Very few things get me as excited when it comes to survival gear, as a piece of good quality kit that allows me to easily use something for multiple applications. I’ve been looking for a good modular holster system for quite awhile, now my search is over.
By Scott of SurvivalCache.com
When I work, I am often confronted with having to move my pistol and magazine holster position around. Sometimes I’ll be riding in a tight configuration in a vehicle and like to mount my pistol on my chest. When I’m walking around using a cover shirt, I like to have my pistol and magazines on my waist, attached to my belt. Every now and then I’ll find myself wearing something that doesn’t necessarily have the capacity to accept a traditional western style belt but I still want to have my pistol on my hip (which is where, from my muscle memory and training, I like to find it located unless not physically feasible) and I’ll need to go to paddle holsters.
If I’m configured heavier and wearing H-Gear/Web Gear (which is a more traditional method U.S. Warfighters have used for a number of years, to carry 2nd line gear or the combat equivalent of second tier gear) or a modular/padded tactical rig, I like to have my weapon mounted to that, since if it’s underneath there’s no way I can get to my pistol quickly should I need it.
I looked at the Blade-Tech system and thought it had some possibilities but I couldn’t quite seem to wrap my head (or wallet) around how their system worked and whether it would have a wide enough application to work for me. I have yet to try it but looking at the web-site it seemed a bit expensive on the front end and limited in application for what I ultimately wanted to do. Then I saw the Blackhawk system and initially it seemed to encompass the capabilities I was looking for in a modular system to fulfill, as well as being reasonably priced.
Since one of the holsters I had available was the Blackhawk SERPA CQC, I ordered a Blackhawk SERPA quick disconnect system. I’m not quite sure what SERPA stands for but it’s apparently the chosen name for Blackhawk’s particular version of a locking holster system. At first it seemed to be able to do what I wanted but I had a few complaints. It was a bit bulky, heavy and not quite as low profile as I wanted for concealed carry under a cover shirt. It also required two hands to operate the quick disconnect, which wasn’t ideal for me since I often had to juggle other gear (primary weapon) in my hands or sometimes even…. a cup of coffee (for early morning or late night ops). Having to set your gear down on the ground while trying to reconfigure, sucks. My other complaint was that I couldn’t use my Blade-Tech holsters that I preferred and was forced to use the Blackhawk SERPA holsters with the Blackhawk quick disconnect/modular system. The SERPA holsters aren’t bad but not my first choice for a quick draw piece of kit (I hate stressing out about hitting the release button on the holster just right when I need my pistol “NOW”).
During one of my last work-trips I was co-located with some folks who were using a modular system called G-Code by Range 5/Edge Works. Apparently these guys were the first to design this type of modular system and after Blackhawk President Mike Noell visited their production facilities, he created his version of their concept.
In my opinion he (Mike Noell) took it a different direction than the original G-Code design and adds some variety to the market, however my Blackhawk system is now on the shelf collecting dust and I have completely switched out my rigs (including my BOB kit) to the G-Code platform.
The G-Code/EdgeWorks holster system has been an amazing addition to my kit. Although it’s something I use primarily for work, I also rigged up my BOB (Bug-Out-Bag) with an RTI Wheel (RTI = Rapid Transition Interface) so I could attach my pistol and/or an extra magazine carrier depending on the situation. Eventually I may attach an RTI Wheel to my vehicle and under my desk as well.
I really like the low profile, strength and lightness of the Edgeworks system. It is a true quick connect/disconnect system and can be rapidly manipulated using only one hand. Their kydex holsters are great too and I went ahead and ordered an OSH RTI Holster to see if it was comparable to the Blade-Techs I have been using for years. I was very happy with the quality and if I could have traded in my Blade-Tech holsters I would have done it immediately. The company offers a “Tactical Fuzz” option on their kydex holsters that has a felt type covering on the outside and cuts down on sounds that result in other gear, zippers or anything loose, from banging against the hard plastic. In addition to the above, I found that their customer service is top notch and they were extremely helpful in making sure I had the right tools to accomplish my mission.
I own several handguns and a number of holsters. I have accumulated them over the years and hate to think of anything going to waste or having to buy more and taking up space. I was excited to find out from the Range 5 folks that I could add an RTI hanger to my Blade-Tech holsters and/or my SERPA holsters to use them with their system.
I ordered extra RTI wheels and was able to attach them to the paddle holster mounts I already owned from Blackhawk (so I didn’t need to order more), it wasn’t perfect but secure and functional. The screw holes didn’t seem to match up as well with the Blade-Tech paddle holster mounts so I didn’t bother since I already had two of the BlackHawk paddles. I wasn’t able to attach the wheels directly to my Blade-Tech Tech-Lok holster mounts so I got some extra kydex sheets and cut them to the same dimensions as the G-Code RTI wheels, drilled mounting holes and then mounted them that way. I also ordered an RTI Molle Adapter so I could swap out magazine carriers on my belt system (I currently use an X-Belt PS from C-Toms) and a G-Code/Edgeworks RTI Duty Belt Slide for my pistol holster.
All in all I think it’s a great system. I would prefer to have just gotten everything from G-Code/Edgeworks instead of having to Frankenstein my kit together but at the end of the day I am limited in funds and also enjoy working out gear issues and innovating when possible.
One important thing to note is that like with all ‘hard use’ kit, you will want to make sure to Loctite your screws in place and then check them for tightness every now and then. I will never forget having a Blade-Tech holster system literally fall apart on me halfway through an intense shooting course about 10 years ago. It was my fault for not checking the tightness of the screws and thread locking them in place. The last thing you want in a survival situation is to have your gear fail.
All Photos by: Scott of SurvivalCache.com
Watch This Excellent Video of a G-Code Holster Review
Visit Our New Survival Gear Store – Forge Survival Supply