By Brian Jensen
The holster scene is pretty packed with companies pushing new iterations of old designs, or copying others that they find a market for. I found a new group, CrossFire Holsters, who’s just going to the beat of a different drum. Their motto: “A Different Kind of Product and a Different Kind of Company.”
I spoke with Jarrod Barr, the company founder and president. He made it clear, from the get go, that his company is a firm believer in going, “outside the box” for solution to do things, and do them right. Barr said his initial design came from when his father fell in the hills while trying to give aid to what he thought was an emergency. On the way, he tripped and his gun fell out of his unsecured holster, then went off as it hit the ground. The round struck his dad in the knee and he had to crawl back to their home.
Barr wanted to make a holster that would be safe, and ergonomically sound. He also wanted to avoid the trap of traditional snap holsters that had the strap get in the way while re-holstering. And yes, he decided to get away from conventional designs and do something different.
His first design was what is called the Rocket, that has a nylon pancake design, but uses an elastic strap that goes over the back of the gun to lock it in. When you draw, you push the strap forward over the top, where it stays out of the way. It is indeed an unconventional design, but Jarrod says that with practice, people can get quite fast.
New Products for this Year
New for this year, is the Shadow line, Tracer and Panther models. These new systems go with a new idea from Barr, using a spring-loaded thumb break strap that once the snap is opened, the strap springs out of your way, and stays there. This is still a nylon and synthetic design. He said he did this for two reasons. First, because he recognized that some people just want a thumb strap. Second some guns don’t work well under the elastic strap system of the Rocket model because the strap rests against the back strap of the gun, and will de-activate a grip safety as found on a 1911 or XD style pistol. The Shadow line has models geared towards law enforcement that have a magazine and a set of handcuffs as well. All of the Shadow line has a strap to hold a badge on the side.
I asked Barr what makes his system different. He said that instead of using a molded plastic like seen in many other designs, he uses a synthetic memory-style foam that is compressed and heated to make the guts of his holsters, which are then surrounded with high quality nylon. This does two things, first, it helps it keep shape, but secondly, over a little time, the foam compresses around the holstered weapon and takes shape like it was molded to the weapon – viola, just like a custom fit holster.
What’s nice about this system is that one holster can adapt to other firearms. Bar explained, “you may have a great holster, but if you sell the gun, you might as well sell the holster too.” Now, this system can adapt to different guns. Just let the holster set for a week or two and the foam will decompress enough to start over with your new pistol. It’s just different enough to make you take notice.
CrossFire makes a full line of holsters, and all have something to offer everyone from the peace officer, armed civilian, hunter or casual shooter. The also offer a pretty neat little range bag called the Range Deluxe. It has pockets for two pistols, adaptable pockets for magazines, bullets, your ear protection, and is nice and compact.
Everything made by CrossFire is made with US materials and in their factory in Nampa Idaho. The price point of many of these holsters is just under $30, so they are reasonably priced as well. However, check with CrossFire for details.