Some members of our Armed Intelligentsia dismiss Kydex holsters as cold, hard, loud and ugly. It’s the same way they feel about GLOCK brand GLOCKs. As the picture above clearly signals, this review doesn’t go out to all you revolver guys who may someday have to “clear leather.” This review of the 2A Standard Bearer is for concealed (yes concealed) carry gun owners who value function over, uh, anything . . .
Aesthetically, the Standard Bearer (SB) is only slightly easier on the eyes than Medusa’s hairdo. More charitably, it has a rather robust and decidedly industrial nature to it. Unlike most leather holsters, it doesn’t “flow” with the gun. That said, it;s designed to carry a GLOCK 19, the physical embodiment of a Rammstein song in ballistic form. So while she ain’t pretty, I can’t really gin-up much outrage since it’s designed to carry a pistol of equal beauty, or lack thereof.
Your eyes don’t deceive you, either. The SB is a large holster that wraps around a sizable portion of your waist. While it may be large in latitude, it maintains a fairly slim longitudinal profile. With some OWB pancakes, I’ve been forced to go to the back of the closet to find a shirt cut tall. No such fashion choice is necessary with the SB. I had no trouble discreetly wearing the SB with a regular collared shirt.
Whereas most OWB pancakes have a slight curve, the SB appears to have been formed around the shape of a five gallon bucket. I hated it on sight. In practice, the holster hugged my 34″ waist a bit tighter, and maintained a more concealable profile, than its competitors. I don’t know how the Taurus curve’s gonna work out, but the SB curve is a hit.
If your waist measurement is like some people’s caliber choice (i.e., it starts with a four or a five) my holster wouldn’t fit. You order an SB by waist size; the curve corresponds to your individual adherence the company’s range of Old Fat White Guy templates. You can also order your holster fashioned from thinner .080 Kydex. The thinner holster gives you a bit more flex in case your middle measurement fluctuates with the seasons. The one seen here was made with the thicker .093 Kydex, It offered less give than Scrooge himself.
From a “carrying a gun safely” standpoint, I give the SB high marks. The Kydex completely covers the trigger guard. While not a retention holster per se, the adjustable thumb screw does an admirable job holding your gun in place. You can crank down on it so far that your gun will be forever quagmired, or loosen it to the point that hanging upside down would see your gun falling free like Newton’s apple.
2A’s unique clip system makes getting the SB on and off easier than other belt-attached OWB holsters. As you can see from the two photos above, the top part of the clip is permanently attached to the frame of the holster. You can pop off and on the lower part. The system makes it possible to adjust for belt width without buying a different set of clips.
That’s huge (so to speak). You have to thread your belt through most OWB belt holsters. With this system, just loosen your belt a tad, open up the clips, slip the holster over your belt, and snap the clips in place. Boom, you’re strapped. After several hundred on again, off again cycles, I was unable to wear out the clip.
The only problem getting the holster on crops up when your belt meets the screwed-on sweat guard (an optional item). It has a lip that catches on your belt. Once in place, there’s no problem. Getting it there requires a bit of fiddling. I’d prefer to see version 2.0 have an integrated sweat guard instead of a this screwed-on piece.
As far as concealment is concerned, the SB’s on a par or better than most OWB pancakes. It hugged my body tighter than my beloved, without any fabric snagging protrusions. I ordered my SB with a fifteen degree cant. Straight-up vertical, 10, 15, and 20 are all options. As Kydex fans like RF will tell you, the 2A system enables a smooth draw and, importantly, a fast, positive re-holster.
The SB look like the rear end of a battleship but fits well, conceals beautifully and goes on and off like a flashing traffic light. At $56 (plus options), the SB’s right on the money for OWB Kydex holsters, especially given the level of customization available. In short, big and bulky is better. At least in this case.
Specifications: 2A Holster Standard Bearer
Gun Types: Most of your popular carry pistols. If it isn’t listed, custom options are available.
Side: Righ or left handed
Cant: 0, 10, 15, 20
Body Type: Waists from 30 – 50 inches
Sweat Guard: Optional
Kydex Thickness: .080 or .093
Price: starting at $55.99 with more for extra options
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit, Finish, Build Quality * * * *
The Kydex work is very nice, though I found the sweat guard attachment to be a little clumsy; it interfered with getting my belt in place. I’ll probably end up removing it since I always wear my holsters with a tucked-in T-shirt.
Concealability * * * * *
Thanks to the aggressive curve and forward cant, I had no trouble wearing a T-shirt or shorter length collared shirt over my GLOCK.
Retention * * * *
I’m a big fan of adjustable retention holsters; each gun is a bit different and requires some custom tuning. I’m knocking off one star because the retention thumb screw is too damn big.
Daily Usage * * *
With the sweat guard in place, there’s a great deal of fiddling that needs to happen to get the SB on your body. Without it, the clip system provides a very smooth transition that makes for a very reassuring fit once clipped into place.
Overall Rating * * * *
This is a damn fine holster that differentiates itself from the OWB belt holsters out there by having a slightly more customized approach to fitment. It is well built, safe, and does a great job of concealing a piggy pistol like the GLOCK 19.