All outside the waistband Kydex holsters are pretty much the same, right? Some thermoplastic, a little judiciously applied heat, a few rivets, and voila! You’ve got yerself a carry rig. Only there’s a little more that goes into putting one together than that. Factors like ride height, cant, shaping and finishing are the details where the devil lives. Get ’em wrong and you end up with an uncomfortable thing hanging from your hip that advertises you’re carrying and inhibits a clean draw. Get ’em right and you’ve got a piece of gear that lets you effortlessly keep your gun at your side morning, noon and night. The people at GunfightersINC seem to be well aware of all that . . .
My review sample was made for the new FNS-9 Compact. The Ronin is nicely molded, hugging the pistol firmly and securely. You can hold the your rig upside down without any worry of gravity overcoming your gat.
The design is about as slim as an OWB Kydex rig can be, with an adequate sweat shield to protect the gun and prevent chafing should you like to carry in the summer against bare skin.
The Ronin is nicely contoured to hug your hip just so, keeping things snugly against your body. That, along with a forward cant of (about) ten degrees makes for minimal printing potential.
The overall fit and finish are excellent. All edges are nicely rounded to prevent marring of your gun or your belt.
A nice little extra that I particularly appreciate are the strips of friction tape – probably skateboard tape – that are added to the inside of the belt loops. This keeps the Ronin from migrating on its own around your hip as you move about your day. But if you decide to reposition it, it just takes a determined push or pull to move if from, say 3:00 to the 5:00 position.
Probably the best aspect of the Ronin, though, is how snugly it conforms to your form. Even a double stack pistol like the FNS-9 Compact is barely noticeable under a cover garment or untucked shirt. Yet the pistol is positioned so that you can still get a good initial grip on the draw.
Where the Ronin really shines is in the comfort department. Okay, most OWB holsters are, by their nature, easy to carry. My experience, though, is that the Ronin was surprisingly easy on hip, even compared to other OWB options out there.
When combined with a proper gun belt, I found it most comfortable when worn with a pair of “tactical” cargo pants (I tried it with BLACKHAWK! and 5.11 pants) with a a slightly higher waist. All-day wear couldn’t have been easier, even with my pear-shaped form. With a lower-waisted pair of jeans it was slightly more noticeable, but still extremely easy to manage and conceal from dawn to dusk.
GunfightersINC offers the Ronin in a variety of stylish color and pattern options. Being a traditionalist, I tend to stick with basic black as it goes with most of my purses and shoes. But if you fancy one of their more exotic offerings, just email them.
In short, it’s hard to imagine an OWB Kydex rig performing better than the Ronin has for me with the FNS-9C. I also gave it a go with the gun’s extended 16-round mag to simulate a full-size pistol and was just as happy (though concealment’s a little more of a challenge). The Ronin compares very favorably in both comfort and concealability to those from the best competitors in the market. You won’t be disappointed.
Weight: 3.7 oz.
Price: $80 ($85 in carbon fiber finish) at amazon.com
Ratings (out of five stars):
Comfort: * * * * *
Absolutely one of the most comfortable holsters I’ve ever owned. Makes toting a double stack nine all day as easy as Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office.
Concealment: * * * * *
The Ronin keeps the FNS nice and snug against my bod making for optimal concealment. With an untucked shirt or light jacket for cover, no one will ever know you’re packing 12+1.
Value: * * * *
Not cheap. Then again good gear never is. But the Ronin’s price is right there with other top notch rigs (Comp-Tac, Raven Concealment, etc.) of the same type and quality.
Overall: * * * * *
No OWB holster conceals as well as in IWB rig. But you know that. Still, some people (*cough* RF *cough*) are naturally IWB averse. They just can’t abide operating on a daily basis with something between their Calvin Kleins and their jeans. If you’re one of those and you’re willing to sacrifice some stealth for supreme comfort, the Ronin is as good as an OWB rig gets.