Peters Custom Holsters Spada holster on US Grunt Gear Warhog belt
(Glock 19 grip reduction by Boresight Solutions)
I contacted Greg Peters of Peters Custom Holsters about doing a review of one of his holsters, and I had a specific request to go along with it. Many manufacturers and vendors balk at this because they don't want someone reviewing a one-off, or they don't want to get stuck doing more one-offs because the money is in production. Greg was quite the opposite and worked with me to ensure that the holster he sent me worked as I needed to. As it turns out, the requirements that I had for the holster actually came close to the standard production loops with the exception that production holsters have rivets at the bottom of the belt loops instead of the screws, so it worked out well for both of us. It was nice to see someone so willing to work with me for what I needed.
The holster I received is one of their new Spada line. According to the website "The Spada was born of the need to have a rugged holster mounted on a belt or MOLLE grid. It has seen extensive testing in training, tactical competition, and everyday carry. While meant for hard use, it is designed to provide concealment if you choose to wear it under a jacket or sweater." This matched my needs as I was looking for a holster to attach to a US Grunt Gear Warhog padded MOLLE belt. The USGG belt is a little different than some others as the belt webbing itself runs over the pad, not through a sleeve, and provides for a 1.75" wide, double-thick, PVC-reinforced, stitched at every 3" webbing to which the user can attach standard holsters. It was specifically designed to work with the Blade Tech Tek-Lok system but can work with many others, provide that there is a way to open the loops of the holster as the webbing is permanently attached to the belt. On the support side USGG has provided me with a MOLLE sleeve that fits over the padded system to which other MOLLE pouches can be attached. More on the USGG belt will follow under another review, but suffice it to say it is the 1.75" wide webbing on the strong side that allowed for the Peters Spada to attach via their standard 1.75" belt loops. I may wind up porting this holster over to a Blue Force Gear SOC-C padded MOLLE belt where I will need the MOLLE-attachment so I'll have to ask Peters for that attachment method as well.
The Peters Spada is clearly made tough. It is made from a thicker Kydex material than other competing designs, and also has a reinforcing layer of Kydex between the holster body and the belt loops. The loops attach via allen screws and Peters included an appropriately-sized allen wrench in the box. It was this attachment method that allowed me to easily slip it over the 1.75" webbing on my belt, and I had the whole thing installed in a matter of minutes. Due to the design of the belt and the slick-ness of the Kydex there is a potential for the holster to shift fore and aft slightly but when the belt is on the body and the slack taken out it is very resistant to sliding. The gun, in this case a Glock 19 with grip reduction by Boresight Solutions and a Surefire X200A (no longer in production, but the Surefire X300 will fit as well) weaponlight attached, "snaps" securely into place with the faint "click" sound that most users of Kydex holsters have come to recognize. The pistol and light are released easily, but not too easily, with the appropriate amount of force, and one-handed re-holstering is easily accomplished. I would like to see a slight chamfer or taper to the top outside edge of the holster, a slight beveling if you will, just to aid slightly in the re-holstering process. However the nice thing about Kydex is that it is user-modifiable very easily.
holster weighs in at a scant 4.4 oz
Dump pouch shown by CSM Gear
Pistol mag pouches from Eagle Industries, M4/Pistol mag pouch also from USGG
Putting the Holster to Work
Typically I would "dry run" a product prior to taking it out on the range, but Peters was good enough to get me this holster just before I left for a three day course with Frank Garcia at the Universal Tactical Academy for 2,000 rounds of handgun shooting (and another 800 of carbine). After Training Day 1 (TD1) we were already over 1,000 rounds. Doing the math and figuring on average number of shots fired per drill being 4, and ignoring initial dryfire practice, that is over 250 draw strokes in just one day. While tight in the first few dozen presentations, and a few kydex shavings, the holster broke in very well and very quickly.
A few rubbing areas arose. The first of which was the sweat guard on the back. While potentially a good idea on a concealment holster, I found that it was unnecessary on a holster intended for use on a padded belt system, and in fact that it rubbed a bit on my thumb on the draw stroke. Additionally, the triggerguard area bows out a bit in order to be able to holster the pistol with the light attached. I would prefer to see it cut down just a little bit as after 250+ presentations the social finger on my right hand was beginning to get a little worn.
Both of these are minor concerns in the global scheme of things that only came to light with the high number of repetitions. Yes, I would prefer to see them addressed but I do not find them to be deal breakers at all, and understand why they are the way they are. If the triggerguard area is cut down the way I'd like it the area behind the trigger (although not the trigger itself) will be more exposed.
Otherwise the holster retained the pistol when it was supposed to, and released it when it needed to, every time without issue. Once the initial break-in of a few dozen draw strokes were over one-handed re-holstering without looking was easy. The holster stayed put on the belt, and protected the gun. All of these things combined mean that the holster did it's job.
Training Day 2 (TD2) pushed the round count up over 2,000 and so put the number of presentations up over 500. The rubbing areas from the day before became more pronounced and evident as the raw skin from the previous day was made more raw. Surprisingly the sweat guard portion rubbing on the thumb was less of an issue than the triggerguard area rubbing on the social finger. This is something that any lesser number of presentations in a lower round-count class or a match would never expose. I would probably never notice it again once the finger heals from this class, but I would still prefer to see it cut down slightly and perhaps smoothed out a bit. I'm going to try hitting it with some sandpaper to smooth it out slightly first.
The issue has to do with the way a holster has to be constructed to work with a weaponlight attached to the pistol. On a holster for the pistol only the Kydex would be formed such that it would be close to the triggerguard of the pistol and therefore would not be in the way of the social finger and can be cut higher so that it covers the entire triggerguard. When the light is added, width is added, and a clear channel must exist from the mouth of the holster all the way to the bottom of the holster for the light body and switch to pass through. I intend to order a holster identical to this one but for the Glock 19 without light and will post pictures comparing the two to further illustrate my point once I have the other holster in hand.
I marked up the area of the holster that was giving me trouble and I cut it down myself and roundied off the edges to eliminate the rubbing. What I at first thought was a vertical edge turned out to be a horizontal edge that was rubbing, so I cut just a bit more forward than I needed to. In either case I didn't expose the trigger so it's probably better to err on the side of more clearance for the finger than less. I also went ahead and cut down the sweat guard on the back. Even though it wasn't really rubbing it also wasn't really doing much, and now it won't stick up when the gun isn't in the holster.
Left to Right: Stock G19 in pre-cut holster, Boresight Solutions G19 in pre-cut holster, Boresight Solutions G19 in post-cut holster
Back side of holster with sweat guard cut off.
Once I make the trimming on this holster I am going to configure this belt to be used for pistol/carbine events and another USGG Warhog belt configured for pistol-only events with the second holster without light attached. In this way I can have two setups, virtually identical, with a dedicated purpose.