Ares Tactical Weaponlight Holster for the XD-M Elite Tactical OSP

By David Higginbotham
Posted in #Gear
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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.

Ares Tactical Holster with XD-M pistol
The Ares Tactical holster for the XD-M Elite offers users. the ability to customize it to their specific needs.

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.

My Solution

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.

Carrying the XD-M Elite
The XD-M Elite isn’t marketed as a concealed carry gun, but it is easily concealed in colder weather. A high-ride holster, like the Ares Tactical, can help hide it.

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.

Belt loops for Ares Tactical holster
The belt clips on the Ares holster are wide enough to accommodate a thick belt.

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.

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite pistol in Ares holster
Ordering the Ares Tactical holster was incredibly easy. This is a Weaponlight Holster and it has a red-dot cut. Note the HEX Dragonfly red dot mounted on the pistol.

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.

Hands-On

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.

Cut of Ares Tactical holster
The Kydex on the Ares Tactical is formed to include the light, obviously, but also to allow the XD-M’s threaded barrel to clear the bottom.

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.

How to adjust the Ares Tactical holster
Positioning the clips on the Ares is easy. All you need is a Phillips head screwdriver.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check out The Armory Life Forum, where you can comment about our daily articles, as well as just talk guns and gear. Click the “Go To Forum Thread” link below to jump in and discuss this article and much more!

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

David Higginbotham

David Higginbotham

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. He was a college professor for 20 years before leaving behind the academy and moving to Arkansas for a more practical profession in the firearms industry.

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