A Universal Fit Holster?

A Universal Fit Holster?

This is a discussion on A Universal Fit Holster? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; An exhibitor who had several tables at the Abilene Silver Spur Gun Show last weekend was devoting one table to selling this holster, purported to ...

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Thread: A Universal Fit Holster?

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    A Universal Fit Holster?

    An exhibitor who had several tables at the Abilene Silver Spur Gun Show last weekend was devoting one table to selling this holster, purported to accept any reasonable concealed carry handgun with equal facility.



    It's labeled a Stealth Universal and it's a bit of a different take on IWB holsters. Since I was doing the security and had all night, I bought one and played with it. My friend Gary Clayton had been over from Yorkshire for 10 days and we'd done some shooting so I had dirty guns to clean as an all-night chore. I'd taken 10 handguns with me besides the ones I was toting so tried out models of all sorts in this holster. I even wore it around for a few hours with some of them just for grins.

    The holster seems to gain its "universal fit" capabilities from a combination of its design and from the material from which it is constructed. It's basically sewn in two flat pieces,double-stitched, the results simply funneling the handgun as far into the holster as required to provide retention. The smaller the handgun, the farther into the holster it rides. The material is some sort of fake leather stuff, with slight elasticity, lined on the inside, with edges heat-sealed. Two blued steel spring clips are provided for attachment to the waistband of one's trousers beneath the belt.

    Retain handguns it does ... quite well, at least while it is new. The holster could be turned upside down with all handguns tried and none would slip out, even with some shaking. Now if one shook rather vigorously, the largest, heaviest ones would come out but none would fall from their own weight.

    I always have felt that spring clips were a nuisance and clumsy to don when putting on a holster. I've always avoided them. This holster was just as clumsy for me to put on as any other I tried but once on, it stayed put. It didn't shift when walking or sitting down and it didn't shift when handguns were "enthusiastically" withdrawn from it such as might be the case in an emergency.

    I don't really believe in "one-size-fits-all"holsters but this one's not bad. It's at its best with medium-sized automatics to the Colt Government Model. This would include must of the usual run of duty pistols popular today. The Hi-Power was a good fit. The exhibitor had some blue gun mock-ups for interested parties to try in the holster, including a Glock 19 and all worked well. The holster is also at its best with short-barreled K-Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers and the Colt Detective Special. J-Frame Smith & Wessons were fine in it and easy to draw.

    I tried it with a Kel Tec P3AT and it even worked ok with that runt .380. Turned upside down the P3AT couldn't be easily dislodged with shaking and, while the pistol rode pretty deeply inside the holster, it could be grasp and drawn without clumsiness. Since the holster will accept larger and more gratifying concealed carry handguns, there is no way I'd waste it by carrying a sniveling, shrunken .380 pistol in it.

    On the opposite end of handgun size, I wore it for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, filled with "the big iron," the N-Frame Smith & Wesson 4-inch Heavy Duty. Now this was only a test. Some pants with 38-inch waist would be more appropriate for such an endeavor as me, the holster, and the revolver weren't really getting along all that well in my 36-inch jeans. It wasn't completely miserable though for a short period of time though and the gun was easily accessible. In the mirror I just looked all whopper-jawed with right hip bulging. I could see though where the holster could work with a short-barreled N-Frame gun with pants on that were the right size and under a covering garment. The jury's out on wearing such an outfit 8 hours a day. I have a dark suit with 38-inch trousers so may try it one day.

    Quality of Design and Construction

    As mentioned earlier, the holster is made of some sort of synthetic leather. They were available in every color one could want as long as it was black. The holster is double-stitched with white thread and the edges are smoothly heat-sealed, with no sharp edges or corners to catch on clothing. The bottom of the holster is split in a curious manner which allows the holster to flex to fit different handguns. A logo is heat-embossed into the surface of the material, so faint that it is almost unreadable. In strong sunlight, with reading glasses and a magnifying glass I could make out an entwined S and U, Stealth Universal, and could tell that smaller lettering was present at the bottom of the holster marking. Whether this was the holster maker's name, an address, or a web address can't be discerned. I sorta think it was a web address. Effective identification of the product would be an aid to marketing this holster. It came in an unmarked plastic bag. The exhibitor says he's the only Texas distributor and that the holster is made by a woman in Missouri.

    The front and back halves of the holster appear to be held together by the outer stitching. Don't know if this would hold up well to flexing long term. The steel clips are sewn into reinforced "pads" which help provide rigidity and perhaps durability. I'm not sure this material will wear as well or as long as leather.

    The holster is lined with a thin, black material that is soft yet may contribute to keeping one's sidearm in place. It should be kind to one's handgun's finish. This material is apparently glued to the inside surfaces of the holster. I noticed that the model on the gun show exhibit table that had the "blue-gun" Glock 19 stuffed in it had lining that was beginning to peel away from the rear top corner of the holster. I pointed this out to the exhibitor who said that holster had been in use for some time as a sample. The adjustable rear sight on a Smith & Wesson revolver will play havoc with this lining in short order as the sight blade catches on the edge of the lining and rakes it as one holsters his revolver, unless one takes special care to squeeze the holster away from the sight blade away as he's holstering. I would bet that many automatics' sights will serve the liner in the same fashion. The maker probably ought to look to this area with a view to product improvement. The fixed sight handgun models I tried in it gave no trouble with snagging on the liner's edge.

    Can't say what would happen to the holster's exterior surfaces after a year or two of steady use, chaffing inside trousers or jeans. I suspect leather would be harder wearing.

    Despite the spring clips, I could see this holster as being a first choice for medium-framed automatics and revolvers. It's the best thing I have on hand for IWB use for Smith & Wesson K-Frame snubs or the Detective Special. It's better than the leather Holsters Unlimited IWB holster I picked up years ago while in England which is an overbuilt clunk, and uncomfortable.

    For the $40 purchase price I feel it's worthwhile as something that will work reasonably well with most practically-sized concealed carry handguns one could wish to carry IWB. It could be a top choice for use with some handguns. The holster's got to be as good as most of these nylon or Kydex contraptions so popular these days. Face it. I just like leather best.

    It's not perfect for universally accepting all handguns but it ain't as bad is one might think.

    This isn't a advertisement for the holster and the only way I know to obtain one is through the dealer from which I purchased. I searched the internet, including photos and images for "Stealth Universal IWB holster" and found nothing that looks like this holster. If one has seen this holster or knows more about it then please chime in. I have the dealer's business card. If someone needs the telephone number just PM.




    Full-sized 1911 type pistol


    Compact Star BM 9mm (also showing the side with the double clips)


    Runt Kel Tec P3At


    4-inch Smith & Wesson N-Frame revolver


    2 1/2-inch Smith & Wesson K-Frame revolver


    2-inch J-Frame Smith & Wesson revolver


    OK. Let's not get overly enthused about this holster. This is carrying universal fit a bit too far. An 8 3/8-inch Smith & Wesson K-22 stuck in the holster for a lark. Guess it'd work if you didn't mind the back of your pants sticking out behind and looking like a tail fin on a '59 Cadillac!

    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    Sorry not my choice.

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    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Interesting!


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    Nice review!

    I'll take the guns, you keep the holster.

    I'm like you, Bryan, and like leather holsters.

    It's certainly creative, and had some thought put into it.
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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    That is certainly interesting, but it doesn't offer much protection from the grip rubbing your skin.
    Retired State Trooper (40 long years) 8 years State Range Instructor - BS Degree- Justice, MS Degree- Criminology
    All forms of Gun Control are Unconstitutional / Illegal and beyond the scope of the US. Supreme Court.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    That is an interesting concept Bryan. I'd be interested in a report of how it works after a use period of 30 days daily carry, comfort and do on.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    That is an interesting concept Bryan. I'd be interested in a report of how it works after a use period of 30 days daily carry, comfort and do on.
    YES ^^^^^ THAT ^^^^

    AND, from your comment about squeezing the holster to make the opening wider when reholstering N frame revolvers, etc. - it made me wonder how difficult it is to reholster quickly.. ......as in: you shot the BG, LE arriving on scene right now, time to reholster before they shoot you...........like that.
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    NO NO I will not say it. I wont!!! Never!!!

    But I know some of you are thinking it
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterGranny View Post
    YES ^^^^^ THAT ^^^^

    AND, from your comment about squeezing the holster to make the opening wider when reholstering N frame revolvers, etc. - it made me wonder how difficult it is to reholster quickly.. ......as in: you shot the BG, LE arriving on scene right now, time to reholster before they shoot you...........like that.
    Oh ShooterGranny, the N-Frame went right in. It was the K-Frame Model 66 with its adjustable rear sight that wanted to snag on the liner and required manipulation to re-holster without damaging the liner. One could certainly cram the revolver in readily enough. He'd just pull the liner loose after a few re-holsterings.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Great review, it actually looks like someone has been able to create a real one-size fits all holster.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Oh ShooterGranny, the N-Frame went right in. It was the K-Frame Model 66 with its adjustable rear sight that wanted to snag on the liner and required manipulation to re-holster without damaging the liner. One could certainly cram the revolver in readily enough. He'd just pull the liner loose after a few re-holsterings.
    OK. Sounds quite workable. And it's just kooky enough looking that it appeals to me.........LOL

    Might be interested in trying one on if they were available at LGS's in area. Sure could solve the problem of which holster to use with which gun.........
    Getting old was not on my list of "things to do" in the Golden Years!

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    Member Array grbr's Avatar
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    Something would not have to simply fit/retain every gun and stay on your pants to be a universal holster.

    It would have to universally protect triggers. Some pics there are showing a bit too much trigger guard.

    It would have to universally avoid magazine releases. Any good holster maker would not allow the leather to cover the mag release like I see in those pictures, or else would have a specific recess shaved out and wet molded to protect it. On this design the same pressing that is making retention is doing so on your mag release.

    It would have to universally offer full grip for draw. Even in just those pictures there there's some really crappy draws being shown. The bigger revolvers look ok, but the autos and smaller revolver look horrid for draw grip, and ironically, such autos and smaller revolvers are the most common for concealed carry.

    I could go on with more, but I can sum it up thusly: it looks to offer to be a mediocre holster to all, and a good holster to none. Unless being told I'm gonna be shipwrecked with 50 pistols and 1 holster...that has little purpose in my eyes. Even then I might say I'd rather have 1 good holster for 1 of them and just leave the other 49 alone. The $40 I spent on that would just have been a waste when I inevitably need to get one that fits my gun like intended. Granted, it's interesting to see and gets points for thinking outside the box...but this time around "inside the box" might be the better way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grbr View Post
    It would have to universally avoid magazine releases. Any good holster maker would not allow the leather to cover the mag release like I see in those pictures, or else would have a specific recess shaved out and wet molded to protect it. On this design the same pressing that is making retention is doing so on your mag release.
    Good critique - and especially the above about covering/pressing against mag release. Nothing worse than pulling your gun in an emergency and finding you only have one shot!!!!
    msgt/ret likes this.
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    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    While I don't think it would replace my Garrett or Nichols rigs, I can see it being very handy for guns that don't get carried often enough to justify the purchase of a dedicated holster. One example is my HK USP 45 Tactical; it's big enough that I don't carry it much except while I'm hiking or camping (and then it's in a chest rig by HPG). Same would go for any new gun I might want to occasionally carry but not all the time.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Bryan, as to the mention of the lining and it peeling at the edge; some of my very best holsters are made with a calf skin lining that is glued to the inside of bull hide holsters, and then stitched with the rest of the holster.

    I think you will find that this is not a big deal, and the peeling will be stopped where the stitching begins.
    Also the lining does provide a great grip to the gun.

    Additionally, I have found that local saddle makers in this area turn out holsters for me with double thick belts that are heads above popular name brands out there making " top tier " holsters.
    We would be made to believe that SD Meyer, Rosen, Sparks, and others have the quality holster market cornered, but I have found that to be not true.
    As ugly as it is, from the looks of it, that holster may be a very good one.
    I sure as heck would rather have it than a Remora.
    Wear it for a while and give us a report. :)
    msgt/ret and blitzburgh like this.
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