Mark Craighead, of CrossBreed Holsters has generously provided an example of his firm’s proprietary Super Tuck Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holster for review. Like most quality holsters, Super Tuck IWB holsters are manufactured for specific handgun designs. For the purposes of this review I selected the model specific to the line of Glock mid-sized frame pistols.
Upon inspection of the holster I was immediately impressed with the high quality of both the materials and workmanship evident in it’s construction. CrossBreed blends together traditional gun leather with custom molded Kydex material to produce the Super Tuck IWB. In a bit of a design departure from traditional IWB holsters, the Super Tuck uses an oversized, thin leather panel with which to affix the Kydex holster to. The leather panel, when broken in sufficiently, form fits to the wearer’s side aiding in both concealability and comfort. The latter part is especially true as it seems to spread out the weight and pressure of the holstered weapon on your torso. Being cut oversized, the leather panel serves to form the back of the holster, providing sufficient rigidity to the rig. It acts much like a scabbard of sorts and aids in smoothing up the draw stroke and allowing one handed reholstering of the weapon.
The Kydex holster chute is bolstered to the leather panel and is an open ended design which does not cover the muzzle of the handgun; however it does completely cover the trigger guard. It is custom formed to securely grip the trigger guard and ejection port area of the gun’s frame and slide. Due to the covered trigger guard Condition 1 carry is possible. If necessary a user can heat the Kydex material around the trigger guard area and either pinch it in, or expand it out to obtain just the right amount of tension. CrossBreed provides detailed instruction on how to achieve a custom fit in this regard. As tested, I did not need to adjust the tension on my holster as it secured my Glock 23 perfectly from the outset.
Outboard on each side of the holster chute are height-adjustable belt loop fasteners. The holster I received for testing had belt loop clips made out of Kydex. The clips are open ended on the bottom and slide down over the belt from the top. Along the bottom edge of the clips are flanges which are turned under slightly so as to hook to the belt and hold the holster firmly during the draw stroke. In practice the holster proved easy to put on and adjust to a comfortable wearing position. The only downside was the outwardly visual appearance of the wide, black Kydex belt loop clips over my belt. Regardless of how loosely I bloused a tucked-in shirt at my waist the belt loop clips were still visible. In practice the only way to achieve total concealment was to either wear my shirt untucked, or to wear an overshirt or jacket. Mark Craighead advised that he’s designed a new, more discreet clip to address this particular issue. Production of these new clips was underway at the time of this review. The new clips will be available in either black or brown, and they will provide the same easy on/easy off functionality as the ones on my test holster – but they are much less obvious to bystanders.
Starting out it was necessary to wear the Super Tuck holster with a gun inserted for several hours in order to get the leather panel sufficiently broken in. Once broken in though, wearing a holstered pistol was very comfortable. This was a pleasant surprise, as a G23 is not the thinnest of pistols to comfortably wear with an IWB rig. Wearing the holstered pistol throughout the range of daily walking, bending or sitting activities was not uncomfortable, nor did the rig shift so as to not be discreet or out of position. On a couple of occasions I wore the holster while driving for 2-3 hours at a stretch. With the holstered gun worn at the 4 o’clock position on my strong side it was not uncomfortable at all to ride in a car for a couple of hours. Due to the excellent design of the holster, the pistol was pulled in tight to my torso and the G23’s grip did not “print” with either a sufficiently bloused shirt or under a jacket.
With a bit of practice I quickly gained confidence in my ability to reach across my torso, pull up my shirt with my weak hand and begin the draw stroke with my strong hand. Being of average height I found that I could help things out a bit by slightly leaning forward. The forward cant design of the holster aided in producing a smooth, quick draw stroke. Due to the holster’s design one-handed reholstering is easily accomplished. Granted, drawing a holstered weapon via this IWB rig does take a couple of extra seconds, as opposed to an outside-the-waistband carry set up, but the wearer must understand this is not a speed rig, it’s a discreet carry rig. This one does its job very well.
If you are in the market for a high quality, American-made IWB holster I would recommend that you give CrossBreed’s Super Tuck IWB holster a serious look. Mark Craighead’s team can provide Super Tuck holsters for virtually all makes and models of handguns on the market these days. The Super Tuck combines innovative design with high quality materials and workmanship to produce both a functional and comfortable option for those wanting a discreet carry rig. For more information check out CrossBreed Holster’s excellent website at www.crossbreedholsters.com. In addition to user testimonials, CrossBreed’s website has great photos and video clips of the holster in action. You can also order direct by calling CrossBreed Holsters (888) 732-5011.