Safariland’s new Schema Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holster has broken new ground in holster design. I often wondered why some manufacturers thought the materials for an IWB holster needed to be the same thickness as an outside belt-style holster. An IWB by definition is sandwiched between the body and the wearer’s clothing so it really never needed the same thickness components to be secure.
Safariland figured it all out and did away with much of the surrounding material while maintaining plenty of thickness where needed to provide retention and outstanding support. All the corners are nicely rounded and tapered to maximize comfort in the minimalist design. After wearing the Schema for several days, I can attest they did an outstanding job.
The cut of the holster covers everything that needs to be covered, like the trigger, front sight, and magazine release, while keeping the holster out of the way of the other areas to allow full access to the grip for a good draw, and making it red dot sight compatible.
The Schema I tested is a lightweight IWB holster that offers plenty of support for my Sig 365XL. Safariland is producing Schema’s to support 5 popular pistols. The initial offerings are only for right-handed shooters but hopefully they show some love to the lefties down the road.
The front sight is protected by a heavy channel that extends down around the bottom of the holster. Passive retention is provided by tension provided by the sides of the holster in the trigger guard area. That tension provides enough retention to keep the pistol in place during fairly vigorous activities and snaps in with an audible click. The holster is rigid enough to remain wide open for ease in re-holstering.
One of the best features of the Schema is the design and adjustability of the belt loop. The loop, catch, hook, or whatever you choose to call it is designed for a 1 ½ inch belt and has an aggressive hook on the end to catch the belt. The hook does a great job of keeping the holster in place. The top edge of the loop is a bit wider and provides an increased surface area to keep the holster sitting solidly on the belt preventing unwanted movement.
The loop is adjustable for ride height and cant angle to allow customers to get the holster and grip angle just right. With the holster dropped to its lowest level the pistol rides just above the pant line providing the best concealment. However, this position made it more difficult to draw rapidly.
Pistol Types- Sig 365, Sig 365 XL (tested), Glock 43/43x, Springfield Hellcat, Taurus G2C/ G3C
Weight- 7.8 grams (tested)
Holster in the highest position while still providing great concealment, but was much faster to draw by allowing fingers easier access to the underside of the grip. I found the sweet spot for me to be the mid- point of the range. This allowed excellent concealment and enough clearance for clean draws. Users can also work with the cant feature to get proper access to the grip based on body type.
Safariland definitely cut out some material on the sides of the Schema while beefing up the edges to provide strength and excellent retention. I already had a good IWB holster for my 365 XL but it didn’t hold the pistol at quite the right height. The adjustability of the Schema belt hook solved all those issues, and it’s also lighter and more comfortable than my previous holster. Yep, just in time for Halloween, I’m replacing the old holster and hanging a new skeletonized holster on my belt.
The Schema proved to be very comfortable to wear and easy to make reliable draws. So, it looks like Safariland has a fantastic IWB for the most popular micro/ subcompact pistols that doesn’t break the bank to purchase.