Review: Mission First Tactical Guardian OWB Ultra Concealment Holster

An innovative retention system lurks within this slim holster.

by
posted on April 5, 2024
Mission First Tactical Guardian OWB Ultra Concealment Holster

I’ve been carrying concealed for years and like most gun owners, I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect holster. It’s a balancing act—you want something comfortable for all-day wear, secure enough for confident carrying, and ideally, one that keeps your firearm concealed without printing, which can be tough when an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster. Enter the Mission First Tactical (MFT) Glock 17/47 Guardian OWB Ultra Concealment Holster, stage right.

First Impressions: Thin is In

Right out of the box, the Guardian holster impressed me with its sleek design. Its wings are constructed with Squadron fabric, a fancy way of saying it’s 1000D Cordura—a super durable and lightweight material that feels built to last. But, the real star of the show is the holster’s profile. It’s incredibly thin, making it a great option for when printing might be a concern. MFT achieves this slim profile with their CURV Thermoplastic Composite belt loops. These things are seriously strong and surprisingly comfortable, even with a full-size Glock like the G17 or G47.

Retention: Magnetic Personality

If you find yourself strangely attracted to this holder, perhaps due to its magnetic personality. Or the magnets at the bottom that hold the gun inside. MFT ditched the traditional screw adjustable retention system for the innovative In-Line Magnetic Retention System (ILMRS). I both love it and hate it but for legitimate reasons. The draw is smooth and snag-free, with a bit of a pull to overcome. Nothing major, just a little tug. More importantly, the holster retains the firearm securely during movement, even during some vigorous activity. The ILMRS also boasts zero retention screws to wear out or adjust, making this a truly set-and-forget holster. That’s the good part.

gun in guardian holsterNow for the (potentially) bad part. The “Integrated Barrel Stabilizer Insert” (IBSI) uses a neodymium magnetic post that sticks up through your barrel to secure the firearm. The idea is sound: keep the barrel straight and upright to maintain a good draw angle. However, there are two draw (ha!) backs to this system. The first is the post, while smooth, could scratch the inside of the barrel with continuous use. Second, thanks to the block at the bottom, it won’t work with anything longer than a standard-length barrel.

I found this out the hard way when I tried to insert my G17 with a ZEV threaded barrel. I had to swap it out and reinstall the Glock factory version to make the holster work. If you use a threaded or extended barrel, this is not the holster for you. Ironically, the sight channel allows suppressor-height sights, but you can’t use it with a threaded barrel, and the two seem to go together on today’s pistols.

Perfect Fit and Finish

The Guardian holster offers terrific fit and finish. All the edges are smooth and snag-free, and the Squadron fabric belt loops are correctly stitched and sized perfectly for 1.5-inch belts. I tried it with both a Nexbelt and a leather belt from another holster maker, and it worked perfectly with both. The holster also features a slide-mounted optic relief cut that accommodates a variety of optics.

Parting Shot

The MFT Glock 17/47 Guardian OWB Ultra Concealment Holster is a winner in my book. It’s comfortable, secure, and conceals your firearm effectively. The ILMRS magnetic retention system is innovative and reliable, so long as you use a standard barrel, and the overall design prioritizes both comfort and performance. With an MSRP of $124.99, it’s a great value for the features you get. If you’re looking for a top-notch concealment holster for your Glock G17 or G47, the MFT Guardian deserves a spot on your shortlist.

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