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This nice family pictured is the Davis family from the Ozarks in Missouri. Jason is the owner of Lenwood Leather Enterprises and I am reviewing some of his products. His website states that his products “are built with pride right here in the good old USA by Americans who know the value of a hard day’s work.” Some of his products are the Wraith Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) and the Specter Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holsters and the hybrid belt. I want to give you my opinions and comments about them.
I will compare the holsters and belt as a package to each of my 10 criteria using a 10-point scale to evaluate them. For each factor, a “10” rating is the best, a “0” the worst, and a “5” a mid-level rating. I want to be as objective and rational as possible, realizing we all have different goals, needs, priorities, and preferences. You probably have your own factors and that is fine. Also, we each will usually weigh each factor more or less than another in importance because this is a very personal, subjective evaluation and selection process. Here are my 10 Criteria for Selecting a Holster package, not in any order:
1. QUALITY MADE & SERVICE: What is the material used and is the holster constructed with quality? Is the kydex and/or leather of premium quality and thickness? Is the stitching strong and does the overall construction seem durable. Will it stand up to your particular demands, wear and tear, and is it appropriate for your use without impairing performance and mechanical function? Are the rivets, clips, grommets, snaps, buckles, rings, magnets and/or metal parts strong, rustproof, and quality made? Is it an established, reputable company that meets promised delivery times and your expectations? What type of warranty or guarantee does it have? Consider the holster’s weight and bulk and any special options and features (like distance between belt loops, stability attributes, ejection port cutout for quicker draw, sweatguard, ride height-muzzle coverage-mouth flare options, and desired cant.) Is a discount offered? If so, what % discount is offered and what is the coupon code at checkout?
2. ALL DAY COMFORT: How comfortable is this holster style during each of the different physical positions; walking, bending, sitting, standing, and twisting? Can you wear it while driving? Can you wear it for the entire day comfortably and not even know that you are wearing it?
3. PERFORMANCE/CONCEALMENT: Does the holster perform as required for its effective purpose/use? (This holster package is for range and competition.) How well does the holster ride during body motions, like walking, bending, sitting, standing, twisting, reaching, etc.? Imagine wearing the holster during these different movements or your purpose. Is there an adjustment for the holster, to provide better fit? Are there J clip belt hooks available for IWB carry, if applicable?
4. ADAPTABILITY & FIT: Can this holster and/or belt be used for different handguns… or with a Laser sight or light? How versatile is it? The safety features of a holster require that the holster be engineered and designed for each specific manufacture and specific model of handgun. Does this holster do that and is it adaptable to other similar-sized guns? Are there modifications available, options, or additions that adapt to other handguns? What are the approximate costs of these adaptations, if any? Is the shooter’s gun(s) properly fitted for this holster? Does the handgun insert so deep in the holster that the gun grips cannot be properly accessed? Does the gun jam so tight into the holster that it takes two hands to draw it or can you draw the gun easily with one hand?
5. PRICE: What is its total price relative to existing competitors now? Do you get any special features, options, warranties, guarantees, repair service, or additions that are worth something? Can you return it without any questions and within what time period? Will they repair or replace it for free? Do you get what you pay for?
6. SAFETY: Does the holster secure the gun in place well? How well does the holster provide protection to the handgun during insertion into or removal from the holster or while being carried that will:
- prevent accidental trigger movement;
- prevent accidental disengagement of the safety mechanism;
- prevent forward or rearward movement of the hammer?
7. EASE OF REHOLSTERING & ACCESS: Can you reach your handgun quickly in an emergency or while sitting in your vehicle? A rigid holster and/or a reinforced mouth will allow a handgun to be returned to it using only one hand, while a flexible one may collapse after the gun is drawn, requiring the use of both hands to reholster. How easy is it to access your weapon and use the holster while walking, bending, sitting, standing, twisting, etc.?
8. EASE OF PUTTING ON & TAKING OFF: Can you simply and easily put the holster on and take it off. Consider if you will be putting this holster on and taking it off throughout the day and under what conditions. Must it be removed for taking care of personal needs in public restrooms? If so, can you do it safely and easily? Are the belt loops sufficiently large to easily slide the holster onto your usual belt?
9. ACCOMMODATIONS: Can you wear both open or closed cover garments with the holster? Can you effectively use the holster while wearing shorts, capris, sweatpants, or clothing without a belt, as applicable? Do you have to wear special clothing or make accommodations in dress or draw when wearing and using this holster? Is a cover vest or larger trousers required to hide the holster and handgun?
10. RETENTION: Does the holster retain the handgun adequately? Is the holster snug when fitted on a gun belt for a consistent and fast draw and to reduce draw resistance. Is the gun secure and safe in the holster? A holster designed with solid and proper retention will help prevent a gun from being removed from the holster by another.
Click next to read my evaluation of the Lenwood Products.
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My Evaluation of the Lenwood Products:
Here are my 10 criteria with evaluations and comments for each criterion, followed by my overall recommendation at the end.
1. QUALITY MADE & SERVICE: 10
Both holsters are made of very good, strong and thick kydex. They have just the appropriate amount of thickness for strength and durability. As the owner says “After years of testing we’ve found that about a 80/20 is what is best. 80% of the gun is molded into the exterior piece of Kydex® while 20% of the gun is molded into the interior piece of Kydex®. This allows for proper retention, draw, and function while dramatically increasing the comfort level. We take comfort an extra step by molding the Wraith holster in an arch mimicking the shape of the side of the body so that it comfortably wraps around you.” For me, the Specter holster is a comfortable and versatile IWB holster. With the adjustable retention screws and a tuckable injection-molded belt clip, this holster is not only comfortable, but very useful and practical. The hybrid leather belt was outstanding quality and very vertically rigid and sturdy for the various guns and holsters I used it with. This is one of the best belts I have used for carry. The holster package customized for my Sig 938 9mm was promised delivery to me in about a month and that was the time it took, almost to the day. This is a nice, smaller manufacturer building their business and they seem anxious to meet your needs and customize their products to your gun model. If your gun is not one of the 42 models they display on their website’s drop-down model menu, call Jason to make certain he has the custom gun model and setup for your specific gun to make your particular holster. If not available, this can add to production and shipping time. I believe that he will work with you for your particular model.
2. ALL DAY COMFORT: 10
I wore them regularly for 4 days during my everyday routine activities. Both holsters and the belt were very comfortable to wear. Even the rigid belt had some give for comfort, but yet it was plenty sturdy. It seemed very secure enough when I regularly drew my handgun from the holster and re-holstered it. I honestly did not know it was there after just a few hours because it was so comfortable. The sturdy belt, exact fit, and the smoothness of the holsters helped my drawing and reholstering with one hand without looking and without wobble. The holster fit my Sig P938 9mm perfectly and there were no retention or access problems, even when bending over, walking, sitting, lifting, and exercising. I always felt comfortable with the rig.
3. PERFORMANCE/CONCEALMENT: 10
The holsters fit my handgun well after just a few hours and helped to make a small footprint for wearing it, both IWB and OWB. Surprisingly, the same holster worked to conceal both my Sig P938 and Sig P238 well. Honestly, neither gun fell out after a minor adjustment and both concealed well. When I wore the holster with a closed cover garment it conformed nicely to my body and did not print. Using the holster while wearing my untucked campshirt or guayabera shirt, my gun was very difficult to detect.
4. ADAPTABILITY & FIT: 9
The kydex holster is very adaptable and several options are available for many different handguns. The company offers single and double-magazine pouches to match the various holsters. The website shows a wide variety of holster and pouch color choices are available. Probably best to call Jason for the specific feature and gun you want to ensure availability and fit. It is nice that either the Wraith or Specter holster can fit 2 similar-sized guns, like the ones I tried fit both my Sig 938 and Sig 238. I like that versatility and flexibility. Of course, the 238’s barrel was short inside the bottom of the holster, but certainly workable with minor adjustment. The Specter is also tuckable. Interestingly, Lenwood offers many diverse leather products. They produce 3 sturdy leather Dog Collars, sized 10 to 22 with 1″ to 2″ widths, for $45, $35, and $22.
5. PRICE: 8
You usually get what you pay for. The Wraith OWB holster is $49.99 in solid colors and $59.99 in exotic patterns. I learned that a “Wraith” is the spirit of someone or something living or dead that is seen just before or just after their death. A suitable name for a holster that wraps around the curve of the body and a little difficult to see. The Specter IWB holster is available in a standard and draped model. The Draped Specter is covered with suede for comfort and to prevent slipping in your pants. Just like the Wraith, the Specter is available for $49.99 in solid colors and $59.99 in exotic patterns, but with suede draping it is an additional $64.99. Lenwood produces the Wraith and Specter holsters in 6 standard, solid colors: Black, Coyote, Gray, Pink, Chocolate, and Olive Drab, with 6 optional exotic patterns for $10 more: Woodland, SuperCam, Highland, Mandrake, Nomad, and Typhon. Their double mag pouches are $34.99 and the single mag pouches are $24.99. There is high quality, but other similar competing holsters exist at somewhat lower prices. The high quality hybrid belt sales for about $65 and is certainly worth it.
6. SAFETY: 9
This holster and belt provided great support and safety protection for my handgun and some students when presenting/drawing and removing the gun in and out of the holster. The very sturdy, rigid, and quality belt helped hold the holster in place very well and made the draw easier. This is an excellent gun belt. This holster was designed with proper retention properties to allow you to grasp the gun sufficiently for safety.
7. EASE OF REHOLSTERING & ACCESS: 9
It was easy to reach and draw my handgun quickly and to re-holster it without looking or using two-hands after just a short practice time, even though I had not used the holsters before. The Specter IWB holster was very small and I had to work at reholstering, but that should be expected since my Sig 938 is small and subcompact. There should not be a presentation problem in an emergency or even when sitting in an automobile. The mouth of the kydex holster was sufficiently rigid for reholstering.
8. EASE OF PUTTING ON & TAKING OFF: 9
This was easy to do with the gun belt in the package. Putting it on and off under stress is also probably very easy to do quickly. The belt was very high quality, made of tough leather, was a perfect fit for me, and was very stiff and strong. This helped with putting the holster on and keeping it in place. You must be careful when putting the suede holster on and off, since it can scratch easily.
9. ACCOMMODATIONS: 9
You can wear both open and closed cover garments with this holster and not have a concealment or operational problem? There is no design problem that would prevent using any type of coat, shirt, sweater, zippered jacket, or any garment with this holster. No special clothing or extra accommodations in dress or draw needed when using this holster?
10. RETENTION: 10
The holster did retain my handgun very well. The design and very sturdy belt allowed it to ride very close to my body and helped retention and will certainly help prevent a possible gun grab. The belt is constructed of a two-ply 100% full-grain leather with more than 1/8 of an inch leather backed by PVC coated webbing of almost equal thickness. They have a durable steel roller buckle. The belts are also very handsome and well suited for wear in even business Casual settings. The heavy steel buckles are secured by sturdy Chicago screws. The belt significantly helped with the holster security, fit, retention and draw and is of very high quality. My handgun never fell out of the holster, nor even came close to doing so. I felt my gun was stable and secure. Both my Sig 938 9mm and Sig 238 .380 fit securely in both holsters nicely, with just a minor adjustment. Of course, the barrel of the .380 was about a 1/2 inch shorter in the holsters. Nice custom fit.
Total Points: 93 points out of 100 possible = 93% = Recommended.
I hope my criteria, process, analysis, and review help you to identify your criteria and evaluate your individual factors to select the best holster, belt, and pouch rig for your purpose, needs and priorities. This is a very quality product which is very comfortable and customizeable for your preferred gun. The package is available for 42 gun models at this time, but you can inquire about other models. You must be patient for the 4-weeks delivery time, but this is a quality product and a smaller operation. I suggest you call them to verify availability for your gun, delivery time, and any features you might desire.
Photos by author and manufacturer.
* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice, your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. You alone bear responsibility for making decisions about your shooting gear and accessories for your purpose. This information should not be relied upon as appropriate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.
© 2015 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].