The leather pancake holster has been around for a long time because it works. Pancake holsters allow the handgun to be carried high on the belt and tuck the grip in very close to the body which makes them ideal for outside the waistband (OWB) concealed carry. As well as the leather pancake holster works, it can still be made better and that is where the “C” Series Compact OWB Holster from X-Concealment comes in.
Classic Design, Modern Execution
The “C” Series Compact OWB Holster is made from kydex rather than leather. It bridges the gap of the leather holsters of the past to the modern kydex holsters of today by combining classic design and aesthetics with modern functionality and manufacturing. It may look like a simple re-creation of a leather pancake holster in kydex but there are some interest updates that really make the most of the properties of kydex.
The front panel is molded from .093″ thick kydex for durability while the rear panel is molded from .06″ thick kydex. These panels are then glued together and rivets are used to reinforce the bolt loop area. The construction is very sturdy. The front and rear pieces are actually machined rather than being hand cut and this level of precision is obvious with the finished holster. The front panel can be ordered in either black or coyote brown. These colors, along with the attractive and unique faux stitching that is engraved on the front of the holster, make the “C” Series Compact OWB Holster look like a leather holster at first glance.
X-Concealment has really leveraged the unique properties of kydex in the creation of this holster. Kydex can be machined which gives a great level of fit, finish, and consistency to each holster. Kydex is also very rigid which allows the “C” Series Compact OWB Holster to be made more compact than its leather forerunners. It is about 2/3rds the size and weight (2.65 ounces versus 4 ounces) of a comparable leather pancake holster that I own. The holster provides all the coverage that you would expect from a good pancake design but there is far less material around the gun. This can be done without the collapsing and sagging that you might see with a leather holster. Obviously, trimmer and lighter is better for something that is designed to be concealed.
The particular holster that I have for evaluation is made for the Glock 17. I have used it for concealed carry as well as dry and live fire with a Glock 17 and 19 for the last several weeks. In that time, it has done nothing but impress me. The holster is molded with a very generous sight track that cleared my tallest sights with ease. The molding is very precise which allows a nice friction fit and a positive click when the gun is holstered.
The draw stroke is not unlike any other pancake design in terms of speed. However, it does feel smoother than leather which can tend to have more friction. The shot timer showed no real measurable difference is speed on the draw which is good news – it performs just as well as other classic pancake designs. The draw and re-holstering both feel more positive. Keep in mind that feelings are subjective.
It will be difficult to convey just how much of a joy it is to carry this holster. It holds the gun very close to the body and rides at just the right height on the belt for me. This, combined with its compact size, make for a very concealable package. This is easily the most concealable OWB holster that I own. It doesn’t pretend to be convertible to inside the waist band carry or have multiple bolt-on belt loop styles. It just excels at being a belt holster. It does everything a leather belt holster should, but it does it with less bulk, less weight, no sagging, and no collapsing. It is refreshing to find a holster that is so compact and comfortable at a time when holsters are getting bigger and bigger in the name of modularity (not that there is anything wrong with that).
The X-Concealment “C” Series Compact OWB Holster is manufactured using modern techniques and modern materials and the result is increased functionality. It leverages the lessons of the past and the technology of today to create a holster that is functional and attractive. This is a great holster from a company that is a joy to deal with. Where else can you find a kydex maker with a 3 day turn around time?
You can check out the “C” Series Compact OWB Holster on the X-Concealment website, it is only available for Glocks right now but more models are in the works. X-Concealment offers other great holsters and mag pouches as well.
Disclosure: I was provided this holster by X-Concealment, free of charge, for review.