Product Review: Sticky Holster

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Product Reviews
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The nice folks at Hunker Down (a new vendor at the north Texas shows) provided me with a sticky holster for my XDS.  After several weeks of careful evaluation, I’m ready to post the review.

I have three considerations with any new holster system.

1 – The holster replaces my current carry system

2 – The holster augments my current carry system

3 – The holster provides no new benefits over my current carry system

I currently use a belly band for IWB carry of the XDS and an Air Marshal 3 rig for my Smith 629 short-barrel revolver (loaded with hot .44 specials for general SD use, not magnums).

First, let’s look at how the sticky holster works.  The holster is self-securing with your clothing; it does not use a clip, belt loop, or any other means to attach to your body.  Instead, the holster relies on friction and compression to hold a firearm in place.  Think about those two words very carefully as they completely determine the usefulness of a sticky holster for your situation.  Simply stated, the hoster material that is in contact with your clothing is high-friction.  That, in combination with waistband pressure, keeps the holster in place.  The inner holster material is extremely low friction and allows for a smooth draw.

Sticky holsters are manufactured in various sizes that fit a class of guns.  So, the first question that comes to mind is how does the MD-2 model actually fit the XDS?

sticky1

Over successive uses, the holster did seem to conform itself more to the specific contours of the XDS, so I would give it high marks for fit.

The gamut of my carry environment includes long road trips, so comfort and adjustable carry position are very important.  Like the BB, the sticky holster offers both.  Unlike the BB, the sticky holster does not require a ‘strap on’ process, so it is incredibly easy to place the holster in any desired position.  The sticky holster does not provide a mag carrier.  I have two with the BB.

The reality of long road trips is stops and stops include bio breaks.  The reality of a bio break is that I have to do something along the way that loses either friction and/or compression.  So, what do I do with the gun?  With the BB, I can be on the road for 15 hours and my XDS stays in the *exact* same position the entire trip, in or out of the vehicle.

So, item number 1 is settled.  The sticky holster will not replace my normal carry configuration.  My next consideration was how the sticky holster might provide carry options not possible with my day-to-day rig.  So far, I have found two cases.

I work at home and have found the sticky holster to be a great place to keep the XDS on a small table by my computer desk.  In the past, it’s been a hassle for me to respond to the ‘knock on the door.’  I don’t want to ‘strap on’ a belly band and insert a pistol for what is most likely to be a delivery person.  This is where the insertion ease of the sticky holster shines.  It’s incredibly easy to pick up the holster , slip it inside my waistband, and walk to the door.  In the highly unlikely event of a bad guy, at least I have 8 rounds of .45 ACP at my disposal for an immediate response.

Short-duration carries seem to be the sweet spot for the sticky holster, where appropriate friction and compression can be maintained, and you have some other means to carry a backup mag. if you so desire.  For example, I’ve found the sticky holster great for carry to and from the tennis courts.  After arrival, the holster slips into a pocket in my tennis bag.

Another useful role is pocket carry.  Especially with the +2 mag, the XDS is too heavy and has too much print in the grip area to be an effective pocket holster.  In pockets such as my Solaris jacket, in which the XDS both carries well and does not print too much, the bounce as I walk is highly inconvenient and requires me to have my right hand in pocket pretty much all the time while walking.  The sticky holster reduces both the print and bounce.  In the Solaris jacket, there is not enough compression to allow a one-hand draw.  I have to either slip the left hand over the pocket, or draw while placing slight pressure on the outside of the holster with my index finger.  After the XDS slides about a quarter inch, friction from the side closest to my body holds the holster in place throughout the remainder of the draw.  And, the print looks like I have a cell phone in my right, front jacket pocket.

Although I experimented with this carry, I don’t use it in practice.  I do, however, use the sticky holster for pocket carry while hiking in my right-front pocket.  The hiking pants have a sufficiently deep pocket to hold the XDS even with the extended mag.  The print and bounce are made even worse by the gun not maintaining a constant vertical orientation inside the pocket.  So, it may be a ‘pocket gun’ in this case, but it’s hardly suitable for pocket carry.  The sticky holster overcomes every one of these issues.

Now, the XDS is not my primary firearm on a hike.  That is a 10mm carried IWB along with a .44 mag revolver in the Air Marshal holster.  I’m interested in a specific, niche application, namely the classic ‘guy with a knife inside 21 feet’ scenario.  I don’t want to  have to unzip or reach inside my hiking jacket for a draw. With the sticky holster, I have my hand already inside my right front pocket when anyone approaches.  The XDS is drawn with the same motion as described above.  It took a couple days of practice with an empty gun to perfect the technique and I can bring the XDS to bear in less than a second.

Here’s a pic of the setup with the +2 mag on the XDS.

sticky2

This is not something I would recommend for every-day carry, but it does provide me with a hiking option I did not have before.  Previously, I would have to carry the XDS in the front pocket of my hiking jacket using the flush mag.  The bounce and print were issues, and it does not look natural for me to have my right hand inside my hiking jacket pocket when someone walks by.  The right front pants pocket, however, seems perfectly normal.

I think this sums up my view of the sticky holster.  If you have a carry method that already works well for you, then the sticky holster is unlikely to replace it.  The sticky holster does, however, offer options that may augment your existing rig and if you view it as a niche carry option, then it’s an option that is likely to be of benefit.

If you attend the north Texas gun shows, then bring your gun and look for the Hunker Down sign.  Try one of the demo holsters and see what you think.

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