To be honest, I can’t stand inside-the-waistband holsters. I’ve been using one for my new G43 for the last couple weeks, but that’s only because it’s the only holster I could find. Outside-the-waistband is much more comfortable, and a much more secure way of carrying a firearm in my opinion. A good Kydex holster on a rugged belt is the ideal situation. So when Squared Away Customs contacted me to review their latest creation — an OWB Kydex holster — how could I say no? . . .
Some holster companies (who shall remain nameless) crank them out by the truckload and have very limited options. Like the Model T, they come in any color as long as you want black, and you’ll take ’em the way they make ’em. With Squared Away Custom, the “custom” name isn’t just branding. You pick your gun, pick your material, and even pick the cant of the firearm in the holster (I went with my beloved FBI cant). Once they have all that info, they press a holster for you, and in about a month you’ve got a rig made to your own specifications.
Overall, the fit and finish is very good. There are no rough edges or sharp corners that could annoy you while carrying, and the construction feels very solid. The firearm (a GLOCK 19 in this case) snaps into place with authority and stays put even during some more strenuous activity.
Carrying a gun around in the Oscar, I really don’t have any complaints. The holster is a bit flapjack-esque in its size which can be a concealment issue, but there are inside-the-waistband options for those who are truly printing-averse. But while the Alpha may be big, it isn’t cumbersome. It feels very comfortable, even when seated and driving around.
Drawing from the holster is easy and effortless. Just keep tugging and the gun will eventually pop free. All that’s holding it in is some friction from a dimple inside the trigger guard in the holster, so as soon as you overcome that little resistance you’re good to go. It’s just enough resistance to keep the gun in place, but not enough to be a hindrance when you really need it. There’s also enough “give” in the holster to allow you to get your thumb around the grip for a good solid draw stroke, which is something that other holsters sometimes lack.
The Oscar is a good holster, but everyone with some modicum of plastics knowledge and an oven is making acceptable holsters these days. What makes the difference here is the custom touches. You get a holster to your exact specifications, made of good quality materials and fine craftsmanship, in a color and design of your choosing.
In addition to the usual fare, they make holsters with patterns ranging from ATACs to digicam to carbon fiber and even this Kryptec design. All 100% legal and licensed, even. And if your gun isn’t in their inventory, they’ll still do the leg work and make you a holster. That’s what you’re paying for, and why it costs a little more than a rig from one of the giant factories.
Specifications: Squared Away Customs Oscar Holster
Price: $69 (Free shipping on all orders)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Comfort: * * * * *
Easy to wear, and no sharp edges.
Concealment: * * *
It’s a bit large, but that’s still average for a Kydex paddle holster.
Overall: * * * *
The custom aspect is what gets that extra star. I’d love to see them slim down the design a bit, perhaps rounding off some of the corners, but otherwise it’s a good effort.