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I’m fortunate to have a number of choices for holstering my most-carried pistol — a GLOCK 43. With comfort being my highest priority, I invariably tend toward the smallest, lightest option available. For the last eight-plus months, that’s been the Lenwood Specter IWB Kydex holster. As you can guess from the length of this “test,” I’m a fan. First, though, apologies to the people at Lenwood . .

I try to photograph review gear when it’s NIB (new in box) to show the item in its best light. When they sent the Specter, though, I started using it right away, hence the holster’s scuffs and wear marks. Suffice it to say they were well-earned.

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The Specter provides two choices of ride height. You probably won’t want to place the clip in its upper-most position. While it’s the best setting for the most covert carry, the holster and gun ride lower than the Gypsy Rose. Set to the low carry position, it’s hard to retrieve your gun from the Specter quickly and assume a good grip. That’s no bueno in a self-defense situation.

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The Specter’s higher carry position maintains your mohaska at just the right height for quick retrieval while keeping your firearm well concealed. There’s plenty of room to assume a good grip should you have to clear leather Kydex.

If you keep the holster in the higher position for an optimal draw, you’ll probably want to cut the lower unused portion of the clip off so it doesn’t protrude below the bottom of the shell. I’m sure I’ll get around to that some day.

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The Specter’s fully ambidextrous. There aren’t any southpaws on TTAG’s team, but if you use the Devil’s hand to shoot, move the clip to the other side of the Kydex shell and you’re good to stow.

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Retention strength’s adjustable with a turn or two of a Phillips head screwdriver. That compresses the rubber gaskets sandwiched between the Kydex to snug your gun just the way you like it. Lenwood also offers 12 color options to compliment your favorite shoes and handbag.

Because of the Specter’s minimalist, ambidextrous design, you can wear the holster in any position that involves a belt. Since I like to sit down occasionally, I’m not one for appendix carry. If you tote that way, though, the Specter should work beautifully.

Cross-draw? 3:00? 4:09? 5:17? It’s all good. If you flip the clip to the other side, you could probably make small-of-the-back carry work, though I share the opinion that the danger of falling on your gun and injuring your spine outweighs back carry’s concealment advantages.

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When you want to carry on the downiest of down lows, the Specter’s tuckable. I carry it that way frequently and no one’s the wiser.

Lenwood sent their Hybrid Belt along with the holster. I can attest that yes, you really can stand on one. The well-made polyester-backed cowhide belt is uber-thick and tough as year-old beef jerky. It will comfortably support the heaviest of heaters.

A great gun deserves a great holster. The Lenwood Specter qualifies.

SPECIFICATIONS
(measurements are for the GLOCK 43 model)

Height: (shell only) 4.25″
Width: 3.75″
Depth: (shell only) 1.125″
Weight: 2.4 oz.
Colors: Typhon, as reviewed (eleven other options)
Price: $55

Ratings (out of five stars):

Comfort: * * * * *
Fuggedaboutit. Actually, you will. With the right pistol on a good belt, you’ll forget you’re strapped. Until you don’t.

Concealability: * * * * *
With its minimalist design carrying a slim single stack pistol (maybe even tucked), it disappears.

Value: * * *
At $55, it’s not cheap, but it’s a worthwhile investment.

Overall: * * * * *
Lightweight, flexible, concealable, and not unreasonably expensive. What’s not to love?

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35 Responses to Gear Review: Lenwood Specter IWB Holster

  1. I’ve never had good fortune with single-clip holsters; they always tended to shift position and tilt on my (rather thick but not official “gunslinger”) belt. Based on your positive review, may I presume your pistol stays where you originally placed it, regardless of how many times you stand up and sit down?

  2. I think $55 is dirt cheap for a decent holster. Looking for one for that FNX-Tactical. Maybe these guys are the ticket. It’s hard to get me away from leather though.

    • Ditto, I gave up on trying to carry my FNX 45 because I was having trouble finding holsters for it that fit comfortably and did a halfway decent job of concealing the tumors… Err I mean magazine base plates.

      I really like the holsters with the felt/fuzz overmold, doesn’t look like these guys make one for the big FN though. Dan, do you know if they are willing/able to expand their available pistols?

  3. I dare you to actually use the holster as a lefty.

    Look at where the plastic belt “p” clip sits. If you flip the belt clip around to work for a lefty, its hits exactly where the mag release is. So it means ANY pressure from the belt clip will eject your magazine. I had this exact same issue with the Veil Solutions Ghost IWB. While I applaud all the great folks out there doing some spectacular and innovative holster designs, very few of these folks actually test their designs before they announce “it’s ambidextrous!” This is a major fail for a $55 holster and one that should send the Lenwood Specter back to the drawing board (if it plans on being all things to all-handed shooters) or should force them to actually post that this product IS NOT ambi and “hey, we’ve got another product or something in the works for lefties”.

    • Looks like it might also pop the magazine release on pistols with an ambidextrous release like the Springfield XD and XDm (which have a button that can be pushed from either side).

      • No. It’s much easier for us southpaws to use the index or middle finger on our left hands to run the mag release. Also, Glocks don’t have ambi mag release capabilities out of the box and those that can be modified require the use of GEN4 Glock magazines as those are the only ones to have the proper cuts on the mag to handle the swapped mag release.

        But this is besides the point. This is a holster manufacturer (and by no means the only one) that touts ambidextrous use of their holster when it’s a liability to a lefty. Lack of testing and a desire to maximize profits by selling to any and all can create a potentially dangerous situation for any southpaw that would employ this holster. As a sinister individual, I’m sure this is much the same way women feel when an industry tries to sell to them with the old “shrink it and pink it”. At $55 (or $85 or any cost) this leads to a lot of lost time, money and wheel-spinning as the customer is forced to “function test” a product that’s sold as “ambi” and is in actuality no such thing. /rant

        • As a left-hander, I’ve struggled for years to find holsters that dont cause my mags to pop out. A couple of years ago, I stumbled into the Don Hume H-715 line. They’re a quality leather IWB design that does not put pressure on the mag release button. As a bonus, the one I bought for my dearly departed Kahr CM-9 also fits my Para Elite Carry 3″ 1911, and my Glock 43 perfectly. I’ve also got one for my Glock 19 that fits my Glock 30s.
          All were under 30 bucks at Grabagun. I’m not knocking this holster, haven’t tried Kydex yet. Just trying to help out the other lefties who visit this site.

    • @OODAloop

      Great catch! Honestly, this is an older design. We’ve made adjustments on the clip placement to help fix the issue you mentioned in your comment. It’s a balancing act to seat the pistol in the right place without making sacrifices in other places but I believe the latest designs walk that line quite well.

      With all our holsters, if anyone has an issue like this I’m always happy to work with them to get the design where it needs to be to work for them.

      Thanks!

      j

    • As someone who actually assisted in the development and design in these holsters I have to laugh at all the keyboard weapon experts here trying to tear apart a holster they have never seen or wore on person. I think the author (I have no clue who he is) did a good job at the evaluation. Eight months of use and he didn’t have the mag come out but some jackwaggon sitting behind his keyboard can tell that it will happen. Go support made in China crap holsters that save you a few dollars. You may not need a lot of quality while sitting at home to protect you while playing Call of Duty. These are made one at a time, in the U.S. buy guys that actually care about working to put out the best product they can. Ok, back to work! Keep making the best there is Lenwood and I’ll keep putting my weapons in your holsters!

  4. I hate plastic against my skin. Comfort Holsters make a nice single clip with fabric on the body side that is quite comfortable.

    • @Col potter
      I don’t mind the plastic against me but I know it bothers a lot of folks. That’s why we offer a suede draped option. We are currently testing a felt wrapped option too. I hope to make it available in the next couple of months.

      Thanks!

      j

    • comfort is now clinger. it appears they’ve gone full kydex and placed the comfort and gel products on the back burner.
      faster, easier money to be made…

  5. How would the clip work with a thinner nylon belt like the 5.11 TDU 1.75-Inch Belt? I prefer a continuously adjustable buckle to perfectly match my current state of engorgement (I’m referring to my waist circumference).

    • @CZ Peasy
      We have quite a few guys who use this holster on webbing style of belts without complaint so I think you would think it would work great for you. However, if you get one and it doesn’t work the way you want, just let me know and I’ll take care of you.

      Thanks!

      j

    • @Charlie R
      We use .08 Kydex on our holsters. I’ve tested a lot of thicknesses and have concluded that .08 offers the perfect balance of added thickness to the gun, retention, and durability.

      Hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      j

  6. Another kydex company? They’re like AR manufacturer’s these days, everybody’s doing it. Identical products from dozens of companies.

    • @The Dude Abides
      I hear you. It’s great though that there are so many options for the consumer to get exactly what they are looking for. The free market at work! However, not all Kydex holsters are created equally.

      Honestly, my life would of been simpler if I had been able to find what I was looking for on the market 8-10 years ago… But I couldn’t so I started down this rabbit hole.

      Thanks!

      j

    • Yeah, those guys are making some great holsters. That’s a solid recommendation.

      Honestly, it’s important to me that folks use quality gear. If that’s from me then that’s great, if it’s from another quality maker, I’m happy with that too.

  7. $55 for a tiny Kydex holster is too much. I have a Clinger Stingray for a Walther PPS that I think was less than $30 last October and it is a Kydex minimalist IWB with the single wide belt clip. It’s a great holster, though occasionally it will hit the belt loop on a few pairs of pants wrong. To fix that I have ordered a Clinger Atom ($27.99) that has a single clip positioned to the rear of the holster. Have not received it yet, but if it is even near as good as the Stingray, I’ll be happy.

  8. I have 4 Comp-Tac C-T.A.C. holsters. As small as this one but with 2 clips and leather flaps to give flexibility that entirely Kydex holsters lack.

  9. Check out Fist Holsters, ironically out of Brooklyn NY. Thinnest kydex holsters I’ve seen and have metal clips instead of those thick, crappy plastic hooks. They run around $40-50 shipped.

  10. I’ve worn the specter by Lenwood for 3 years . I find this holster to be very comfortable and being able to adjust the tension is great. If or when I change ccw , I’ll go to Lenwood again.

    • @dlud

      I can answer that question for you. It’s a Lenwood Hybrid belt.

      It’s a premium leather belt slab on the outside and the inside is a PVC coated polyester webbing on the inside.

      This combo produces great comfort and wrap around the body while offering exceptional vertical rigidity to keep your piece in its place.

      Hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to post them here or message me through the site http://www.lenwood.com

      Thanks!

      J

  11. @dlud

    I can answer that question for you. It’s a Lenwood Hybrid belt.

    It’s a premium leather belt slab on the outside and the inside is a PVC coated polyester webbing on the inside.

    This combo produces great comfort and wrap around the body while offering exceptional vertical rigidity to keep your piece in its place.

    Hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to post them here or message me through the site http://www.lenwood.com

    Thanks!

    J

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