Springfield XD Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Having carried concealed for over a decade and understanding that there is always going to be some degree of compromise in concealment holsters I was nonetheless looking for an IWB that would:

(In no particular order)

1) Be as comfortable when sitting as when standing with little or no manual shifting of the apparatus to maintain comfort.

2) Conceal the service sized XD to a higher degree than other IWBs that I have tried.

3) Have good ease and speed of draw / access.

4) Be easy to put on and remove.

5) Have good retention.

There were other requirements in my overall quest as well (re-holstering, durability, appearance, etc) but in the nature of compromise they simply were not as important to me as my top five. Finding an IWB holster for the XD Service that met all 5 of my requirements turned out to be a bit more daunting than I had initially suspected. In part because of the XD’s size and shape and in part because of my size and shape. The XD Service is square shouldered, a little thick in the slide and a little long in the grips. I am square shouldered, a little thick in the sides and a little long in the hips. Due to my being “a little thick in the sides” (translated: love handles) most IWBs that I have encountered either concealed well with discomfort and lots of shifting to accommodate standing / sitting or were very comfortable but printed the grip like a newspaper press. After more than 10 months and almost as many holsters, I believe I have found the one for me. It’s called The Low Rider. It is a no-nonsense, no-frills, hand-made Kydex IWB holster from RM Holster Works.
Rocketman of RM Holster Works has apparently been making these unremarkable looking, highly functional, custom, handcrafted works for some time for all models of Glocks. I found this little diamond in the ruff when Googling “low riding holster”. When I hit their web page I knew from the picture of the Low Rider on the model’s waist that this could quite possibly be exactly what I was looking for. How could I tell from the picture? You see, I had taken my (unloaded) XD and held it to my hip sans scabbard below the beltline in various positions on my strong side. I would then sit, stand, bend, walk and twist. I found that the ideal position for the gun during all of my natural movements was at 3:00 – 3:15 position, very low in the waistband with an extreme (20 degree or so) cant. As my testing required me to press the gun into my aforementioned love handles, I knew the holster had to be snug as well as low. When I saw the picture of the Low Rider, it was positioned exactly on the model’s hip where I had been placing my XD against my hip during my tests. My initial exuberance was abated when I discovered that they were being made primarily for Glocks. Being an optimist, I contacted RM Holster Works via e-mail and asked if they could custom make a Low Rider for my XD 9 Service. I was in luck. Rocketman replied that he could indeed do that if I could get him a Blue Gun of my XD. He would fabricate the holster and we would simply trade the Blue Gun (mold) for my finished holster. Fantastic!
I had some trouble finding my model of Blue Gun and eventually ordered via GT Distributors directly from the Blue Gun factory - Ring Manufacturing. Ring is located in FL and RM Holster Works is located in Baton Rouge LA. There was some small delay in the initial delivery of the Blue Gun. A little thing named Katrina slowed my shipment and also stole Rocketman’s power. As soon as power was restored and the Blue Gun delivered – BAM – I had my handmade, custom Kydex holster…in 3 days…fabricated and delivered!
Below is my review (finally) based on my 5 requirements:

1) Comfort: Comfort, for me, is more important than any other requirement in a holster. I place comfort above draw speed. Why? Because I know me very well. If I don’t have a certain level of comfort I will probably not have anything on my person to draw should I ever need it. (This is not open for debate. Only I know my habits and tolerances and as much as I’d love to change my ways I cant / wont. And this is just a review after all). The Low Rider is VERY comfortable whether standing, sitting, twisting or bending. Not perfect in all situations mind you – it is an IWB and they do inherently have some comfort drawbacks (bending and squatting for instance will always be rougher with IWBs at 3:00 IMO), but this holster is as close to perfect as I’ve ever tried. Besides sitting low enough as not to rib-dig, it also sits low enough and snug enough to be easy on the old Sub-Thoracic Lateral Overhang with or without a belt. That is important to me because I don’t particularly like wearing belts. I have GERD as well as a hiatal hernia. Being cinched around the waist creates some abdominal pressure for me throughout the day, particularly when seated, which aggravates my condition. If a belt is tight enough to hold the pants up with 2 pounds of metal around your waist when standing, chances are it is too tight when sitting for any length of time - at least with my body shape, medical conditions and poor posture. The Low Rider does not need a belt - at least not for me - and from what others have been reporting as well (via net reviews).

2) Concealment: In my opinion concealing a service sized semi-auto pistol IWB always comes down to concealment of the grip length and overall width of the gun and holster. One of this holster’s finest attributes is concealment. The extreme 20-degree cant puts the grip length more towards vertical to better conceal the butt of the grip. It also pulls in so snug that the overall width of the rig becomes negligible. This thing really swallows your gun and makes it disappear. This is the best IWB concealment I’ve ever tried for a service-sized pistol except perhaps the deep- concealment under garment type holsters i.e. Thunderwear, SmartCarry etc.

3) Ease of draw / access:
With the grip so low to the beltline you might be inclined to think it does not allow for a full firing grip upon retrieval - but it does. The 20-degree cant is no obstacle either. While not perfect for the 3:00 position I prefer, it is close and with practice a smooth, fast presentation is very easily obtainable.

4) Ease of attachment / removal
I have some nerve damage in my left hand – little sensation and little usable thumb movement. I need a holster that I can literally put on and take off with one hand if need be. This is it. The simple yet highly effective belt clamp is cut and formed from the front side of the holster and simply bent back upon itself. It is 2” wide and folded in tight to keep the overall width of the holster in check. This is the thinnest holster of this type I’ve ever seen.

5) Retention: While not usually a problem with most IWBs, retention has been an issue for me in the past. The Low Rider itself goes nowhere. Once positioned where I like it (3:00 - 3:30) it shifts neither front to back nor up and down. Again, this is with or without a belt. The holster does not move during the drawing stroke - again with or without a belt - at least not for me. The two adjustable tensioning screws allow for your choice of compromise between draw smoothness and retention strength.



Build:
a) It's 100% Kydex (Save for the 2 tensioning screws) For newbies: Kydex is a semi-flexible thermoplastic resistant to extreme temperatures, chemicals and solvents. You've probably seen it used for hard shell cases for musical instrument and electronic equipment protection. It is also common for firearm holsters and knife sheaths in part because of it's resistance to oils and sweat.

b) There is absolutely no unnecessary Kydex on this thing. It is form-fitted and trimmed tight. Edges are sanded smooth and rounded.

c) Unobstructed firing grip and a fully enclosed trigger guard.

d) It has a sweat guard. Which I've noticed also acts as kind of a "shirt guard" preventing the shirt from being re-holstered along with the pistol.

e) The channels for the sights, take down lever and slide catch lever are formed to tight tolerances to keep it thin and light. There are no unnecessary overages of Kydex used for appearance.

Design:
No bells and whistles simple design. Very low riding. The lowest I have found. The grip is just above the beltline. 20-degree cant for optimal comfort and concealment. Utilizes a simple integrated belt clip that works surprisingly well. Rounded and smoothed edges where needed. Sweat guard. Very light weight and very thin design.

Strengths:
Hand molded with custom cants & drops - at no extra charge. Price – ($49.00). Easy on - easy off. Light weight and thin. Very good comfort and great concealment. No detachable parts to lose.

Weaknesses:
Formed belt clip MAY be a weak point. I can see where pulling at it too hard may cause it to crack or snap off. In fact there is indeed a warning on the instruction sheet to be careful not too pull too hard on the clip. I imagine one would have to pull it pretty far out to cause damage. It would certainly have to be pulled further than necessary to slide it over even the thickest of belts to damage it. Re-holstering took a while for me to get used to as I was not used to the mouth being so low in the waistband. It is no problem now however. As with any new holster a little practice goes a long way.

I give this holster 4.5 out of 5 stars based on my 5 priorities with the ½ star landing on priority number 3 (Have good ease and speed of draw / access).

I just gave such a glowing review that I’m afraid some people may think I am associated in some way with RM Holsters Works. Rest assured that I am not. I just found a real good thing and I am trying to give back to the cyber-community that gives so much to me. This board is always a good read and there is always something new to learn. It is also refreshing, I might add, to be part of a board with so much good advice, so many different opinions, and so few egos. By the way, anyone wanting a holster for any other XD model is welcome to contact RocketMan. He has told me that he’ll make the same offer I got for any model XD that he does not have in stock.
















 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
great review! I agree its a bit length, but i didn't mind. I'm sure many of us will appreciate it. Looks like a really efficient iwb holster.... i'd get one if i had a chance in hell at CCW here in CA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,667 Posts
that looks almost exactly like the Comp Tac. in fact they make one just like that(without the extra clamp shown in the picture).


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
therooster said:
that looks almost exactly like the Comp Tac. in fact they make one just like that(without the extra clamp shown in the picture).


That's as close as I've seen to it as well...I believe it's called the Pro Undercover. Not quite as low riding...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I just received a thank you e-mail from RocketMan. He said he's had some contact from some of the hs2000talk guys. Please post your impressions and let me know what you think when you receive your LowRiders...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
My concern would be that the formed belt loop is too wide and would be noticable. Also, you can't tuck your shirt in between the holster and the belt loop to totally concel the gun. Low design is very nice.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top