Holsters have changed drastically in just the last 30 years. Since the creation of the pistol, holsters have traditionally been as simple as a belt that the gun is tucked into or a leather pouch to hold the firearm. Though leather holsters can be very ornate the base technology had not evolved much since their initial creation until recently.
In the last few years we have seen polymer and kydex materials make huge changes to the traditional holster. These new materials offer many advantages over leather such as:
- Increased rigidity
- Faster draw
- Straight drop
- Maintains shape under pressure
- Adjustable tension
- Will not stretch out
In the deep concealment arena half leather half Kydex holsters reign supreme with offerings from companies like Crossbreed. Fobus and Blackhawk have taken the lead as the premier polymer OWB and retention based rigs.
All Kydex holsters have just exploded with large commercial companies like G-Code as well as hundreds of small home based or small shop based manufacturers fighting for market space. The sheer number of choices out there makes picking the right Kydex holster feel impossible. This issue is only further convoluted by the fact that you are often ordering blindly over the internet without the ability to test or try the holster out.
We recently took such a blind leap with Sawyer Concealment. S-Con is Custom Kydex holster manufacturer in Jackson Michigan. A family owned operation that focuses on quality over quantity.
Dan the owner at Sawyer Concealment felt holsters on the market were not designed for users with modified pistols. RMR Cuts, suppressor sight channels and undercut grip modifications were either not offered or cost additional money at most of the competition. He found himself having to tinker and adjust even name brand Kydex afterpurchase. Dan decided to start building his own holsters and I think you can see where it goes from here. Friends saw the work and wanted the same. Others started to see the work at training courses and other events and word spread fast. 1 year later S-Con was formed. What started as a home-based business for friends has grown into a full-blown manufacturing company with dedicated office space.
Sawyer Concealment is currently experiencing a 3 week lead time on holster production which is well within the expected range for any holster company right now. After getting our first holster from them I was amazed that it was only 3 weeks. The level of “additional” work they do to the S-Con (The abbreviated name for Sawyer Concealment) rigs is above and beyond what I have seen from anyone else. Here is a few of the things they do above and beyond the competition.
- Thicker higher quality Kydex
- 12 Rivets vs the 6-8 often seen
- Undercuts for modified grips
- RMR Cuts
- Suppressor Sight Channel
- FBI, Zero or Custom Cant options at no additional charge
- Internal sanding and bezel
- All Edges are Smoothed and Rounded
All of these intricate details come together to make a whole greater then the sum of its parts. The end result is a very well designed smooth holster that will work for a gun right out of the gun store or a highly modified high-speed pistol.
We ordered a zero cant, black, OWB MAX-Con holster for the IGFS Glock 19/26L project. Even with the aggressive undercuts done on the gun we found no issues with getting proper hand placement.
The trigger was completely shrouded something I look for when carrying a non-manual safety styled firearm like a Glock. The indent at the trigger guard is deep enough to provide an index point or what I would consider a do not index here point. While the indent is deep it is not in any danger of pressing the trigger mechanism and therefore completely safe.
The rivets holding the pancake together maintained their shape, they are firmly pressed through the Kydex and seated properly. All to often the rivets on home made Kydex kits are misshapen and pulling through the Kydex.
Feeling around the edges of the holster and the inside of the holster there is no sharp edges on the S-Con Max anywhere. Kydex when cut can be sharp, even when it is sanded you are often left with a lip where the pieces meet or on the inside of the mouth. Dan claims to take 3 additional steps during manufacturing that is not often done. These steps combine to make not only a great looking holster but a great feeling one as well.
Holstering and un-holstering the IGFS Glock was a dream. There is an audible click of the gun locking into place. This click has been argued on different sites as both a plus and a negative. For me knowing that my Glock is properly seated and retained without having to look is an advantage. In fact being able to easily re-holster without looking, due to Kydex maintaining its shape even when IWB is one of the advantages of the material.
The curved edges of the S-Com Max allow for a very tight to body fit. Due to the zero cant and the heavy buckles it was easy to get this OWB very close to my body to avoid printing. As you may have read in our other reviews personally I have trouble-concealing OWB due to my spare tire. This was one of the best OWB holsters for concealment I have ever worn.
As an avid IWB fan we did swap out the loops that came with the OWB holster to test it IWB as well. Dan at S-Con does make a separate IWB holster that has a slightly different shape. This allows for the gun to be held closer to the body when IWB. The difference is minor and the results we got with our testing matched what Dan said we would see.
When carrying it IWB, this holster is thicker then your hybrid half leather half Kydex types like Crossbreed. The disadvantage is the extra thickness; the advantage is that unlike a hybrid nylon or leather holster, the frame of the holster does not collapse when empty. This makes re-holstering the gun while continuing to scan and look at your field very easy to do.
At the 4pm position where I often conceal it was very easy to hide the G26 and G27 and even a G19 showed minimal printing. All I used to conceal was a large T-Shirt. There would be no issue in concealing even a full size weapon if you had a sweater or Jacket. Something those of us up here in Michigan often get to wear.
Soup to nuts this holster is on par with the national brand recognized names in terms of quality. It pulls ahead in terms of function when being used with an upgraded weapon.
If you have modified your gun for suppressor sights, RMR, undercuts and the like then this is going to be the best choice period.
If you do not have those modifications but are considering it then this holster is also a consideration.
If you are not a tinkerer or person who like to personalize their weapon then you will find the S-Con Max to be a less expensive option that is just as high quality.
Last of all if like me you enjoy buying locally made products from hard working Michiganders then there is no better choice then Sawyer Concealment.