When it comes to selecting the perfect EDC (or “Every Day Carry”) holster and other accessories, we always look for comfort and reliability — but we also like to be unique. In a lot of cases, most commercial Kydex holster manufacturers give few choices and options. That is, until now.
Blackhawk, a leader in law enforcement and military equipment for over 20 years, has announced a new custom Kydex holster program where customers like you and me can build and order their own holster or magazine carrier directly on blackhawk.com.
Today, I review the custom options Blackhawk offers.
Having It Your Way
There are so many choices. With the new program, which is exclusive to the Blackhawk website, users like us can choose either IWB (inside-the-waistband) or OWB (outside-the-waistband) Kydex holster models, as well as custom EDC dump trays and magazine carriers for both pistol and rifle. And prices are very reasonable, with the IWB one starting at $59.95 and the OWB one at $79.95.
The website is easy to navigate, and the order process can be completed in minutes. You start by selecting your favorite mode of carrying, inside the waistband or outside the waistband. I selected the latter.
The next step in the process is selecting the pistol. Here is where you pick the manufacturer and model of your pistol. I made my custom holster to fit my Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP. Next, you pick which side, right or left, you plan to have the holster ride on your belt.
The next step is to pick the color, or pattern, for the exterior of the holster. There are a number of choices, from solid colors to camo patterns to specialty prints. I selected Kryptek Typhoon, the gray, black & white pattern. Once I had the outside color picked, I selected the color (or pattern) for the back of my holster. For the back, there are only solid colors from which to choose, so I went with black as it perfectly complements the Kryptek pattern on the front.
After choosing the color scheme, you’ll have to decide the belt loop sizing for your holster. There are two choices here — 1.50” or 1.75”, the two most common belt sizes for carrying pistols on a daily basis.
The final choice in the design of the custom holster revolves around the sights of your pistol. You can go with a holster for a red dot-outfitted pistol with standard or tall sights, as well as whether or not your pistol has a threaded barrel.
Now my holster is done, and it’s on to the magazine carrier.
Here is where you can choose whether to purchase a single mag carrier, double mag carrier or an AR rifle mag carrier. I selected a single mag carrier. The next step is to again pick your manufacturer and model to create your carrier. Even though I had already chosen the Hellcat, this system won’t remember, so you will have to enter that information again. Not a big deal.
The next step on the magazine carrier is to choose the color. Given that this is a wrap-around, one-piece model, you only choose one color for the mag carrier. Again, like on the holster, you will have the choices for solid colors, camo patterns and specialty prints. I again picked the Kryptek Typhoon, so as to match my holster. The next step with your single mag carrier is to select the belt clip size. Your choices are a 1.5” belt clip or the Ulti Clip.
Another cool option in the Blackhawk custom line is a custom “dump tray”. I had never used a dump tray before, but the ability to empty my pockets every night into an enclosed tray makes so much sense. This also keeps me from getting yelled at by my significant other for leaving the pile of EDC stuff lying around on a table or counter.
You only have two choices to make when you order the dump tray. The insert on your tray, where you again have the choices of solid colors, camo patterns and specialty prints. I, of course, went with the Kryptek Typhoon. Then you can choose the color or pattern of the tray itself.
For the tray itself you have the choice of solid colors or different colors of carbon fiber patterns. Here is where I made a mistake in my order; I didn’t select a color for the tray and I got a white carbon fiber, at first I didn’t know if I would like it, but it turns out I actually do. It’s a nice contrast to the Kryptek Typhoon insert and makes it easier to find in dim light.
What really shocked me is how fast my custom order was processed and shipped. As soon as it came in I checked, and confirmed, the fit to both my pistol and magazine. My first impressions of the manufacturing, fit and finish on all three products were very positive. There was only one thing left to do; to use it.
The best way to review something like a holster and mag carrier is to use it. Given that this holster and mag carrier were meant for EDC, the best way to test it was to wear it in my daily life, so I put the holster and mag carrier on and went about my day.
I put a 13-round magazine on my Hellcat and put it in my holster, then I put the 15-round factory Springfield Armory Hellcat magazine in my Mag Carrier and resumed my daily schedule. I liked this set-up so much that I kept using it for over a week. I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable it was to wear this OWB holster for everyday carry.
I also did a range session running pistol training drills. I did the Gunsite School Drill with it, and all presentations were perfect. The pistol is ideally positioned for a perfect grip, and retention was good enough to be safe but not too tight as to prevent a good pistol draw.
My last test was a simple retention test. I mentioned before that the holster has a very positive retention, but how tight is it? My favorite retention test is the gravity test. I put a clear and unloaded Hellcat pistol in the holster and placed a thick piece of foam on my workbench. Turning the holster upside down over the foam, I shook it as hard as I could and the pistol never fell out or became dislodged from the holster. Now, that is good retention.
My conclusion? This is a great holster. Not only is it comfortable, secure and safe, but it sure looks good. Blackhawk just gave us concealed carry permit holders a safe and secure way to carry our pistols in a very attractive package, made to our specifications and our tastes — and for a very reasonable price. Now my only problem will be picking out the look of my next custom Blackhawk holster!
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