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Friday, November 8, 2013

Gearing Up!: Holsters

Sorry this has taken a while to be written and offered up folks, been a busy few weeks. This week I bring a couple of reviews of holsters. When looking around for what holsters people use for their gear there was one name that kept coming up: Matrix Tactical Tornado Universal Drop Thigh Holster . Since I was looking for a solution to carrying my Hammershot, and had recently acquired a tactical belt from which to hang such a holster I took a chance on ordering a Tornado, as well as one other holster that was a bit more of a stretch, but would likely fit a particular blaster I had in mind.

Source: Evike
Lets start with the Matrix holster first. To be fair, it should be noted that as a rule foam dart blasters are quite a good deal larger than their airsoft counterparts. In fact this holster caught my eye after it was recommended for carrying a short barrel grenade launcher. It had even come recommended a few times by Nerf players, so I figured this was a solid bet.

True to its name, the Tornado is a fully adjustable holster. It opens up with velcro to be adjusted to the weapon intended to be carried in it. That said, as a universal it’s quite large for a conventional pistol holster, but not terribly large when compared to foam blasters. I had little trouble fitting the holster to a range of small muzzle loading pistols and revolvers, but due to the larger size of the blasters the retention strap never was in the right place, even on my Scout which is pretty much the size of a pistol with a tactical light. I also found the fit with the Scout to be unsatisfactory, with the depth adjustment strap unable to hold the blaster at a shallow enough depth that the blaster could be comfortably retrieved from the holster. While the Tech Target, Spectre, Hammershot,
Source: Evike
Stormfire, Strongarm and Maverick all fit, they stretch the holster to its limits regarding the girth of the blasters, particularly the Hammershot with its large supporting rib underneath the cylinder. Once fitted to those blasters that fit however, all of them were able to be quickly and comfortably retrieved from the thigh mounted holster.

The holster also features a pistol sized magazine pouch, with an adjustable flap, which I have put to use holding a folding multitool. A clever player might insert a couple of PVC tubes to hold some darts for their pistol of choice, or maybe a change of batteries for their electronic primary.

The thigh and drop straps of the holster are removable, so one could easily transfer the holster to a 2 inch tactical belt if they were so inclined. On the topic of thigh straps the removability is a good thing for bigger guys who may have to replace the straps with longer ones. Lucky for me running the upper strap all the way out fits tight enough no to bounce around but loose enough that it isn’t squeezing its way down my thigh every time I move (which puts a really uncomfortable uneven load on your belt, by the way).

Capacity
 Holds a blaster, Not much more to expect of a holster.  Particularly large or clip fed blasters just arent going to happen.

Comfort
 Hangs comfortable on a thigh once adjusted.  Thigh harness can be removed, and the holster moved to a 2 inch belt

Compatibility
 Compatible with several pistol sized blasters, none fit quite right though.


Combined Score 10


Source: Evike
Next up is the Shooter’s Universal Quick Draw Tactical Belt / MOLLE holster. This holster I bought with one expectation: holding my custom Pink Crush for not a lot of money. For 12 dollars this holster fits my Pink Crush quite handily, easily mounts to either a belt in either vertical or horizontal arrangement, or can mount horizontally to MOLLE webbing. On the Gryffon chest rig I bought it for I found the holster hard to reach on the MOLLE webbing with a pair of mags in each pouch, so I moved it onto the center pouch by using the belt loop to mount it to the strap of loop side velcro used to secure the mag flap. Not all vests or rigs will allow this since designs for mag retention vary.

Sadly nothing else I have in stock except for a panther fits into that holster, which is fine for me, since I
Source: Evike
bought it for only that one blaster. Some minimized or customized smaller pistols might also fit. As with the Tornado above, this holster comes with a pistol sized magazine pouch, though this one isn’t adjustable. The retention strap is adjustable, and like the little bear’s bowl of porridge fits just right across the blasters that have been successfully holstered.

Capacity
 Holds a blaster and has a small pouch, what else is there to say?

Comfort
 Easy to mount, fit and carry. Retention strap uses a side release buckle that can be tricky at times.

Compatibility
 Fits a narrow range of blasters, but what it fits it fits well.

Combined Score 9

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