Tenicor is one of the few holster makers that has made me turn my head and take notice. They seem to have a decent grasp of what makes a holster work. Their holsters have a good feature set, and the execution looks good. It helps that they have some seriously legit trainers and instructors pimping their gear. When guys who see a lot of different gear in classes, and have used a lot of different gear say something is worth checking out, it is usually worth taking note.
I figured it was about time to try one, so I picked up a Velo 4 for a Glock 17. Even though I was only planning on carrying a Glock 19, the extra length of a Glock 17 holster will usually aid in concealment. Almost like the keel on a boat, it gives the holster additional stability and helps to keep what would be the top of the holstered gun from tilting out, away from the body.
Intro to the Velo 4
For anyone not familiar, the Velo 4 is an AIWB specific holster, with a built-in wedge, multiple mounting options, and a “camming bar” as Tenicor calls it, just outside the trigger guard to rotate the butt of the grip into the body. These are all good things on an AIWB holster, but the mode of execution, or how well it is executed can really matter in how the holster works.
Cost and Ordering
When ordering the Velo 4, you get to pick your mounting solution. The holster is set up to run the ubiquitous directional snap loops, hard-mounted loops, or Discreet Carry Concepts metal clips. Which one the buyer selects will determine the cost of the holster from Tenicor. With either of the loop options, the cost is $95 plus shipping. With the DCC clips, there is a $10 upcharge to make it $105 plus shipping. This pricing is within the range of the holsters that I would consider to be the Velo 4’s peers. Good build quality and lifetime support cost money, and good holsters are worth every bit of $100.
There are three sets of staggered mounting holes near the top of the holster body for mounting the loops. This allows for adjusting the ride height of the holster to fit the user’s specific needs based on body type and specific carry location. For an AIWB holster, this is a critical feature. It allows for maximizing concealment, without unduly compromising accessibility in the process.
For the DCC clips, there is a mounting location on the main body of the holster, and the second clip attaches via the retention screws just underneath the trigger guard. When the holster arrives it will be the bare shell with a kit for whichever mounting solution the buyer chose. It is up to the buyer to install the loops or DCC clips. Fortunately, the mounting directions included with the holster are easy to follow.
The DCC clips are the lowest profile solution. The clips will basically disappear under a cover garment. They are all the rage these days for holsters because they are so thin, and they actually stay on the belt like they are supposed to unlike most other clip options out there. The only annoyance with DCC clips, in general, is that since they do take retention seriously, getting the clips on can sometimes be difficult if someone isn’t used to them.
Shortcomings of Tenicor’s DCC Clips
Tenicor uses a DCC clip that has offset mounting slots. The slots allow for some ride height adjustment, and having them offset from each other allows for an overall shorter clip. However, I found the ride height adjustment to be not quite enough. I needed the holster to ride just a touch lower relative to my belt for the best balance of concealment and accessibility, but the clips couldn’t move any further.
It isn’t a deal-breaker that the clips don’t suit my needs quite right, but it is unfortunate that the most concealable mounting solution doesn’t allow for enough adjustment. Since Tenicor uses clips with offset mounting slots, there are not any readily available replacement clips that would allow for just a tad more adjustment that I am aware of. I was able to cobble together a set of snap loops from spare holster parts and the highest set of mounting holes for the loops gave me the ride height I needed.
The one feature of the holster that I felt held the most promise was the built-in wedge on the back of the holster body. For AIWB holsters, wedges are critical for good concealment and comfort. The wedge serves to cantilever the top of the gun into the wearer’s body, making it easier to conceal. Normally wedges are made out of some type of foam, which eventually wears out and has to be replaced. The benefit of a built-in wedge is that it basically never wears out and does not require periodic replacement. The wedge on the Velo 4 looked like it would work quite well.
Where the wedge fell short was not in the shape of the wedge, but the location of the wedge on the holster. Remember, I had ordered a Glock 17 length holster, but the wedge was in the same place as it would be for a Glock 19 length holster. Essentially, by having the wedge further up on the holster it negates the value of extra holster length. I assume it is that way due to production processes and the molds that are used, but it would be really nice if holster lengths longer than a Glock 19 were accommodated with a wedge closer to the muzzle end of the holster.
The Velo 4’s Camming Bar
Finally, we get to what Tenicor calls the camming bar. On other holsters, the purpose of the camming bar is often accomplished with a wing of some type that is bolted onto the holder body. Sometimes those wings, if not properly positioned on the holster, can be problematic and interfere with the draw. They are also to wear clothing quite a bit because of how aggressive some of them are. The integrated camming bar is a good idea because it fixes both of those issues, but it comes with its own set of problems.
It is nice that the camming bar is out of the way and doesn’t have any sharp edges, but it still needs to do its job. The purpose of the camming bar is to rotate the butt of the grip into the wearer’s body, keeping the hard edges of the base of the grip and the magazine from printing through clothing. People are different shapes though, and people wear guns in slightly different locations. If someone needed more or less camming action, there just isn’t a way to do anything about it on the Velo 4. As it is, the camming bar works okay. It would probably work better for people less round than me. As a bigger guy I could really use a little more height on the camming bar. For people running slide-mounted optics, they may want a little less.
I have spent quite a bit of time writing about what I found to not work as well as I would have liked with this holster, but there are some good qualities in the holster. The materials used and the hardware included with the holster are of the highest quality. The build of the holster itself, setting aside the design issues, is quite good. It is just unfortunate that there isn’t more adjustability in the holster. Especially with AIWB, adjustability to fit the user can be really important. For the Velo 4, it is going to work for some people, and it isn’t for others. If you happen to be one of the people it doesn’t work for, there isn’t much you will be able to do about it. If it does work for you, it should be a great holster that comes with lifetime support.