Custom KYDEX for your Weapons with JMC Custom Holsters
Custom KYDEX for your Weapons with JMC Custom Holsters
Like most all of you out there, I have a box of holsters. It’s been growing larger year after year as I strive to not only find what works the best for me, but for what will accommodate me as I learn and grow as a shooter.
As my friend Doc from RSKTKR can attest, if your shooting isn’t constantly evolving, you’re stagnating. In my many talks with Doc about shooting, he mentioned a new KYDEX-smith out of Florida he’d been working with named Jason at JMC Custom Holsters. Before we get into the awesomeness that Jason is cranking out in Florida, let me elaborate on my KYDEX experience.
KYDEX and I have a love/hate relationship for the most part. Just when I think I’m getting used to running a KYDEX holster, I realize their shortcomings. For the most part for me this is due to the way they fit on my hip. I don’t know if it has anything to do with having “manly” hips, but I’ve found that all the KYDEX I’ve used up until this point does a horrible job of contouring to my hip. This is no matter if it’s ITW (Inside The Waistband) or OTB (Outside The Waistband).
This usually leads to me being overly paranoid about my weapon printing and going back to my SmartCarry Holster for Concealed Carry.
JMC Custom Holsters
While still skeptical about KYDEX, I contacted Jason at JMC Custom Holsters to inquire about availability and turnaround time. One thing that you might have already encountered when it comes to some Custom / Semi-Custom KYDEX-smiths is that they’re often hard to get ahold of. Jason was immediately going above and beyond in consulting with me to find out about my shooting style and what would work for me.
It’s my opinion that ITW holsters don’t necessarily provide the benefits they often tout, such as increased concealability. Not to mention they often more uncomfortable, but as a disclaimer I haven’t used a hybrid Leather/KYDEX holster yet, but it’s on my list to add to my box of holsters.
Getting Jason’s advice, we settled on the JMC Charlie Model OWB Holster to accommodate my Sig Sauer P226 with Surefire X200 Weapon Light. Additionally, I went with a Belt Slide Double Pistol Magazine Holder and a Belt Slide Single M4 Magazine Holder.
Charlie Model Holster
The first thing I noticed about the Charlie Model Holster, when it came in the mail around two months ago, was that it wasn’t as form fitting as some of the other KYDEX holsters I have. By form fitting I mean that you can’t see every little detail of your gun molded into the KYDEX. I’ll admit it made me curious about the retention level, but my concern was soon alleviated.
After I first put it on my Jones Tactical EveryDay Belt I realized that the contour around my hips was exactly what I’d been searching for in a OWB Holster. Not only did it contour perfectly, but the belt slide design pulled it in snugly to my waist. It’s also important to note that I wear the Charlie between the 4 and 5 o’clock position on my waist, which is just personal preference.
The retention level of the Charlie Model Holster is absolutely the precise amount of retention that I desire in a KYDEX holster. It can be turned upside down and shaken without releasing, yet draws easily under pressure. Something I’m dealing with however is an ever-so-slight hang up of my XS Big Dot front sight on the topmost front lip as I’m drawing my Sig. This has become easier and easier due to me removing a slight bit of material in that area with a Dremel Tool.
Some of the great things about KYDEX are that if you’re having an issue with fit you can use a Dremel, hair dryer or heat gun to tweak the Kydex. The downside is that you’re risking messing up the retention. I’d only recommend heating it up if you’re having issues with too tight of a fit. I haven’t had this issue at all with my Sig the JMC Charlie Model Holster.
One thing to also mention briefly to help enforce how easy it is to modify a KYDEX holster is that after receiving the JMC Charlie Model Holster, I upgraded my Sig P226 with a threaded barrel. I was able to pull out my Dremel and within a few minutes I had a cut out for the longer barrel that works perfectly and doesn’t hang up at all on the draw or holster.
Belt Slide Double Magazine Holder
I’ve run a double mag holder on my waist between the 10 and 11 o’clock position for a long time and gone through at least 3-4 different KYDEX versions as well as multiple Cordura pouches. While I like the Cordura pouches, I’ve run into issues with the retention while running. Most all of the KYDEX pistol mag holders don’t experience this issue, but what all of them seem to have is an issue biting into my Sig mags.
Lately I’ve been switching between factory Sig mags and Mec-Gar magazines, while I’m saving that comparison for a future article, factory Sig magazines have a small notch in them that’s been snagging on the lip of the KYDEX holster as I draw them. This isn’t a huge issue, but it has caused me to drop a couple of magazines performing emergency reloads.
I was relieved to notice that the JMC Belt Slide Double Magazine Holder didn’t bite my Sig mags at all. I attribute this to the semi-flared lip that seems to also help me out with faster mag draws. It may be all in my head, but it they do seem smoother and faster.
Again with the Double Magazine Holder it features the same Belt Slide design as the Charlie Model Holster which pulls the holder into my waist better and contours my hip better than any other KYDEX double mag holder I’ve used previously. The retention on the Double Magazine Holder is just the right amount as well.
Belt Slide Single Magazine Holder
As I’m always looking to mix things up and not stagnate with my shooting, I also picked up a single Belt Slide Single PMAG Magazine Holder. I’ve only been working with a single primary magazine holder since receiving this KYDEX order from Jason, but from what I’ve used of it so far it has its positives and negatives.
In terms of construction and function from JMC everything is great. As mentioned with the Sig holster and pistol magazine holders, this too contours excellently on my hip in the 3 o’clock position and the belt slide design pulls it in tightly. What I don’t particularly care for is having a large surface area sticking up from my waistband just asking to get caught on something.
I don’t feel there’s a place for running a primary magazine in this configuration if wearing full kit, but I can definitely see the benefits of this if working a detail, needing to keep your chest clear, or needing to stay as streamlined and discreet as possible with a primary weapon.
The configuration I ran with this holder was rounds forward, to stick to my typical index-finger-extended magazine draw style. I’m not a beer can gripper when it comes to drawing magazines and again this is just what works for me, your mileage may vary.
Two other items Jason sent along for me to check out were the Business Card Holder and the Money Clip. I think both of these items are great and show his creativity with KYDEX. While there’s not much to them, they’re both made with the same .093 KYDEX as the Charlie Model Holster and the Belt Slide Magazine Holders.
I admit I’m not much of a money clip kind of guy, but it works great for carrying around ITS business cards! The Business Card Holder has also found a place on our shipping table to easily grab one to toss in every order through our store.
Notes and Availability
Something I feel I should mention is that the items I received from JMC Custom Holsters are not ever going to win first prize in a beauty contest, but I say that in the most positive way. Some of the edges are rough, but not to the touch or to the point that it takes away from the functionality of the product. Rather, these products from JMC perform incredibly despite aesthetics.
To me this is a non-issue, but I wanted to mention it as some people out there might feel that their gear needs to look perfect. The reality of it for me is that I hate brand new shiny gear and look forward to breaking it in as much as possible.
JMC Holsters currently offers all their products in .093 KYDEX available in the following colors/styles: Black, Coyote Brown, Carbon Fiber and Desert Digital Camo (as seen in this review). I’m thoroughly impressed with the craftsmanship and innovation coming out of JMC Custom Holsters and look forward to seeing what’s to come.
UPDATE: We’ve received many emails about JMC customers not receiving their orders. Please keep this in mind if ordering and note that we are not affiliated with JMC Customer Holsters.
Photos and Video
For further information, check out the additional photos and YouTube video review below: