Brigade M-11 - I really like this holster!

Brigade M-11 - I really like this holster!

This is a discussion on Brigade M-11 - I really like this holster! within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm usually not one to go on the boards and write a review but I like this one so much, I just wanna tell everyone! ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array QuickDrawMcGraw's Avatar
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    Brigade M-11 - I really like this holster!

    I'm usually not one to go on the boards and write a review but I like this one so much, I just wanna tell everyone!

    About a month ago, I got a Brigade M-11 for my HK P30. At first I thought it was a hell of a big and wide holster, however the fit and finish was remarkable and the optional double row brown stitching on black leather looked really sharp. I gave it a try and at first, my 1.5 inch belt would not go in the loops coz it was too tight so I used my 1.25 belt instead. I called Troy at Brigade and he told me this was probably due to the fact that the double stitch loops are made w/ 2 layers of leather stitched together and agreed to send me a set of the regular single layer loops for free! Great customer service!

    First thing I noticed was how tight the grip of my gun rode against me. It did a superb job of concealing my larger firearm and I could carry in pretty much any shirt or upper garments that is just slightly loose. It was better than another well-known offset/split loop holster that I own. Also, the extra leather "stabilizer" past the muzzle of my gun helps a lot in term of comfort too. No more digging against my thigh and a lot less pulling down of my pants due to the weight of my gun.

    A few days ago, I try my 1.5 inch belt again on the double-stitched loops and this time it fit, albeit with a little bit of tugging to get them through the loops. Wow, what a difference that extra .25 inch made! The gun felt even lighter on my hip and the downwards tugging effect was even less! What a comfortable rig!

    Besides the fact that I love this holster, there are a few minor things that I didn't like but they should be non-issues, they don't affect concealability or comfort, it's just me nitpicking.
    1. To put the holster on, you HAVE TO pull your belt through the loops. This is per Brigade instructions. You cannot unsnap and try to close the loops after you put them under your belt, it's just way too tight.
    2. The acrylic coating used over the leather seems rub off a little too easily, making it easy to nick or scuff the top coat. Don't mistake this for poor or soft leather, the leather is top notch, it's just the top coat of acrylic that seems to be too light.

    Besides these two minor things, I recommend this holster to anyone looking for a comfy carry rig.


    BTW, I plan on posting pics so if anyone here can tell me how to put pics in the post -not by attachments, I'm looking to post pics directly on the thread itself just like most people here. If I have to sign up for a picture hosting service, so be it but I wanna learn how to do this. Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    Member Array southbound's Avatar
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    Nice write up!!!!

    To get pic's to work you need to host them somewhere like photobucket

    Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket

    Then just copy and paste the link to the pic in your post...

    Good luck....

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array T Bone's Avatar
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    Very nice review. Must be a a great holster, their site now lists a 40 week wait! I am guessing the other holster referred to is a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2? If this one outdoes that, that'll make it about the best of the best!

    +1 on Photobucket, and to clarify, once you open the free account and upload some pictures, you will see several "tags" below each pic (for different types of access, email, forums with HTML, forums without HTML, etc.). You just click on the correct tag, then paste it into your post, and presto! Instant pics in post.
    Regards, T Bone.


    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    Member Array QuickDrawMcGraw's Avatar
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    Pics

    Thanks for all the help guys! Here are the pics:










  5. #5
    Member Array southbound's Avatar
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    That is just so

    I love the two tone makes the whole rig for me.

    How long was the wait?

    looks like it was worth it...

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Is it good enough to wait 40 weeks when Sparks waiting is 25 weeks?
    That is just a question if you have seen both, and not meant to take away from Brigade.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  7. #7
    Member Array QuickDrawMcGraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    Is it good enough to wait 40 weeks when Sparks waiting is 25 weeks?
    That is just a question if you have seen both, and not meant to take away from Brigade.

    Regards,
    Jerry
    The wait when I ordered was around 4-6 months but it took 6 months since they did not have a P30 mold yet. I could've gotten it sooner if they had the mold.

    I've never seen a VM2 in person. 40 weeks is a bit long, but I really like the closed bottom of the M-11 vs. open bottom VM2 so I'd probably still go M-11 if I had to order another holster. If MS just made a closed bottom option for the VM-2.....

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickDrawMcGraw View Post
    The wait when I ordered was around 4-6 months but it took 6 months since they did not have a P30 mold yet. I could've gotten it sooner if they had the mold.

    I've never seen a VM2 in person. 40 weeks is a bit long, but I really like the closed bottom of the M-11 vs. open bottom VM2 so I'd probably still go M-11 if I had to order another holster. If MS just made a closed bottom option for the VM-2.....
    Thanks for the response, QDM. The holster does look really good in the photos.

    I have no preference as to the open vs closed end. Out of curiosity why do you prefer the closed muzzle end?

    Best,
    Jerry

  9. #9
    Member Array Prvt. Toter's Avatar
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    QuickDrawMcGraw....

    Nice review... I think that extra leather BEYOND the barrel end actually helps with stability, I also agree with the top coat comments. I really like mine, but noticed my loops do not have the sitching at all.. I guess I ordered the standard package... seeing yours makes me wish I would have had a longer conversation with them...that brown on black does look good....
    Here is mine...

    I can not remember the specifics of the order but I did a full review and side by side comparision with a VMII here.... http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...-delivers.html

    I went with the M11 simply due to the fact that Tony did not have a blank to make me a VMII for a micro compact with rail... In the end I found another good holster maker that will get more of my business... Thanks again for posting your comments...
    If your not packin' your slackin'

    Its better to have and not need than to need and not have, keep it safe but keep it loaded!

    USN : Desert Storm

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array T Bone's Avatar
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    Nice pics! I have heard other good things about these. Since the Versa Max 2 is not the other one you referred too in your initial post, would you enlighten us as to which one you have that you feel this one tops? Thanks in advance.

    Hmm... 40 weeks is not so bad, after all, I already have 4 Versa Max 2s to tide me over.....
    Regards, T Bone.


    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". Benjamin Franklin

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Hi Prvt. Toter,

    I read your review, and thanks. One think I noticed is the problem of the sight track. I have had that problem with a couple of holsters. The last one filled the front night sight with leather "dust" and rubbed the red paint off my other 1911.

    For me that is the type of lack of attention to detail that separates the best from the less than best.

    I am not sure that heavier leather is better. I thought so until I saw a Sparks ExC. At first I did not think it would hold up, but since then I have purchased at least three of Spark's holsters, and I like the thinner leather as long as it holds up. It does that.

    I do like the looks of Brigade, but the lack of sight clearance would let it out for me. It is an excellent design otherwise from the photos.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  12. #12
    Member Array QuickDrawMcGraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    Thanks for the response, QDM. The holster does look really good in the photos.

    I have no preference as to the open vs closed end. Out of curiosity why do you prefer the closed muzzle end?

    Best,
    Jerry

    I prefer the closed muzzle end because the leather extension provides the muzzle w/ a little "lift", what I mean by that is that instead of the muzzle digging against my thigh, it's that slim lip of that extension that contacts my body. Very big difference in comfort and prevents that feeling the the weight of the holster is tugging your belt and pants down.

    BTW, another major difference maker is the front loop assembly being only half attached to the holster, just like a finger. This is the same as a VM2. What I think this does is allows the rear loop more tension and doesn't fight the rear loop from tugging the butt of the gun closer to your body. Quite honestly, I think that is most significant design advantage that the M-11 and the VM-2 (and the TT Gunleather IWB) have over other split loop holsters. At first, I thought all split loop holsters were the same but now, I see that some are just designed superior to other. Of course, this is just my novice opinion, no offense to fans of other manufacturers, just my .02. YMMV.

  13. #13
    Member Array Prvt. Toter's Avatar
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    T-BONE,

    Sorry to break it to you, but if you want sparks quality, your going to have to wait... they still hold the line for me... I carry alessi and sparks where I can, again this was an oddball gun with no blank at the big guys... In the comfort area the VMII still holds the top choice for me... I can not say how the brigade will hold up yet as I have only carried it briefly, the gun is now back to the factory to get the feed problems worked out of it...

    JerryM,
    You are entirely right... at first I got enough leather deposites to fill the night sight and make it non workable... I was very upset that a custom holster maker would overlook this detail, but on this BRIGADE M11 I was able to do 20-30 insertions and removals and the problem cleared itself... Basically my front sight worked as a v-gouge and cleared the leather... I have since recoated the inside with acrylic and it appears it will work... , BUT to your point, you should not have to do this on a custom holster.. I still like the holster and was fortunate that it worked out for me.. others results may vary...

    From conversation with one of the holster makers I understand that they actualy tape a dowell rod between the front and rear sights on their blanks to form the channel.. It seems pretty simple and not something that would add cost or time to the operation, yet it gives the room the front sight needs while maintaining a tight fit... As mentioned... just one of the things that separates the good from the great...
    If your not packin' your slackin'

    Its better to have and not need than to need and not have, keep it safe but keep it loaded!

    USN : Desert Storm

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prvt. Toter View Post
    T-BONE,

    Sorry to break it to you, but if you want sparks quality, your going to have to wait... they still hold the line for me... I carry alessi and sparks where I can, again this was an oddball gun with no blank at the big guys... In the comfort area the VMII still holds the top choice for me... I can not say how the brigade will hold up yet as I have only carried it briefly, the gun is now back to the factory to get the feed problems worked out of it...

    JerryM,
    You are entirely right... at first I got enough leather deposites to fill the night sight and make it non workable... I was very upset that a custom holster maker would overlook this detail, but on this BRIGADE M11 I was able to do 20-30 insertions and removals and the problem cleared itself... Basically my front sight worked as a v-gouge and cleared the leather... I have since recoated the inside with acrylic and it appears it will work... , BUT to your point, you should not have to do this on a custom holster.. I still like the holster and was fortunate that it worked out for me.. others results may vary...

    From conversation with one of the holster makers I understand that they actualy tape a dowell rod between the front and rear sights on their blanks to form the channel.. It seems pretty simple and not something that would add cost or time to the operation, yet it gives the room the front sight needs while maintaining a tight fit... As mentioned... just one of the things that separates the good from the great...
    Thanks for the comments.
    Regards,
    Jerry

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array T Bone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prvt. Toter View Post
    T-BONE,

    Sorry to break it to you, but if you want sparks quality, your going to have to wait... they still hold the line for me... I carry alessi and sparks where I can, again this was an oddball gun with no blank at the big guys... In the comfort area the VMII still holds the top choice for me... I can not say how the brigade will hold up yet as I have only carried it briefly, the gun is now back to the factory to get the feed problems worked out of it...
    Thanks for the info. In my case, no waiting required (or should I say it's in the past?). I already have 4 VM2's, the one for a railed 1911 is full sized (Desert Warrior) so they had the blank. Two others for 5" 1911 (one cordovan, one black horshide w/ shark trim). The one for my SA Micro Compact is also black horshide w/ shark trim, they are awesome!

    I do have a a bit more waiting though, an elephant trimmed Axiom for 5 inch 1911 should come in Sept., and a Summer Special II in October. Wonder if I should get another order in at the beginning of Sept?

    Side Note:
    Great customer service at Springfield too, sent my Micro Compact in for work also. Came back running great!
    Regards, T Bone.


    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety". Benjamin Franklin

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