The postman dropped off a package for me yesterday morning, and inside was my brand-new holster! Specifically, a Texas IWB Starter Pack from Adams Holsters. What is a “Starter Pack,” you may ask? It’s a holster, double magazine pouch, and gun belt all bundled together at a not-insubstantial discount, though Luke Adams, Adams Holsters owner/operator does sell all of the components separately.
This order actually has a long story behind it. Several months ago, I ordered a carry rig for my SIG P232. I’d been hearing good things about Adams Holsters online, but ultimately decided to go with another well-known holster maker because it would be a little bit cheaper.
You remember that old saying, “Buy it cheap, buy it twice?” Yeah, that goes for holsters too. The holster I bought from Not-Adams-Holsters arrived “pre-broken in,” and when it arrived it was very easy to get the gun in and out of the holster, yet it still held the gun firmly. That didn’t last long. Within a few months, the rig barely held onto the gun at all. I could feel the little SIG trying to work its way out of the holster when I was carrying it around. And on top of that, the holster did not hold its shape when I drew the gun, even when I was wearing it outside the waistband (the holster is billed as being convertible between OWB and IWB carry). And on top of all that, even when the holster was new, the P232 still printed very badly, even when worn IWB.
The mag pouches were another story. Since the manufacturer didn’t offer a dual mag pouch for a SIG P232, and ordered 2 single mag pouches for “a single-stack .32 or .380.” Unlike the holster, the pouches were very, very snug, so snug that no matter how much I tried breaking them it, it was still tough to draw the mag from one and darn near impossible to get the mag out of the second! Really, the belt is the only thing that’s lasted longer than a few months, and even that looks like it’s wearing much too fast.
And if you think I abused the you-know-what out of this rig, you’re dead wrong. You can count the number of times I strapped my gear on on your hands and still have a few fingers left over. By the end of August, I finally faced up to the fact that my Not-Adams rig was not cutting the mustard, so I decided to do what I probably should have done in the first place and ordered a replacement rig from Adams Holsters.
However, two weeks to the day after I placed the order, my P232’s takedown lever failed again, after less than 1000 rounds since its first repair. Realizing that I could not trust the P232 as a defensive sidearm, I decided to get it fixed and then cut my losses and trade the pistol for something different. Unfortunately, this meant that I’d have no use for my just-ordered holster, so I emailed Luke Adams, informed him of the situation, and requested that he cancel my order.
Now, I fully expected Luke’s reply to be something to the effect of “Sorry to hear about that, your order has been canceled.” Instead, Luke told me that he’d be more than happy to change my order to whatever new gun I chose. I told him I was willing to pay whatever it would cost to make the change, and he told me that there was no charge; just let him know what I decided on.
I didn’t buy my new Springfield Range Officer Compact until mid-October, so unfortunately that meant losing my place in the order queue. My fault, not Luke’s: I spent several weeks flip-flopping between a compact 1911 and the Sprignfield XDS, and expecting him to hold up his entire order queue because an indecisive customer can’t decide what gun he wants is completely unreasonable. But let me tell you, it was worth the wait.
This rig is absolutely gorgeous! It exudes quality, to the point where it makes the top-of-the-range Galco holster I have for my P228 look cheap. Both the holster and mag pouch are solid and tightly molded. This is not some cheap “pre-broken in rig.” My Springfield and it’s magazines easily slide into the holster and pouches, but the fit is so tight that it’s extremely difficult to draw them. This, however, is the mark of a well-crafted holster: once the rig is fully broken-in, both gun and magazines will slide in and out easily, yet the rig will retain them even when you hold the holster upside-down and shake it. And lest you think I’m BSing you, I’ve seen video of another Adams Holster owner doing just that to his rig. His pistol didn’t move.
Though designed and sold as an IWB holster, Luke also manufactures and sells a set of optional leather OWB Conversion Loops for both the holster and mag pouch. I ordered these with the package (I’m too cheap and lazy to go out and buy pants with large enough waists to allow me to carry IWB), and it was here that I had my only hiccup with the rig: both holster and mag pouch come equipped with steel belt hooks for IWB carry which are held in place with Chicago screws, and the screws on the mag pouch would not loosen when I tired to swap the hooks out. I emailed Luke, and he responded very quickly with some tips on how to get the screws loose, and they worked perfectly. However, I suspect that I might have caused the problem since I tried using the wrong size screwdriver at first. Yeah, I’m useless with tools.
I’ve only worn the rig around the house for a little while, just to start to break it in, and have not worn it concealed yet, but that said the rig is extremely comfortable to wear. You know you’re wearing a gun, but only because you can feel it touching your hip. I really did not notice any significant weight on my belt, and the holster didn’t try to drag my pants down like my Not-Adams holster had a tendency to do unless I cinched my Not-Adams belt up really tight. And my Range Officer Compact much larger and significantly heavier than my P232, so that should tell you something.
I’ve been recommending Adams Holsters to people for the last month based solely on Luke’s customer service, but now that I actually have the holster in my hands… let me put it to you this way: if you’re looking for a concealed carry holster, go straight to Luke’s website and nowhere else. Do not pass ‘Go,’ do not collect $200. The quality of his work is incredible, especially for the price. And he stands behind his products too: if your holster fails in some way, even years after he made it, he will replace it free of charge. No bull, I’ve seen him do it (well, read the correspondence on a web forum, but you know what I mean).
Probably the only thing to be aware of, and this is not a knock against Luke or his holsters, is that Adams Holsters is a one man operation, so it may take him a few days to reply to an email, and his wait times can run longer than expected if an unexpected crisis pops up. But if that happens, just be patient. Luke’s gear is well worth the wait.
I’ll post up some pictures of my new rig when I have the time. Until then, peace.
DISCLAIMER: Neither Raptor nor Raptor’s Nest have been paid or otherwise compensated in any way for this blog post. The opinions expressed above are those of Raptor and have been published solely of his own volition without any outside influence or requests. In non-legal-mumbo-jumbo, this post is not a paid advertizement for Adams Holsters, so any FCC goons that are reading this can go bugger off.