By CCW Guy
When I first started researching concealed carry options, I didn’t really think much about holsters. I have packed around a Colt 1911 in a Galco IWB holster for years in my home, but every other holster I had used was OWB and usually cordura or military surplus on a surplus web belt. So when I picked up my M&P Shield, I needed something to put it in so I immediately went with another Galco . . .
While comfortable to wear, it didn’t give me that warm fuzzy feeling of being “secure” — probably due to my inexperience. In addition, because I was nervous about retention, I tightened my belt to the point that when I drew the pistol the “mouth” of the holster collapsed and made re-holstering very difficult. What to do?
Many texts later with my guru gun buddy Darryl, and I was convinced to try the Comp-Tac Minotaur MTAC hybrid holster. The hybrid is a Kydex holster mounted on a cowhide leather backing. Ordering was straight forward and easy on their site, and the wait time was only a couple of days. They were running clearance specials on mag holders as well, so I picked up some extras for the Shield and my Glock 19.
When the Minotaur MTAC arrived I thought I had made a mistake. It’s a large piece of high quality thick leather. I ordered 1.5″ & 1.75″ clips and I first set it up for a 5.11 tactical operators belt. (My dress belt is 1.5″ for all my slacks.)
Setting the ride height to the 3rd set of screws down tucks the shield in tight and it virtually disappears under a t-shirt. Within an hour I hardly noticed the Minotaur. It began shaping itself to my body and becomes more comfortable each time I wore it…not that it started out uncomfortable to begin with.
The retention tension is adjustable with the Allen wrenches they provide and the M&P feels secure no matter what shape I contort my body into. (Did I mention I have 2 children who think I’m part of their play ground equipment?) The C clips fit snugly on the belt and I selected them because they’re a lot more discreet than the standard steel belt clips.
One of the great features of the MTAC is that you can change out the Kydex part of the holster to carry another gun with the same rig. Extra Kydex shells run about $38.
I mentioned above that I had bought a used Kydex shell for my Glock from a friend who turned me on to the Comp-Tac products. When I first mounted the Glock shell there was a slight mis-alignment of about an 1/8” on one screw. While the Glock still felt nice and tight, I contacted Comp-Tac to see if this was an issue or just me. They requested I send some pictures of what was going on and in full disclosure I told them I bought the Glock Kydex used from a friend. In hours after having the pictures they sent me the following:
Back in April – September of 2010, we went through a generation change due to design flaws in the older leather backings. Basically, they were smaller and we were getting customer reports of larger handguns (1911 5” mainly) hitting the mag release on their leather backing. We went through an immediate design change in our leather backing to rectify this, notifying our customers about it as well to offer them a discount on an exchange. A side effect of this is there are older kydex bodies out there that won’t fit our current backings, and older leather backings out there that won’t fit our newer kydex bodies. This is the only time we have changed our leather backing, and the only time we expect to have to in the foreseeable future.
They went on to offer me a discount on a new Kydex body for the Glock that properly fits the Minotaur system…even though I didn’t buy it directly from them. Excellent customer service in my book.
While I don’t have a traditional Kydex holster to compare the Minotaur to, drawing and re-holstering is slick and quick, although I occasionally come up with little Kydex residue on the Shield. Bottom line: save your money, talk to friends who conceal carry, check out TTAG or other no-BS sites and make an informed purchase. And if you pull the trigger on a Comp-Tac carry rig, you won’t be disappointed.
Features: Behind the hip
Adjustable Ride Depth
Interchangeable Spare Bodies (Kydex Shells for other guns)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit and Finish * * * * *
The leather is thick with a high quality, deep chestnut finish. Kydex is well shaped and fits perfectly. Stitching seems ample and durable as well. The hardware is very nice and even comes with the required Allen wrench to make all adjustments.
Customization * * * ½
You can customize some things while ordering from the factory (color, left/right side and clip style) once it arrives you can then adjust ride height and tension…again with the supplied Allen wrench. Be sure to check out their mag carriers as well. I bought Kydex for the Glock and leather for the Shield.
Concealability * * * * 1/2
I’m amazed at how well this holster conceals. It smooths out the lines on your clothing and virtually disappears. Setting the ride height allows the user to fine tune the look and access level as well. Take your time and you’ll be pleased with the results.
Comfort * * * * *
I found the Minotaur to be extremely comfortable. The M&P Shield disappears and even when toting my Glock 19, I can’t get over how comfortable it feels. The width of the leather distributes the weight and the thickness of the leather gives it a nice soft feel. The whole rig loaded pulls in snug to the body and I never feel like its pulling to the outside like some other holsters. Clips are perfectly tight on both of my belts and I’ve found the 3-4 o’clock position works the best for my size.
Overall product rating * * * * 1/2
A great product from a company with fantastic customer service. ‘Nuff said.