Lawful Carry: Blade-Tech Holsters For Pistols With Tactical Lights

I was never the smartest kid in class. The truth of the matter is that I worked hard and pulled more B’s and C’s than A’s. I did, however, have common sense. I took it for granted that everyone has common sense. I was wrong. I would not think of taking a road trip across country starting with half a tank of gas. In fact, I would fill up, get a tune-up and have the tires rotated.

I would also not carry a pistol with a light rail without having a holster that would accept the pistol with the light attached. It’s true that a weapon light can be carried separately on the belt and attached if one is suspecting trouble—and has the time to attach the light. Nonetheless, most potential deadly force incidents de-escalate and end without a shot being fired. In the case of law enforcement, the situation usually ends with an officer having to go “hands on” to affect an arrest. Sticking a pistol with a light attached into one’s belt is not an option—at least not a smart option. A holster is needed.

The three holsters evaluated included (from left to right) the Level 2 Tactical holster, the Tactical Light holster, and the Tactical Light IWB holster. They are shown here with the Kimber Warrior and the Kimber TLE/RL used to evaluate them.


With a few exceptions, however, it has been hard to find a good holster for a pistol with a light attached—until now.

Recently S.W.A.T. received three Kydex holsters for test and evaluation from Blade-Tech, each of which is designed to carry a pistol with a light mounted. All three holsters shared features such as being molded for a specific weapon/light combo, a molded-in sight track and adjustable tension. The holsters were evaluated using a Kimber Warrior and a Kimber TLE/RL, both with SureFire X-200 lights, though most of Blade-Tech’s holsters are available for other gun/light combos.

The first holster is Blade-Tech’s Level 2 Tactical Holster. This holster has a thumb break that can be snapped down to the outside of the holster if so desired. The belt attachment for this holster is Blade-Tech’s patented TEK-LOK™. Adjustable for different widths of duty belts, the TEK-LOK also allows the holster to be worn in straight drop, muzzle forward and FBI cant positions. Initially I found some sharp edges on the sides of the thumb break, but two minutes with an emery board had them removed.

Note the attachment methods for the three holsters.


The Level 2 Tactical Holster rides high and tight enough against the body that, with loose outer clothing, it could be worn concealed. It would, however, serve better as a duty holster.

The second offering from Blade-Tech is simply called the Tactical Light Holster.

This open-top holster has two tension screws to allow users to set the tension adjustment to their needs—a little or a lot. Due to the added weight and width of the pistol/light combo that is placed on a belt, the Tactical Light Holster uses Blade-Tech’s new SR belt loop for steadiness. This belt loop measures four inches end-to-end and held the pistol close to the body, aiding in concealment. If I were to wear a pistol with a light attached in an outside the waistband holster, this would be a good first choice.

My personal preference for wearing a concealed pistol is an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. While IWBs take a little getting used to, I firmly believe that the security (tight against the body) and concealability they offer are well worth any small amount of discomfort.

The author was surprised how comfortable the Blade-Tech IWB holster was—even during extended periods of wear.


When I first looked at the third holster, the Tactical Light IWB, I was skeptical—to say the least. I fully expected this holster, used with a Kimber TLE/RL, to prod and poke me in places that I did not want to be poked and prodded. I was wrong.

From the very beginning I was very pleasantly surprised to find how comfortable it was wearing it at the four o’clock position where I wear all my IWB holsters. Two straps with one-way snaps secure the holster to the belt, making it easy to attach and remove.

As of this writing, the Tactical Light IWB holster is available only for Glock and 1911-style handguns with the SureFire X200.

It is my opinion that if you use a pistol capable of mounting a light, you need a holster for it when the light is attached. If you agree, check out these and other products from Blade-Tech.

SOURCE:

Blade-Tech
Dept. S.W.A.T.
2506 104th Street Ct. So., Suite A
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 581-4348
www.blade-tech.com

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