Holster Review: StealthGear Revolution IWB:
Many concealed carriers have a “box of holsters” that we rarely if ever use. The holsters that occupy these boxes are the result of trial and error in figuring out what we like in holsters. I’m no different. My first holster was an OWB leather, but I’ve tried just about every design out there: IWB, OWB, Kydex, leather and hybrid. OWB Kydex is fine if I’m out in the wilds, but not so well if I’m in town running errands. For that, I greatly prefer the IWB hybrids. By necessity rather than choice, I’m a city dweller, so I use the hybrids far more than anything else. They spread the weight of a gun out well, provide excellent concealment with my usual wardrobe, which consists of a suit, or maybe khakis and a sportcoat. I wear a jacket at least 4 days per week. The IWBs also hold my gun securely enough for my usual activities. No combat rolls into my office for me.
As of this writing, I’ve had four of them. My first was a Theis hybrid in horsehide, which I used to carry a Government model 1911 for about 3 years. I later picked up a slightly used Crossbreed Supertuck in horsehide for a song. I carried a G19 in it for about the next 4 years. This year, I decided that I wanted something smaller & lighter for carry, so I bought a Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm. Naturally, that meant that I needed to buy another holster.
I looked at all of my usual suspects in holster gear, but I kept coming back to StealthGear. I’ve had my eye on them for quite some time, but never bought one of their holsters. My Crossbreed Supertuck was working just fine with my G19. Now that I have my Shield, it’s time to check them out.
Let’s start with the description provided by the manufacturer itself. From StealthGear’s website:
“Proprietary ACX-57 Polymer Platform With Venting Ports
Pebbled Outer Surface for Enhanced Draw and Reholstering
4.30 oz: Lightest IWB Holster Among Leading Brands
Ships in 72 hours
Full Trigger & Muzzle Protection
No Break-in Time Required
Despite what you may have heard, lawyers do not earn more money than the Lord God Almighty. I earn a modest salary. My budget is limited like everyone else’s. As of this writing, StealthGear’s Revolution IWB-Mini can be bought for $49. I got mine through Amazon, so I got free shipping. Other hybrid IWB holsters run from about $44 for the Alien Gear Cloak Tuck and up. The Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe runs about $70, and we all know that the sky’s the limit if you go looking for a custom holster. The IWB-Mini may not be the cheapest holster out there, but the price is certainly reasonable.
On arrival, the first thing that I noticed was this thing is very, very light. I don’t have a scale that measures in ounces, but I have no reason to doubt the claim on StealthGear’s website that it weighs in at 4.3 ounces. For comparison’s sake and according to the Crossbreed website, a Supertuck Deluxe tips the scales at 0.85 lbs (13.6 oz.). I’m not trying to single Crossbreed out, but it’s one of the few manufacturers that actually publishes the weight of its holsters on the web. Perhaps comparing the CBST to the Revolution Standard would be fairer, as they’re a little closer in size, but even the Standard only weights 6.3 oz., according to what I read on the internet. Even that’s a 7 oz. difference. Since the main goal of buying the Shield was to move to something lighter, well, mission accomplished!
I’m not a chemist, so I have no idea what this ACX-57 polymer is all about, at a molecular level. With that said, it’s flexible but stiffer than neoprene, and somewhat slicker. The upside of this is that it’s pretty easy to slide the holster along the beltline after putting it on to make small adjustments, without having to start all over by completely removing the holster. StealthGear says that no break-in time is needed for this holster. I believe them. I carried my Shield in it the day after it arrived. After about a month of carry, I do note that it’s begun to take on a slight curve, so it will mold to your body. The best option, though, may well be those vent holes in the backing. They allow that area covered by the holster to breathe and for sweat to evaporate and I want to hug the designer that came up with this idea.
The belt clips are polymer, which I like, because metal clips scratch up my belts. Having splurged on a Beltman belt, I’d really like to keep it looking nice. The backing has 3 adjustment holes and each belt clip has 2 holes for adjusting ride height and cant. I’m no mathematician (which is why I went to law school), but that seems like it would provide plenty of flexibility in ride and cant options.
After just a few weeks of carrying the Shield in the IWB-Mini, I decided that I needed a second one for my G19, so I sold my CBST and bought a StealthGear Revolution IWB Standard. The Kydex shells are nice and thick (.093”, according to StealthGear) and fit my pistols (a G19 and a Shield) exactly. My CBST has an open bottom, so that the muzzle sticks out, but the IWB-Mini does not. This might be an issue if I carried something with a threaded barrel, but I don’t, so it’s fine. The shell is screwed to the backing, so it would (at least theoretically) be possible to simply replace the shell if one wanted to change carry guns. I do not see an option to buy other shells on SG’s website at this time, though.
Overall, I’m very impressed with this holster, particularly at this price ($49 as of this writing). It’s easier to adjust after putting it on than my CBST, is far more comfortable (which may also be a byproduct of carrying a different gun), and it does not squeak like my CBST did. I’ve often said that my CBST was exceptionally comfortable, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the Revolution. The Revolution is easier to adjust, just as secure, and about 7 ounces lighter. After about 7 years of carry, I’m done shopping for hybrid IWBs.
Here’s the TLDR: Holy crap, that’s comfortable! I sold my CBST and I’m not sorry. The StealthGear Revolution holsters are just ridiculously, amazingly comfortable.