Sunday, December 23, 2012

Raven Concealment Phantom Modular Holsters

With all the hysteria over guns lately, I have been completely and utterly exhausted over the issue of turning my rights into something not so much of a right.  Time time to buy weapons and ammunition has come and gone.  If your system isn't setup yet, you are way behind the curve.  Hopefully, you have taken the saying "Amat Victoria Curam" (which means victory favors the prepared) to heart and are now in the process of fine tuning the system you have.  We are never completely ready, however, and while it is still legal to do so, we need to constantly evaluate, test, re-evaluate, retest, and tweak what he have to work.  If that means changing out this holster for that, finding a new light that works better, or changing our load-out to accommodate new technologies and designs, then we must do so.  With that being said, I'm reporting on my experience with the Raven Concealment (RCS) Phantom Modular Holster.  In this instance, it is the Phantom Light Compatible Holster.

Soon after purchasing my Beretta M9A1, I sought out a good all around and tough light to mount to the accessory rail - a Streamlight TLR-1s.  It's a good light, and the combination make for a great feeling and handling weapon system.  Knowing this was my go-to-war gun, I wasn't concerned so much with the concealed carry aspect until I owned it for a few months.  The more I owned it, the more I desired to carry it.  No longer would this just be a night stand gun, or a gun to throw into a nylon holster woven into my chest rig, I wanted to take this gun with me everywhere I wanted to go, and wasn't concerned about deep concealment.

After an exhaustive search, I came upon Raven Concealment, which offered exactly what I was looking for in a concealed carry holster that would accommodate this gun with this light.  Their Light Compatible Holster, based on their Modular Holster line, seemed to fit the mold perfectly - pun intended.  I made contact with them and placed my order.

And waited...

And waited...

And waited...

Finally, months after ordering this holster, it came in the mail.  I had moved across three state lines while waiting for my holster to finally be made, and the customer service was excellent about accommodating this, and shipped to my new address.  Unfortunately, the holster came in the beginning of the summer, so I hadn't had much opportunity to wear it until around the middle of October, when the temperature was finally low enough to justify wearing a jacket indoors and outdoors.

The quality of this holster is just fantastic.  The rivets are evenly spaced along the perimeter of this holster, and the retention is just enough to keep the gun in place when I'm carrying, but loose enough to allow for an extremely fast and smooth extraction of my handgun.  Re-holstering is a breeze since the nature of Kydex means the holster is rigid and maintains its shape once the weapon clears it.

The construction of this holster is a pancake style, which allows the holster to lie flat against the body, and the wide construction means that the weight of the handgun is spread over a large area of the belt instead of just a small portion.  This consideration is important when dealing with a handgun, like the Beretta M9A1 which weighs 46 1/4 ounces with a fully loaded 20 round Mec Gar magazine and Streamlight TLR-1s mounted flashlight.  That's not exactly a lightweight combination by any standards, but it is my choice and I don't mind the weight.

Bearing the weight of this gun in mind, I opted to buy the little OWB Pancake Wings that fit all their holsters in the Modular lineup.  These wings allow me to not only spread the weight of the weapon system over an even wider area on the belt, but they allow me to adjust the holster for a tight, tighter, tightest fit against my body.  In the configuration I have shown in this picture, the holster is at the tight position.  Since the weapon is no tucked up too close, I can get a full grip on the weapon before extracting it, making my draw near perfect each and every time.  Consistency is the key to success with a holster draw because no matter what position you find yourself in, you can always hearken to a good draw with your handgun, even if you are lying flat on your back after being whacked across the head with a 2x4.

The holster I bought incorporates a body shield, which keeps the gun from contacting my skin, shirt, or whatever, and protects me from having the gun snag on clothing.  The body shield also aids in re-holstering because it not only helps guide weapon into the holster, but it keeps clothing from finding its way into the opening, which would prevent the weapon from seating properly, or worse, cause a negligent discharge.  Being able to holster the weapon with one hand is important because you may not have your support hand available when the gun is holstered.  You also want to be able to get your gun holstered and hidden as soon as possible, especially after a shootout.  If the police hear a call over the radio that shots have been fired, they may not have a description of the suspect.  If they find you struggling to re-holster after a lawfully justified defensive encounter, they might just shoot you, thinking you were the bad guy.  Bad news!

The loops that ship with the holster are shown on the right, just above.  These standard loops work well, and I tried them for a week before putting the pancake wings onto my holster.  I haven't looked back either.  In fact, I'm quite satisfied with how mine are mounted that I really haven't given much thought to adjusting them for a tighter fit to my body or different cant angles.

The cant on the holster is fairly neutral, with a slight forward orientation, which helps for concealment.  If you need more cant adjustment, you just position the rear loop down and the front loop up for any combination of positions for your suited method of carry.  If you are going to play with angles, I'd suggest the pancake wings, as they offer a lot more room to run your belt through.

I know there are some other competitive options out there, and one company in particular has made a holster like the Raven holster but the refinement of the RCS is really quite good.  It's well worth the asking price.  The major downside is the wait.  I waited months for my holster to arrive.  Other companies seem to be able to punch them out faster, but many of these holsters are being made for Glocks, S&W M&P's, Springfield XD's, etc.  In order to get something for a pistol that isn't as in vogue as the plastic striker fired guns made popular in recent years, you'll have to wait.  These holsters are truly custom made when you get them for guns that aren't plastered all over gun rags.  If you do have a Glock or a Smith, RCS has a quick ship holster for you, which they claim will arrive in 30 days or less.  For the rest of us, it's the current lead time.  For me, that lead time was about 3 months.

If you are a patient person, and are looking for a very high quality holster that rides well, carries well, performs fantastic, then the Raven Concealment holsters might just be for you.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting the great content…I have bought a concealed holsters for my gun and it looks really very attractive.