Recently I was contacted by Stephen at Aegis Armory, inquiring if I would like to take a look at the holsters they produce. Since carrying a handgun is a requirement of my profession (and just good common sense), I agreed. I jumped over to their Facebook page and took a look at what they offered.
Aegis Armory builds what I refer to as “hybrid” holsters. They are half leather and half Kydex (thermo plastic). I have carried leather holsters and I have carried Kydex holsters, but up to this point I really have not used a hybrid holster.
Aegis Armory offers a range of color options for both the leather and the Kydex portions of their products. Their main holster design, called the Shield, is designed to be worn either inside the waistband or outside on the belt as a standard holster. Since the holster could be pressed into a “plain clothes” belt carry type role, I requested black leather and black “carbon fiber” kydex. While the kydex doesn’t look much like carbon fiber (nor did I expect it to), it does have a very attractive fine basket weave pattern. All of my duty leather is black basket weave, so this was perfect.
Several days later a padded envelope arrived containing the Aegis Armory “Shield”. Aegis also included one of their “Guardian” trigger guards.
The craftsmanship was very good. The leather backer was well cut and burnished with a generous sweat guard extending past the slide. This is a feature I really like because I often carry under a t-shirt. This places the holster against my bare skin. Without some type of sweat guard on the holster the slide rides against my side. That isn’t very comfortable and will cause the weapon to rust very quickly.
Since we chose the black leather option I was anxious to see if there would be any bleeding from the dye. I was happy to see after several sweaty days, none of the dye bled.
The Carbon Fiber patterned Kydex was perfectly formed and fit my Glock 26 like a glove. When I initially slid the pistol into the Shield Holster I though it was too loose. However when I bent the leather backing into the curve it would have against by body the pistol sucked into the Kydex shell.
The Shield is cut generously in the trigger guard area, allowing for a full combat grip before the draw. This is critically important on a concealment holster since clothing can foul the draw. You want a solid grip if your cover garment decides to try to tear the pistol out of your hand.
The Kydex is flared to allow for easy re-holstering. One of the benefits of thick leather and Hybrid-Kydex holsters is that they do not collapse after the handgun is drawn. This prevents any fumbling and aids a rapid, single handed re-holstering. In the real world there are times when shooting someone is no longer and option. In those cases, a fast re-holster can allow you to get back in the fight with both hands at the ready.
Putting on the Shield was a little cumbersome at first. Other closed muzzle IWB holsters that I have used have a “blade” of leather at the seam. This assists in slipping the holster into your waistband when your pants are fastened. The Shield has an open muzzle and a rather blunt profile. This combined with the wide wings that the belt clips are attached to make it a bit of a chore to slip on. After a couple of attempts I found that the easiest method for me was to attach the forward belt clip. Then work the holster into my pants like tucking in a shirt. Once I got to the back belt clip I could snap it into place and be good to go. It is not a rig you are going to be snapping on quickly when getting out of the car. The benefit is that you do not have to totally undo your belt or pants to don the holster. You also have the option of wearing it without a belt since the belt clips will snap onto a waistband. Although it may work, I would not recommend chasing a burglar down the block with the Shield clipped to your boxers.
Although the belt clips like to pivot when the holster is stowed in a bag, I did not experience any of the hardware loosening up.
As of this writing I have been using the Aegis Armory “Shield” for about a month. As Aegis Armory advertises, the Shield was comfortable right out of the box. It did not take any break in period to be able to use comfortably and to draw smoothly. It did take a little while for me to get used to the feel of the holster, but that is to be expected with anything you wear against your body on a daily basis.
I did appreciate the fact that the Shield stayed put during all manner of activities. Nothing is more telling to those watching, than adjusting your gun. The less you need to do this, the better off you will be. The design of the Shield holster spaces the belt clips wide on the waist. This helps prevent the forward/back shift that I have experienced with other IWB holsters.
Overall I am extremely happy with the Shield Holster. At the $55 starting price I feel it is a great value. This Shield is going to continue to protect me for some time.
For more information or to order, contact Aegis Armory: http://aegisarmory.us