If you aren’t following Redeye Tactical on Instagram or Facebook, if only for all the kydex porn, you need to fix yourself immediately. Ran by Michael, a firefighter from Alabama, Redeye Tactical has been in the kydex business for about a year. While a newcomer, Michael strives to make Redeye Tactical gear practical and reliable. All holsters are made with .08 kydex, and Michael is his own worst critic–he is constantly working to improve his holsters and provide the best product possible. He says he has a knack for developing weird and crazy custom projects. He likes that.
Michael sent both an OWB, light-bearing holster and an IWB rig for Wilma, my G19. Since I still have drains taking up my preferred 3-4 o’clock carry, Michael sent left-handed rigs. Being ambidextrous comes in handy. The OWB holster features adjustable retention, 1.5-inch belt loops, a medium sweat shield, and a very slight forward cant–closer to 0 than 10 degrees. The IWB holster features a 1.5-inch injection molded clip and FBI-style forward cant. It has a minimalistic sweat shield.
Michael’s attention to detail is very apparent. The edges of each holster are smooth and polished, and the molding of the kydex is very well done. The molding of the light-bearing holster is very well thought out, giving very strong retention on the light and gun. The OWB is wide enough to support the weight of the gun, but not too wide to override the concealability of the pancake design. The sweat/body shield is the perfect height for me. I can get my high grip without interference, but the shield is high enough to keep my undershirt from getting in the way.
The injection molded clip and belt loops used are an excellent choice–they are easy to put on a belt and much more durable than kydex loops. As a side note, I love the single red rivet used to mark Redeye gear, an excellent detail.
Retention is one of the biggest factors I look at with any concealment holster. My roscoe must stay put, but still come out when the time calls. Retention on the IWB is very good. Almost a “fuck you” level of retention–I think Phlster
coined that term–but still not so tight that the gun won’t come out when needed. I like it.
Retention on the OWB was a little too tight for my tastes, even with the retention screw backed all the way out. I hit it with a hair dryer to loosen it up just a bit. Now, the rig has about the same level of retention as the IWB and feels like drawing from a quality leather rig.
Concealment is also important, and both holsters conceal very well. It feels so comforting to have Wilma and her TLR-1 on my hip again, and they disappear under any of my button-up shirts. The IWB rig has the perfect cant for how I prefer to carry appendix–or opposite-appendix, really. Pulling a shirt over my beltline hides Wilma well, with very little printing.
Comfort is the final element I look at with any holster. I don’t expect velvet and memory foam feels, but I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing sandpaper and bricks, either. During a recent extradition from New York and Virginia, I wore the OWB rig for almost 40 hours straight. While I would never do so by choice, I found the holster to be ridiculously comfortable for such an extended period. While driving or riding shotgun, I didn’t think about the holster at all, and I even managed a few hours of sleep while sitting in the passenger seat of the Charger. There were no hot spots or rough edges digging in.
I have not had to wear the IWB holster for nearly as long, I have worn it for 8 hours straight with no real issues. I’ve noticed a spot on my lower pelvis that is rubbed by the rig. To be fair, I can’t find any rough spots on the holster, as it is as smooth as any IWB rig I own. I’m going to chalk it up to my lack of padding–coming back from 140 pounds in December, I still don’t have a normal level of fat under my skin. If you’re healthy and not a former skeleton, you probably won’t have a problem.
I can draw from both holsters without thinking about the holsters–a point that speaks to their quality. I can focus on my target, my simulated threat, without any distractions. They are indeed practical and well made. I have not been forced to draw from either on a live threat as of yet, but I have no doubt I will be able to do so without any issues from the holsters.
If you’re in the market for some kydex, give Redeye Tactical a look. There are lots of quality kydex benders in the world today–small, quality businesses get my money every time.