REVIEW: Theis IWB Holster for M&P Shield
As stated in the title, this will be my review of my Theis IWB Holster courtesy of Theisholsters.com | Home | Custom IWB Holsters. There will also be some sort-of comparison to the well-known Crossbreed Supertuck, since I also own one of those and it is the same style of holster (hybrid leather/kydex IWB.)
- Initial Impressions
Before getting to the actual unboxing of the holster, I have to touch on the subject of customer service. Do some searching on the Internet about Tommy Theis and his holsters and you will undoubtedly hear about his fantastic customer service. I sent him an e-mail with some questions I had an the first reply came 15 minutes later from his cell phone. Amazing speed. The longest he ever took to get back to me was a few hours. He runs a one-man operation making these holsters for customers and it's amazing that he can address customer e-mails that quickly. Rest assured: the rumors you've heard about Mr. Theis' customer service are true. Mr. Theis will also custom make any holsters, so if you have extra needs like a holster for a gun with a mounted light (or even a IWB holster for a Desert Eagle...I've seen the picture of one he made) then feel free to shoot him an e-mail.
Upon first opening the package, I can see that this was a quality piece. It's not some hack job holster thrown together, it's a quality piece. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Included in the package were some business cards that you can distribute. All of his holsters come with a "combat cut," and I chose to go with horsehide and the Kydex clips. I opted for the Kydex clips because they lay flat at the bottom instead of having a metal tab that moves outward away from the belt.
When I put my Shield in the holster, the first thing I noticed was the retention. Out of the box, this thing has MAJOR retention. Loads more than the Crossbreed did at first. This caused some problems with drawing the first few days, but eventually it's worn into a good, snug fit that draws easy.
I included the above profile shot to show how thin the gun and holster are. This is the reason I like the two-clip designs. Since I am prioritizing thin-ness by going with the Shield, I thought it would be a bad idea to get a single-clip holster that puts the clip right at the thickest part of the whole setup. That being said, I've used single-clip setups with the shield and it wasn't bad, just not what I prefer.
When I first put on the holster, it was very comfortable and held the gun well. I could not tell a different between this and my Crossbreed Supertuck as far as initial feel on my hip. With this setup in place, I began my testing and daily carry.
- Final Impressions
I've worn the Thies holster for about a month of daily carry use, and I'm happy to report it's been absolutely fantastic. It took a while to set the cant and height just right for me, but once I got it dialed in it's all gravy from there. The clips have held up to my daily use well. I say "my daily use" because I don't kick doors down, do tactical room clearing, or roll around on the ground shooting from the supine position. I've carried it around the house, to the mall, while driving up to an hour at a time, and the combination of this holster and the M&P Shield is great. I'm going to use very cliche phrases by saying, "You forget it's there" and "It carries so well it just disappears" because they apply here. Here's a picture of where I carry and how the holster has formed to my hip.
I carry at about the 8oclock position, with the maximum forward cant. This is because I ran into some problems with getting my fat fingers around the grip without bumping into my belt with anything less than the max forward cant. It still draws well from this position. I tucked my shirt in for the picture so you could see how I carried it. I took a picture with the shirt untucked but you couldn't see anything there!
I love this holster. I was looking to an alternative to the Crossbreed Supertuck that didn't take a month or more to get made and delivered. I realize that the reason it may take a while is because I'm left handed, and they probably don't have many extras of those laying around. The point of the comparisons to the Crossbreed are that this holster has done everything my Crossbreed has, but at a much cheaper price. I will break it down here:
Two and a half week wait.
Two week trial with lifetime warranty
Combat Cut +$7.50
No kydex clips
4 Weeks or more wait
Two week trial with lifetime warranty
(Note: above prices are based off ordering directly from the website, something I have to do because no local stores stock left hand holsters. I also recognize that wait times will vary depending on supply of holsters and demand for them. These are just from my personal experience.)
As you can see from the breakdown and the review, for me, the Theis holster has done everything the Crossbreed has done at a MUCH cheaper cost with the added bonus of kydex clips and a shorter wait time. It is for this reason that I now recommend Theis Holsters over Crossbreed Holsters.
Thank you for reading my review, it was my first gear review. As always, everything above is my own opinion - feel free to chime in if you have a differing one. I love my Crossbreed because it lets me carry a full size gun well, but I also love the Theis Holster for the reasons above. I am also working on a review for the Dale Fricke horizontal mag pouch - coming soon. Any questions please feel free to ask.