want my dominant hand to have a firm purchase on the handgun’s grip, not altering from draw to presentation, allowing my left hand to simply clasp in place, instead of wiggling the handgun into a proper grip position. With the Cross Breed, I don’t feel that I can get that proper purchase from the beginning, because of the pressure that my body is exerting on the sweat guard, and then on the handgun. Simply put, I can’t fit my thumb into that space, and thus can’t grip it properly. This is probably something that will go away with consistent training, but it was a bug I couldn’t smash during my time with the holster.
My third point of contention isn’t truly an issue, and is most likely unique to myself, and not the experience of others who put a Cross Breed on. But I noticed with the holster on, I’d have to tighten any belt I coupled with it much more so to keep it in place, than I would with an IWB. This in turn put more pressure on my left (non-dominant) hip, which made my right side alright, but my left side felt a constant tug on it all day.
Now that I’ve worn the holster for an extended period of time, I will still stick to my appendix carry. I certainly appreciate the Cross Breed Supertuck IWB, and it absolutely has it’s place if worn properly. If I were working in a stationary position for most of the day, in a job that doesn’t require vigorous movement or even just being constantly on the move for much of the time, I think the Cross Breed is perfect for that role. In addition, it can be worn underneath a button up shirt tucked in, which is ideally suited for an office job anyways.