RLSmith Holsters–Bombproof Kydex

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IWB for a GLOCK 19, and an OWB for the 42.

IWB for a GLOCK 19, and an OWB for the 42.

Check out the holsters: http://www.rlsmithholsters.com

I’m a connoisseur of Kydex. As someone who reviews guns for a living, the holster makers sometimes see me as an easy target. I’ve got to find ways to carry the guns I review, and some of the upstarts are all-too-willing to make a one-off on the hopes that they’ll get a featured spot in a write-up. It is rare that I find something solid enough to consider putting it into constant rotation. It is rarer still that I see a design that is unique enough to really deserve mention.

What I’m getting at here is something I’m not really qualified to say. I’ve made leather holsters, but not Kydex.  Still, I feel it is a craft that most can handle–to a point. The true craftsmen differentiate themselves by adding something unique, or doing everything so well that the fit and finish is flawless.

Today, I’m here to talk about RLSmith Holsters. These are, in the grand tradition of Kydex, remarkably well built holsters from a small shop. Cottage industry. The options Smith offers are easily customized, but the vision he’s working with seems to be based on strength. These are stout designs built from thick Kydex, and over-bolted. They may be the most substantially built Kydex holsters I’ve ever seen.

1) minimal size/function ratio
2) Natural curvature built into holster to fit the body
3) Safety features built into holster,i.e.: covered trigger guard; covered magazine release; clear sight channel
4) clean aesthetics, polished fit and finish
5)FOMI clips for IWB; Warlock belt loop attachments for OWB; Screws instead of rivets
6) Quality assurance performed on each and every holster
7) Lifetime guarantee on all products we sell
8) Choice of carry positions
9) Large selection of colors

An OWB for the GLOCK 42.

An OWB for the GLOCK 42. You can see how the curve makes it stand off the table a bit.

I’ve been carrying my GLOCK 42 in this OWB rig all winter. As I had the benefit of heavier cover, I didn’t want an IWB. I wanted to see what it would be like to carry a smaller gun on my hip instead of inside the waistband. And I like it–a lot. The hefty design and snug fit means that the 42 snicks in and locks in place. While it is still easy enough to draw, it rides so securely that no natural movement can dislodge the pistol.

There’s only one element about the design that I’d change. The single belt loop is solid, like everything else on these dudes, but it doesn’t allow me to split the two loops over a belt loop, which is how I typically keep an OWB holster from shifting around. This is less of an issue if you wear your belt tighter, which is what I’ve been doing.

OWB for the 42.

OWB for the 42.

IWB for the 19.

IWB for the 19.

On the flip side, I often carry the bigger GLOCK in the waist band. I’d put this holster on par with others in this class. The clip sits along side the frame, which adds to the width you have to conceal. That’s never been a problem for me, as I have enough of my own width to conceal most anything. But there are others that like the belt loops, or clips, to be moved out to the sides for a flatter overall holster. For those who don’t mind the clip in this position, though, this is a well built rig.

Prices on these start at $65, and go up marginally depending on the options you add. Check out the shop here: . They’ve got more than 135 guns in the library, so finding the right model should be easy enough.

Clear sight channels help keep sights working properly.

Clear sight channels help keep sights working properly.

Do you need four screws on each side to hold this holster together? Nope. But you get four. And it isn't going to come loose.

Do you need four screws on each side to hold this holster together? Nope. But you get four. And it isn’t going to come loose.

The 42 under my shirt.

The 42 under my shirt.

There it is.

There it is.

The sweat shield makes tucking the shirt behind it easy, and keeps it free of the gun.

The sweat shield makes tucking the shirt behind it easy, and keeps it free of the gun.

Which makes the draw that much easier.

Which makes the draw that much easier.

Full coverage on the trigger.

Full coverage on the trigger.

A good sweat shield on the top end to keep the steel off of you.

A good sweat shield on the top end to keep the steel off of you.

And the holster covers the mag release, too, which is an extra safety measure.

And the holster covers the mag release, too, which is an extra safety measure.

The belt loop on the OWB.

The belt loop on the OWB.

The width of this design pushes the grip away from your body at a slight angle, making the draw that much easier.

The width of this design pushes the grip away from your body at a slight angle, making the draw that much easier.

The detail work on the RLSmith line is very well executed.

The detail work on the RLSmith line is very well executed.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Russ April 6, 2015, 4:54 pm

    I’m more interested in a fully adjustable cant, when it comes to holsters.
    It seems most don’t position the cant so that the muzzle points more toward your groin.
    They point it back behind you and the base of the grip prints. Then you fumble with angling your wrist to get a grip.
    When I carry IWB, I want the slide to run the natural indentation between my leg and groin.
    It’s a perfect non-printing fit, and it doesn’t dig into you or hike up when you sit.
    Less movement, and a more natural hand grab at that angle as well.

    Can anyone tell me why most people don’t carry that way?

    • Charlie April 6, 2015, 9:25 pm

      If you are talking appendix carry, what happens when you have a ND? You have the bullet rip into your thigh or genitals. If you use a side carry you shoot your butt. Rather hit my butt.

      • Russ April 7, 2015, 3:00 pm

        Ya, I kind of figured that would be the reason. Got it.
        Living in So.Cal., I’m wearing cargo shorts and a T-shirt
        I’m a safety hater, and train without it on my PPQ.
        It has an action safety trigger only.
        I’m a serious and careful gun owner, and find that I’m calm during stress or in chaotic situations.
        I can’t see myself being negligent.
        These guys are like minded to me.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9hIvTTUARQc
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=WxdhA0Y1q9Y
        Thanks for the input Charlie, Appendix Carry was the term I was looking for.
        Speaking of looking, for the life of me, I can’t find a single incident of anyone ever having a ND by Appendix Carry.
        Made up stories on forums by overly cautious “safety police”, but no actual proof what so ever can be found by me on the WWW, of it happening.

  • Mark Wilson April 6, 2015, 3:50 pm

    Just ordered one of these holsters for my Springfield XD Mod 2 .45

  • Tony P. April 6, 2015, 3:28 pm

    Come on man! $65.00, and that’s just to start with???? I can pick-up a Fobus for less than 1/2 that much!!! Or even a blade Tech, come on man the pricing is RIDIULOUS!!! If I was to get what I would like to get from RLS, it would cost me about $80.00+. And that is simply ridiculous for a kydex holster. I’d rather spend $65.00 for a Galco, and get real leather, than get took that amount, for essentially what is plastic (no mater what you call it!). Go peddle ice to Eskimo, please…. Fidelis ad Mortem!

  • Garth April 6, 2015, 11:43 am

    His Kydex may have many innovative details but if one practices a draw-stroke there is NO way a holster without having a proper speed-cut could be in the running as could never get the times down to an acceptable level.

  • El Mac April 6, 2015, 8:23 am

    It would have been nice to have a link to their website…

    • Austin April 6, 2015, 9:25 am

      The link is directly below the first photo above the article.

    • Browncoat April 6, 2015, 9:30 am

      It’s the first line of the article…. “Check out the holsters: http://www.rlsmithholsters.com

    • brian April 6, 2015, 9:59 am

      links at the top right corner of the page

  • Charles L Bloss Jr April 6, 2015, 6:47 am

    I agree with you about kydex. I had a custom iwb holster made for my CS45, and an iwb mag holder. Unfortunately neither was used as I use a different carrying method. I just ordered a knife with a kydex sheath. It is a great strong material.

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