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Review: SHTF Gear LLC ACE-1 hybrid IWB

3548 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Taurahe
Its that time again !

As always, my reviews are from the average joe perspective. I am not a professional reviewer. I do not get paid for my reviews. I do them to share my likes and dislikes of products I try out. In the interest of full disclosure, my holster was provided by Clay Moultrie of SHTF Gear LLC. We are currently working together on a separate project, and I thought I would review them for everyone.

My initial impressions.......

Made in the USA, and proudly claimed on the packaging. A good start if you ask me. Taking the holsters from their shipping bags, i noted the leather backer was thick yet flexible, the Kydex was very nicely molded, and the overall construction was very very nice. As shipped, the holster wears steel belt clips low mounted to maximize concealability and tuckability for those who like to dress nice. Other mounting options are available and will be discussed later. Also, the belt clips are warranted for life !!!!!! Bend it, break, use to eat beans and skin a buffalo..... still warrantied.

Lets start with the leather.....

The edges were rounded and dyed, and smoothly finished. The leather was evenly dyed, with no thin spots front or back to be seen. I tested the edge for dye fastness with a damp cloth. No bleeding noted. The leather surface is fine grained and smooth, with no glaring imperfections or scars from the manufacturing process. The leather is thicker than any other holster I currently have or have seen, but that does not mean it is bad. A weapon with pointy bits will not poke you ever, and when molded it should retain its shape very very well. The leather backer is combat cut for no extra charge, unlike other manufacturers, allowing for a full grip on your weapon prior to the draw.

On to the Kydex......
As you can see in my images, the Kydex is molded with great attention to detail. The sight channel runs the full length of the kydex and provides ample clearance for a clean draw. The Kydex is molded cleanly and shows the little bits and parts of my Ruger, such as the take down pin, frame pins, front side serrations, etc. Also, the kydex is sanded smooth on the cut edges, eliminating any burs to snag or grab clothing or to scratch or poke. Of an Interesting note is the methods in which the kydex shell is mounted to the holster. The Kydex shell is Riveted in each corner with a flush mounted, slightly counter sunk rivet. The rivets are flat and smooth, with no catching or snagging. On the rear, the rivet is slightly countersunk into the leather, so you will not feel it when worn. The interesting part is the use of Kevlar thread to stitch the Kydex to the leather. For anyone who may not be aware, Kevlar thread is 5 times stronger than a piece of steel of equivalent diameter, and is commonly used in Bullet proof vests, bullet and flame resistant products, and other industrial uses. The Kevlar is a contrasting yellow, and actually looks kind of neat. It keeps the kydex securely mounted to the leather at all times, so it will not bend away from the leather.

AN oft asked question in regards to holsters is "how adjustable is it" ? Well, in this case it varies depending on the holster model you receive. The holsters for my Glock , Ruger, and Shield all have 4 adjustment holes each, providing 2 full inches of vertical adjustment to control ride depth. The holster for my Bodyguard , due to its much smaller overall size, only has three holes per side for adjustment covering 1.5" of vertical adjustment. This is a good amount of range IMO. 3 or 4 holes covering 1.5 to 2 inches allows for a lot of adjustment in draw cant as well. Earlier I mentioned some accessory options. .... If steel clips are not to your liking, SHTF Gear also offers leather snap fastening loops mounted on kydex strips as an option to steel belt clips. They are available in either black or brown, 1.5" or 1.75" belt width. As I am not a fan of steel clips, this would be my preference personally.

I have not had a chance to wear this holster yet, but will be doing so as soon as I get a chance, and I will update this thread with my findings as appropriate.

All in all, I think the ACE-1 ( Always Combat Effective ) is a very promising holster with a lot to offer the concealed carrier. It is durable, well thought out ,and made of quality material with great attention to detail.


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Excellent review. I wish I were as eloquent. I have SHTF Gear ACE-1 holsters for my Beretta PX4C and an HK P30S. I find them both to be very comfortable and adequately adjustable. I have found the metal clips to be well made and I prefer them rather than loops. I wear mine with an A&G 1-1/2" gun belt and find the combination to be great for comfort and stability.
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Quick update...... So I have been wearing this holster around the house daily since I received it and I am very happy with it. I find it very comfortable in all situations. When sitting on the couch, it does not try and push my weapon out of the holster as I have experienced in the past, nor does it poke me in the side, even with the combat cut. I have not driven in or wore it out, as I have been spending a lot of time on the local Army NG base preparing for my new job and weapons are illegal. The leather is wearing nicely with no problems, and has made accomodation for the little bits of my ruger with minimal fuss. All in all, i would call it a home run so far !
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