Even as open carry of handguns becomes more common, it is important to properly conceal firearms. While some may think openly carrying shows a person means business, it can also leave the carrier at a disadvantage. Anyone would be able to see the firearm being carried and, if someone believes he or she is faster or stronger than the carrier, take off with that gun. That’s why I prefer concealed carry. And the SwapRig Hybrid inside-the-waistband/outside-the-waistband (IWB/OWB) concealment holster system allows you to conceal your handguns efficiently and comfortably.
About SwapRig Holsters
Located in Mt. Orab, Ohio, all SwapRig holsters are made in the U.S. SwapRig specializes in readily convertible hybrid concealment holsters, pocket rigs, and shoulder and chest holsters. All SwapRig holsters feature a lifetime warranty.
Hybrid OWB/IWB Holster
Overall construction of SwapRig holsters, like most hybrid holster designs, is a combination of a leather or horsehide backing plate. This holds a Kydex sheath molded to fit the handgun. SwapRig has more customer options to select from than most: horsehide or cowhide backing plate, color, light/laser, red dot optic and, of course, the weapon type. Most should be able to find a rig that works as the Kydex holster portion, called SwapSkins, offers more than 350 guns from which to choose.
Customers can order any number of different SwapSkins to add to the backing plate. But the completed rig will ship with the customer’s initial SwapSkin mounted. Ordering additional SwapSkins at $18.75 each rather than additional complete rigs keeps the overall cost down. The SwapSkins are easily changed out, held in place by standard Allen screws rather than permanent rivets.
I simulated an online order for a basic Revolution holster. The Revolution comes with pre-cut 1.5-inch belt slots in the backing plate and removable IWB belt clips that allow tuckable carry. I did not select rail-mounted laser/light or red dot optic options. The order amounted to $137.91. USPS shipping is free on all SwapRig Hybrid Holsters.
Hybrid Holster Test Carry
For test samples, I requested a Revolution holster set up to accommodate my friend Bret Roger’s duty pistol, a Glock 19 with a Streamlight TLR2 mounted. I worked with a Talon Appendix Carry IWB/OWB rig set up for my Smith & Wesson .38 Special M&P revolver with Crimson Trace frame-mounted laser. We wore our setups for two weeks.
For certain individuals, appendix carry can be ideal for two reasons. The handgun is easily reached for rapid draw while in a natural standing position. The gun is also more easily accessed when seated in a car. Second, testing has shown a handgun carried appendix is more easily retained if someone tries to snatch it from the holster since both hands can reach it to stabilize it in place. Small-of-the-back holsters and holsters located just to the rear of the hip bone don’t offer those advantages.
Bret wore the Glock 19 both IWB and OWB. He said the gun fit snugly in the G19 SwapSkin with the TLR2 attached but still drew easily. He really liked the level of comfort provided by the backing plate. The rig did not protrude from beneath his T-shirt and remained secure and concealed no matter what he was doing. He was very pleased.
The S&W M&P .38 is an ideal IWB deep carry gun and rode perfectly in the IWB appendix position. The Talon also has two riveted leather straps on the rear for OWB carry, which it also excelled at. The M&P was secure in the SwapSkin yet the grip could be fully accessed. There was no need to remove the IWB clips for OWB wear. The clips can be adjusted for height. The Talon as tested (IWB/OWB) was $89.95. IWB only is also available for $84.95.
Bret and I were very impressed with these SwapRig products. The designs of the SwapRig hybrids are innovative and bring hybrid holsters to the pinnacle of current development. While SwapRig hybrid holsters may be more expensive than some designs when initially purchased, savings over the long run are realized by purchasing more SwapSkins. If you tend to trade in handguns on a regular basis like I’ve done, you aren’t out an entire holster; only out a SwapSkin.