MEK Holster, c Nick Leghorn

I’m a recent convert to the “outside the waistband” style of holster for daily carry. It’s just more comfortable to me, and gives me a quicker draw when I need it. MEK Holsters is a new holster manufacturer in Texas that makes some pretty interesting looking holsters, and they sent me one for my Glock 19 to test and see if I like it. And at first glance, everything is all unicorns and rainbows . . .

MEK Holster, c Nick Leghorn

The holster looks pretty. Well, for someone who thinks a Formula 1 car is more appropriate to hang on your bedroom wall than a[n Israeli] supermodel at least. The textured kydex gives the holster a carbon fiber-esque look and feel, and the red gaskets add a splash of color in just the right place. The vacuum formed kydex gives the holster a look like it’s been melted in place on top of the gun (which it has). It’s a sharp looking design.

MEK Holster, c Nick Leghorn

Along the back there are numerous holes where you can slot your belt loops so you can adjust the carry position to fit your personal body type and preference. It’s easy to change, but the default position that came from the factory fit my body so well that I didn’t change a thing. Even the curve of the holster was just about perfect to suit me, allowing the holster to more or less disappear under my clothing. Except for one place . . .

MEK Holster, c Nick Leghorn

The bottom of the holster. The thing is just slightly too long to hide under my t-shirt when using the top set of loop holes, but if I moved those I’m guessing that the holster would completely disappear.

Wearing the holster is fairly comfortable, with the exception of the kydex material rubbing against your skin. The rear plate of kydex protrudes pretty far up past the belt line, and while it does a fine job of keeping the gun in place it also can rub your skin if you’re not wearing an under shirt. I’m thinking that after prolonged use of this holster you’ll either have a big bloody sore right where the holster rubs or a giant callous, or you could just wear a shirt between the holster and your body.

In terms of actual use, we run into another issue.

MEK Holster, c Nick Leghorn

The holster works great to retain the gun and keep it from moving around even when you’re running through an obstacle course. But when it comes time to draw the gun we run into a small issue. I have big hands, and the Glock 19 is already way too small for my liking, so I need to slip my right middle finger as far up the grip as possible while drawing in order to maintain good control over the gun. With this holster, there wasn’t enough space between the grip and the holster to get the job done — it pinched my finger and I needed to re-position my hand after the gun was drawn to be effective with the weapon.

The reason I bring it up is because otherwise, this holster is pretty great. The style is great, the retention is perfect, and it’s as comfortable as a kydex holster can get. But this one little detail — insufficient space for my hand to grip the gun properly — means that I’ll probably never wear it out of the house.

EDIT: Update from the manufacturer:

Nick,

I read the review and I would like to apologize that you had an issue with the holster. I myself have relatively small hands and had never had an issue drawing my firearm. However, I have recently had a couple of customers who had the same issue you did. I have since modified my design and have created more relief for the top finger. I am attaching a photo of another Glock holster that I recently built for a customer.

Your holster is easily modifiable and I would be happy to fix it for. BTW, I would do the same for any customer who has an issue with one of my holsters.

If you’ll send me back the holster, I’ll fix it and send it back as soon as possible.

So, if you have the issues I had, looks like it’s a quick fix.

Specifications:

Model: Pancake Patterned OWB
Colors: Many
Price: $75

Ratings (out of five stars):

Comfort: * * * *
With the exception of the small bit of kydex rubbing against my side, it was perfectly comfortable. The weight was well distributed on my belt, and the curve of the holster fit my body quite nicely.

Value: * * * *
Price-wise, it’s right in the middle of the range. There are kydex holsters that go for much, much more than this one.

Concealability: * * * *
The gun disappears… mostly. It sticks out a bit at the bottom under “worst case scenario” conditions, but otherwise it disappears.

Overall: * * * *
It’s the issues I had drawing the gun that slammed the holster back into three star range, but the holster manufacturer offers a modified version for large mitted individuals so that basically removes my concerns. For the money, as good as you’ll get with a kydex holster.

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27 Responses to Gear Review: MEK OWB Patterned Kydex Pancake Holster

  1. Small quibble, you’re either missing an E in the title or you have an extra D.

    Big quibble, you can’t draw the gun properly and you still give it 3[EDIT: my bad, I swear I can count/read] stars? That relegates it in my mind to being at best a 2 star product, and more like a 1 star. That’s great and all about retention, but a gun you can’t deploy properly is only slightly better than no gun at all.

      • Well for guys with smaller hands anyway. I knew a guy in highshool who was a 6′ 4″ power lifter who couldn’t shoot anything bigger than a 1911 comfortably as a virtue of his tiny ass hands, I swear this guys forearms where huge and then you got to the hands it just looked photoshopped.

  2. That tiny bit of the holster showing is no longer a legal issue in Texas. To the bad guys is might telegraph “gun” or it might be a cell phone holder. They won’t know and in either case it would give them pause I would think. My $.02.

    • For a kydex (or other plastic) holster, I think I can safely say he’s got a good mark-up based on cost of materials, although the price might not be too far out of line for something that isn’t mass-produced.

  3. There is a company that makes this already, Raven Concealment. They also no longer have the 16-18 week lead time, anything ordered from http://www.rcsquickship.com/ is usually there in a few days.

    Shameless plug, I know but I have used them for years and for OWB kydex there is no equal (just ask the bin of rejected holsters in my shop). I also have large hands and carry a 17, 19, or 26 depending on dress and there is no issue with the holster interfering with a draw grip. They are tight out of the box but with a little practice (which is important anyways) they break in nicely.

  4. I like Kydex holsters, but I always end up making a few tweaks to them.

    First, I don’t like the closed bottom. It’s been my experience that if you end up rolling on the ground or taking cover some debris may end up in there. This could end up in the barrel, or make it difficult to impossible to re-holster your firearm securely. 20 min with a Dremel tool and that is solved.

    Second, I have the same problem with the grip. I tend to cut the area near the trigger guard down to accommodate my fingers. The retention occurs at the front of the trigger guard, so the trimming does not create any safety issues.

    Rob

    • I happen to like to closed bottom feature. My personal experience is; if/when you end up on the ground, debris/dirt *always* ends up in the muzzle of the gun when holstered in an open bottom holster. Fortunately, mine have always been slip/fall scenarios, not the self defense type.

      • For an OWB, I can picture what you say as possible. If it was an IWB, your pants should keep anything from becoming a barrel obstruction.

  5. I use OWB throughout the day, but I’ve settled on leather over Kydex. Looks better, feels better, and allows for a more quiet draw.

  6. Yeah ive got a business making kydex holsters, thats not a bad one but he has a bad design where the grip is. Gotta have room for a full grip.
    I was thinking of sending you guys a few, OWB and AIWB to review if you want

  7. Holsters molded to accept specific firearms are great for extra low profile and for keeping the makers in business since you need another holster to accommodate each pistola you want to carry. I’ve tried a couple of Kydex types and was not much impressed.

    I prefer a leather holster style that securely accommodates a range of pistols within a size class, of excellent quality and low profile that can be worn either inside the waistband or outside the waistband with the belt secured over the body of the gun and holster.

    I’ve found that the following Bianchi holster meets those needs remarkably well; I have three, each of a different size which between them accommodate all of my 9mm, 40ACP and 45ACP automatic side arms for CC (or open carry if you choose not to don an over garment).

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Bianchi%20120%20Covert%20Option%20Russet

    I am very proficient with each of my side arms and have been afforded the luxury of choice depending on such factors as temperature, setting and just plain what I prefer today. Having a separate holster for each gun is a pain in the a55 and unnecessary.

    The following sizes work for the automatics I own which include various 1911s, CZs, Sigs, Berettas, HKs, and Springfield XD: Bianchi 120 Covert Option Russet Size 12A, Size 14B, Size 14.

    I had to guestimate my holster sizes by comparing gun compatibility charts on Bianchi/Safariland and Amazon. There is a lot of crossover adaptability and the charts are straight forward. Only three sizes were necessary.

    Just thought I’d share because finding the “right” holster(s) can be such a pain; these happen to work well for me.

    To each his/her own.

  8. I’ll stick with my IWB holster for my M&P 9 (full size) that I carry everyday, everywhere. Even though Missouri has basically removed the penalty for accidentally exposing, I just don’t like the idea of if I reach for something or bend over my shirt or jacket might show too much. And $75.00, yikes!

  9. I’ve got several leather holsters for my 1911 and an excellent leather Winthrop holster for my BG380 however I took the Kydex plunge after getting an XDs…Panther Concealment is a small company in Florida with a very vocal following. The OWB holster they sent me is PERFECTION!

    The one reviewed here has some good points, but IMHO there is too much Kydex and that tends to present some faults regarding fit and personal ‘feel’…and that’s why most of us have a drawer full of holsters! Trying to find the ‘Perfect Pancake’ so to speak….then you have to find a good syrup….but back to guns….Panther Concealment just might be my ‘Perfect Holster!’

    Determining that takes a considerable amount of time and cannot be ascertained in one short review.

  10. Or you can make your own kydex holster at home and makr sure it has everything set up just the way you like it…

  11. How tough is that texturing? It won’t be patchy and have worn off within a few months of wear, will it?

    FWIW, I still prefer my Blackhawk. I have Kydex holsters too, but for OC, I like the offset from my body and the button release.

  12. I also have huge hands and that is a concern in holster choice. Also, a few manufacturers have started molding in a channel for the front sight. Learned the hard way about the need for this after a kydex holster ripped the front sight of a set of Ameriglo iDot pro’s off the front of my Glock 19. I have a drawer full of expensive holsters, and my every day carry is a $19 leather iwb model.

  13. For all around comfort, carrying several hours a day or all day, I prefer leather to plastic. Leather conforms to the body better, won’t rub skin like a cheese grater and looks good too. Kydex is fine, but leather just looks and feels better.

  14. I think what is actually being discussed here is off the rack vs tailored.

    If you are above or below the median size for people in the US then you either deal with clothes off the rack that don’t fit right or you get your clothes tailored.

    Same thing for holsters.

  15. Frost Modular systems has a great product that I would compare side by side with raven concealment and put head and shoulders above the product being reviewed. Each piece is hand made by the owner who is also an instructor at Alaska Tactical and Security. Draw, retention, and comfort are all taken into account. they can come with and FBI cant to reduce printing or vertical, they make an open bottom system that doesn’t expose the barrel but still allows for dirt and grit to escape. and all these things for the same price as what’s shown above. They aren’t as pretty… but I wear one either IWB or OWB for my EDC, its comfortable and very functional.

  16. Ran across this article researching a holster design for a picky buddy wanting a holster. The first thing I saw when looking at that holster was the lack of available grip area. Your middle finger should not touch kydex when you grip the pistol. That’s a recipe for blisters when training. The entire area where the glocks trigger gaurd is undercut should be clear. Second that holster is does not need to be the size of a hub cap. It’s atleast an inch too long and an inch or two too wide. Why is the bottom closed? How are you going to rinse out all the lint, dust and debris that normally accumulate in an everyday wear holster? Nevermind the fact that you’d have to remove the holster to dump the crap out of it.

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