Accessories - Gun/Rifle

Let's Talk Gun Accessories - PDA Style Holsters - Genesis Technologies Mighty Mite/Big Slick

 

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Genesis Technologies LLC  PDA Style Concealed Carry Gun Holster Review

April 25, 2012

www.PDAHolsters.com 

Okay let's face it, carrying concealed for women is just different than it is for men.  Oh sure we have some of the same issues but so many different issues.  Obviously women are shaped differently then men.  So what does all of this have to do with concealed carry?  Everything.

It is hard to find a holster that will comfortably fit an average sized woman. On top of that, many women wear form fitting clothes and often wear clothes that requires no belt.  So where do you put that gun? 

If the gun is small enough you can use an inside the waistband holster with relative ease.  But just how difficult is it for the average person to draw from a holster that is tucked inside the waistband?  Now I know that there are those people that are "Quick-draw McGraws" but we are talking average person carrying concealed. 

There are a few other options out there for small gun concealing but what about if you are an average-sized woman and want to carry a gun a little bigger than the micro-guns that are typically .380 or lower in caliber?  Is there a way for a woman to conceal a little larger gun without having to wear a belt or a jacket? If you live in a warmer climate state like I do - Texas - then jackets are really not an option 90% of the time. 

As luck would have it I was given the opportunity to try a couple of new PDA holsters from www.PDAHolsters.com.  I decided to try two holsters.  One for my Kel-tec P32, the Mighty Mite, and one for my Springfield XD subcompact 9mm, the Big Slick.  I have been wanting to carry my Springfield XD subcompact more often but was unable to successfully conceal it with summer clothes.

It is not just a matter of concealing your weapon, as this is a very important aspect of the law but it is even more important to make sure that you can easily and quickly draw your weapon.

That being said let's talk about the PDA Holsters which are American made.  The PDA Holsters come standard with snap straps that attach to a belt and a Holster Fit Kit.  The snap straps are very sturdy and the snaps are very secure.  In fact the snaps are so secure it took a pretty good effort for me to open them but that is not a complaint.  I would rather have a hard time getting snaps loose than trying to keep snaps secured.  I know, I know, we just talked about not wanting to wear a belt.  That's what is so great about an add on option available for the PDA Holster - you can purchase a paddle accessory.  The holster comes standard with a magnetic snap closure but there are other options available at an additional cost.

The Paddle

When I first saw the paddle I was not hopeful of a comfortable fit because it is made of a rigid plastic or plastic type material.  It is slightly canted and is molded to fit the hip.  What I found was, for the most part, looks are deceiving when it comes to the paddle.  It is pretty comfortable and it's shape allows for it to slide smoothly into your pants on your side.  The shape of the paddle also lends to keep the paddle where it belongs so as you move it does not slide around.  Also a nice plus with the paddle is the fact that one paddle fits all the holster models with the exception of one.  So you need only purchase one paddle even if you have serveral models of holsters.

Being primarily satisfied with the wear and shape of the paddle attachment there are a few things that can be improved upon.  The shape of the paddle attachment is nice but the machining could use some improvement.  The edges on the paddle were rough in several areas and caused some pinching.  Most of the time I don't tuck my shirts in so the paddle was often right against my skin. 

Another little issue I had with the paddle attachment was that it is a one size fits all - I can understand why they do this, as people come in so many shapes and sizes I could see it would be impossible to make it available in that many sizes.  The problem is with the paddle length.  I am 5' 4" in height and found the paddle length just a bit long for me.  As long as I was standing the paddle was very comfortable.  When I was sitting it was a different story.  The paddle would "stick" me in the upper thigh area.  This could be because some women are more, let's say, shapely in the hip and thigh area then most men.

When riding in the car this can be easily resolved by storing the gun in the door pocket with the flap opened (very nicely accessible).  The problem is when you go into a restaurant you don't want to take off your gun and lay it somewhere. 

The question is: Was the minor problem with the paddle enough to make me not want to wear this holster with the paddle attachment?  The answer is a resounding - NO! Here's why:

  • The peace of mind of how easily I could reach my gun without moving or removing any clothing
  • The comfort of the holster when I am not sitting is great.  I don't sit all that much outside of the home or car through the day
  • The ability it offered to carry a larger gun with full concealment.
  • The paddle design seems to help distribute the weight of the bigger gun also as I found my XD with a fully loaded magazine rode very nicely on my hip even with the size of the Big Slick holster
  • I never once had someone guess that I was carrying a gun.

The Holster Fit Kit

The holster fit kit is very easy to use and very easily installs to make your gun fit perfectly into the holster.  It is a nice feature that allows for the perfect positioning of your gun in your holster, which of course is of utmost importance to get the fastest, smoothest draw without interference from the holster.  I was able to easily trim the foam pieces of the fit kit to position my guns in both holsters in literally a matter of minutes with a simple pocket knife because the pieces were perforated to the common sizes needed.

The Magnetic Snap Closure

I love the magnetic snap closures on these holsters.  They close securely but open with literally a simple flip of the wrist.  I was able to wear the holsters all day during my normal daily routine and it never once came open unless I opened it.  I like that fact that the snap closure is magnetic also because it almost closes itself with the powerful magnetic snap they used.  Ease of use with a holster is always a major plus.

The Holster Body

These holsters are very well made and can stand up to alot of activity and have shown almost no wear.  The stitching on these holsters is some heavy duty stitching that I would not be concerned about coming loose.  There is a very efficient cut out on the front of the holster body that allows for you to quickly grab your gun without the holster interfering with your grasp of your weapon.

 

 

Holster Sizing

PDAHolsters.com has a chart available on their website that helps you to size your gun to select the correct holster. You simply place your gun on the chart, which you can print out, and select the holster which best fits your gun.  This is a quick and easy process and we know I am all about speed and efficiency.

How Did they Size Up - Literally?

The Mighty Mite -

Weighs just 6 5/8 ounces with paddle

Weighs 4 7/8 ouces without paddle

Weights 1 pound 2 ounces with my Kel-Tec with Arma-Lite laser on it and full magazine

Measures 5 inches by 6 inches

The Big Slick -

Weighs roughly 61/2 ounces without the paddle

Weighs 2 pounds 2 ounces with the Springfield XD Subcompact with fully loaded magazine

Measures 6 inches by 6 1/2 inches

The Bottom Line of the Review

Bottom line I love these holsters and will be purchasing them for some of my other guns too.

Why do I love these holsters so much?  Very simple, the ability to draw my gun quickly and smoothly!  It only took a couple of times to get a very fast draw with this holster.  You simply flip the flap open and draw.  The sizing kit puts your gun in the perfect position to be quickly drawn with no interference.

The only thing that I personally think could make this holster better, excluding the small issue with the paddle, would be a small pocket on the front of the flap.  Why would you need a small pocket on the flap?  Well, the PDA Holster with a small pocket on the front would allow for me not to have to carry anything additional.  I would be able to securely have my CHL license, some cash or even a bank card right there with my gun.  My purse would be retired permanently.

As with all holsters, I wore these holsters in the house and practiced drawing repeatedly before I left the house with them.  The first thing I did when I put this holster on was practice drawing and was very impressed by how fast I could draw.  I never leave the house with a holster that I am not 100% secure that I can draw from quickly.

This is a dependable and well made PDA-style holster that offers great accessibility. Just remember, any holster will only be as good as you are, so practice your draw and make it become muscle memory.

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