Review: Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro (5" 1911 w/rail)
Hello all. Nice forum you have here (tis my first post).
Anyway, there's a little backstory here that plays into why this holster is as significant to me as it is:
Back in November of last year, I ordered up a custom Fusion Firearms Tact-5 in .40S&W and took delivery of her at the end of May. 5" gun with magwell, night sights, and some cosmetic features. Here she is:
Shortly after ordering this gun, I picked up an OWB SideArmor to fit it and tried carrying my full size Kimber around for a day. That was the most painful day ever. My previous carry gun was a Glock 23 and the comfort difference between the two was unreal. Also, I had to carry this rig at 3 o'clock because at 4 or 5 o'clock I was unable to bend down and pick up my kids without printing heavily THROUGH my thick winter jacket.
I thought about changing my order with Fusion to a smaller gun, but ultimately decided to leave it as a 5" and live with the fact that there is just no way I'm ever going to be able to carry this gun unless I'm going somewhere I won't have to take off a large jacket. When I finally took delivery of the Fusion, this concept was solidified when I realized that the Fusion made my Kimber feel like it was made of plastic.
Regardless, I wanted to carry her occasionally and I would need a comfortable holster to do this. I've seen Rocky's work on a couple of different boards and all the reviews and pictures are stellar. The two-week wait time makes it a no-brainer. So I gave Rocky a call and we decided on a Black-Ops Pro in black-cherry. I sent him pictures of my gun (Album: Fusion, Folder: 2009, Author: billyng HALF-LIME) and he called me back a short time later asking me to take some key measurements of the rather unique rail on my gun (relative to other standard rails on Kimber, SA, Wilson, etc).
About 3 weeks later, after a small post-office snafu, this shows up at my desk:
The picture is actually really bright, under normal lighting conditions the holster looks almost black. In fact, when I unboxed it I at first thought Rocky shipped me someone else's black holster. It was only after I walked it over to the window and put it in direct sunlight that I could really see it wasn't black. The color is simply stunning and it has to be seen in person to appreciate.
The second thing you notice about this holster is the stiffness. The holster doesn't budge. If I blindfolded you, handed you the holster, and asked you what material it was made out of, you'd say "plastic" well before you ever thought "leather". I kind of wondered how comfortable such a stiff holster could actually be, but had to wait till I got home to test (no weapons at work).
First thing I did when I got home was check the fit of the holster with my gun. Now ... I'm a doofus. I was supposed to do two things this weekend:
1) Take photos of my gun with the holster and show off the fitment.
2) Ship my gun back to Fusion to address some issues and possibly ream it out from .40S&W to 10mm.
While I tried to accomplish both tasks, I didn't get the order down quite right and found myself sitting there on Sunday afternoon without a gun but with the holster and photo gear, calling myself a series of names I cannot repeat.
Anyway, the gun fits like my hand inside its own skin. There's a wonderful little snick as the gun snaps into place. If you look at how Rocky fit the rail and compare to the photos of my gun, you can see how he even grooved in the rail channel. There is a groove on the backside of the holster for the thumb-safety and it fits absolutely perfect. There's a raised area at the top of the holster which perfectly accommodates the leading edge of the grips. I could not ask for a better fitting holster. Oh, wait, there is one thing, and its my fault. I forget to mention to Rocky that my slide stop pin is flush-fit with the frame, so there was no reason to fit the slide stop pin to the holster as you can see Rocky did in the photo of the holster. Again, that one was my fault.
Then I put the thing on. Here's where it got really interesting:
First, the mouth of the holster doesn't close. Holstering the weapon is a one-handed operation. Remember the whole "stiff" thing, this is one of the advantages. Second, being OWB or IWB doesn't change the draw speed. Since the belt does little to affect the holster's pressure on the gun, drawing the weapon from either style doesn't really change much - this is the major advantage of the stiff thing. As expected, the holster was very tight as I got it. It loosed up a bit after about 20 draws and I ended up sticking the gun in a single Zip-Loc bag overnight the first night which loosened things to near-perfect levels.
Comfort was extraordinary. I carry much closer to the 5 o'clock position than 4 o'clock, and Rocky's default cant was a little too shallow for my taste. 30 seconds with a penny and I had the screws adjusted for the next level of can't. This was perfect. The gun sits extremely low inside the waist which, for my body type, is great for concealment. Then, with nothing more than a t-shirt on and a pair of jeans, I went over to the mirror. The gun disappeared. I was wearing tightish jeans and a well-fitting t-shirt (not tight, not too loose). The best part is bending over. Because the gun/holster sits so low, instead of the frame sticking out when I bend, it's actually the muzzle that first protrudes but it just looks like I have a wallet or something in my back pocket. Completely unobtrusive.
Next step was to head out with the family for some errands. Wearing just that t-shirt and jeans (no wind breakers or sweat-shirts as I used to have to do, I left home for approximately 4 hours. The gun was extremely comfortable while driving. We stopped off at Barnes and Noble where I got down with my 3-yr-old son on the floor and played with a Thomas the Train train set - comfortable there too and the 3 other parents in the area had no clue I was packing 5" of 1911 heat. Got home and felt no immediate need to take the holster off. Ended up leaving it on while I got in bed, read my son his two books, and put him to sleep. Then I spoke to Rocky on the phone for an hour (gun still on) and finally around 2AM Friday night, I took it off and went to bed myself. 8 hours and no comfort issues at all.
The cool part is that I now have to re-address my thoughts on whether or not I need to go out and get an Officers-sized Fusion for summer months. My new Black-Ops kinda obliterated the need for that.
I always thought the guys who carry a full-size, all steel, fully loaded 1911 on a daily basis were out of their minds, and I'm no couch-jockey. I could definitely lose 5, 10, maybe 40 pounds, but I play more than my fare share of sports and try to stay active as much as possible. Now I understand how they do it.
Saturday I woke up and brought my Fusion down to my FFL to have it shipped back to Binghamton. When I pulled the gun out and gave it to them to box up, I also removed my Black-Ops and put it down on the counter. Guy behind the counter asked who made it, Milt Sparks? I said no, unless you spend time online you've probably never heard of him and I went digging for Rocky's card. Guy ends up pulling my Fusion back out and checking the fit in the holster and is highly impressed with the workmanship and that I found a holster that will work with Fusion's rail. I politely point out that this is a custom job, you only deal with the owner of the company, and I showed him how this holster was cut EXACTLY for my rail. When he asked how long I waited for this and heard it took about 3 weeks from phone to door, his jaw about hit the floor. :hand10: The owner of the shop and his son who runs the place then came over to oogle my new leather as well. It just reeks of quality and it takes everyone about 4 seconds to determine that for themselves.
To Rocky: :congrats:
Fusion Tact-5 in a Pure Kustom Black-Ops Pro
Glock 23 in Barber Leatherworks IWB