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PHLster and Boxer Tactical

The celebrated neuroscience-based trainer Marcus Wynne and One Man Army competition winner Jeff Bloovman were in town a while ago for a project we were working on.  After beating cancer, and with much of his thoracic internals replaced by plastic, Marcus is a slightly barrel-chested these days.  Jeff is a classic mesomorph with broad shoulders and a small waist.  They were both wearing t-shirts that were neither baggy nor skin-tight…and I didn’t realize that they were both armed until we were on the range.  They were both concealing service pistols in appendix inside-the-waistband (AIWB) holsters from PHLster, worn on a Zenith belt from Boxer Tactical.  Both men commented that the holster and the belt were extraordinarily comfortable and well-concealing, and highly recommended the combination to me. Now, while I had seen the clear advantages of AIWB carry, had tried it, and very much wanted to like it, I’d never found a holster that, for me, made it comfortable and provided secure access with my full-size M&P.  And while I certainly appreciate the value of a good gun belt, I’d never heard anyone, let alone practitioners at this level, rave about one.

PHLster  Holsters

PHLster specializes in only AIWB holsters, only two models, only in Kydex, and only for Glocks and M&Ps.  The Skleton and Access holsters are similar, with the Skleton being as minimal as possible.  The Access also has an ambidextrous body shield and extended muzzle coverage.  Both models are height adjustable.  Both holsters mount to the belt with a belt-width adjustable polymer coated nylon pull-the-dot snap-loop, attached to a strut which allows tuckable carry as well as traditional AIWB.   Retention is snappy so as to provide retention in the event that the fight goes hands-on (as so many do).  This is both unusual and impressive: a holster that addresses the needs of a realistic possibility empty-hands combatives into its design.  PHLster holsters were designed with a single point of belt attachment deliberately so as to allow the holster to shift slightly as your anatomy in the appendix shifts with your daily movement.  But a dual-loop adaptor is also available to provide angle-adjustable two-point carry if preferred, perhaps if you wear the holster in another position. 

Well, I found my AIWB holster.  The same holster that made a full-size pistol disappear on two friends of different body types also worked for my more ectomorphic type. And it’s comfortable, too--all day long.  Release is positive, straight up, and fast.  The Access moves slightly to accommodate my movement, but because it’s a real holster (not just a bikini clamp) it’s also very stable.  Fit and finish are impeccable, and materials, hardware, and construction have a Benz-like feel of quality. 

Boxer Tactical Zenith Belt

A gun belt is actually a tricky thing.  It has to be rigid enough to support the weight of the gun and the gun butt’s  natural tendency to cant out away from the body.  Thus many belt designers make the belt super stiff to hold the gun in place--but that’s only half the job.  A belt also has to be comfortable enough to wear all day, every day.  Even better if it has infinite adjustability, rather than a series of one-inch adjustments like most belts.  However, these objectives conflict with each other.  The job of the designer is to find that sweet spot where each objective is maximized, and the proper result is that the belt does its job superbly and you don’t even notice that it’s there.  Well, the Boxer Tactical Zenith belt does its job superbly, and you don’t even notice that it’s there!  1.75-inches wide, made with a Kydex insert sandwiched between nylon webbing, and using a Cobra buckle, it’s not too stiff, it’s not too soft, it’s just right -- you literally fuggadaboutit.  Like a shoe that fits, you find a belt like this and you keep it.

Billy Johnson, the man behind Boxer Tactical, and who has just been picked up by the NRA News, says that his family has been involved in the textile industry since the 40s, and that he saw an opportunity to enter the gear market with a product that other people thought had reached a development dead-end.  Well, he got it right on this one!