I bought this piece of gear as my primary holster for my KWA USP .45 (reviewed here). I decided on this piece because I personally, could not justify the expense of purchasing a Blackhawk or other big name holster for airsoft use. Airsoft Atlanta was (and as of this writing still is) selling this item for $29.99. It’s cheaper then the BHI holsters, but how well does it perform? Let’s take a look.
Appearance / Construction
The unit I purchased is OD in color (bought mainly because I live in Georgia), and the color itself is very good (not pale looking as some cheaper OD stuff is). The materials used appear to be high quality nylon, and although it does not say it, I believe it is 1000 denier. The Velcro used is very high quality and all the straps are stiff and hold their shape well. The leg straps feature embedded rubber going their whole length adding to their ability to grip. All the buckles and fasteners appear to be good quality and rugged. The seam work is good quality with no loose stitching with the use of box stitching and double row stitching to secure things.
Function and Features
Adjustability overall appears to be good and has a number of methods with which to customize the fit to your body and the fit to your gun. This holster is built to hold medium to large guns, although Airsoft Atlanta states that it will not fit the SOCOM, but will fit the Desert Eagle. The thumb break is adjustable by a thick Velcro strip. Ride height can be adjusted easily when put on with the Velcro included on the upper portion of the holster. The quick disconnect at the upper portion of the holster makes it simple to remove the holster without having to undo your web belt. The fit of your gun is adjusted by adjusting the thumb break so that it cinches down on the gun. Simple and effective. The thumb break itself offers two levels of retention. The first level is with the thumb break snapped shut. The second adds a layer of nylon strapping over it, secured by Velcro. We’ll test these out as we go along. All the buckles are adjustable to fit your thigh and slides are included to reel in the extra strapping material. The mag pouch located on the front side of the holster, features a height adjustable lid that uses Velcro for closure. It will fit both single and double stack mags with no problem. The bottom of the holster (as expected) is open as to accept guns with longer barrels.
Performance and Use
I’ve had this holster for quite some time now, and had plenty of opportunity to use and abuse it, so on to the performance aspect.
First, what’s the purpose of a holster? I would answer as follows:
- Ensure easy reach and use of the weapon.
- Retain the gun to prevent an opposer from taking it.
- Protect the gun from damage.
- To keep the weapon as clean as reasonably possible during an operation.
Let’s start with the first purpose. Being that I’m on the shorter side (about 5’6″ or so), I had to adjust the length of the drop leg hanger a good bit to where most people might call it a tactical high ride position. I first put the holster on with the buckles in the factory position (closer to the back of the leg). After the first few times out, I came to the conclusion that it sucked to do that. Now I have repositioned it so the buckles are in front. Now I’m am of the more muscular leg variety so I did need to adjust the length of the leg straps to accommodate. This was not the easiest thing to accomplish. I will give kudos to Tac Force for putting the rubber material in the straps to allow them to grip your leg, but the design to adjust the length of the straps is quite difficult to use because of the rubber. Of course, once adjusted, you’ll not need to adjust them again very often. The next step was to adjust, or index, the thumb break. This is quite easy to do by placing your gun in the holster and snapping the thumb break closed with it set as loose as it can get. Now tighten the thumb break till it sits tight against the gun. I have found that properly adjusted, this holster makes the weapon easy to reach, and is a snap to draw clear of the holster with little practice.
Okay, let’s take a look at the second purpose. The weapon retention system is quite good on this holster. With the thumb break properly indexed, and the additional Velcro placed over the thumb break, it is near impossible for someone to wrestle the gun out of the holster. I’d have to give the quality of the Velcro, and the design an A+ here. Now if you’re playing in a situation where you might need to rapidly deploy the weapon (such as playing a sniper with a bolt action and without a spotter), then you might be interested in using just the first layer of retention. Now in all my running around I usually keep it that way once it’s game on. Never have I had the gun come loose, and even with a sharp upward jerk the thumb break does not give way. Again, another A+.
Purpose three. The holster is lined inside on two of the sides with soft material, keeping your slide scratch free. Now I am curious why they did not cover the nylon with softer fabric on the third side. I do believe that some of the wear marks on my sights are from this fabric (which appears to be stiff nylon). Overall though I would not consider this a complaint. The retention is good, so dropping a properly secured gun isn’t a problem, again adding to the protection of your weapon.
Purpose four. When you’re on an operation and your rolling in the dirt and getting covered in muck, you know how a bit of grass or filth can foul up the operation of an airsoft gas blow back. As long as I’ve used this holster (several months now) I have yet to have a gun get dirtier than a superficial wipe down could fix. So I’d have to say it does a great job there.
Now I’m sure some of you are thinking, “He only tested this with one gun, how do I know if it will work with mine?” Well here’s the skinny. My brother-in-law has the same exact holster and uses a Beretta M9 replica by KJW, and again, the holster has worked well. It is a bit more finicky to set the thumb break correctly, but other than that, there have been no problems with his usage.
Overall, being able to clearly draw the gun, and re-holster the gun are of paramount importance. This holster makes both easy and quick. There are only a few minor things I’d change if I could. One would be an easier to adjust slide system for adjusting the length of the thigh straps. Second would be to allow the thumb break to adjust on both sides of the holster instead of just the outside edge. This would make it easier to adjust the thumb break for more guns and users preferences. For the money this has served me well, and even comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
I would suggest that you take your gun with you if possible to check for fit in the holster before purchasing.
tags: airsoft holster review tac force