Review: N8 Tactical G2 IWB Holster

posted on October 2, 2021
handgun in a holster

Every holster has its good and bad sides, features that work well, and features that leave you scratching your head. The N8 Tactical Professional G2 IWB Holster is no exception. There are several things I really like and think you will, too, and one that I wondered what they were thinking. Let’s start with the good.

The basic design of the Professional G2 is an IWB purposed as a strongside-hip concealment holster that likely won’t work well if you prefer appendix carry, mostly due to the enormous, cushioned leather and polypropylene pad that rests against the skin. I prefer strongside carry anyway, so this worked well for me. Once I got over the odd shape and how huge it is, I realized the genius behind the design. The backer is extremely comfortable and kept the gun’s grip off my skin perfectly. No complaints. I just had to get used to the odd shape. Could N8 have accomplished the same with a smaller footprint? Maybe, but aesthetics is less of an issue on an IWB because nobody sees it in public.

Belt retention was excellent, with a single adjustable plastic clip that was easy to put on and fit snugly over both belts that I tried: a leather belt by CrossBreed and a Nexbelt Supreme PreciseFit adjustable nylon belt, which is a bit thinner. Testing with both let me see if the clip held with different thicknesses. The holster didn’t move through all-day carry, including in and out my car, bending down, squatting, walking, and other everyday activities. It stayed right where I had put it in the morning. No complaints.

The belt clip cant is adjustable with a single screw. Similar systems I have tried in the past tended to loosen throughout the day, causing the holster to swivel. This one, however, did not. I deliberately tried to get it to move, but it would not budge until I unscrewed it. The patent-pending LockDown clip mechanism works as advertised.

The gun is held in place via a Kydex shell bound to the backer by seven screws. They held the gun firmly, with an audible and tactile click. It stayed in place and felt secure all day.

Even with those plusses, however, herein also lies my biggest complaint about the holster: the draw. Touted as a safety feature in the enclosed literature, the Twist Release Draw Stroke is, in my opinion, a detriment. Rather than allowing the gun to pull straight out like on almost all other IWBs, the N8 Tactical Professional G2 requires a twist to free the gun from the small “bump” (their term) that holds the trigger guard in place.

While this may not sound so bad at first since some Level 3 OWBs have a twist-to-release system, and this is certainly not a new concept, in this case the twist is toward your body, not away from it. So, once you’ve acquired the firing grip on the gun, you must twist it toward your body, essentially pinching your thumb between the grip and your side. And it’s not just a small twist. It’s substantial. This motion disconnects your grip and forces a regrip when you bring the gun up on target. It’s also not an intuitive motion, requiring a lot of practice to commit it to muscle memory, hardly something you want to deal with under stress. I rarely give holster companies recommendations, but I suggest changing the retention feature on this one.

All that said, overall the N8 Tactical Professional G2 IWB is a comfortable holster that stays in place through activities. It’s easy to adjust and holds the gun extremely well. Too well, in fact. Total grade: B+, slightly downgraded only because of the draw twist. Retail price, $59.95.


shooter at the range
shooter at the range

Skills Check: Present Arms

We refer to the draw stroke as the presentation at Gunsite. It’s a better explanation than simply “drawing” the pistol, because it describes the act of presenting the pistol from the holster to the target or threat. In our “basic,” five-day pistol class we expect students to present the pistol and make hits on targets from 3 to 7 yards away in 1.5 seconds. Most students can do this in two or three days of training.

First Look: Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro 9 mm Pistol with Shield Red-Dot Optic

Springfield Armory now offers its popular Hellcat Pro 9 mm pistol with a factory-installed Shield SMSc red-dot optic.

Henry Celebrates 25 Years of Gunmaking with Limited-Edition Rifles

Two limited-edition rifles celebrating 25 years for Henry are being released.

First Look: Elite Survival Systems Hip Gunner Pack

Carry your defensive firearm with you in a pack, without carrying off-body.

Mental Focus vs. Mental Awareness

Shooting at the very edge of your skills envelope requires tremendous mental focus and well-developed shooting awareness. However, some shooters believe that shooting awareness and mental focus are one in the same. They are not. Using pistol shooting (combat or competition) as an example, what is the difference between the two and how can it help you hone your shooting skills to a razor’s edge?

First Look: PHLster Holsters Modular Wedge Kit

Mix and match these soft and durable foam pieces for a perfect holster fit.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.