Someone recently gave me a “one size fits all” nylon holster with integral mag pouch.
I’ve always told students this type of holster was a “don’t buy”, and thought they were a bad idea because of the difficulty in doing a decent reload with the mag pouch being on the wrong side of the body for traditional reload techniques. I took the holster to the range and ran some drills with it.
The problems I found with the holster were:
- Not stable on the belt. Loose and floppy in all axes of movement. Moved up and down as I tried to draw from it. Actually came off the belt when I tried to draw at normal speed.
- “One size fits all” fits none. The holster is big enough to fit a Desert Eagle. My standard size M&P went so far down into the holster that I could not get a proper firing grip on the pistol before drawing. I could only get the bottom two fingers on the pistol with it holstered.
- Loose and floppy holster also meant loose and floppy mag pouch. The holster moved around as I got the magazine out of the integrated pouch.
- Completely useless for concealed carry, even in winter with a large cover garment.
- Completely inappropriate for open carry due to total lack of retention and poor fit to all but the largest, widest belts.
- Metal belt clips, in addition to not providing much tension to the belt, will also scratch anything you rub against, like other people’s cars in parking lots, or the upholstery of anything you sit in.
I did several different reload techniques: I swapped the gun to my left hand, grabbed the magazine with my right hand, reloaded the gun the way a left handed shooter would, and transferred it back to my right hand to shoot. This was complicated and slow compared to a standard reload. After a few tries, and moving the holster to a position in front of my hipbone so i could reach the magazine with my left hand, I was able to do some acceptable reloads with it, if I was able to get the magazine out without the holster flopping around too much. But that required moving the holster to a position I wouldn’t wear it for concealed or open carry.
The intended market for this holster was probably someone that has a bunch of different guns that are worn when out shooting on private property or during hunting season. Even for that low intensity use, it’s not a good product. Since there’s no retention for the gun, it’s likely to come off the belt if it snags against anything. Certainly not safe for wearing while climbing into a tree stand, into a deer blind or moving through thick brush. It’s not a holster any reputable instructor would allow to be used in classes, nor would I expect it would be allowed at any IDPA or USPSA match.
If you are considering purchasing this product or something like it, don’t.
Spend a few extra dollars on a holster that rides closer to the body, is made specifically to fit your gun, offers some retention (even if it’s just the friction of fitted leather or kydex with screws you can tighten to snug the holster to the pistol), and has belt loops intended for use with the width belt you plan to attach the holster to. (Better, get a holster that has belt loops that go all the way around the belt. They are less convenient for taking the holster on and off, but they will keep the holster on your belt much more securely.)