Gear Review: Tango-7 Tactical Holsters

coyoteblack for Glock 192332

What do most concealed carriers want? A custom hybrid holster without the custom price. Unlike many states that allow open carry, California, among others, is all about keeping it on the down low. We fret and fear unnaturally about printing and even leave our regular carry guns at home in the heat of summer to keep from getting the smackdown from Johnny Law. I personally hate compact pistols. Go ahead and unleash the hounds on me, it is what it is. They don’t feel right in my hand and I prefer a full frame, larger caliber gun. I like to have confidence in what I’m carrying and a pocket pistol built on a compact frame just doesn’t do it. That’s where Tango-7 Tactical came to the rescue for me . . .

Now I can carry a full-sized M&P .40 with shorts and a T-Shirt without fear of printing. Because I too have the middle aged spread thing going on, I wear belts with my shorts, so it works as advertised in keeping me on the right side of the law.

Tango-7 actually makes a variety of designs, but for this test we got two. I got the patriot for my M&P and my partner in crime, Trish “Boom Boom” Mancini, got the ever-so-fashionable Declaration (with Swarovski Crystal) from Tango-7’s sister site, Well Dressed Guns, for her GLOCK 19. If you want to spice up your concealed carry fashion sense, the ladies have a few more options in the Kydex department. Besides colored Kydex, they also have three different designs featuring crystalline bling.

blackblack range holster with crystals for glock 192332 with plastic demo gun

This was one of the first inside-the-waistband hybrid holsters I’ve owned. I’ve played around with some others, but this was the first one I planned to wear everywhere. The only time I expected to take it off was when I went to sleep or was otherwise unable to carry. As for comfort, the holster felt great. Despite the middle-age spread thing I have going on, it didn’t rub me the wrong way anywhere and I never experienced my heater digging into my skin. As the humidity and heat rose in the central valley, I experienced some sweat buildup, but at the time I was wearing jeans and a shirt working with horses, so I was sweating plenty anyway.

glock 19 holster being worn

For those of you who have custom grips, no worries. The Patriot’s leather backing covers much of the grip area. This will prevent you from looking like you have a nasty case of the shingles, and you can be confident in your daily carry. The forward cant is an aggressive 25 degrees for a three o’clock carry. Most other manufacturers run more in the neighborhood of about 15 degrees, but that forward angle helps keep larger pistols from printing. Adjusting the Patriot’s belt clips will allow you to customize the cant for maximum comfort.

At first glance Trish was a little worried that the Declaration would sit a little high on her short frame, thus making it uncomfortable. I’m happy to report that wasn’t an issue and she loved how it felt during her action pistol competition. Retention was good and she felt really confident in how it sat. One minor complaint: she wears a wide 2-inch belt rather than a more typical 1 3/4-incher. That won’t work with the Declaration’s clips so she had to do some retail therapy to get a thinner belt. I won’t tell her that the IDPA rules call for a 1 3/4 inch belt if you don’t.

Mark Cohen from Tango-7 tells me this small family-run business really is making custom holsters. When you order, they build it for you. You can even get adjustment on retention strength, or other design changes. I asked Mark about the thickness of the Kydex. Thicker, the said, does not always mean better. Mark stated that their Kydex is a little thinner than some mass-produced holsters because it gives them a quality mold with better retention than the other guys. The strength is still there, though, so no cracking issues. Their leather isn’t quite as thick either. The reality is that we are all shaped a little different and having a supple leather backing to conform to you makes it that much more comfortable.

carry_not carryAnd these aren’t bargain basement rigs. Their general rule is to stay under $100 dollars so that most can afford them. I look at it this way: it’s like buying a good pair of boots. My Luccheses were a splurge but worth every penny in the long run. If you are wearing it daily, and it needs to fit and work right, then it is worth a little more. For those of you who are present or past military or law enforcement, Tango-7 offer a 10% discount. Just give them a call for the discount code.

While Trish and I had no issues with quality, I got call from Mark saying they had received a single report of rivet failures. Based on this they jumped into action and replaced the rivets for all the customers with those same rivets. This was a company taking action on a single user issue. That’s not something you hear about every day. Within a day I got an empty box in the mail to ship mine back for repair. Customer service gets an A+ in my book.

brownnatural with copper screws and crystals with 1911

Bottom line: if you have a special gun or a special request, give them a call. These really are custom holsters and if there is something you want that’s specialized or out of the ordinary, they can make it happen. Their quality, fit and finish are good. These are standard practical holsters designed for comfort and concealability. Being practical is not a bad thing. They have a job to do and they do them well using quality traditional materials.

Ratings (out of five stars):

Comfort: * * * * *
No pinching, rubbing or nasty metal bits digging into you. That’s very much a good thing. I also drive almost four hours a day. Being comfortable while sitting is a big issue, and the Tango-7 performed admirably. Not having my M&P’s super-grippy grip biting into my side was a welcome addition. Or subtraction.

Value: * * * *
Not a bargain basement holster. This is a quality custom holster for a decent price made by a family-run business in America.

Concealability: * * * * *
An IWB that hugs you tighter than an Israeli super model will…in your dreams.

Overall: * * * *
While the cant of the pistol may require a little practice on the draw and re-holster, the holster works just as advertised. The quality is there and the interaction and friendly folks make it more like family and not some big company.

comments

  1. avatar Rokurota says:

    Thanks for the review, Daniel. I am in the market for a good hybrid holster for my subcompact 9mm. I’m sure these are great, and I agree that $100 is not too expensive for a great holster. The trouble is what works for one person doesn’t work for the next, and $100 is a lot of money to try something out. Plus, they don’t make one for my much-ignored SIG P290.

    1. avatar SigGuy says:

      Just got a White Hat custom hybrid in horsehide for my Kahr CM9. Works perfectly and was 60 bucks shipped. They make one for the 290 as well. http://www.whitehatholsters.com/basemax-natural-horsehide/

      1. avatar james says:

        Also try old faithful holsters. You can get a kit to put together yourself for under $50 everything is pretty much adjustable and very comfortable. I have one for my p226 mk25 and it feels great as well as keeps the gun from printing. Even in a light shirt. Might take a few days to break in and a few adjustments to get it just right. But definitely the best holster I have owned.

      2. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        I have also been rocking a White Hat for a couple of years now and love it. I especially like that I can replace the kydex section for $20 and use the same leather backing. I have a kydex piece for my CZ SP-01, H&K P7, Beretta Nano, and Glock 20. You can’t beat the quality, price, or modularity of the White Hat.

    2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      Try giving them a call. They are adding to their line continually.

      1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        I just might, I didn’t see any CZ products listed, and Crossbreed isn’t about to support CZ-97B anytime soon if my last call to them is any indication..

        1. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

          I would give them a holler for sure.

        2. avatar Jay In Florida says:

          Use a holster for a G23 or EAA Witness Compact and a hot air gun if you have too. To change the trigger guard pattern. Kydex is obviously pretty moldable. I make small changes to all my K-Holsters. With Jimmys blessings.

    3. avatar chuck bobuck says:

      When crossbreed came out with these a couple of years ago I began researching them on the internet. If you search youtube you will find several videos of how to make them yourself at home. I was suprised at how easy it is to make these for around $20 in materials. I bought some leather and rivets from Tandy leather and the Kydex from knifekits. With a little practice I was able to make a custom holster for a Taurus PT145 with a TRL-4 laser/light attached to the rail. If you have any mechanical/crafting ability you would be crazy to not try making a couple.

    4. Just wanted to let you know that we can make any of our Tango-7 or Well-Dressed Guns holsters for the Sig P290. Give us a call or an email and we can walk you through our special order process.

      Also, I know it’s a lot of money for a holster you are not sure will work well for you. While I can’t say that you won’t be able to find another brand of holster that also works well for you, I can say with confidence that you won’t find another hybrid IWB Holster that you like better. Please take a look at our refund policy: http://tango7tactical.com/refund
      If you don’t like the holster you can return it! I hope that this takes some of the risk out of such an important purchasing decision.

      Thanks,
      Mark Cohen

  2. avatar dleavitt says:

    Nearly $100? No thanks.

  3. avatar Paul53 says:

    Nice holsters, but it seems there are a lot similar on the market, all under $100, and customizable, unless I’m missing something here.

    1. avatar Paul53 says:

      My biggest concern is that they don’t leave room for sights taller than stock. The holsters are much less expensive than having an expensive front sight ripped off.

      1. avatar Jay In Florida says:

        Hot air gun and a stick works wonders for a tall sight.

    2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      If you have taller sites they should be able to adjust for that.
      Also custom meaning what ever you want it to mean, it goes beyond just retention grip, angle etc.
      If you want something done, ask..

  4. avatar George says:

    Another nice version of this style made popular by Crossbreed is Old Faithful (http://oldfaithfulholsters.com/).

    You can get the assemble-them-yourself version for a good price.

  5. avatar Max says:

    Take a close at these guys http://www.kholster.com/ I own 2 of their holsters, they run $40 and have more cant options than the one listed in the post. I’ve had mine going on 2 years now and they are every bit as comfortable as Daniel describes. Their customer service is also tops!

    1. avatar Jay In Florida says:

      I own 4 of them #1 in my book.

  6. avatar KCK says:

    Pictures of carrying and not? Seems like he was “carrying” a bit too much in both.

    (couldn’t help that one)

    1. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      LMAO yeah well I like to eat, what can I say.. 🙂

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Daniel, do you normally carry like that, shirt tucked in? Seems to me it adds an awful couple seconds to draw time when fractions of a second could count. I don’t like a tee tucked in, anyway, but I’d sure hesitate to tuck it in over a carry piece.

        1. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

          Usually short out, however…
          Bending over to pick something up, or you know working, not just standing around, any extreme movement could flash a bit of what you are carrying which can be a no no. Of course in winter it is easy, just wear a jacket, but summer is another world. Of course the central valley, it might as well be on the dang sun!

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          Thanks for the explanation. Yeah, it must be hot there. When did things change from calling it the “San Fernando Valley” (which I heard all my life until maybe ten years ago), into calling it the “Central Valley”, and why? It’s puzzled me for a while.

          Here in Virginia and much of the Middle Atlantic, we’ve had a few hot spells, but overall, I’m pretty sure it’s the coolest summer I’ve experienced in 65 years. I’m sure the actual figures won’t be in for some while, but it’s been pleasantly cool and abnormally cloudy. My one cayenne pepper plant has topped out at about a foot from lack of sunlight, and is blooming. Harbinger of a coming Ice Age?

        3. avatar Leadbelly says:

          Hawaiian shirts – that’s the ticket!

        4. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

          We moved from the Bay Area a couple of years ago. Tracy is up north near Sacramento, San Fernando is down south. Then again I always called down south the porn capital of the world lol

          Yeah my habanero pepper plants need the sun. Then again where we are is hey, alfalfa and beans. Almonds as well.

          If I wasn’t so fearful of printing I probably wouldn’t care. If we had open carry all would be right with the world, but unfortunately it isn’t so.

  7. avatar Rokurota says:

    Another one I’ve seen (I don’t own one, so I can’t vouch): http://www.vedderholsters.com/comforttuck/

    I tried a Galco King Tuk and I hated it — after a few instances of putting it on and taking it off, I began to sympathize with 19th century women in their whalebone corsets. Soured me on hybrids for a long time.

    So Robert, do I sense another article in the works?

  8. avatar KCK says:

    No complaint on quality at all but The Crossbreed hybrid holster I ordered May 21 was delivered on Aug 11.
    This tells me that with all the ccw going on the demand has opened the door for a bunch of new makers

  9. avatar rabbi says:

    This holster blocks the hand from getting a complete grip on the gun while in the holster. The only way to do grip it is to slide your thumb between the gun and the holster and push your fingers between it and the gun. This dramatically complicates and slows down the draw. Poor design.

    1. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      This is a trade off between draw ease and also not printing. Free states don’t care, CA however it is something to bare in mind. Also the protection against your skin, unless you ware an undershirt is a bonus as well.
      Like I said, unless you can open carry, nothing is perfect, but this worked better than expected for me.

      1. avatar rabbi says:

        The offending piece of leather does nothing to increase concealment. A proper body protection design that allows a full, complete grip, will keep the slide and frame from rubbing the skin. A t-shirt certainly offers protection from rubbing as well.

        There are lots of properly designed holsters–even designs similar to the one you wrote about–that offer the same concealment without impeding the draw.

        1. avatar Fred says:

          You can cut away the material around the grip or Crossbreed will do it for you. They call it the “combat cut”. That makes it no different than most other holsters, although the leather isn’t really in the way for me, I can get my thumb in there. The leather moves toward the body and the kydex portion flexes outward allowing a full grip. The only problem may be if you’re comparing IWB to OWB where the grip has some gap from the body.

        2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

          While I do see the concern here, it really wasn’t an issue for me.
          I am sure if you wanted it trimmed differently they can do that as well. The extra material is to protect you from the grip. Particularly if you have a grip job which could really cause a nasty rash.

      2. avatar Leadbelly says:

        That skin guard thingy works better with the rounded grip of a revolver.

  10. avatar WA_2A says:

    “Tango-7 actually makes a variety of designs, but for this test we got two”

    I guess you could say it takes…

    *puts on sunglasses*

    Two to tango.

    1. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      LOL Well yes we did get one for the girls and one for the guys.

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        How did you get a ccw in California? Apparently they’re impossible to get in San Diego County.

  11. avatar Phil says:

    One word — Comp-Tac

  12. avatar B says:

    I have 2 Theis kydex hybrid holsters, for my Witness P and my Sig C3 1911. Really like them, got both with kydex belt clips and horsehide backing. Would wholeheartedly recommend them.

  13. avatar richard says:

    stickin with crossbreed, thanks though

  14. avatar LCB says:

    Another “yeah vote” for Crossbreed!

  15. avatar Jay In Florida says:

    While not a plug for the company here goes.
    Im a 220lber on a good day with more then a bit of spread in the middle. Yah I gots me a pot belly and wear a 3XXX T shirt.
    I use K-Holsters..
    Some say they copied Cross Breed ……….I don’t know who came first.
    Doesn’t matter to me.
    They fit or you can cut away what you don’t want.
    Their IWBs suit me to a tee. From my Hi-Power to my little Sig P238.
    I can carry any gun for 20 hours comfortably.
    These hybrid holsters from several manufactures are basically all the same.
    Somebody goofed guys.
    They didn’t or couldn’t patent them.
    So use whos you like.
    They are all good and this is coming from a guy who used Custom makers(Kramer & Rosens) IWB that cost $125 or more for over 20 years.
    Hybrids are a good thing in my book.

  16. avatar Ken Hagler says:

    What I’d really like is a hybrid holster with adjustable retention. I’ve found that they tend towards “might fall out while running to catch a bus” or “the whole holster will come off your belt before you get the gun loose from it,” with not too many in between. That said, I’m currently using a Harwell Holster model for my CZ-75.

    A cautionary note: that piece of leather that sticks up tends to curl outwards at the top after you wear one of these for a week or two (depending on exactly how thick the leather is). If you’ve got a Glock or similar no-safety gun, exercise extreme caution while holstering so it doesn’t catch the trigger.

  17. avatar Texas Deputy says:

    As do most pistol shooters, I have a large box full of “good idea” holsters that just did not make the grade. For a variety of reasons, I have to carry IWB when off duty, and have used holsters of various designs from about half-dozen makers, including most of those mentioned above.

    Generally I like these designs EXCEPT for the belt clip. Most have a “K” shaped belt clip where the bottom (outside) edge of the steel clip is turned OUTWARD. This makes putting the clip on the belt easier, except that it is very possible (personally happened to me!) that the edge of the belt clip can snag on the upholstery of a car when sliding in or out of the seat! I made about a 4″ rip with that type of belt clip. I have tried plastic coating (dip) or tape coating the protruding sharp edge of the “K” belt clip with no major improvement. I will no longer purchase any IWB holster that has this type of belt clip.

    Before I place an order for a new IWB holster (except for the clip-less “Remora” and similar competitors) I explicitly ask if they have any reverse “J” belt clips like High Noon uses (very secure and almost invisible with a wide black belt), or “C” type belt clips (almost invisible, but are securely attached on the top and bottom edge of the belt, with minimal clip visible), such as those optionally available from Comp-Tac. So far, very few holster makers have the alternative belt clips that I prefer, which effectively limits my choices. Primarily due to the superior belt clip, my currently preferred IWB holsters are mostly from High Noon.

  18. avatar RyanJ says:

    I’ve been wearing my vedder comfort tuck for a few months now. Same quality as my old crossbreeds yet cheaper and faster ship times.

    http://www.vedderholsters.com

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