How much innovation can you fit in I.C.E. Training’s new personal defense holster?
Outdoor writer and gear guru Kevin Reese returns with his latest adventure in the conceal carry field
licensed to carry a concealed firearm, with a ridiculous number of hours of
handgun and shooting training over eight years of Marine Corps service and of
course, concealed-carry training under my belt, I thought I was well-equipped
for personal defense and survivability; I was wrong. I showed up to personal
defense expert, Rob Pincus’ two-day Combat Focus Shooting training with a
soft-sided outside the waistband (OWB) holster complete with Velcro strap, my
Glock 17 Generation 4 and 1,000 rounds of my personal favorite factory
ammunition, Federal’s American Eagle.
quickly as I walked onto the pistol range, Rob Pincus himself escorted me back to
the prep table. He didn’t smile or say much at all. He simply un-holstered my
handgun and asked me to remove my holster. As I removed my personal holster, he
handed me a new I.C.E. Range and Carry (RAC) Kydex Holster and instructed me to
put it on, re-holster and join the other students for the morning’s training
While I was
familiar with molded holsters, including the one I owned for my standard-framed
Glock 20 Gen 1, I was not a huge fan. In my experience many had clumsy releases
I always fumbled with during drawing exercises. While I’ll acknowledge that
showing up with such a poor excuse for a training holster and having it changed
out in front of the class was a bit embarrassing (no one has ever accused Rob Pincus
of being shy) I later counted it as the most positive equipment change I could
recall in all of my handgun training experience.
Combat Focus Shooting training, I fired over 850 rounds with an average of four
shots per repetition. Crunching numbers revealed I rapidly drew and holstered
my Glock 17 Gen 4 at least 200 times without a single glance down to my side.
Doing so or fumbling would have resulted in compromising drills and losing
sight of my targets, especially during wind-sprint and figure-eight drills.
observation of the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster is that while it hugged my Glock
and kept it passively secure, there was no inhibiting release mechanism. The
result was a seamless, lightning-quick draw every time; in fact, my draw was
more efficient than ever before! The outer wall is also shorter allowing for
quicker clearing out of the holster, although the trigger assembly and magazine
release are still protected. Throughout over 200 drawing and holstering
repetitions, the holster’s passive grip design significantly improved vertical
drawing and forward driving of my gun into a firing position.
holster also integrates a higher sweat guard against my body and rolled-back
upper edge from front to back, something I’ve never seen on competing models,
although I’m sure others will attempt to emulate this innovative feature. The rolled
upper edge, combined with raised sweat guard keeps the gun higher and closer to
my body while creating a funnel to accept my handgun in a safer, more vertical
and efficient manner; I don’t have to fish for the opening like many holsters
that may cause an unsafe habit of pointing the barrel towards my hip to avoid a
collision with the holster’s top edge. Tins innovative design allowed for
seamless, efficient holstering as quickly as I could possibly holster my
handgun. From the beginning, I had never holstered more efficiently than with
the I.C.E. RAC holster. The fact still holds true today.
RAC Kydex Holster was easy to install on my belt with the molded belt loops and
wide platform and with 80-percent of the gun’s contour to the holster’s
exterior face, it was comfortable all day long. Considering the extreme drills
and physical movement I encountered throughout Combat Focus Shooting training,
I can’t recall a single uncomfortable moment or instance of impeded mobility;
at least, not from the holster although I’m sure I wasn’t the only one taking a
few Ibuprofin in the evening! But, then again Rob Pincus doesn’t pull any
punches. Your joints might hurt but survivability… and Combat Focus Shooting
bragging rights are worth it.
I also noted
minimal protrusion of my Glock 17 from the bottom of the holster. This open
design still protected my handgun in any position while allowing for variations
in length. For example, I can carry a Glock 17 and Glock 19 in the same
moment Mr. Pincus asked me to put it on, it’s been the only OWB holster I’ve
carried. Simply put, while it’s certainly not the most expensive OWB holster I’ve
owned, I’m a huge fan. Of course, after two days with Rob Pincus, I would
expect nothing less than near-perfect “awesomeness”. His quest for perfection
is about protecting what’s most important – truth be told, it’s not your handgun
but this holster might disagree. Yes, it’s that good.
MSRP for the
I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster is $59.99 and, in my opinion, worth every penny.
more about the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster and other great
personal defense gear, visit the I.C.E. Firearm and Personal Defense Training Store
to watch a video about the I.C.E. RAC Kydex Holster ( http://youtu.be/KG8tQrO3wLM) or watch below.
more about Rob Pincus’ life-changing Combat Focus Shooting personal defense
courses, visit www.CombatFocusShooting.com.