I often get asked the beginner question “What gun to buy”. Heck, I think every gun guy gets it. You don’t even have to be a certified gun guy; all it really takes is being someone perceived as a gun guy.
The next best question I get asked is WHAT HOLSTER DO I GET? Back in the old days, it was a much simpler answer. You had to go find one of the standard holster makers and get leather made for your particular gun.
That was until a knifemaker named Tom Maringer invented the kydex sheath. He wanted a strong light secure sheath for a serious self-defense knife, and he came across the ideal material, kydex. Once people caught on, EVERYONE was making kydex sheaths and later kydex holsters.
Now, like most inventions, it was great. And it was horrible at the same time. An entire cottage industry of sheath makers and holster makers opened up. Anyone and their mom could get a kydex press and use their kitchen oven and start making holsters and sheaths. This led to some great designs and some great companies firing up. For a long time, you could throw a rock and hit five kydex holster makers, some of which made damned good products and some of which made what ranged from a mess, to downright dangerous.
It got so bad that anyone who tried to sell me on a new kydex company or holster maker had me a little jumpy. I even tried my hand at making sheaths and I quickly figured out that it wasn’t for me. I also walked away with a strong appreciation for those guys who could start with a sheet of kydex and some rivets and screws and wind up with a usable product, much less a professional, good-looking holster that works.
When I was asked to review a holster by We the People…
I was a little hesitant/reluctant/wary or just downright scared. At best I expected a blah holster, except blah is worse than bad. It’s harder to write a review about something unremarkable than it is to just downright blast a bad product. A bad product can be a good example to others, a blah product…. makes for a blah review.
Yet I was good to go to throw caution to the wind and just dive right in.
YES, send me a holster.
Please send it for the Beretta 92/M9 series. No super lightweight tiny little micro-carry gun that weighs less than a mousefart, no sir. I want one for a full-sized service handgun.
Double stack too. No skinny single stack action. I’ll even steer into the skid and order the Inside the Waistband. If you are wondering why that’s worse, it’s simple. Inside the waistband is less forgiving. If you have a sharp corner, you are going to FEEL IT. You don’t have a belt and a waistband of a pair of jeans to separate you from the sharp edges. It’s going right into your side. Basically, I set them up to fail. Blah was not an option.
WTP Customer Service
Now that it was ordered I and they thought all was well, but life threw an extra test into the mix for the We the People crew. We had them ship it USPS. Now some of you are already screaming at your screens that this is beyond their control, and I wholeheartedly agree. USPS quickly fouled up the shipping and before you know it, we were playing a light game of phone tag with my editor and the WTP crew. They weren’t upset, they were concerned that USPS made them look bad. The shipment got returned to them and they QUICKLY redirected it back and maintained communication during the shipping snafu.
THIS, this one thing, told me I might not be in for a BLAH product review.
As much as I love a good product, I HATE bad customer service. I ABSOLUTELY will support a company working on bettering their products WHILE that company develops and grows to produce a GREAT product as long as they offer OUTSTANDING customer service. I don’t know who the person who was working directly with my editor was, but when you read this, KNOW your work, your positive attitude and your patience are what makes new companies survive. They really hit it out of the park there.
When the package arrived, life and my day job conspired to have me out of town for two weeks at a training class. I got home, popped open the package, and immediately had to leave for the second week of training. Not exactly what was planned by any of the parties involved. Yet life rolls on.
When I opened the package, I was pleasantly surprised.
They sent the holster, that was ordered, a t-shirt, a small bag, and …. four different flavored packages of We the People branded BACON JERKY. Yes, bacon made as jerky. It sounds too good to be true but it’s not. Again, high hopes, simply based on the name…BACON JERKY. But I had to go back to class.
As anyone trying to make a living knows, if you go away for two weeks when you get home, work will be piled up. Mine certainly was. I went right back to the wild world of Drug Investigations and wound up doing about 3 days of surveillance. One of those days I stopped on my way out the door headed to several hours of sitting in a car with a coworker and neither of us had lunch. I look on my bench and I see those bacon jerky packages.
I honestly wanted to keep all four Bacon Jerky packages so I could write an article and take good photos for it all before I dug in and reviewed them. I also wanted to savor them and maybe have a nibble here and a nibble there. Two bottles of water, two bags of bacon jerky, and two cops on a “stakeout” and those were gone in a matter of minutes. At that point, I was considering doing just a review of the bacon jerky.
All joking aside, honestly it was as good or better than any jerky I can get locally. As a product, their bacon jerky is worth checking out. Add some to your holster order, you will not regret it.
How did the holster perform at the range?
Finally, I got back into the swing of things and cleared out my backlog at work. I had a range day where I was asked to help a cadet get into the swing of things so he would be ready to qualify in the police academy. I decided to make the best of it and try out the We the People holster for my Beretta M9. I was still a skeptic though and I packed a spare holster to swap to.
A range day is a good day to try out a holster. I spent about four hours working with the cadet, going through draws, and demoing for him as we worked on his shooting skills. Holsters, particularly concealment holsters are judged like a good set of underwear. They should not be seen. They should not be felt. And for goodness’ sake, they should keep stuff in place. The We the People holster did a spot-on job of all three.
It’s a rare thing to find an inside the waistband holster, particularly for a full-sized double-stack service handgun, that you don’t feel. Now add in that it’s for a larger waisted dude and run the holster through its paces on the range going through repetition after repetition of draws from concealment AND one-handed reholstering.
Reholstering with the We The People Holster
Lots of holsters fail the reholstering test.
I’m an advocate of holstering reluctantly. I HONESTLY prefer for someone to use both hands, and to take their time after scanning and clearing and repeatedly checking the bad guy. I don’t care if you have to take the damned holster off your person to reholster safely. SAFELY. If there was a way to write bigger than all caps, I’d do it. Safely reholster. There are speed draw competitions but there are no speed holstering awards.
You can easily mistrain yourself into a speed holstering award of getting shot. It doesn’t have to be by the bad guy, it can be shot by yourself. Plenty of folks have popped a round off down their leg or into their leg putting a gun up. A few have even hit others. You want a quick indicator that your instructor knows his job, just take a basic class and look to see if they take as much time teaching you how to holster as they do how to draw. Every single time you draw, you had to holster the gun before and after. You do it just as much. You need to put as much thought and effort into training yourself to do it safely.
You also don’t want to practice bang bang holster. Slow down. Look around. Turn your head and look. Break that tunnel vision. You can easily get shot by someone you have already shot or even get shanked by his friend with a popsicle stick because for all the money and all the time and effort you put into training, you didn’t bother to look around to see if bad guy was bad guy number 1 of 2…or more. So slow down and do it right.
A good holster, particularly an inside the waistband holster, has to stay open so you can holster with one hand. Granted you want to make sure you don’t have a finger, or a shirttail, or that little doohickey from your jacket that holds the drawstring for the waistband tight (CUT THAT SHIT OFF) or any other foreign item inside the trigger guard as you holster. I know some of you are rolling your eyes because I’m preaching to the choir, but some sermons are for everyone. We the People nailed it by making a holster that stays open.
What about everyday use?
I’m two bags of bacon jerky and one range day deep into the experience and its going well. The We the People crew have delivered a holster that makes it through me working it over doing range drill and it hasn’t worn a hole in my side, hell I hardly know I’m wearing it. But, standing up on the range isn’t real life. Instead of trading out to my normal carry gun I decided to rock on with the M9. Sitting and driving, spending a few hours working in my office. Again, I forget I’m wearing it. No hot spots, no rub.
Basically, after the first range run and a day or two of using the holster the report is in. Not a thing changed over the next two months of running the holster. It just works. Almost boringly so. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stop there. I keep running the holster every time I am off work. I swapped to it for range trips, nights out with the wife, and a bit of running around taking care of errands. It’s hard to dislike gear that just works.
As with all gear we can break down the individual tasks it has to do. Retention- It hits that just-right spot where it will hold a fully loaded gun upside down and not drop the gun, yet it’s not a pants dragger when you try to draw. When it lets go of the gun, it lets go. It also doesn’t seem to make a wear point on my M9. It seats with a little click and releases with the same. This makes for retention but with an easy draw.
It stays open for holstering.
Some holsters collapse. I don’t like those. I want a gun to go back in without a fight. This one stays the same shape like it’s supposed to.
A belt attachment that stays on the belt. Now, this is a hot point for me. I don’t want some dinky little kydex flap that breaks the first time you bump it against a door frame. I also don’t want a metal bar that chews up my leather belt and scrapes anything you brush against. It has to hold the holster securely instead of the failed magic trick of drawing a gun with a holster still on it. You want to feel stupid on the range…do that one. Honestly, I’ve done it. I threw that holster away.
On a side note…It you don’t have a good belt, GET ONE. HANKSBELTS.com
I’m not a stickler for collectibles, but I don’t want my gun looking like I dragged it down the road either. A good holster won’t screw up your gun. ANY holster makes some wear, but it shouldn’t be scraping off the finish. Kydex can be notorious for wearing a finish off a gun. We the People nailed it. My very nice extremely well-made leather holster for my M9 wears about the same as the WTP kydex.
Last but not least is concealment.
Now, this is an inside the waistband holster. It also has the “Claw” attachment to turn the butt of the gun inward for better concealment when using it in an appendix carry. I wore it as a 4 o’clock holster. Worked like a charm and no one knew I was carrying at all.
I’m not the right shape for an appendix carry or it just doesn’t work for me. I’m also not a fan of it for new shooters. Back to the dangers of speed holstering. This goes double for appendix carry. It’s just too easy for someone with minimal training or poor training to try and Ricky Bobby a draw and shoot themselves somewhere that is worse than the outside and the back of the leg. By which I mean the groin, and the inside of the thigh including the femoral artery. It’s a bad way to go out. If you are going to carry appendix, seek training and dedicate time to train before you try and go fast.
The We the People holster is well suited for appendix carry. The claw attachment turns the butt of the gun inward and really helps to conceal it. While it doesn’t work for me your mileage may vary. Just be careful and train safely.
All in I was surprised and pleased with everything from We the People. The bacon jerky, the holster, the customer service. Since I have had the holster and said the name a few times out loud my phone has shown me ads for them. It’s a sign of the times, I guess. As for We the People Holsters, I think this is a company that is here to stay, and I look forward to their new offerings. Customer service, a product that delivers and bacon jerky. How can a man go wrong?
As an extra, the cadet I was helping to learn to shoot. He passed firearms and shot expert. The guy shows promise!