The world of gun holsters is getting more and more crowded with every passing year. If you need an introduction to the different types of holsters and carry options that are available we're working on a primer to explain them all.
This review is for an IWB (Inside the waistband) Hybrid holster from Hidden Hybrid Holsters, specifically the HHH C1 model. A hybrid holster is traditionally a holster whose body is a piece of leather to which a Kydex shell is attached. This Kydex shell is usually molded to fit your specific firearm and offers a nice compromise between conceal-ability and retention. One of the current golden standards in the IWB hybrid holster market is the Crossbreed Supertuck holster, one that we have extensive experience with, so we will be doing some comparing and contrasting to it.
This particular model of the hybrid holster from Hidden Hybrid Holsters is unique in that it offers an OWB (outside the waistband) mounting option as well. This is primarily a matter of convenience in the event you just want to throw your holster on the outside and go. It also eliminates the need to buy separate holsters for IWB and OWB carry, potentially saving you a healthy chunk of money.
HHH was gracious enough to donate a brand new holster for this review, so we had to wear it around for several weeks to ensure it was broken in properly before we reviewed it.
Initial ImpressionsUpon receiving the holster we immediately noticed the quality of workmanship present on this piece. The leather backing on the holster is surprisingly thick at 6.72mm. This offers some pros and cons when compared to the relatively thin Crossbreed Supertuck at 4.72mm. It is definitely an advantage in terms of a solid, stable feeling holster. However, at more than 40% thicker than the Crossbreed we were comparing it to, the HHH holster may be a little more noticeable when wearing it IWB.
The Kydex on this holster is nothing short of perfection. The molding is excellent, the burnishing around the edges is pristine, and its overall more thick than the Kydex shell on the Crossbreed. One side of the Kydex is fastened to the leather shell with screws offset with spacers. This allows for loosening/tightening to adjust the retention level of the holster. While it is only a passive/friction retention system, adjustable is better than fixed.
Given our own experience with molding Kydex holsters we know these holsters usually 'grab on' to the gun and provide retention primarily around the trigger guard. Not so coincidentally that's where these adjustment screws are placed.
There are 3 possible heights at which you can choose to set this holster to ride on your waist. This is easily adjusted by moving an adjustment screw on each side of the holster. Unlike the Crossbreed holster doing so on this holster will not tear holes in your leather. HHH used a smarter system for anchoring these adjustment screws. The belt clips are of very solid quality and did not seem to be a weakness in any way.
The important bit. How well does it work? In a word, great! This holster was worn enough to break it in and get it to conform to the wearers body at about 4:00 to 4:30 on the waist. The holster was worn during driving, range sessions, evenings out on the town, yard work, and everything in between. It was carried on a 1.5" dual-layer bull hide belt (from The Beltman) with internal stiffener. The holster does an excellent job of distributing the weight of the firearm and making it comfortable to carry.
You cannot go wrong with this holster. It does exactly what is expected of it and does it all flawlessly. The added ability to wear it OWB is just icing on the cake. While it is a bit thicker than our comparison model, it is still easily concealable under a t-shirt.