Texas is not an open carry state, something that I’m told just might change in the next legislative session. And frankly, it sucks just a touch. Because OWB OC is soooo much more comfortable. And goshdarnit, if you’re going to spend an amount of money equal to the downpayment on an affordable car for guns, ammo, training, licensing and a holster, you should be able to show off the goods. Oh sure, a nickel plated 1911 in a horsehide holster seems to be the first thing that comes to mind, but a true operator knows better. Operators who are truly operating
want need Kydex. And if you’re truly operating, you need a BIG Kydex holster hanging off of your hip. Boys and girls, NorCal Kydex has that holster for you. Meet the Mendocino Modular OWB/IWB, a convertible holster for your piece of choice . . .
Eerily similar to the Raven Concealment Phantom OWB, the Mendocino sports a similar look and feel, but is priced at a very affordable $50. That’s a full $30 less than Raven’s holster, which could buy you an extra box of premium self defense ammo. And in this economy, it is much appreciated. But sometimes, less expensive means cheap. And cheap means crappy quality. Rest assured though. I’m happy to report that the Mendocino is a very well built holster that feels like a high end piece of gear without the associated price tag.
I originally wanted something like the MM for an upcoming biathlon that will require a secure holster. Since it is a biathlon, and there are no rules on the gear you can run, my RDS equipped M&P seemed like the natural fit. This is unrelated to a holster review, but my theory is that while dehydrated with my heart racing, putting a red dot on a target will be easier to handle than lining up irons. We’ll see if I’m right. Along those lines, I feel a biathlon holster needs to be comfortable, compatible with my gear, and capable of retaining my pistol whilst running (and probably falling).
Again, the MM passes with flying colors. Retention is quite secure, but does not inhibit a smooth draw. Reholstering is met with a very positive and audible click. I was unable to dislodge my M&P with vigorous exercise including a few jumping jacks. I’m confident that it will be more than adequate for a run across the desert in September.
I was actually surprised by how slim the MM is. Chalk that up that to the thin Kydex shell, and ever so slight curvature. It seems to really tuck my M&P in close which prevents cover garments from binding up during the draw or in EDC use. One drawback to the ultra secure mounting arrangement is that you have thread your belt through the clips, which are completely closed. For something like a 3 gun competition or a biathlon, or even EDC in a place where you never have to remove your gun, that’s fine. But if you’re a guy like me who has to disarm regularly for workplace regulations or frequent visits to the post office, removing your gun and leaving an empty holster can be a pain in the rear.
Specifications: Mendocino Modular OWB/IWB
- Type: Strongside 3/4 O’Clock OWB convertible to IWB
- Cant: Straight and 10 degree forward
- Belt Clip: Standard, Pancake, and Pull the Dot
- Color: Black, Coyote Brown, OD Green, Storm Gray, Carbon Fiber, Arctic White, Blood Red Carbon Fiber
- Price: $50 (optional features extra)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit, Finish, Feel: * * * *
Much like the AIWB holster I reviewed from NorCal, I was pleasantly surprised by how well put together this holster is. Ori does great Kydex work and it shows in how well my M&P fits and stays put. My only real complaint is the belt clips which require you to remove your belt to remove the holster. It keeps cost down, I’m sure, but it kind of takes away from the overall package for those that have to disarm regularly.
Comfort: * * * *
OWB has always been quite comfortable for me, and this holster is no different. NorCal claims that you can use this for IWB as well, and while I shoved it down in my pants to say I did it, I never carried like that because hard Kydex and my bony hips have never gotten along well.
Concealability: * * * * *
I’ll give it the MM, it actually does a good job of keeping a very full sized pistol tucked in close. With an appropriately long shirt, I had no problem concealing a full sized M&P comfortably. For those that open carry, this is a very nice option.
Overall: * * * *
I think this will be a fine holster for my intended biathlon usage. I don’t EDC my M&P because I don’t trust a red dot with my life, but if I ran an iron sights M&P, I’d happily use this holster for a day out on the town where I didn’t need to take it off and put it back on multiple times. It keeps my pistol tucked in close, and holds it very securely.