In an earlier review, I declared the DARA Holsters & Gear Custom IWB one of the finest Kydex appendix carry holsters I’d ever tested. Sure, it wasn’t leather, but it was a really nice rig. So imagine my excitement when DARA sent me an OWB holster to try out as well. Figuring that if they’d done such a good job on their IWB, their OWB must be super awesome too. Real life resultL Meh, not so much . . .
Not to go tootin’ my own horn or anything, but after nearly four years at TTAG, I’ve reviewed quite a few holsters. Some I’ve liked, some I’ve truly hated. But at this point, I can unbox a holster, and ballpark whether I’ll like it or not almost immediately.
Unboxing the DARA, I knew we were going to have problems. The belt attachment system was centered on the holster and didn’t have a ton of contact with the belt area. This has always been an issue on other OWB holsters I’ve tested. Those who have had to use a pry bar in the past know that more leverage is certainly better. That’s why OWB holsters like the 2A I tested, while exceedingly ugly, does a great job of keeping the pistol from rocking back and forth. To the back and forth play in the DARA OWB, observe:
As you can see, the OWB is able to rock back and forth a lot. DARA was kind enough to send me both their paddle and their belt loop attachment and both systems suffered from this problem. Furthermore, both systems allow the holster and gun to rock back and forth from the body as you can see below. This lack of stability is decidedly not confidence inspiring.
What is confidence inspiring is the excellent coverage and retention afforded by this holster. As with most Kydex holsters, there’s an audible snap when you reholster to let you know that your piece is firmly in place. Speaking of reholstering, there’s a wide flared mouth that helps assist in getting your gun home. As this holster is custom built, there isn’t any extraneous material hanging around to interfere with your grip.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Overall Rating * *
I wanted very much to like the DARA Custom OWB given how much I liked their IWB rig, but the belt attachment system is a major weakness. Using a very stiff belt, I still had issues with the holster and gun rocking back and forth. Using a weaker belt, these problems were only exacerbated. While it offers fine coverage, and great retention, the general lack of stability presents a lot of problems for both EDC and competition work. For $57.99, you can find better Kydex OWB options out there.