I once described an LFI Custom Kydex creation as the love child of kydex and awesome, and that assessment still holds true for my newest holster, an open-bottom rig in tac-black for my G17. It’s set up with 0-degree cant and a short guard, allowing the pistol to ride close to the body while providing a quick draw. The holster is formed pancake-style, with two pieces of kydex sandwiched together, with rivets in all the right places to hold it together. One feature that LFI includes in their holster design that other companies lack is an adjustable retention screw just below the trigger guard. If a user wants more tension on their pistol, a simple turn of the screw sets them up. I didn’t actually need additional retention, which I’ll discuss in just a moment. The belt loops are kydex, formed for 1.5-inch belts, and are attached to the holster with black Chicago screws. These loops add modularity to the holster, since you can swap them out for loops of different sizes, or switch to any number of IWB configurations.
If you’ve read my other holster review, you know that retention is the first factor I look at in any holster, whether for duty wear or CCW. I can’t have my pistol flopping on the floor while I’m doing my cool ninja flips and rolls. Or when I drop my keys and bend over to get them. Yeah, that’s probably more realistic. When I first inserted an empty pistol in my LFI rig, I was afraid the retention would be too much. I literally had to fight the rig to get my gun out. And then I remembered the tension screw. It was tightened all the way down. Several counter-clockwise turns later, the retention of the holster was just right. Roxanne, fully loaded, went into the rig and did not fall out when I tried my inverted-shake-it-like-a-madman test. This test is very scientific. In any case, at that level of tension, I could still draw the pistol smoothly and quickly, without fighting the rig with two hands. The tension screw was backed out all the way, barely hanging on, so I simply removed it. I bagged it, tagged it, and put it in my parts drawer. The holster’s retention, as molded, is perfect for me, but I like having the adjustment option if it ever loosens up.
Even if a holster has that perfect level of retention for me, I won’t wear it concealed if it’s not comfortable. Obviously, I’m not talking about cushy, velvety comfort. I mean, a G17 is never going to be that comfortable in any holster. But I do want to be able to wear the holster for 12-14 hours a day and not have any marks on my body at the end of the day that weren’t there at the beginning. And this point is where I truly LOVE the LFI holster. My Blade Tech Eclipse is awesome, but it’s FBI-cant and 4 o’clock position on my belt created a pain in my back any time I had to sit for several hours, like in a car or at a desk. The LFI rig solved that problem, since I wear the 0-cant holster at about 3 or 3:30 on my waist. There’s no pressure on my back or side when I sit, which is a huge plus for the holster.
For a CCW holster, concealment and speed of draw are the final factors I examine. I don’t want the holster printing in my normal western-shirt-off-duty uniform. To be honest, I was surprised how well the LFI rig conceals under my shirts. I thought the full-size G17 would print while wearing it at the 3 o’clock position. However, in almost all of my shirts, it disappears, since the holster rides high and tight to my side. Occasionally, the butt of the gun will print on my side, but I’m considering a 19 grip chop on Lorraine, my OD G17, which would probably solve that problem. And even with such excellent concealment, the holster still provides a lightning fast presentation. I prefer the two-hand lift of my shirt, and I find it easier to clear the pistol when it’s at 3 o’clock than when I wore it at 4:30. Since the holster is on my side at a 0-cant, my draw is very similar to the draw from my duty holster, allowing me to rock the gun up and punch it out very quickly. I didn’t use a shot-timer or anything, but my presentation felt faster from the LFI rig than my Blade Tech rig.
If you haven’t checked out LFI Custom Kydex, you really need to. Even if you don’t need a new holster, they’ve got some awesome swag–especially if you’re a MCLMFMF. Turn-around time on my holster was about three weeks–that’s warp speed compared to some of the bigger names in the kydex business. In addition, the communication with LFI is second to none. I love my LFI holster so much, it’s replaced my Eclipse as my EDC rig. And that’s saying something.