Anyone who has been through our class knows we bring a big duffel bag of different holster types to share with our students. Inside you’ll find all types of holsters ranging from 40 year old examples to the latest top designs from vaunted manufacturers. I suppose you could say I have a weakness for the promise of a better holster. Carrying around a heavy handgun isn’t fun in a poor holster, so the search is always on for the next best example.

Anyone who has been through our class knows we bring a big duffel bag of different holster types to share with our students. Inside you’ll find all types of holsters ranging from 40 year old examples to the latest top designs from vaunted manufacturers. I suppose you could say I have a weakness for the promise of a better holster. Carrying around a heavy handgun isn’t fun in a poor holster, so the search is always on for the next best holster.

Dictated by my build, I primarily use OWB (outside the waistband) holsters with a concealing garment. Sometimes I’ll use an AIWB when I know I won’t be sitting much that day, but usually it’s an OWB.

I have some top holsters from PerSec, JMKydex, and others and while really good, I know they can be better. If only someone could build a better more comfortable mousetrap..

What would my complaints be about my current OWB’s?  They don’t pull the gun in tight enough so it can print easily unless I cinch my belt up to gut crushing levels.  This isn’t a problem with IWB (inside the waistband) holsters since your entire waistband and belt is evenly pushing the gun against your body. With OWB’s the assembly is outside that waistband and holster hanging on for dear life.

Then, there is the kydex screech as you draw the weapon. It’s noisy. Even if you’re drawing very slow and carefully to make the least noise.. you make noise. And if you draw with any speed you make a lot of noise.

And then there’s the rub. They, kydex holsters, rubs and incrementally removes your expensive finish right from the gun. To be fair, all holster materials do this, but kydex does it far faster.

Several months ago I notice an article, I think on TFB, showing this strange looking new OWB from a company called Skull Crush. The inside of the kydex that holds your gun is lined with a nice leather, and the hoops are positioned in a way I’ve never seen before and just looking at these loops you know they’ll help your belt pull your gun tightly into your body even with a moderately tight belt. Also, their build quality looks to be very good.

But the $127 price is almost twice what other custom kydex holsters cost. Can these holsters be worth this steep price? I’ll admit the price put me off. I did check and found out they offer a discount for military and retirees and law enforcement. In fact, the company is run by the same.

It wasn’t until their Black Friday sale this last November that I finally parted with my cash and ordered my holster requesting they modify the holster to accommodate my RMR red dot sight and my suppressor height iron sights. At the time of order I was told it would be >8 weeks until my order was shipped. I placed my order and settled in for the long wait. If you’re the type to call a company and ask “is it done yet”, be advised this company won’t even take your call until after the 8 weeks. I find that amusing, though I’m sure some will be put off by such frank honesty.

It was not even a month later, December 24th to be exact, Santa had just flown over my location when my email told me I had mail, and there was an email from Skull Crush (is is a coincidence Santa Claus and Skull Crush both have the same S.C. Initials?) letting me know my holster had been shipped! Hurray! Really, it has been put in a box and a label slapped on it. It took two days before it was actually delivered to the USPS for shipment. And three days later it was delivered, days before the estimated delivery date.

I sat there looking at a plain unremarkable box wondering if this was too good to be true, was there really a holster in there? Only one way to find out. Reaching for my benchmade I slit the top open and spread the top open. Inside was a plastic sandwich size heavy duty clear bag with my holster inside.

I sat there looking at a plain unremarkable box wondering if this was too good to be true, was there really a holster in there? Only one way to find out. Reaching for my benchmade I slit the top open and spread the top like a flower. Inside was a plastic sandwich size heavy duty clear bag with my holster inside.

WHAT, NO SWAG??? No invoice, no receipt, no packing slip, no business card, no stickers, no promotional material whatsoever! Not even any annoying peanuts. Just an unremarkable plain box, a clear plastic bag, and the holster I ordered. I can’t help but feel that a company selling perhaps the most expensive custom kydex holster on the market passed up a prime opportunity to WOW their customer. SC, pay attention to Apple products and how they’re packed and shipped.  I’ve got a shelf full of logo bearing hats and tee’s and pens and stickers from much less purchases. COME ON LARUE, HOW MANY FIELD EXPEDIENT PAINT MIXERS DOES A GUY NEED??? But this box held nothing.. but my holster.

WHAT, NO SWAG??? No invoice, no receipt, no packing slip, no business card, no stickers, no promotional material whatsoever! Not even any annoying peanuts. Just an unremarkable plain box, a clear plastic bag, and the holster I ordered. I can’t help but feel that a company selling perhaps the most expensive custom kydex holster on the market passed up a prime opportunity to WOW their customer. I’ve got a shelf full of logo bearing hats and tee’s and pens and stickers from much less purchases. COME ON LARUE, HOW MANY FIELD EXPEDIENT PAINT MIXERS DOES A GUY NEED??? But this box held nothing.. but my holster.

Removing the holster from the bag I was immediately captured, no.. enthralled.. that’s better. Enthralled by the quality of this product. The hardware was better than I’ve ever seen on any holster.. and I’m the guy with a big bag of holsters. The leather lining is first rate leather and securely adhered to the kydex. All cuts and curves were perfect with the result producing a holster that could be a work of art on its own. The edges are polished, something most manufacturers don’t spend the time to do, and the unique loops are plenty sturdy and perfect for their intended purpose.

Removing the holster from the bag I was immediately captured, no.. enthralled.. that’s better. Enthralled by the quality of this product. The hardware was better than I’ve ever seen on any holster.. and I’m the guy with a big bag of holsters. The leather lining is first rate leather and securely adhered to the kydex. All cuts and curves were perfect with the result producing a holster that could be a work of art on its own. The edges are polished, something most manufacturers don’t spend the time to do, and the unique loops are plenty sturdy and perfect for their intended purpose.

So making sure I cleared my MP9 I gently lowered it into the holster looking for any sort of issue. It ‘snugs’ in as it should, the front and back of the trigger are completely covered (remember, in class we tell you the holslter is your primary and most important safety device), it’s exactly the right length, the sight tunnel is raised to a perfect height allowing clearance for my suppressor sights, and my RMR looks to be clearing.

So making sure I cleared my MP9 I gently lowered it into the holster looking for any sort of issue. It ‘snugs’ in as it should, the front and back of the trigger are completely covered (remember, in class we tell you the holslter is your primary and most important safety device), it’s exactly the right length, the sight tunnel is raised to a perfect height allowing clearance for my suppressor sights, and my RMR looks to be clearing.

The shirt guard is ideally ridged and at just the right height to push against with your thumb to slowly and silently release your handgun. Some call this a Paul Howe modification, since Paul Howe a well known firearms instructor advocates cutting the shirt guard to be useful for this purpose. This is a nice and rare touch.

Wait.. no.. it can’t be. But it is. An issue. Looking at my gun in the holster I notice it’s out of battery by a quarter inch. As I seat the gun down all the way into the holster, at the very point of travel the slide stops and the frame keeps going for ¼ inch leaving the gun out of battery. Taking a close look I can see the shirt guard impeding the RMR sight now allowing the slide to follow the frame all the way down.

Wait.. no.. it can’t be. But it is. An issue. Looking at my gun in the holster I notice it’s out of battery by a quarter inch. As I seat the gun down all the way into the holster, at the very point of travel the slide stops and the frame keeps going for ¼ inch leaving the gun out of battery. Taking a close look I can see the shirt guard impeding the RMR sight now allowing the slide to follow the frame all the way down.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this. In fact I’ve never.. not once, received a kydex holster that didn’t need at least a small adjustment. Some type of adjustment is always needed. However, I’m like four years old with things like this, I want my holster and I want it NOW which means a trip to the workbench and my Foredom rotary tools. Arming the hand piece with a ½” sanding drum I carefully, very carefully, remove just enough material so my MP9 can slide down into the holster while staying in battery. I finish it off making sure the line flows and it doesn’t look like I create a defect to hide another. With the lines of the holster perfect, I polished the edges to the same high level as the others, and put m tools away. NOW the holster was perfect. It just cost me 10-15 minutes on my workbench. (caution, if you don’t understand the holster and it’s retention points it’s very easy to destroy your holster. Instead, send it back to the manufacturer for adjustment.)

But since I was in the garage.. I quickly threaded my new holster onto my belt, checked to make sure my MP9 was clear and safe one last time, and then settled in for an hour of dry fire exercises so I could learn this holster.

But since I was in the garage.. I quickly threaded my new holster onto my belt, checked to make sure my MP9 was clear and safe one last time, and then settled in for an hour of dry fire exercises so I could learn this holster.

And learn it I did. This is really a first class holster with several innovative features you won’t find anywhere else. The hardware and other materials, the loops, all first class.

And learn it I did. This is really a first class holster with several innovative features you won’t find anywhere else. The hardware and other materials, the loops, all first class.

Prior to this holster I felt my JMKydex holster was among the best on the market. It cost I think $70. I definitely received what I paid for, it’s an awesome holster. This $127 Skull Crush OWB holster, did I also receive what I paid for. Yes I did. Both holsters provided me the consumer, with what I paid for. Yes, the Skull Crush is $57 more. I look at it this way. I received what I paid for, and the holster is $57 more than my next best holster. Both are awesome, the Skull Crush is $57 “more” awesome.

Prior to this holster Ii felt my JMKydex holster was among the best on the market. It cost I think $70. I definitely received what I paid for, it’s an awesome holster. This $127 Skull Crush OWB holster, did I also receive what I paid for. Yes I did. Both holsters provided me the consumer, with what I paid for. Yes, the Skull Crush is $57 more. I look at it this way. I received what I paid for, and the holster is $57 more than my next best holster. Both are awesome, the Skull Crush is $57 “more” awesome..

Is this holster right for you? Only you can know that. Look at their site and then examine the competition. Try and find a place to put your hands on both, preferably at the same time (feel free to come in on any class day and examine the holsters if you would like), compare them back to back, and you’ll soon have your answer.

I’ll update this with my range experience. Hopefully that will be tomorrow. Until then, I hope you found this review helpful. Until next time..

THREE RANGE DAYS LATER AND 3X AS MUCH DRY FIRE   (12/29/2018) After hours on the range and 3X as much time performing targeted dry fire exercises I feel I have a good feel for Skull Crushes new OWB holster.

Some observations:  The “feel” of your handgun as it snuggles up to this leather holster is different.  As you holster your handgun you feel it ”grip” as it encounters the leather as it seats the gun.    When drawing the weapon you feel the “grip”" which is fully adjustable) like a tiny bit of suction before giving it up.   Running the shot clock I didn’t notice this negatively affecting my times, it just has a different feel.

With the gun holstered and fully loaded, I quickly forget the gun is there.  This is HUGE!  My other holsters, you always knew the gun was there.  Unless you cinched the belt up to gut crushing levels the gun would move as you walked, sat, stood up, etc.   It wasn’t severe, you just knew the gun was there.  And you have to expect this, look at an normal OWB and the holster is always hanging off the belt.  An IWB has the waist band of your pants and the belt holding the holstered gun to your hip.   AN OWB just hangs there and has nothing but the belt hoops holding it against your hip and they really don’t do that very well at all.  It’s more like an after thought.

But the Skull Crush OWB is designed totally different.  The hoops, instead of being on the bottom are on the top on one side and the loops are super thick and strong ands this combination pulls the holstered gun against your hip in a strong way.   Even with my only belt casually tightened you forget the gun as there as you go about your day.  No movement, no bounce, even the weight feels evenly distributed. 

Knowing I want to make a fast stage run I tighten the belt to a comfortable level (not really tight) and walking and moving fast it’s like the holster isn’t there.  Until you need it.  Then it’s perfectly positioned and finds your hand for you.  You push your hand down to achieve a tight grip as high to the bore axis as possible which puts downward pressure on the gun, holster, belt, and your pants.. but this holster handles this very well.  The holster hardly nudges down at all.  In a split second you have an optimum grip and the holster is  clearing the holster with a slight suction feel as the leather gives it up.

When you’re ready to re-holster the kydex is keeping that leather mouth wide open for an easy insertion.  And again, you hardly feel the guns weigh or movement because it’s evenly distributed across the entire belt.  As it should be. 

I’m impressed.   This I easily the best OWB I’ve every used.  Yet. the elephant in the room is the $127 price tag.   It’s pricey for sure, but imo after experiencing this holster I’d be glad to pay the $127 every time.  And I’d watch for one of their nice discounts.

Until next time..