Gear Review: Comp-Tac CTAC Holster

I had the pleasure of being introduced to the world of Comp-Tac through Karl Rehn at KR Training during the Defensive Pistol class I took there. Karl loaned me his M&P 9 and CTAC holster to use during the class and I was very impressed with both. Once I settled on starting my CHL life with the M&P 45C that Smith & Wesson loaned me, I called up Comp-Tac to get some holsters to review. Having used the CTAC during the class, I was curious to see how it would do as a carry rig . . .

This is an IWB holster meant for carry at the 4 o’clock position. It’s available for a large number of firearms and can be made in either right or left handed editions. You can also specify three types of belt clips in several colors to match your wardrobe. The CTAC is adjustable for cant and ride height by way of a screw, rubber grommet, and captured nut system. Made entirely of Kydex, I consider it to be a bit of a minimalist holster.

As you can see in the pictures, it covers all the necessary bits of your gun and attaches to your britches via two leather straps and clips. The primary advantage of the all-Kydex design is speed and oh baby is it fast. Faster than your high school girlfriend (or boyfriend, as the case may be). Faster than Usain Bolt. Faster than uh… you get the point right? Check out this video to see how easy the draw and re-holster are.

All of this speed and minimalism, though, come at the cost of comfort. I remember being sore after my KR class, but I chalked it up to improper fit or chronic noobness. I tried adjusting the CTAC every which way without much success. I could easily get it to conceal the M&P 45C, but I just couldn’t get comfortable, too.

The holster is primarily comprised of a long, hard piece of plastic. I’m bony in the hips and buttocks so immediately I had contact issues. I only used it for carry once on a trip to the grocery store and couldn’t wait to get back to exchange it for something more comfortable (in this case the MTAC, also from Comp-Tac).

Your mileage might vary, though, depending on your particular anatomy. For the fleshier folks among us, I don’t think you’ll have the same issues with Kydex on bone. For those with longer hips, I think you’ll have better luck as well. Unfortunately, iliac crest is close neighbors with my hip socket. I’ve always had to buy pants with a shorter crotch. As such, the CTAC rubbed me in all the wrong ways. If you are long of hip and/or carry more padding, this will probably work much better for you.

Your mileage might also vary depending on your planned usage. Walking around all day? Consider something different. Shooting an IDPA match this weekend? Buy. This. Holster. At the range, the CTAC absolutely shines. It easily conceals full size pistols and can be adjusted to ride higher allowing you to get a full grip on your pistol before you draw. And when you draw, your gun will slip right out.

As you re-holster, you’ll feel a positive click as the indents press in around the trigger guard, locking your gun in place. While this can’t be considered a true retention holster, take comfort knowing that it takes some vigorous, inverted shaking to dislodge a gun from this holster.

Looking back, I’m so glad this is the holster than Karl hooked me up with for DPS 1. I easily did three hundred draws in the span of four hours. Doing it out of a holster with any more friction than the CTAC would have left my arm the consistency of jelly.

Specifications:

  • Type: IWB 4 o’clock
  • Materials: Primarily Kydex utilizing leather for attachment
  • Adjustment: Adjustable for cant and ride height as well as belt size
  • MSRP: $80 – $90 depending on options

Ratings (out of five stars):

Fit and Finish * * * * *

All the Kydex seams were smooth, the hardware was top notch and the entire rig seemed of very solid construction. This is exactly what I expect of a company manufacturing goods in the great state of Texas.

Customization * * * * *

You have quite a few options when it comes to picking belt clips, colors, and adjusting the fit perfectly for your needs.

Comfort * * 1/2

Being a mostly skinny guy (6’, 180 lbs, 33 inch waist, 32 inch inseam), the CTAC was not comfortable. This is definitely due in part to the construction of the holster. There’s not too many ways to make a hard piece of plastic work with the human body comfortably. That said, I’m oddly shaped which certainly contributed.

Speed * * * * *

Like a greyhound out of the gate. When you want to go fast, pick the CTAC.

Overall Rating * * *

I don’t compete in IDPA so comfort is a primary concern for me. I’ll give it three stars simply for being so ruggedly functional and well-built. But for daily carry, it just is not comfortable enough.