Review of Sticky and Ron’s Holsters: Deep Cover Options

jan-2014-sticky-rons-holsters-cover-preview
| | 7 Comments

With the pistol inside the holster and the holster inside the belt, the combination will not move.

WHY DOES IT WORK?

With the pistol inside the holster and the holster inside the belt, the combination will not move.

With the pistol inside the holster and the holster inside the belt, the combination will not move.

What sorcery is this? Sticky Hoslters are stitched up from a soft and supple material that allows for a smooth draw, but sticks to your pants and shirt like glue.

There must be some science behind it; something about micro-fibers and physical properties associated with the surface area of the materials in contact. But from a layman’s point of view it is just magic.

And the Sticky Holsters website does not offer much help either. Here is what they have to say online: The outside skin is a super non-slip material that, with a little pressure, adheres to just about anything. In addition, with use and body heat, your Sticky Holster will conform to your particular gun, making a custom fit.

Well, that pretty much sums up that it works, but we still don’t know HOW it works. So, for now, we are just accepting the results of our tests. With the pistol inside the holster and the holster inside the belt, the combination will not move.

Let’s just call it magic.

GOING CHEAP ON ACCESSORIES is a case of classic Defensive Handgun Failure. We’ve all known a person (or been a person) who went cheap, but “That Guy” who tries to save a few bucks on everything often compromises his safety. It could be $6 G.I. contract 1911 mags from the late 70s (I bought some of those) or a Chinese holster from eBay that got excellent reviews from 15-year-old Airsoft enthusiasts. The result is always the same, and it runs counter to the entire ethos of defensive handgunning. In short, “That Guy” compromises his initial investment—and his personal security—to save a few bucks. Buy good stuff. Here is a look at two great holster systems that won’t break the bank.

HOLSTERS ARE IMPORTANT

Sticky Holsters are amazingly simple yet utterly reliable and surprisingly stable when in place. To use one, you insert the pistol into the holster, then place the package where you want it to stay.

Sticky Holsters are amazingly simple yet utterly reliable and surprisingly stable when in place. To use one, you insert the pistol into the holster, then place the package where you want it to stay.

Your tactics are fundamentally unsound if your carry platform is unsound. I cannot make it simpler than that. You need to find a holster system that works with the way you want to carry.

The good news is that we as armed citizens have at our fingertips a selection of holsters that would have been unimaginable to even our parents, let alone our grandparents. The two I tested are excellent examples of this; they’re reasonably priced, extremely reliable, and straight out of what I as a child of the 1980s would recognize as The Future.

Carry and draw assessments were run with a Kel-Tec P-11, a Smith & Wesson Model 32 Terrier, a Glock 17, and a Ruger LCP, all with full carry loads. I drew and fired from both holsters while wearing light summer and heavy winter wear and in both casual and business attire.

RON’S HOLSTERS CONCEALED CARRY CHEST HOLSTER

TOP: Ron’s Chest Holster works well in a variety of situations and keeps your pistol concealed but ready for action. BOTTOM: Comfort and concealment are the two key elements of Ron’s Holsters Chest Holster. They should be two key elements of your carry system as well.

TOP: Ron’s Chest Holster works well in a variety of situations and keeps your pistol concealed but ready for action. BOTTOM: Comfort and concealment are the two key elements of Ron’s Holsters Chest Holster. They should be two key elements of your carry system as well.

At a cursory glance, Ron’s Holsters Concealed Carry Chest Holster ($50, www.ronsholsters.com, 813-846-9758) looks how I’d imagine the result of hiring a physical therapist to design a holster, meaning you’d be pleasantly surprised by the results. Though plain-looking and familiar at first glance, do not be fooled; this around-the-torso deep-cover rig held my fully-loaded Ruger LCP and an extra magazine steady as a rock during a four-hour drive and didn’t allow any movement during an afternoon of walleye fishing. Almost more importantly, this thing is comfortable—think Ace bandage wrapped around your chest, only softer and more breathable. With the exception of the Velcro closure system, Ron designed his chest holster to be constructed from the same non-latex material used in the treatment of burn patients, which allows for ample air flow and actual all-day comfort.

Draw is executed by pulling the neck of the shirt forward with your reaction hand and reaching in with your strong hand or inserting your strong hand into the shirt through the buttoned (or unbuttoned) front. My draws were from both under a polo shirt and from beneath a fishing shirt whose buttons I sacrificed to the cause, and I must say that as soon as your hand is properly indexed, there are zero problems with safely presenting your weapon. Centering the pistol on my chest made it very low-key under a polo shirt and almost un-detectable under a shirt and tie, and when I moved the weapon into my armpit concealment was total.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this one really shines with a compact or sub-compact, but it will fit and comfortably carry a full-sized 1911. Models that will carry an extra magazine are also available (as well as a double-gun rig). This would be not only an ideal holster for deep concealment, but exceptionally handy for bicycling, motorcycling, hiking, jogging, or any circumstance where a belt-based weapon system would be impractical. Break-in of this holster is as simple as the 8 cycles through the wash recommended in the instructions, but believe you me, the result is something you will quickly forget you’re wearing. Sizing is true, and as a guy with an honest 48” chest, I wore an XL and it fit perfectly.

Not only is this an excellent carry option for everyday deep concealment of a pistol or small revolver, I also tested it with my backup gun under my body armor and uniform. (Granted, my uniform tops cost a lot more than a fishing shirt from the Clinton administration and I’d sure hate to Superman one open, but under the circumstances I think I could grit my teeth and do so.) Again, zero issues with weapon presentation once my hand was indexed, and reholstering is a snap due to the simple friction-fit.

STICKY HOLSTER

Speaking of friction-fit, right off the top: I’m not going to pretend to know how the material on the outside of the Sticky Holster works ($24.95, www.stickyholsters.com). This is an odd little unit that will be brought into immediate rotation in my carry schedule: it looks like parts are missing, it feels like a vinyl car top, but when you crack open the package, read the directions and holster up, you will immediately realize that this thing doesn’t move. Like, at all.

Unencumbered by clips or belt loops, you can mount this holster literally anywhere on your beltline simply by inserting your weapon and then sliding it inside of your waist-band. That’s it. I wore a Kel-Tec P-11 for nine solid hours, in and out of a vehicle, in and out of stores and restaurants and an art gallery, and finally while lowering and raising a ski boat on a lift and I couldn’t detect any un-wanted movement.

American-made and available in 17 sizes to fit almost any sidearm, the Sticky follows the principle of total simplicity: figure out what you want done, look for materials that will allow you to do it, and then execute. It offers Level One retention with convenience I have not seen coupled with its level of reliability: insert weapon in holster, insert holster in waistband, cease worrying about where your sidearm is. The Sticky with a Kel-Tec offered concealability on par with other IWB systems, but like Ron’s Concealed Carry Chest Holster, the magic happens when it is combined with a subcompact. My Smith & Wesson Terrier became invisible with a sport coat, and my LCP disappeared beneath an untucked t-shirt.

Ron’s Holsters recommends running the holster through several washing machine cycles to improve the comfort even more.

Ron’s Holsters recommends running the holster through several washing machine cycles to improve the comfort even more.

Draws were crisp and smooth from the hip, cross-draw, and even from the small of the back. (I was especially interested in how “Sticky” it would truly be back there, and I was not let down.) To simulate purse draws, I placed holstered autos and revolvers in a shoulder bag filled with my teaching materials and as soon as my hand was indexed, the firearm was on target as quickly as I can present from my duty holster. In the smaller models, presentation from a pants or coat pocket is equally simple and fast.

Reholstering is performed by removing the holster from your waistband, pocket, or bag; re-inserting your weapon; and re-inserting the complete unit back where you want it. This would be an ideal holster for the carrier who doesn’t wish to fiddle with belts or shoulder straps, but would rather have the option of securely carrying a sidearm in their waistband with minimal fuss. At its price point, I haven’t found an IWB or pocket holster that can beat it.

Both of these holsters proved to be excellent choices for both armed citizens and off-duty or plainclothes law enforcement officers. Not only do I intend to integrate the Ron’s Concealed Carry Chest Holster into my duty gear as a backup weapon carry system, both it and the Sticky Holster will find their way into my normal carry routine for when I require a truly deep-concealment rig. Moreover, at these prices, I’ve also likely completed at least a third of my Christmas shopping.

ABOUT REHOLSTERING

It can sometimes be a bit cumbersome to reholster with a soft-sided holster. But this should not be a concern in a defensive situation, because you should not be in a hurry to reholster.

Consider this: If the situation you were in was so dangerous that you felt the need to draw your firearm in defense of your life, why on Earth would you be in a hurry to put that gun away?

Keep your gun out in a position of low ready. Move to a position of tactical advantage—either cover or concealment, then call the police.

If you find the situation is so un-safe that you can’t stay where you are and wait for the police, the question again becomes, “Why put the gun away?” Keep it in your hand and move tactically to a better location.

When the police arrive to take your statement, place your gun on the ground, follow their instructions, and reholster only when it is safe to do so.

The holster is there to keep your firearm safe and secure until you need it. Reholstering is a secondary function that should not be hurried.


6 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. I recently bought a Sticky Holster. The thing doesnt move. Tried it out by walking around the house with loose jeans and no belt. Again, it didn’t move. So far this looks like the only holster youll ever need. Fits great and almost unnoticeable. Btw, this is with a fully loaded colt new agent 1911 (EXCELLENT CARRY GUN) in 45 app.

  2. Sorry. Meant 45 acp

  3. Neoprene is the “mystery” fabric, no mystery to divers, or horse people. People actually got it to stick to something? I’m shocked, tell me your secrets of wizards of neoprene. I ordered it going “cool I won’t have to wear a clunky belt come summer”. ERR! WRONG. Denim, cotton, cotton blend, polyester, suede, leather, silk, nylons, canvas duck, french terry cloth, broadcloth, pants right size, pants 2 sizes to small, pants 2 sizes to small with belt. Doesn’t matter, unloaded no magazine P220 went sliding down leg after 3 minutes of just standing and doing dishes, minimal walking around in my house from the bedroom where I was having wardrobe changes to try and find something it would stick to or hang onto and down to the kitchen thinking haha, 2 sizes to small jeans and a belt should hold it. Silly me. I think to myself, well okay lets try out the SD40VE unloaded no magazine maybe the SIG is just to heavy. S&W 40VE which is a light weight hardly feels like you have a gun went sliding on down as well. So I admitted defeat for that day, tried heat, tried cold, tried a fine mist of water on it to see if that helped any and found nothing to be of help. So tell me, exactly WHAT does this stick to and HOW did you get it to work? I do not use fabric softeners as I’m allergic to the chemicals used to manufacture perfumes, I use Purex unscented un dyed laundry soap. I had washed my hands prior to attempting to use the holster to minimize skin oils going onto it once I knew what kind of “fabric” it was.

  4. I have two holsters, one for 380 Bodyguard and one for 9mm Shield. I carry with jeans during off time and with dress clothes during work. They are very comfortable and stay where I place them all day. I do not understand why you are having problems. I do feel that with any holster your pants need to fit properly with your holster on.

  5. I purchased a Sticky Holsters after reading news from Shot Show and this article fro my CZ75 . Appendix carry in my jeans and Carhartts the flippin gun doesn’t move throughout my workday. After this I purchased one for my S&W Model 60 .38. I have been wearing it in my sweat pants while walking the dog in the morning and it stays in place in any position. Going to purchase one for the wife’s Shield xmas present.

  6. Was looking for a pocket holster for my Glock 27 for use in cargo shorts (top pocket, not bottom). I tried it before purchasing it and glad i did. Tried to draw and the whole inside of the pocket came out with the gun. Might be a little too sticky for pocket carry. Sales person at the range said it was best for IWB, but i didn’t want that.

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Get a Gravatar! Your Name

*

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

All comments will be reviewed by the Delta Defense team before posting. If your comment is in poor taste, or contains profanity or racial slurs, it will not be posted.