CTAC/MTAC v K&D Dakota Defender

This is a discussion on CTAC/MTAC v K&D Dakota Defender within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay, I know in the end it will come down to my own personal tastes, but in looking for an adjustable IWB for a full ...

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Thread: CTAC/MTAC v K&D Dakota Defender

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    CTAC/MTAC v K&D Dakota Defender

    Okay, I know in the end it will come down to my own personal tastes, but in looking for an adjustable IWB for a full size 1911 I think I've narrowed it down to either an MTAC/CTAC from Comp-Tac or possibly the Dakota Defender from K&D.

    My question is, are there differences in the designs that make one preferable to the other? All three seem very similar in design and it looks like it would just come down to whether I want Kydex, a little leather, or mostly leather... Is that about right?

    What about thickness? Is the all Kydex CTAC that much thinner than the MTAC or Defender? Or is the difference negligible?

    Obviously both seem to have great service and the Comp-Tac holsters will likely be here in a week vs 14-16 weeks with K&D, but my CHL won't be here for at least that long either...

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    The smell and comfort of leather......or.......the kydex(?)
    I've got a K&D that I'm waiting on and I've had a MTAC and CTAC for over a year now. The MTAC get's the most use 'cause it covers all my needs, concealment of my G23, comfort in the heat with minimal concealment clothing, and quality and security. Not taking away from K&D, I can't wait for my leather from him, I'm like a kid waiting on Santa to 'hurry up'(!)......but the MTAC does agreat service for me and it'll get to ya pretty quick, vice the 12-16 week turnaround on custom leather.

    I say order a MTAC AND a K&D Defender!
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    lol... I figured I'd get some "Just get both"... and eventually I probably will (especially if one or the other doesn't work for me), but for now I'm just gonna grab one and hope it works for me.

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    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    While I don't have a 1911, I do have all the holsters listed above and they are fairly different IMO.

    The CTAC is nice in that the Kydex fits perfectly, requires zero break-in and the rigid Kydex means you'll never have a binding issue. Smooth draws every time.

    The main downside is that it doesn't have the big, flat surface area that the other two do in order to make it quite as comfortable, and it is more functional than good looking.

    The MTAC looks a lot nicer and has a nice comfy back side. The only issue I have with mine is they had problems with over-retention until they broke in. I guess I'd just be prepared for wear it around the house for a while until it breaks in. I would *not* just strap this one on and wear it out until you wear it for a while and test the retention.

    While I have all these holsters, the rest are in the 'box' now that I have the K&D.

    Retention is a bit tighter than the CTAC, but I've never had it stick like the MTAC. While it did break in a bit (form around the curve of my body), it was pretty good out of the box.

    But in general, it's just a different beast. A better beast. A prettier beast. A lot prettier beast.

    All are plenty thin.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd probably order a CTAC for now and get a K&D on order.

    The CTAC won't require any break-in, will be sure to arrive quickly and will fit your firearm perfectly. It isn't as sexy as the others, but 'it just works'.

    But you'll want the K&D in the end, so might as well get it on order. They don't charge your credit card until your holster starts being made.

    Good luck,

    -john

  6. #5
    Member Array ShooterMcGavin's Avatar
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    I have both the MTAC and Dakota Defender...
    I needed a new holster around the time when the MTAC came out. When I saw what it offered, I did not even consider the CTAC. I have heard that the CTAC is a little thinner than the MTAC. I did not have any retention problems as described by bzdog. The draw has always been smooth and I can increase retention if I want. However, it is a little tough for me to get a high level of retention from the MTAC, even after tightening the screws. One nice feature of the MTAC is that you can buy a new body-piece and use the holster to carry a different gun. This makes it cheaper to switch to carrying something different. However, I would not rely on this for two guns that you switch between. It would mean that you'd have to change holster bodies often.

    The Dakota Defender.... is simply gorgeous! The craftsmanship is a huge step above the MTAC. The fit and finish of the gun in the holster is on a different level. I do not have much experience carrying with this holster yet, but it is similar to the MTAC in its adjustability and tuckable nature. It seems a little thicker than the MTAC. The retention was initially pretty solid, but leaving the gun in the holster overnight and performing a dozen draws is all it took to ease the retention. The MTAC has grown on me, so it is too early to say how well the DD will carry after I have used it for several months. One noticable feature of the DD is the absence of excess material under the bottom of the trigger guard. There is leather covering the trigger, of couse, but there is a lot of clearance to allow a quick and secure grip of the gun. That is a nice feature that can't really be done on a "universal" holster like the MTAC.

    For reference, the DD carries a S&W M&P40. The MTAC was used to carry the M&P40 and it is now setup to carry the Kel-tec PF-9.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great input guys. I was actually leaning towards K&D due to the initial responses, but then I had this email exchange with Kevin from K&D (I sent him an email when I posted here):

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    So I'm looking for an adjustable IWB holster and I'm down to either the MTAC from Comp-Tac or your Dakota Defender... I was wondering (aside from being all leather), are there benefits to your design over the MTAC?
    Kevin Manley's response:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Manley
    Mr. Dooley:

    Thank you for your interest in K&D Holsters. You'll be much better served and happier with the MTAC.

    Regards,
    Kevin
    K&D Holsters
    Now I found that to be an odd response to an honest question... Everything I've heard is that Kevin is really great at working with customers to get exactly what they need, etc... So I sent this email to maybe clarify a bit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Huh? I must admit I’m very confused by your response. Here I am trying to pick out my first holster and I honestly don’t understand what differences there are between your product and one from the competition that is similar, and yet very different and you just tell me to buy your competitor’s product? Either you don’t like being in business, you’re having a bad day, or somehow I insulted you. If the latter is the case I apologize, as this was not my intention.
    And I just got this response:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Manley
    Mr. Dooley:

    I did not take your inquiry as being insulted. I just gave you my frank, honest opinion. Thank you for considering K&D Holsters.

    Regards,
    Kevin
    K&D Holsters
    So it seems that for some reason K&D Holsters doesn't want my business... Unless you guys have a different view on this, I guess my money's going to Comp-Tac. It's a shame too, K&D sounds like it would have been a good choice from what you guys said.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

    The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare. -Thane Yost

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    Was that all you said, or did you provide a more detailed description of what you were looking for?

    Certainly, I think Kevin tries not to spend a lot of time answering emails as this takes him away from making holsters and he already has more demand than he can supply.

    Of course, I certainly would be a bit disappointed with such a response.

    I do feel the K&D is a superior product over the Comp-TAC offerings and I'm not sure I'd let one goofy interaction deprive you of a good product. Certainly lots of people here have had good interactions.

    That said, they are different and depending on your needs, you might prefer one over the other. No matter what, it will take a fair while to get your K&D so you likely need something else in the mean time.

    -john

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    That was literally every word that passed between us upto that point.

    I completely understand that some people just don't do well with email communication, especially when they've got (what they perceive to be) more important things to do, but this was really a pretty big kick in the face for me - being a new guy who knows absolutely nothing about holsters and was seeking an honest opinion from someone who is supposed to have top-notch customer service...

    I'm taking my CHL class a week from today and from all accounts here in TX it'll take as long for me to get my license as it would for me to get the K&D, so I'm really not too worried about that... If I got the license and the holster was still a few more months out I'd get something then...
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

    The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare. -Thane Yost

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    Well, sorry you got off to a bad start. I don't have time to write more right now, but do a search in this forum for each of those holsters. These three have been discussed quite a bit and you should be able to find a lot of good pictures as well.

    -john

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    I can't speak for everybody, and would not want to, but from my experience and talking to a number locally as well as online... you will most likely purchase a number of holsters to find out which one you like best... and you will sell or give away a number of them. It's part of the life of conceal carrying.

    K&D holster's are excellent holsters and I've talked to Kevin... he is very busy, as are a lot of other holster manufactures/artists. If you like leather, you will like K&D holsters. There are a lot of good holster makers out there... if you don't like Kevin because of his email, then call High Noon, or Mitch Rosen, or any number of other holster makes out there. That being said, some like plastic, or whatever Comp-TAC holsters are make of... personally, I'm not one of them.

    I hope you find what you are looking for... I like what I have in holster's right now, but I'm always looking to add another good option, because I don't believe that one holster can fit into every option for carrying... not to mention that I need a few holsters for all the different guns that I currently own.

    Just my 2 cents... maybe a little more since I usually don't type this much.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

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    and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    I take it to mean if you want a K&D then order it. A K&D is a custom leather holster and has been proven to be at the top of the new A-list in holster design. I wouldn't take offense, an MTAC would serve your purpose.

    Bottom line is you asked for a man's opinion and you got it. Now the issue is you don't agree with his opinion.
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  13. #12
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    No, my issue is that he seemed rude and gave a response that basically said he didn't want my business. I gave him no information about myself, I asked an honest question about the merits of his design versus another and he just shipped me off to a competitor.

    If he's this difficult to deal with while trying to get information, I certainly don't want to risk the possibility that I'm not 100% happy with his product and have to go through a return process to get a replacement or a refund... I can only imagine how difficult that would be.

    Thanks for all the replies guys, I've made a decision and I'll post a review of the holster I buy once I've had some time to break it in.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

    The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare. -Thane Yost

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    New Member Array jlh26oo's Avatar
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    K.D. have you decided on which one to get already? If so which one and how is it working out for you?

    Hope you don't mind me tagging along with you on this thread, but I'm about to buy one of these two also (either M.T.A.C. or C.T.A.C.), and have a couple of questions of my own. Do C.T.A.C. and M.T.A.C. owners feel the latter is kind of bulky, comparatively? I notice that since the leather backing is a one-size fits-all-pistols design, it looks a little overkill area-wise for the smaller ones. Or is this a nonfactor, in function? Does anyone find the rounded bottom part extends so low that it prints, bumps, or gets sat upon etc? I hear it eventually contours to your shape, so hopefully not. Also, does anyone tuck with these (if so, does one work better than the other in this regard)?

    B.T.W. sorry to hear you had an uncomfortable exchange with K.D. Holsters. Just wanted to give you an F.Y.I. in case you contact other holster makers with similar inquiries. WHile you might never get another response like that again, I know alot of craftsman especially would respond similarly. You didn't intend it like this, but with no other information than specifying "adjustable I.W.B. holster", then mentioning the M.T.A.C., it almost can't be interpreted as anything other than personally convince me that yours is better. Since you know the "on paper" features from his product descriptions and F.A.Q., all that he could have done is restate from his website how his made-to-order product's quality, craftsmanship, and materials are superior, but it would be in the context of "vs that of Comp-Tac's" (as a direct response to "which one yours or the M.T.A.C.", in a vacuum). And I could see why he wouldn't want to do that. If I were proud of my product, and already had customers lining up and waiting for it- I might have suggested you do the same. I don't think he want's (or feels he needs) to personally convince/assure anyone (would rather his many satisfied customers do that). But for the record, you were definitely NOT insulting at all with that question (just like he told you, so I wouldn't worry about that); and neither was his reply! J.M.O. and Y.M.M.V.

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    jlh26oo.....First off, Welcome Aboard to the forum!

    I have both the CTAC and MTAC. The MTAC is only slightly bulker, I really don't notice it. As for the 'one-size-fits-all'.....I sugest wear it as it comes, if it needs adjusting you could cut some of the leather away. Do a search and you'll find it. One of our members posted pictures of his 'adjusted' MTAC.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

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    Member Array pens-66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinDooley View Post
    No, my issue is that he seemed rude and gave a response that basically said he didn't want my business. I gave him no information about myself, I asked an honest question about the merits of his design versus another and he just shipped me off to a competitor.

    If he's this difficult to deal with while trying to get information, I certainly don't want to risk the possibility that I'm not 100% happy with his product and have to go through a return process to get a replacement or a refund... I can only imagine how difficult that would be.

    Thanks for all the replies guys, I've made a decision and I'll post a review of the holster I buy once I've had some time to break it in.

    I personally have had many good experiences with Kevin. He has explained many things to me that I needed to know...I would try the C-tac or M-Tac and experiment.You can have these holsters in the matter of about a week.See what you like and then personally call Kevin and talk to him about what you are looking for in a holster...Buying holsters is kinda like a crap shoot,you need to buy and try. Usually you can always get you money out of them selling them on forums like this if they don't work for you.
    Last edited by pens-66; July 30th, 2008 at 06:52 AM.

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