Most helpful positive review
126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
Great fit for a compact
on May 20, 2011
I purchased this for my S&W M&P 40c. It's my first gun, and this is the first holster I've purchased. I was a little worried about the paddle style (compared to one that attaches directly to a belt), as it seemed like it wouldn't stay in place securely, but my fears were groundless. You can't see it in the product picture, but there is a huge angled ridge on the side of the paddle between the paddle and the holster itself which catches underneath your belt. Once you slip this on, as long as you make sure that ridge catches on, you can yank upwards on this holster and you'll just give yourself a wedgie, it won't come out. On the other hand, when you do need to remove it, if you twist the holster forward before pulling up, it slides out smoothly. It stays when you want it and comes out when you want it, brilliant design. Also, there is a rubber coating on the side of the paddle that faces your body, if you put that against bare skin it sticks like glue and won't shift around (the soft rubber isn't uncomfortable against your skin either).
The holster is low-profile. I bought this for concealed carry, and just with a standard flannel shirt my gun is practically undetectable. The part that holds the gun is held tight against the outside of your pants, and the plastic shell isn't very thick, so the holster adds maybe a half inch of thickness to the gun itself. The way the holster sits, your trigger guard is at the bottom of your belt line, so you don't need a particularly long shirt or coat to fully cover the pistol.
Retention is pretty good considering that it's all passive. The screw helps you get it how you want. Right out of the package, the fit was a bit loose, if I turned the holster upside-down and shook it hard the pistol fell out. I tightened the screw through a half-turn, and the pistol wouldn't come out unless I shook it violently, but it was also too tough to draw. I found a 2/3 turn was the right balance between ease of draw and retention. If you buy this holster take a little time to experiment, but it's pretty easy. I also found that even when I set the screw a bit tighter, if I push down with my thumb on the top of the holster as I pull the gun will pop right out, it doesn't take much practice.
Finally, I was a bit worried about how a compact pistol would fit. I tried the Blackhawk Serpa holster designed for the M&P, and my pistol only filled the holster halfway and stuck far out the top. It looked silly and felt awkward. I was worried that another holster that could hold the full-sized pistol would be too big. Actually, this holster is perfect, the barrel ends right at the end of the holster. A full-size pistol would also fit just fine (the front of the barrel/slide just sticks out the bottom a bit as this holster is open-ended) but it seems especially suited for the compact size.
Finally, I purchased the Trijicon night sights for my pistol. I was worried that a larger, chunkier sight than the stock sight might not fit in the sight channel, but they make the channel extra large to allow for a bigger front sight, so it was no problem. I think for the price especially this holster is a great buy.