The popularity of Kydex holsters has grown considerably since their introduction to the gun world in the early 1990’s. Kydex – a blend of acrylic and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) composites engineered specifically for use in thermoforming applications – has the ideal mechanical properties for use in holster applications. Kydex is stiff and abrasion resistant and comes in sheets that are easily formed into and around complex shapes. It is this latter property that makes Kydex so good for holsters, as small sheets of it can be heated up and literally molded around a firearm to produce tough, durable inexpensive holsters that are chemical and environmentally resistant.
Battleware Technologies is a Virginia-based retailer that specializes in the sale of top quality tactical equipment and gear, however, Battleware is also a manufacturer of its own body armor systems and a producer of their own branded line of Kydex holsters. Featured below is one of Battleware’s Kydex holster systems for the FNP-45 Tactical pistol molded in a Flat Dark earth (FDE) color. Along with the holster of course, there are matching magazine pouches, in both single and double magazine versions (the double mag pouch is shown in the picture below).
This OWB holster system has been molded to fit the FNP-45 equipped with a tactical light – in this case, the Surefire X300 weaponlight (http://www.surefire.com/x300-led-weaponlight.html). Note, however, that the pistol shown in the picture below is actually equipped with a different light, the Streamlight TLR-1S (http://www.streamlight.com/product/product.aspx?pid=178). The Battleware holster actually accommodated the TLR-1s, which has dimensions very similar to that of the X300, very easily; the fit was bit tighter but the pistol was still able to be drawn and holstered relatively easily.
The quality of these holsters is first class; the Kydex is tightly and precisely molded and the FDE coloring is uniform and evenly distributed throughout both the holster and mag pouch, without any sign of variation or inconsistency. All of the molded edges are smooth and beveled, with no sharp surfaces or edges to abrade either the wearer of the wearer’s clothes. The fit of both the hoster and the mag pouch is excellent, holding the gun and magazines snugly; in addition, tension adjustment screws are available to adjust the secureness of fit on both pieces.
With respect to the fit and carriage of the two pieces, the only potential downside lies with the magazine pouch, and even that is not really the fault of the pouch itself; the baseplates of the FN magazines are so large that they cover up the space between the magazines that is used to index one’s finger when drawing a magazine from the pouch. Like all engineered products, there are always tradeoffs to be made between the various physical parameters of the product; holsters and mag pouches are no different. Had the pouch designers increased the gap between the magazines for easier withdrawal, that would have caused a corresponding increase in the length of the actual magazine pouch itself, which would mean that it would take up more room on the wearer’s belt.
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