I have evaluated many holsters over the past years. Some have been winners and some didn't quite cut it. Mike from W.E. Defend USA reached out and asked me to evaluate his Magneto Holster, a holster that incorporates a magnet for retention. I have reviewed JM4 Tactical's magnetic retention holsters in the past, and so I thought it would be interesting to see W.E. Defend USA's magnetic holster as well.
The Magneto Holster:
It is an inside the waistband (IWB) holster made from leather and a soft, textile material. The holster material is supple, so it is not molded specifically to the gun. Instead, there are 5 sizes that correspond to various handguns. As mentioned the Magneto uses magnetic retention to keep the gun in place. One magnet is held in the leather flap, while the other is in the holster body. Like in the JM4 Tactical Quick Click and Carry series, the Magneto uses the two magnets to clip the holster to the pants.
Mike told me the Magneto is most ideally suited for use with athletic clothing. Sweatpants, shorts etc., are not typically worn with belts, so the magnetic retention shines in these applications. Additionally, the thin material used in the holster body was specifically chosen to limit bulk for tight-fitting yoga or spandex type athletic gear.
Wearing the Magneto:
I used a Glock 43 to test out the Magneto and found the minimalist design does not increase the footprint of the gun at all. In this way, the holster is very concealable and comfortable to wear. The magnet was strong enough to keep the holster securely attached to even thick clothes like jeans. The holster lacks structure, so like other soft holsters, once the gun is removed you must remove it in order to re-holster the gun.
I am not going to completely eliminate a holster solely because the gun can't be re-holstered with one hand. The ability to do this is ideal, but sometimes concessions are made when using an application-specific holster. In this instance, the minimalist design that helps conceal it in tight athletic clothing makes it so you won't be able to re-holster with one hand.
A feature unique to the Magneto is that the leather flap can be customized with your personal logo. Mike sent me two holsters: one with the Concealed Carry Logo, and One with my training company logo. This is a cool service that is not offered by many other companies.
The Magneto's Design:
I found some aspects of the magneto that I felt could be improved upon. First, the area around the trigger guard, I feel, is too thin. When looking at soft-bodied holsters, I like to see some reinforcement in this area. I know some carry their guns without any trigger covering, like the Clipdraw device pictured below. The Magneto provides trigger protection more than that device, but less than what I am comfortable with.
Because the holster is so thin, there is no backing material inside the holster. The inside face of the material is a little rough, so I could imagine after a long time of using the holster, your gun might show some wear.
My Glock 43 did not fit snugly in the holster. Because it is more of a ‘universal' size design, I didn't expect the same fit as a leather or Kydex holster. However, I felt the gun just didn't belong in it. It sat very low, which has a negative impact on the drawstroke.
When the gun sits too low in the holster, it keeps you from being able to get a nice, firm grip prior to drawing the gun. Right now the only way to adjust the ride height of the gun inside the holster is to use an included piece of tubing. The tube is placed in the bottom of the holster and it makes the gun sit up higher. It doesn't seem like a permanent or ideal solution to that problem.
Talking with Mike:
When I test and evaluate a product, I like to contact the manufacturer of the product before the article is published. In this case, I spoke several times with Mike and explained my findings. He was open and willing to listen not only to the shortcomings I found with the design but recommendations I made for improving on the design. He was not defensive and told me he was excited to try and implement some of those features into the holster design.
I couldn't help comparing the Magneto to the Quick Click and Carry(QCC) from JM4 Tactical. They function similarly. The QCC has more thickness because it is made of leather. But because of this the gun rides nicely in the QCC, as opposed to the Magneto where it sits lower.
I also noticed the difference in fit and finish with the JM4 Tactical compared to the Magneto was night and day. The JM4 Tactical holster is flawless and durable. But found that the materials and stitching did not seem to be built for the long haul in Magneto's holster.
I also found an issue with the custom logo on Magneto. As you can see in the photo, it appears another logo bled onto the leather for this holster. Nothing huge, but it's worth mentioning.
I think the Magneto is a good idea but just needs some refinement before I would trust my life with it. As of now, I think the Quick Click and Carry from JM4 Tactical executed the magnetic retention concept better. Check W.E. Defend USA's web page in the future, and maybe we will see a Magneto 2.0 someday.
Here is a video review:
I have completed many, many reviews of various products. Up to this point, my integrity on testing a product has only been challenged once, when someone believed I didn't wear the holster prior to giving an evaluation. I take the opportunity to review products very seriously.
After all, I use reviews to research products before I buy something. I have never, and will never compromise my integrity and honesty in these reviews for a piece of gear. I owe you all that much, and I owe the companies I review products for, my honest and constructive input.
*Editor's Note* Choosing a holster is one of the most important decisions you could ever make when it comes to concealed carry, and is something far too many people take for granted. Make sure you choose a decent holster that performs its job well.
After all, you entrust your life to it functioning properly every day you carry your gun. Shouldn't the choice of your gun holster get the same amount of attention that you put into choosing your gun? It blows my mind to see folks who spend $500+ on a gun only to stick it in a flimsy turd that barely even holds your gun. And no, I'm not saying that you need an expensive one, but you need one that works right. It is my opinion based on Matthew's review, that this holster needs work before anyone should stick a gun in it and trust it to work right.
Those are just my two cents, though, and your decisions should always be based on more than just what we say. Okay, my rant is over. What do you think of this holster?