Can you get a good holster for $25? Before I answer that, we need to understand that when I evaluate a product, there are both subjective and objective qualities that I am looking at. Over the last 4 or 5 years of reviewing holsters, I have gotten pickier with what I feel are holster “must-haves”. This is due to seeing many, many holsters, as well as their makers innovating products that address those deficiencies.
It is safe to say that a holster that checks all the must-have boxes is going to cost around 80-120 dollars. When K Tactical reached out and asked if I would be interested in reviewing their $25 leather, inside the waistband (IWB) holster, I had a feeling it wouldn't fall into the elite holster category. Before you scoff at why anyone would buy or review a $25 holster, let me explain why I didn't turn them down.
First, I know many beginners' investment goes toward the gun without an understanding of the additional cost of gear. They desire the great advantage of having a firearm as an option for their self-defense, but may not have the resources or knowledge to pick a holster that is an elite performer.
We all have the dreaded box of old holsters that we went through to get to the point where we are today. Additionally, they may not even know where on their body they want to carry their gun. Appendix carry is what I promote and I think it is a superior method, but some people do not like it.
If they went out and bought a 120 dollar appendix holster only to not like it, or change their gun after a week, that sets them back in their ability to train.
Secondly, I support all entrepreneurs who are trying to produce products for the market. Competition drives ingenuity and stabilizes the cost of items. And small businesses are the backbone of America and their sales directly put food on so many people's tables.
Lastly, reviewing products at lower price points can help explain why some other products are so much more money, and the consumer can make the decision on if they are willing to pay more for features on other higher-priced items.
K Tactical is a new company that sells some basic leather holsters, and a few other outdoor gear items. The holster selection covers a few of the main gun manufacturers' compact and sub-compact models. The holster is listed between $23.95 to $35.95, so they hit the very lowest price point for a holster, that still fits the definition.
The holster is made of thin leather with an unfinished inside. The leather is died black and has a single row of red stitching holding it together. The leather is molded and fits my P365 just fine. It does a fine job of covering the trigger-guard and is shaped to allow a good grip of the gun while it is still in the holster. All good things.
The holster uses one steel clip that is the basic clip that you see on most budget holsters. That is to say, it will stay attached to the belt for the most part. Staying put during a dynamic fight or a fight over a gun-grab, I wouldn't put a ton of confidence in it staying where it is.
In my opinion, it is better than the similarly styled wide plastic clip, but there are better clip options. There is even a style that is almost identical to the one used but has a small, inward-facing tang that locks under the belt.
I have a preference for holsters with two mounting points. I believe it keeps it from twisting, retains the holster better, and aids in comfort because it doesn't move. It's a personal preference and I know plenty of well-respected people who carry holsters with only one clip.
The holster has a sweat shield. I know people like sweat shields, but I discourage them on leather or hybrid holsters. Over time, the leather or hybrid sweat guard will break down and bend over its mouth. This leads to people using the slide to push the sweat guard out of the way in order to holster the gun.
This, in turn, causes them to muzzle themselves with the gun. This outcome is only exacerbated if the material used is thin, or if you have a tactical muffin-top. The leather used on this holster is very thin and folds over even with my modest dad-body stomach girth.
Another issue that comes from the thin leather is that the holster almost completely collapses when the gun is not in it. This makes 1 handed holstering all but impossible. Now there are plenty of well-known products that require it to be removed before holstering.
How likely this will be an issue during the use of force is unknown. I can tell you training, and firing a high round count where you are drawing and returning to the holster quite a bit with a holster that collapses won't be enjoyable or safe as safety gets balanced with the annoyance of removing the holster each time.
Options are limited on the holster. You can't get different clips, have it cut for an optic or taller sights, or have it used along with a weapon-mounted light. Now it isn't likely that someone willing to shell out 400 bucks on an optic is going to buy a budget holster but it's worth noting.
It has close to a zero or slightly forward cant which is not adjustable. You also won't be able to adjust the ride height. So you are a bit limited in fitting it to your body.
Check out the video portion of my review, here:
Here's the Scoop:
Aesthetically the holster looks nice with the black and red contrast. It is formed to the gun and has a decent clip. The price point is difficult to beat and they have most of the popular guns covered. But there were some drawbacks. The leather is thin, single stitched, and collapses when the gun isn't holstered. The sweat guard folds over the mouth and there are no real customizable options.
So is the leather IWB holster from K Tactical worth it's $25 price tag? If you're brand new to concealed carry, trying to figure out if you have the right gun and still working out where you want to carry your everyday carry (EDC) gun, then it's hard to beat for the price.
I always recommend carrying inside your home with a new holster in order to adjust it and see if it really works with your body before going out into public. This holster is priced to allow that experimentation to take place.
I don't see the holster holding up over years of rugged use, but for less than it costs for a couple of people to eat at MacDonald's, you're probably not expecting to hand this thing down to your kid.
You are likely going to replace the holster as you find out what you need and push the holster past its limitations. That being said, if you are working out your EDC setup, maybe testing the holster from K Tactical is a good option for you.
Learn more about the company on their website, here.