American Handgunner May/June 2013 Digital Edition - Page 22

CARRYOPTIONS Blade-tech’s Appendix iWB rigs are slim, comfortable and effective. from classics to cuttiNg eDge iN carry methoDs sammy reese Photos: Joe Novolozo I f you’ve read my past columns you know I’m hard on my gear and expect it to last. More often than not I find I’m let down when something I’ve purchased breaks or wears out long before it should. I bought my first mag pouch from Blade-Tech (BT) 16 years ago, and it’s still in service today. During my time as a cop I bought other holsters and accessories from BT and none of them let me down. Ever. The crew at BT is always experimenting with new products. Ryan Precce, head honcho of corporate sales and media relations, told me “Everyone here gets involved in the idea and testing process. We have fun coming up with new and improved products for our customers. Three of the newest holsters just introduced are designed from the ground up to be thinner, more flexible yet ridged in the right places to ensure they are more durable than ever.” AppendIx CArry I ’ve never been a huge fan of appendix-style carry. This is mostly because the holsters I used at the time were bulky and the guns just too big for me to pull it off. I was okay standing, but if I had to sit, things got really uncomfortable. When Ryan told me he had two appendixstyle holsters to try, and one IWB/OWB for my new S&W Shield, I was a bit skeptical. One of the appendix holsters fully covers the gun and the other is a minimalist design to reduce weight. The reduced bulk of these holsters can be achieved by using a thinner Kydex material. For the Eclipse IWB/OWB and appendix holsters the newer Kydex is only .080" thick as opposed to other BT models that are .093" thick. Neither dimension seems very thick until you form fit the Kydex into a holster to be carried inside the waistband. Also, Ryan told me the new injection molded clips on the appendix holsters were extensively tested over 6 months to perfect them — they are the most flexible and durable holsters BT have ever made. I may have not been a fan of appendix-style carry before, but I am now. The right-sized gun (like the Shield) combined with the BT holsters has made me a believer. I started off thinking the same thing as before — I’ll be okay standing but what about when I have to sit down for any length of time, it’ll be uncomfortable. But trying is believing, folks. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks switching back and forth between the two appendix holsters and the Eclipse and I’ve found them to be not only comfortable but also really fast on the draw. I ran some range drills from a standing and seated position and found I was smooth and fast. As far as concealment, I’m able to wear a loose T-shirt and hide the Shield. Another cool feature of these appendix-style holsters is the design and clip allows the user (depending on body type) to move the holster to the opposite side for a crossdraw application or behind the hip for a standard IWB ride. Ryan said this wasn’t the intent of the design but it was a welcome find allowing customers even more flexibility in how they carry their gun. the Eclipse offers insideor outside-thewaistband carry. sammy says it can’t be beat for quality and comfort. EclipsE H olsters designed to fill multiple roles usually don’t do either role very well. What makes the Eclipse a success is the versatility of the mounting system. Read the directions and you will find it’s easy — and a lot less frustrating than eyeballing it. The thinner Kydex material combined with other proprietary flexible mounting tabs makes this holster work well in either inside-the-waistband (IWB) or outside-the-waistband (OWB) mode. I wore the Eclipse both ways and found it to be comfortable, and it stayed in place, even during range drills. The thinner profile makes it more concealable when worn OWB, which is always a plus when OWB is your preferred mode of carry. The crew at Blade-Tech is dedicated to making sure their customers have the best products at an affordable price. I’m 16 years into my relationship with the BT equipment, and I keep going back for more. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 16 years brings. * For more info:, (253) 655-8059 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE2013 22

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