Like a lot of shooters, I thought all Kydex holsters were pretty much alike: a form-fitted shell molded into the shape of a specific gun. Nothing special. Big deal. I’ve owned a variety of such and didn’t find any of them particularly remarkable. A few nice things about each one here and there. Then I came across the Comp-Tac Victory Gear Warrior Stealth Footprint OWB and discovered the difference superior design and craftsmanship can make.
Full disclosure: this is not the first Comp-Tac holster I’ve tried, nor is it the only one I own. In fact, I have four and a couple of mag pouches for two different guns. I house my Smith & Wesson Shield 9 mm in a Comp-Tac outside-the-waistband holster and spare mags in the accompanying pouches on the opposite hip when I shoot IDPA and often EDC the Shield in the Infidel Ultra Max IWB, also with at least one of the aforementioned mag pouches. So, I’m familiar with the brand. But the Warrior, Comp-Tac’s newest OWB, is the first full-size Comp-Tac I’ve used, this one set up for my Glock G17.
What impresses me the most about Comp-Tac holsters as a whole is the thickness of the Kydex and the millwork around the edges and connecting points. Smooth only begins to tell the story. Made from aircraft-grade Kydex – the kind used by Boeing, Airbus, and others – there is not a scrap of extra material left over or a rough edge that could snag your gun, your shirt, or your hand drawing or reholstering. The Kydex feels a lot more substantial than a lot of other holsters I’ve tried.
Comp-Tac introduced the Warrior at SHOT Show 2018 as an answer to the oft-requested need for a slimmer OWB holster. The overall design is approximately 1/8 of an inch thinner than other Comp-Tac OWB holsters and many competitor models. While this may not seem like a lot, this slimming down allows for easier concealability, probably the biggest complaint about carrying OWB, especially in jacket-less warmer weather. This was achieved by changing the angles around the mountings to pull the holster a bit snugger against the belt while not compromising on the Kydex thickness or shape of the mold itself.
At a reasonable $75 for the Warrior, features abound. The front and back Kydex pieces are bound together with four screws. The whole rig is attached to your belt by two 1.50-inch rectangular, metal loops on back held securely by two screws each. While this is perfect for most shooters, a lack of 1.75-inch option might turn away some. The screws are rugged and screw in and out easily for adjustments but don’t back out accidentally.
The cant is adjustable up to 140 degrees from straight up to forward leaning to cross draw to accommodate most shooters by simply unscrewing the belt loops and repositioning. Because the screws and receivers are excellent quality with clean threads, this is an easy adjustment with just a Philips screwdriver.
Retention adjustment is also easy, with a single screw by the trigger guard. The Warrior I received came set up fairly well for retention. I could have left it alone and been fine, but I have a personal standard where I want my gun to stay locked in if I turn the holster upside down. A quick turn of the screw had it right where I wanted it.
The Warrior is available in six colors. Mine came with an FDE front and olive drab back plate. I’m not a big fan of this color combo, only because I typically wear a black or brown gun belt and my gun is black, but it’s growing on me. Of course, the back plate is invisible when worn.
Comp-Tac added a few nice touches that too few holster makers include. For instance, the gun model name is molded into the back, in this case “G17,” instead of making you guess or hold the holster up to the gun to make sure you have the right one, if you’re like me and have multiple holsters for multiple guns. Also, to avoid rubbing and keep your muzzle looking nice, the bottom opening sits flush with the end but allows for a threaded barrel with no modifications.
Comp-Tac was recently acquired by High Speed Gear, another great manufacturer, so I’m eager to see how the purchase affects the quality. I hope they let Comp-Tac alone and continue to make excellent holsters like the Warrior OWB.