Anyone who knows me know that I’m a gun enthusiast. While in the past I only enjoyed collecting and shooting, I’m beginning to get into the custom realm of making a good gun better. As such, I’ve reviewed a few guns on this blog along with parts for them.
Today, I’m going to simplify things a bit. I came across a company called Fobus Holsters. These great holsters are made in Israel primarily for their military and special security forces there. As you can imagine, I had high expectations of the brand even before receiving the review products.
Fobus sent me two holsters to test –an active retention, rotating holster for a Springfield Armory XD40 (Model SPDB) with Thumb release and a passive retention holster for the Taurus Judge compact. This review will only consist of the active retention since I loaned out my Judge to a family member and didn’t get it back until Friday. I still need to play with the passive retention holster to write a good enough review, though I’m equally impressed with it as I am this one.
Right off the bat, I could tell these were high quality holsters. I’ll start with the active retention holster for the XD40. For those that are contemplating getting a pistol of any caliber, you CANNOT go wrong with a Springfield Armory XD-series pistol. My every day choice that I keep on me is the XD40. I have shot hundreds of rounds through this pistol and don’t have a single complaint. The customer service is top-notch too! Being a left-handed shooter, the company even sent me a free left hand paddle holster when I bought the pistol and got home to find the holster that came with it was designed for right-handed shooters.
However, the Fobus paddle holster is different from the stock Springfield paddle holster in several ways. Both provide a perfect fit for the pistol. The Fobus includes a thumb release that the XD model does not have. This is important to any legal gun owner and provides a sense of assurance that the gun won’t fall into the wrong hands.
The paddle comes with a beveled lip that clings to the waistband or belt, preventing it from accidentally being pulled during the draw.
When I’m carrying, I like to have my pistol at a slight angle to the front. This helps me get a smooth and consistent draw in a pinch. The XD holsters don’t allow for that. The Fobus holsters feature the Fobus Rotation Mechanism that allows the user to rotate the way the pistol is holstered. Users can position their sidearm for a straight up and down draw, a forward-assisted draw like I use, or even a cross draw if that is your style by simply using an allen wrench to loosen and reposition the holster.
Another great aspect of this holster is that the guard that covers the trigger housing is deep enough so as to prevent accidental trigger pull. While this isn’t a problem with the XD due to its own inherent safety features, some gun owners will appreciate the added safety.
The location of the thumb release if positioned to allow for a natural draw. The user won’t have to worry about learning new muscle memory just to unholster their sidearm. I tested the holster with both a regular magazine and extended magazine and didn’t have a single misdraw. The motion of the thumb release is natural and fluid as you can see in these two photos.
The Fobus active retention holster is a level 2 retention holster. A Level 2 holster example is one where a thumb-break is released then the pistol must be moved (rocked forward or rearwards) in the holster to clear some form of internal locking device before it can be drawn. A level 1 holster would have something like a leather or plastic snap as the only thing holding the pistol in place. A level 3 holster is one where three separate retaining devices, both internal and external must be undone or bypassed. Most police officers and military personnel use a level 2, as this provides a good balance between quick draw and security of the weapon.
I could only identify two areas where I could see improvement: the paddle thickness and concealability. To be fair, the Fobus active retention holster isn’t designed to be used as a concealed carry holster. Because of the retention system, the weapon sticks out from the waist 2.5 to 3 inches, whereas the XD holster hugs the pistol close to the body with a little less than two inches of distance. Again, Fobus didn’t design this holster to be used for concealed carry, so I can’t really hold that against them.
While I never had any issues putting the holster on or taking it off, I do worry that the thickness of the bridge between the paddle and the holster itself is too thin. The XD bridge is very thick and rigid giving me the impression of being more durable.
A friend of mine also has a Fobus holster, so I asked him about his experiences with it. His went through a catastrophic motorcycle accident at 65mph and nothing happened to the pistol or the holster. He called it an “ass over elbows” type crash and neither the pistol nor the holster ever left his side (though I bet it left a nice bruise!).
All in all, the Fobus holster is much more comfortable than the XD holster as well. It forms to the hip which prevents it from digging into your side. Because the paddle is so lightweight, it can also be used in the small of the back without hurting too much. They seem to have thought of it all.
I now have a new range and farm holster in the Fobus active retention holster. I like the durability, comfort and ease of use. I like that I don’t have to worry about someone trying to disarm me from behind or in a skirmish. The design is sleek, elegant, and lightweight. Since Texas is still not an open carry state (WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?!), I’ll have to continue using my XD holster for concealed carry in the meantime. But, I can’t recommend Fobus highly enough. The Israelis have a good thing going here!
Throw in a suggested retail of $39.99 each and you can’t go wrong.