Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guns: AKJ Concealco IWB holster review

One of the benefits of ordering a bespoke holster is that you can obtain unique holster designs that aren't available from the typical gun store shelf. By way of illustration, today's review features an IWB holster from AKJ Concealco LLC for my 3" Ruger SP101:


AKJ Concealco's IWB holsters have a unique shape - the front belt loop is rotated 90 degrees from the rear belt loop and attached directly to the top strap of the holster:


This belt loop placement is a bit more comfy for the user, because a belt holding an IWB holster carried at the 3:00-4:00 position naturally does an abrupt turn around the front (especially if the gun is wide, like a revolver). The reinforced top strap also helps to keep the holster from collapsing after the gun is drawn. It's a clever arrangement that reduces the amount of leather needed for the holster mouth.

The rear snap is far more conventional. The whole affair screws in to the holster and is adjustable to three different heights and reversible (making the holster fully ambidextrous, since the front belt loop can swivel to the left or right):


The workmanship and attention to detail in AKJ's holsters is quite good. They're certainly worth the ~$70 asking price, which is about the going rate for a custom leather IWB holster:


For me, the SP101 is on the heavy side for IWB belt carry (27 ounces unloaded), but the AKJ IWB holster conceals and carries the gun about as well as can be expected. Retention of the gun was positive, and I noted no quirks in either drawing or holstering the gun. I'm not sure the front belt loop is more effective than a traditional IWB arrangement, but it's certainly not detrimental in any way. Overall, if you're considering a new IWB holster, AKJ Concealco deserves your attention.

Some miscellaneous points to note:

- AKJ is a one-man shop, and that means that the quoted delivery estimates on the website are a little optimistic. It took two months for me to receive the holster from the time I placed the order.

- I was worried about not having a sweat shield, but it really isn't necessary. The gun rides so low on the belt that the hammer spur doesn't even come close to digging into my side. YMMV, of course, depending on your build.

- AKJ slightly undersizes its belt loops. Though they are advertised as 1.5," I've found that the holster is a tight-to-impossible fit on my 1.5" Wilderness Instructor's Belt because of the belt's width. If in doubt, get a wider size loop or order multiple loops.

2 Comments:

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am expecting my second holster from AKJ any day now. My first one was for a RIA M1911 and this one is for a S&W 457. The only negative I have found with this "company" (for lack of a better term for a one man business) is the shipment times. However, the quality is worth the wait.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Mulliga said...

AKJ does offer a "blog" of sorts that has turnaround time updates. I ordered my holster during the holiday season, which probably contributed to the wait time. The holster itself is quite good, so I'm not too miffed.

 

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