New holsters from a new company, KSG Armory
Carrying a pistol, in addition to being a life-altering decision, can be complicated. The perfect pistol for a fight is usually the hardest to carry, and the easiest pistols to carry aren’t very good in a fight. Most of us who choose to be armed in public go through a near-lifelong struggle to balance all the critical factors involved with carrying concealed: pistol size, caliber, magazine or cylinder capacity, carry location, carry method, whether to carry a spare magazine or speedloader, how and where to carry a spare magazine or speedloader, how to dress when armed, how our body type dictates what and how we carry, and what to do when circumstances hinder our preferred method of carry. And that’s not even a complete list of considerations.
I’ve been carrying a pistol on and off duty as a cop for over twenty years. During those years I’ve experimented with different pistols and ways to carry them. For concealed carry, I’ve been from the extreme of carrying a Glock 22 with two spare mags to the other extreme of a Kel-Tec .32 with one spare (because I was riding a motorcycle and my Glock printed badly through my close-fitting leather jacket). I’ve tried different guns, and like every concealed carrier I’ve got about 750 discarded holsters in my closet because none of them worked exactly as I’d hoped.
For years I carried a Glock 27 with a spare G23 mag. Then two things happened: I got older, and my G27 started feeling like a brick. Along with age came a slight change in my body, and I went from being skinny to fighting off a beer belly. My 40’s also brought a peace of sorts. After seventeen years of night shift in the hood and/or going to war, I was done with street police work and didn’t expect to ever deploy again. I was, in the parlance, a FAG (former action guy). At 41 I became a grandfather. My focus was no longer on looking for a fight to the death; instead, I was mostly interested in being prepared for the fight I knew would probably never happen.
I finally ditched the cumbersome G27 for a slim, concealable Beretta Nano. That pistol was ergonomic, accurate, comfortable, and basically perfect as long as you don’t mind dying in a gunfight with a double-fed gun in your hand. I ditched the Nano and went back to the 27, only to jump on a Glock 42 as soon as I could. The G42 is only a .380, and knowing the round’s limitations I decided not to carry one without plenty of spare mags.
So the question became, “how do I comfortably carry a G42 and three spare magazines?”
I went through the usual experimentation: I bought minimalist holsters, looked at an inside waistband that was gigantic for so small a pistol, tried a soft cloth pocket holster (and accidentally touched the trigger inside the holster during a draw, so I’m never using one of those again), tried a pocket clip holster, semi-regularly used a generic Kydex pocket holster, and eventually decided I’d just never find the right one.
Then the light of heaven, in the form of a fellow Texan named Gabe New, shone on my Glock from above.
Gabe runs a cottage gear shop called KSG Armory (Knowledge-Skills-Gear). He’s not a superhuman SF SWAT SEAL Recon operator, he’s a regular Joe who just loves to shoot and carries a gun daily. He’s also fortunate to have a creative bent and some business sense.
Like me, Gabe has been searching for the perfect carry method. Unlike me, Gabe has Kydex-bending skills (he likes to call himself a Plastic Surgeon). He started experimenting with Kydex holsters, made a few accessories to go along with them, and opened a small business selling them. At some point Gabe found my blog, and reached out to ask my opinion on his holsters. I wound up with the really cool opportunity to test some of his established models, plus try out a couple prototypes. Gabe was eager for feedback, and quickly made changes when I pointed out a problem. Not a preference, but a problem.
Gabe makes three types of holsters: a slimline OWB (Outside Waistband) belt slide holster, AIWB (Appendix Inside Waistband) holsters, and pocket carry holsters. I haven’t tried his OWB yet, but plan on getting my hands on one for winter when I can more easily conceal a belt holster. I did have plenty of opportunity to test his AIWB and pocket holsters though, and I’m pretty damn happy with them.
Gabe makes three types of AIWB holsters: one “tuckable”, one not, and one with wings.
While both carry your pistol snugly and securely, I’m a much bigger fan of the nontuckable version. The tuckable has a space between the holster body and belt loop to accommodate a shirt tail, which adds width. If I have to tuck in my shirt I use a pocket holster, so a tuckable IWB just isn’t for me (which isn’t to say it won’t work for someone else). But the nontuckable works great; the Glock 42 and 43 versions don’t jam into my thigh or crotch, and the grip doesn’t ride too high or lean away from my stomach.
Here’s a video of me demonstrating one of Gabe’s AIWB holsters.
As I was writing this article I received one of Gabe’s new inventions: an AIWB holster called the “Minuteman” with a “wing” that somehow manages to make the pistol stand straighter (so it’s less likely to print) and feel more comfortable. I don’t get why the wing works, but it does. The Minuteman can even conceal a Glock 19 with a weapon-mounted light under a thin t-shirt. I haven’t tried that myself, but Gabe has, and some armed professionals are testing this design right now.
KSG’s pocket carry holsters are also pretty dang good. Pocket carry definitely isn’t the optimum method, but sometimes it works when other methods don’t. I’ve pocket carried quite a bit, and Gabe’s holster is the smallest and lowest profile I’ve personally seen. Later I’ll write a more extensive article specifically about pocket carry.
Gabe also makes mag pouches. Anyone who carries a weapon should carry at least one reload; magazines fail, people accidentally hit the mag release under stress (watch the Oregon State Patrol shootout video below), or shooters empty a magazine in a second and find themselves holding an unloaded pistol.
The suspect inadvertently drops his magazine at :33.
My life was probably saved one night by an officer who dumped eight rounds in about a second at a suspect who was pointing a gun at me; the officer thought he had fired no more than three rounds. I’ve had a lot of pistol training and like to think I’d uphold the “one shot one kill” standard, but I have a brain so I know that’s unrealistic. Real shootings don’t follow a script, and unless you’re the world’s best gunfighter you should know your first round will likely miss, and even if it hits it may have no effect. Even multiple rounds may have no effect. So carry spare ammo. When I carry my Glock 42 or 43, I carry multiple spare mags.
Gabe makes a single mag pouch and a double mag pouch. They can be used together. The single pouch is an IWB, while the double pouch is a belt slide.
The double pouch is fantastic; slim, close fitting, and doesn’t print even with a close-fitting shirt. The only problem I’ve had with the double pouch is that it makes pulling my wallet a bit difficult, but that doesn’t deter me from using the pouch at all.
Thus far, Gabe and KSG Armory makes holsters and mag pouches for the following weapons:
Full-sized railed 1911
Springfield XDS 3.3″
Springfield XDS 3.8″
Beretta PX4 Storm
Hi-Point .45… just kidding. 🙂
If your pistol isn’t on the list, contact Gabe and ask if he can produce a holster for that weapon. If he has access to one, he’ll make it happen.
JUST TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR: Gabe and I are not in business together. I don’t make any money from his holster sales. He just sent me gear to test, I was impressed, and I’m telling the world about it because I’d like to see his business succeed. I’ve also never met Gabe in person. Since I don’t know him, it’s possible he carries the severed heads of prostitutes in his trunk, or karaokes Justin Bieber’s greatest hits, or campaigns for Hillary Clinton (actually, I could give him a pass on severed heads or Justin Bieber but if I thought he was a Clinton supporter I’d have nothing to do with him). But all indications are he’s a good dude with common sense. I have no reason to believe he’s anything but a solid citizen and 2nd Amendment supporter.
If you visit my Facebook page (linked below) you might get some free KSG stuff in a gear giveaway we’re hosting. So check out Gabe’s gear, help a Texan small businessman out, keep training and keep carrying!
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at email@example.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).
Filed under: 2nd Amendment, Gear reviews | 3 Comments
Tags: 2nd amendment, Concealed Carry, Gabe New, Gear reviews, KSG Armory