First Look: 1791 Gunleather Tactical Kydex IWB Holster

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posted on February 5, 2019
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Known for its line of handmade leather gun belts and concealed-carry holsters, 1791 Gunleather expanded its holster lineup in 2019 to include a new, all-Kydex design. This step by the company developed out of a desire to provide an improved design that, according to the company's CEO, solves the issues commonly found in other Kydex rigs on the market. These improvements combine with the inherent benefits of Kydex holsters over leather holsters, including the ability of all-Kydex designs to remain impervious to temperature, moisture and sweat.

“Why would a leather holster company known for handcrafting beautiful steerhide delve into the world of Kydex?”1791 Gunleather CEO Ramiro M. Romani said. “Because we don’t think you should carry with a holster that’s less than optimal, and we knew we could offer Kydex fans a better all-around holster. 1791 Tactical IWB holsters solve the performance limitations commonly found in traditional Kydex holsters. Retention, concealability, wear and tear on your gun and everyday comfort are addressed in our thoughtful design and meticulous manufacturing process.”

Made from Kydex 100 material measuring 0.080-inch thick, each holster in the company's IWB Kydex lineup is molded exactly to the contours of a particular model of firearm using a replica firearm made to the precise dimensions of the particular gun for which the holster is designed. This process was developed to address some of the issues that arise with other manufacturing methods, such as injection-molding or thermo-molding process form-fitted onto the imprecise dimensions of a blue gun or other polymer model. A proprietary molding process developed by 1791 Gunleather gives them the ability to put a precise, consistent amount of pressure on every square inch of the holster body. This, combined with a careful heating process, ensures that each holster is fitted exactly to a particular firearm. After fitting, each Kydex holster receives a hand-buffed finish.

One of the elements of the company's Tactical Kydex line is the friction retention fitted to the trigger guard of a handgun rather than the slide. This way, repeated unholstering and re-holstering won't damage or wear away the finish on the slide. Another feature found in the company's lineup is an integrated concealment wing, which pushes the holster closer to a wearer's body, ensuring deeper concealment. An adjustable retention screw allows wearers to fine-tune the amount of friction retention around the trigger guard, and an adjustable clip offers 0-15 degrees of cant. Each 1791 Gunleather IWB Kydex holster is fitted with a 1.75-inch belt clip, which can slide over a gun belt, allowing for easy mounting and removal inside the waistband.

Other features found in the holster lineup includes an open muzzle that accommodates all threaded barrels and muzzle devices, as well as an optic cut on the holster mouth that provides clearance for today's slide-mounted reflex sights. A raised sweat shield separates a holstered gun from the wearer's body, and stainless-steel hardware resists corrosion and weather.

Both strong-side and appendix-carry models of the 1791 Gunleather IWB Kydex holster are available for a range of popular concealed-carry handguns, including Glock, Smith & Wesson, SIG Sauer, Springfield Armory, CZ-USA and nearly any 1911.

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