Regular readers are probably aware of my appreciation for Glock handguns. The first Glock I ever owned was a G19 (the article at the link is a more recent model). While not everyone is fond of them, they don’t have to be, and I have owned, and own, handguns by a variety of manufacturers. We’re all different in many ways, and there are many, many handguns available to service those differences. I stopped making “best” arguments long, long ago. One universal constant, however, is when those handguns are accessorized with devices such as lights and lasers, particularly then they’re mounted on the accessory rails or attached to the trigger guards of handguns, it’s often difficult to find holsters of any kind.
Such was the case with my Glock 17 and 19 when I equipped them with Crimson Trace CMR-204/205 Railmaster Pro light and laser units. While the light is not quite as bright as those provided by some competing manufacturers, it’s bright enough for handgun ranges, and the unit is far smaller, lighter and less cumbersome than many others. The ambidextrous switches are also superior to many other designs. But still, the problem of finding useful holsters remains. There are a variety of generic, usually Cordura—soft—holsters on the market. They can work, but I prefer something more…professional
I make my own holsters—in this case, a pancake design–but because of the CMR-204, which is slightly wider than the Glock, the holster tends to be a little sticky on the draw, draw angle is critical, and the handgun sits a bit lower in the holster than I prefer, making grip acquisition a little less certain. I explored a padded Cordura, inside the waistband, design, but could not be sure the laser would not be inadvertently activated by body movement, draining the battery without my knowledge. IWB holsters are also a bit slower then other designs.
Ah hah! You exclaim. That’s the problem with lasers; the batteries fail! Of course they do, but that’s why we have factory “iron” sights, which are actually polymer with Glocks. I also regularly change my batteries to eliminate, to the greatest degree possible, that issue.
My search for an outside the waistband holster eventually took me back to Crimson Trace. They do sell some holsters particularly designed for their products and specific handguns, like the Glock 43. However, they don’t currently do that for Glock 17/19s with a CMR-204/205. They did recommend I try Alien Gear Holsters.
Coincidentally, about six months ago, I inquired of them whether they made a holster for that gun/laser combination. They didn’t at the time, but said they’re always taking customer suggestions, and apparently took this one to heart.
The holster is made of high quality polymer and comes with all the parts and hardware necessary to convert it into a paddle or belt slide holster and to adjust cant, and retention pressure.
I’m working with the paddle configuration. They also make IWB holsters for this gun/laser combination.
The holster is assembled with four high quality screws with flexible spacers of various sizes.
This back view illustrates all the fastener points.
Also provided is a well thought out manual with many appropriate photographs to illustrate exactly how to modify the holster, which is also adjustable for an upright or canted position. This is something I particularly appreciate as a teacher of the mother tongue and a shooter, as so many instruction manuals are poorly produced, leaving many obvious and necessary questions unanswered.
The warranty is particularly impressive, with a “30 day test drive” and a lifetime replacement policy. I found the spacers as installed at the factory made the draw a bit slower and stiffer than I appreciate, so I used the longer spacers and screws to adjust that more to my liking. I’m sure I’ll have to do further adjustments as I wear and get used to the holster, but they’re all easily made. Once I’m sure of exactly how I want things set up, a bit of blue Loc-tite on the screws might be just the thing.
Because the holster materials are sufficiently rigid, the grip is positioned for proper acquisition. The holster will also prevent inadvertent laser activation.
I also appreciate the overall design philosophy and materials of this particular holster. I’ve seen many Kydex-type holsters with very thin polymer, riveted to very thin polymer, or even leather. Perhaps they may last, but I haven’t wanted to risk it. The Alien Gear holster is clearly designed for the long term, and at $47.88 from the factory, for a holster that appears designed to last for life, it’s a good value.
On additional pro tip might be helpful. Silicone lubricant—the liquid spray type, not the graphite-like type—will help to greatly smooth the draw on any holster, leather or polymer. The effect is most pronounced on polymer holsters, but it’s available for about five bucks at Home Depot and similar stores, and is an easy way to deal with retention vs. draw ease issues. It also has the effect of conditioning and slightly softening leather. Occasional applications are necessary, and with polymer holsters, less is more.
This is not a security holster, but concealed holsters don’t generally need to be. I’m sufficiently impressed with this holster, I’m going to order one for my Glock 17. Alien Gear’s other products appear to be equally well designed and made, and they’re obviously willing to go above and beyond to meet shooter’s needs.