Gear Review: Dale Fricke Zacchaeus “Holster”

As I’ve been shopping for a tuckable inside the waistband holster (does it ever end?), I came across a fascinating little minimalist holster by Dale Fricke Holsters named the Zacchaeus.  More on the name later.  The price was certainly right ($15), so I figured why not give it a try? The Zacchaeus is simply a kydex trigger guard attached to a length of string. The pistol is carried gangsta style inside the belt – or wherever you want – and the Kydex trigger guard keeps you from killing yourself inadvertently. The string is attached to the belt and with the draw stroke, it jerks the Zach from the gun leaving the “holster” dangling from your belt.

I ordered direct from Fricke and the Zacchaeus arrived a couple of days later. Actually I was sort of confused when the box arrived because the majority of the space and weight inside the packaging was taken up by a handy-dandy, super-small with oh-so-tiny print complete English standard version of the Bible. That’s a first from a holster company for me. After digging a bit in the package, I found the even tinier, feather-weight  Zacchaeus holster.

Dale Fricke Holsters is, as you’ve probably guessed by now, an overtly Christian business. In addition to the unexpected holy book included with the holster order, all their holsters are named for various bad-asses from Bible stories.

Ehud:  Pulls a concealed sword with his left hand and buries the 18” blade to the handle in the obese King of Moab’s gut, then leads the army of Israel in killing ten thousand Moabites.  (Judges 3:15-30)

Joshua:  Leader of Israel after Moses who oversaw the conquering of Jericho and the holy land. (Book of Joshua)

Gideon: Leader of a small army of Israel that routed the Midianite hordes (Judges 7)

Eleazar: One of David’s “Mighty Men” who stood his ground when all around him fled and turned the tide of battle, killing Philistines until his hand froze to his sword. (2 Sam 23:9-10)

Joab:  One of king David’s main generals, a strong, cunning and completely ruthless fighter. He was famous for, among other things, drawing from concealment to assassinate his political opponents on two different occasions. (2 Sam 3:26-27, 20:8-10)

Get the picture?

Then we come to Zacchaeus.  He was famous for…well, being short. For those who didn’t go to Sunday School:  Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he….

As I usually do with a new holster, I cleared the chamber but kept a full magazine in for the weight while I tried it out for a few days.

The Zach snaps on to the trigger guard firmly and the fit is tight enough that the pistol can easily be suspended at the end of the cord without falling off. It takes a decidedly sharp jerk to remove the gun from the holster. This is a good thing, especially when a visit to the bathroom requires a pants-down posture. The pistol ends up dangling on the end of that string inside your pants.

The Zacchaeus can be used in any carry position. You just shuffle the placement of the pistol and the cant inside your belt until it feels right. I demo’d it in my usual 4:30 position, but I also took the time to try it in the appendix (AIWB) or 1:00 position, too. I was not at all experienced with appendix carry and I have to say it is comfy and easy to draw from. I thought the concealment was okay, but not great for me. I also found it somewhat disconcerting to constantly be muzzling my pubic bone, right testicle, femoral vessels and penis. Sure, guns don’t just go off, but the consequences of a negligent discharge in this area are much greater than getting shot in the ass or lateral thigh by a 3-4:30 position ND.

A good belt is still a necessity, both to secure the Zach and support the gun. I did not notice any tendency for the pistol to fall out, but the cant can self adjust while in the belt. With the pistol directly on my skin, I got a bit of irritation from the mag release poking into me. When I used an undershirt, I didn’t notice any discomfort at all.

When using the Zacchaues, FIRST: you attach the string to the belt in your desired position. I just used a little lark’s head loop around the belt. SECOND: attach the Zach to the gun. THIRD: Place the gun in your pants. FOURTH: Futz around with it a bit until you’ve achieved a state of comfort. The key point here is that you do not put the gun in the pants until the guard is securely fastened. I found there was adequate length on the cord to keep the muzzle in a safe direction while holstering.

Drawing requires a faster, firmer, higher, committed drawstroke to pop the Zach off the gun. The only thing irritating is that I definitely needed to exaggerate the upward lift of the gun while drawing to make sure it pops off. And this is harder to do from a 4:30 position than from an appendix position.

Placing the holster back on is a two handed job, and placing the pistol back into the belt requires extensive futzing until it is just so. Once in place, though, it doesn’t seem to move around much with a decent belt.

The Zach is tuckable, but even more futzworthy when using it in this manner. Tuckable holsters are all pretty much a pain in my experience, so this is really nothing new.

RATINGS (out of five stars)

Comfort * * *
Sort of depends on the pistol you carry. And where you carry it.

Retention * * *
Retention is fine until someone grabs your gun and runs away with it.  The holster will just release. If the pistol comes flying out of your belt it may also release. Or not. I did not test this.

Ease of Draw * * *
Slightly more difficult than a typical kydex holster, again depending on where you carry the gun.

Concealability * * * * *
This is this Zach’s super power.

Overall * * *
The Zach is very much a niche holster. It works well for what it is designed to do: trigger protection and minimalist carry. Not recommended if you care about body oil or sweat on your gun. Also not recommended if your gun has lots of sharp edges to dig into you. I measured my favorite Kydex Holster and found it adds two millimeters to the thickness of the weapon in my belt. Personally, I think that minimal extra thickness is worth it for a more stable platform, more predictable location, smoother draw, one handed re-holstering and increased comfort.