One of the great things about producing this blog is that I am starting to meet some really fantastic people who have interesting goods or services to offer. Many of these folks have not yet been discovered by the mainstream gun writing media and it is my pleasure to introduce them to my readers. Such is the case with Clay Moultrie of SHTF Gear (www.shtfgear.com).
SHTF's premiere offering is a hybrid holster made of both leather and Kydex. When I first opened the package and laid eyes on the holster for the compact Glock frame I was concerned that maybe the holster was a little overbuilt for the task at hand. After toting my Glock 23 around in it for two weeks my concerns were soundly abated. This is a professional's holster in every sense of the word professional.
The holster is surprisingly comfortable! The leather backing keeps the pistol from jabbing me in the side and it is also the first tuckable holster I have ever tried where I can easily tuck the shirt in over the holstered handgun. I have several alleged tuckable holsters sitting in my vast drawer of unsued holsters because it is just too much of a pain to try to get the shirt tucked in over them. The SHTF holster now allows me to leverage this extra level of concealment. This is facilitated by the fact that the belt clips are attached to the more flexible leather backing rather than the non-forgiving Kydex portion of the holster.
You can already see from the photographs that the Kydex is attached to the leather backing by the use of metal rivets and stitched Kevlar. It's on there to stay and if you have any problems the holster comes with a lifetime warranty and free replacement belt clips for life if needed. Clay is pretty sure of his product and stands behind it 100%.
About SHTF Gear
Clay Moultrie has been in business just about a year. He decided to get into the holster industry after buying a hybrid holster that was comfortable but quickly developed problems. The first issues concerned the design and functionality of the holster. Clay was carrying a Glock with an extended magazine release and the leather backing of the holster kept activating the release. This could be deadly if you had to present the pistol to meet a threat only to have the magazine fall out. In very short order Clay had to re-install the stock mag release. He also found that the fit of the Kydex and leather backing was so tight that he could not wrap his thumb around the pistol when attempting to draw. In consulting the manufacturer's website he saw that their videos showed the pistols being drawn with the shooters thumb on the striker-plate or rear sight. Obviously in the stress of responding to an actual attack there is always the chance that the shooter might pull the trigger before getting his or her thumb off the rear of the slide. The result might be a broken thumb joint and a dropped pistol rendering the shooter defenseless.
The next concern was regarding the construction of the holster itself. The rivets holding the Kydex to the leather began to weaken and move and eventually the Kydex began to rip. In about six months Clay came to the conclusion that the holster was no longer usable.
Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention
Clay's frustration over the quality and design of this holster gave him the motivation to build a product that overcame the weaknesses he encountered in the holster he had purchased.
Clay has branded his product as the ACE holster which stands for "Always Combat Effective". Clay explained to me this way "The idea is that my holsters are designed to be faster than some of the competition by allowing for a full shooting grip before the weapon is drawn.
Also the cut of my holsters does not block the magazine release which allows the shooter to holster the pistol and perform a one-handed magazine change". [Clay has obviously had some tactical training] Clay also states that his holsters do not inadvertently activate extended magazine releases.
As mentioned earlier Clay constructs his holsters using a combination of hand stitched Kevlar as well as metal rivets. Clay told me "The Kevlar has a break strength of over 100 pounds per stitch. This ensures that you never get a separation between the Kevlar and the leather".
The leather backing is laser cut which allows Clay to offer custom laser engraving on the holster for an extra $10.00. Additionally Clay is working on a design for an outside the waistband holster as well as both inside the waistband and outside the waistband magazine pouches.
I am very happy with this holster and if you are interested in one please visit SHTF Gear's website and tell them that Average Joe sent you. But wait! Clay has offered Average Joe readers $5.00 off their purchase by entering the coupon code "AverageJoe". This offer is good for the next 90 days from the date of this posting. I have to tell you that I am pretty excited at being able to pass along an offer like this to my readers and I really appreciate Clay making it available to us.