First off, let me remind you, I am not a fair weather holster / gun wearer. I put it on as soon as my pants get on and take it off when I get undressed for my shower at night. The only other time I take off my holster is if I am going through a metal detector. Other than that I have it on. Some people remove their gun when they get home. What good does it do you in the bedroom when you are in the living room and a criminal or multiple criminals break in? A holster must be comfortable enough for all day, and into the night wearing. My CrossBreed Supertuck is one such holster.
If you receive “gun” magazines or newsletters or emails you probably noticed an ad for them somewhere along the way. Many years ago I purchased a CrossBreed holster, not long after they came out. I purchased it at a local gun shop right after Mark Craighead came by to convince the shop owner to carry his products. Mark was a pleasant fellow and since I was going to have shoulder surgery I needed a holster for my right side and wanted an Inside the Waistband holster (called an IWB holster) that allowed me to tuck a shirt in. With the reassurance of the shop owner and Mark that I could return it if I did not like it, I purchased one for my primary sidearm, a Glock 19. It also did not hurt that the holsters were being made in Republic Missouri, just 25 minutes from where I live, I figured if the shop owner did not honor the return guarantee, I could drive to the manufacturer and get my money back.
I purchased a “Supertuck” model for Glocks. The holster was made of a nice thick but not too thick horsehide, left “natural” on the inside (next to my body) and black on the outside, it had an open barrel design where the end of the barrel extended past the kydex type form. This kydex type material was also thick. It had 6 rivets holding the kydex to the horsehide and two plastic clips that allowed the tucking of my shirt. The leather was stamped with the CrossBreed logo and name, a nice touch.
The belt clips area of the horsehide has four holes so the end user could adjust the cant and or height of the holster as it rides on your side. The fasteners for the clips are a reinforced metal and I ended up choosing the second from the bottom on both sides (for a more or less straight up draw stroke) for the clips screws.
I had a couple of concerns. Both of them turned out to be unfounded. The first was if the leather was flat and it formed around my body wouldn’t the kydex either break or prevent the flexing of the hide. As you can see in the pictures, no such issue has occurred. Another was if the plastic molded part would crack or break with normal use, which means smacking against walls, being dropped and other things that happen in the normal life of a holster that gets used.
Within two months the horsehide had “formed” to my 8 o’clock carry position (you can see it in the pictures) and was extremely comfortable to wear, no negative rubbing, no excessive sweating and no stinky smell from sweating on the hide. I had no reason or desire to take Mark up on the return.
After about a year of carry one of the plastic belt clips broke. I decided to take a chance and call CrossBreed and let them know and ask to purchase one more. No deal they said, they would send me a new set at no charge. No qualm, no quibbling, no BS, just good old fashion customer service. I did not document and don’t remember who I spoke with, I just looked up their number on their web site and gave them a call.
What I received in the mail shocked me, in a good way. The replacement clip actually turned out to be a set of clips, they were also made of metal and with larger screws and “nuts” for holding them on the holster. The clips each had a cross on them, a tribute to their logo.
It turns out that CrossBreed discovered a flaw in their holsters (the plastic clips) and instead of ignoring 1st generation buyers or charging them for an “upgrade” or “replacement” they warrantied them, no questions asked.
Other businesses should take note of this. This simple act combined with the quality of their product has made me a CrossBreed “evangelist”, telling anyone and everyone who ever mentions the need for a holster that I highly recommend them.
Also other business should take note, read my other articles (technology, firearms, first-aid et al) you will rarely read positive remarks and almost never see my high recommendation of a product.
With a simple Philips #2 screwdriver I replaced both clips and was back in business. By now you may have noticed that this is a right hand holster and thought, wait a minute, he mentioned a shoulder surgery. Good catch! Yes, I am left handed and have carried that way for many years (my first CCW was in 1991 or 1992). After the surgery on my left shoulder I would be at a normal disadvantage, especially when drawing a firearm in an emergency. As a forethought I purchased the holster and practiced drawing with my right hand, one handed by the way since my left hand / arm could not be used to untuck my shirt.
Unfortunately, Mark Craighead died unexpectedly in August of 2012. My heart and those of many in our local community and across the nation hurt and sank with his passing. He was a good man and though I only met him a couple of times, he was always pleasant.
With his passing I watched CrossBreed to see if it would stay in business or close-up shop. I also watched to see what would happen to the quality of product and service. I am ecstatic to say, that neither had decreased. Not only are they still in business, but their products are just a good and service appears to be as excellent as ever.
Recently they have even expanded their offering of holster to Outside the Waistband (referred to as OWB holsters) as well as magazine pouches, belts, bedside holster and more. Today you can choose horse or cow hide, and three different styles of clips for you holster or magazine pouch. While the products are nowhere near as inexpensive as when I purchased mine, the cost as compared to comfort and the number of years you will easily wear them is next to nothing.
Some people do not like the open barrel tip, they prefer the front site and entire barrel be covered. The main reasons are to prevent snagging of the front site during the draw and to prevent the gun from popping out of the holster if you sit down and the weapon tips hits say the arm of a chair and pops up or worse, out of the holster. Neither has ever occurred to me.
I have been privileged to be allowed to wear this holster to multiple training classes over the years. The instructors trusted me to wear in IWB (most all classes require an OWB for “safety”) since I have taken numerous training classes from them. The draw, holstering and ability to stay connected to my belt and waist were perfect, no issues ever! I also used different Glocks during this training, specifically the Glock 26 and 19.
The only two “issues” I have are really just points of interest. The first is, when I wear a full sized Glock (such as the model 31 in the images the barrel does interfere with my hip. That is just really a matter of the length of the barrel and my position of carry. The second issue I have, I have with all IWB holsters of this type. The clips only come in Black. Check out the image of it on my hip. Those black clips stand out on my tan pants with brown belt. I wear those colors the vast majority of the time. I understand I could “blouse” my shirt however that looks sloppy.
One other factor in a hip based holster is the wear and tear on your clothes and chairs, more specifically your car seat. My t-shirts and other shirts are all fine, no excessive wearing on the material. I purchased my Honda in 2009 and the seats had standard leather and wear, nothing great or excessive. Below is a picture of current wear on the seat, take note for future articles.
Here is a link to the CrossBreed web site: http://www.CrossBreedholsters.com/About.aspx
A quick note, from December through early February 2013, I was wearing the appendix carry kydex holster, you can see my article on it here http://theweeklygeek.com/2013/02/05/appendix-carry-inside-the-waist-band-iwb-kydex-holster/
In April I purchased a Goldstar IWB holster and work it off and on through Halloween (it will be the subject of an upcoming review). Knowing I was wanting to write a positive review I began wearing the CrossBreed again for the entire month of November 2013 just to be sure I was on top of things.
Below are a few more images of the holster, you can clearly see the printing of the Glock in the leather.
Until we meet again, have a virus free week!