Ares Tactical Weaponlight Holster for the XD-M Elite Tactical OSP
May 22nd, 2021
4 minute read
After reviewing handguns for more than a decade, I’ve become pretty well versed on the topic of holsters. I typically do 20 to 30 reviews a year, and I like to carry each of those guns while I’m collecting the data. It’s a rough job, I assure you.
Some guns, like the Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Tactical OSP, can be difficult to holster. This is a good-sized gun that can accept a lot of accessories. While it’s fairly easy to find both leather and Kydex for the standard XD-M line, guns cut for red dots (like Springfield Armory’s new Hex Dragonfly) can present some challenges. Add on a threaded barrel like the Tactical OSP has, and it gets even more complicated. You have to be really specific with what you order. Ask me how I know.
And there’s more. Many guns with threaded barrels come with really tall sights. These may not clear the sight channels on typical holsters. You can typically tell a custom holster maker which model you have and trust that they’ll know what to do. If in doubt, ask.
In trying to solve this issue, I happened upon Ares Tactical. This is a company that makes great holsters, yet is approachable enough that any questions you might have are answered by a real person — and the one that will be making your holster. During my quest to find a holster for the Tactical OSP, I had several questions — and Ares Tactical’s Matt Facas was right there with answers for me.
I picked an OWB design — the Weaponlight Holster (how’s that for a naming convention?). The Weaponlight Holster is exactly what it sounds like. I had this one made for the Viridian X5L I was fitting out on the pistol.
I wanted a wide OWB, and this one fit the bill. Ares Tactical allows for some add-ons with many of their designs. You can get thread-locker on screws. You can pick the width of the belt attachments and loops, and even get IWB belt clips for some of the OWB designs to add versatility.
I chose a flat black for the back panel and FDE Kydex for the front — just to keep everything thematic with my FDE pistol. I’m still not sure how I feel about multi-colored holster designs in general, but it was easy enough to see where the holster is when I’m holstering the gun. We’ll see if it grows on me.
The XD-M slides in and clicks in place. I like that tactile reference that lets you know it is seated. The lip of the Kydex has also been rolled over slightly to form the subtle funnel that helps guide in the muzzle. It is a nice add-on, and the Kydex there has been sanded-over to remove the sharp corners.
The belt attachments are available in different sizes, as I mentioned, but they’re also deep enough to accommodate wider belts. For EDC, I wear a reinforced leather belt, but I also often wear webbing belts and I’ve not had difficulty getting either through the loops.
The holster design was open enough to accommodate a red dot sight for concealed carry on the XD-M Elite Tactical OSP. The list of lights was deep, so you have options. And to cap it off, I added the open bottom to my order so that the gun, with its threaded barrel, would fit.
Obviously, adding extras adds to the price. The holster itself started at $60. I paid a bit more for the FDE front ($5), and $30 for the addition of fitting for the Viridian X5L. The smaller lights and laser options cost less. I was out-the-door for $95.
For the perfect holster, that’s not bad. The fit is exacting. The sight channels are deep enough to clear the sights — there’s no rub anywhere on them and they don’t scrape in or out, either. I made sure to clear this detail in my order, and the holster was clearly made to those specs.
So, bottom line, I think it’s safe to say I’ve found a great holster solution for the XD-M Elite Tactical OSP. If you’ve been looking for a way to holster and carry this terrific 9mm, you should definitely check this one out.
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