Product Tests : M/D Enterprises Holsters

M/D Holsters is a new company producing several holsters for the M-1911 pistols. Their full line can be seen either at their Web Site or at the "Accessories" folder, "Holsters" section of the M-1911 Pistols Home Page. The owner of the company, Mark A. DeCoveny, was kind enough to send me a couple of speciments for testing and evaluating.

The first model that Mark send me, was his "America's Best Pancake", a classic pancake holster, in brown leather. The holster is constructed of cowhide, and it is hand molded to the gun for which it is made. The leather thickness of the sample that I got, was quite generous, which allowed the holster to preserve its form and positively secure the gun. The top of the holster is reinforced, and it does not collapse, even if you lay on your side, with the gun removed. The stitching was even and parallel to the holster lines, which shows excellent craftmanship. Please be careful when ordering this holster. You have to specify if your pistol features fixed or adjustable sights. Especially, if you have a Bomar installed on your gun, then you have to expressely state it, otherwise your gun will not fit the holster. If you try to insert a Bomar-equipped pistol in a fixed-sight holster, you will find that the front edge of the Bomar is stopped by the holster lips, not allowing the gun to be fully seated in the holster.

I did some quick draws from this holster, and althought it was a bit too grippy initially, very soon the gun was sliding out as quickly as from my other pancake holster, allowing a very quick draw. The only thing I didn't like about this holster, was that its lower corners were almost right-angled. It didn't create any problems, it just did not look right to my eye. However, I've been informed by M/D Holsters, that the model I had been send was a pre-production sample, and in the final design the corners are rounded to offer a more pleasant look.

All in all, an excellent pancake holster.

The second model was their "Back Stabber". This is a typical "Small of the Back" holster, with the gun held in an almost horizontal position. Well, not perfectly horizontal, the barrel is canted downwards, as you can see at the picture at left. To be honest, I had reservations about such a holster, after a traumatic experience I had some years back, with a similar holster (I cannot remember who its maker was). That holster was for my Star Astra (a .22 LR small pistol), and held the barrel totally horizontally. This however let the gun grip lean outwards, making it obvious to anyone who was seeing your back, that you were carrying something there.

I therefore approached this M/D Enterprises Model, with some skepticism. I put the holster on my trusty 1.25" Bianci belt (not a very sturdy belt actually), and I checked the fit in a mirror. Well, even under a t-shirt, the gun was fully concealable. No trace, no protrusion. The gun's butt was pushed to the inside, towards my back. This was a welcome suprise. I decided to let the holster on, for some hours. Pretty soon, I was not even aware that I had my pistol on myself. This holster was doing a really good job. Then I tried some draws. Initially, the gun felt quite loose. However, the holster has a screw, with which you can adjust the grip it excerts on your pistol. I tight the screw a bit, and immediately, you could tell that the gun was held much more securely. Draws were not very fast initially, as I am not used to this kind of holsters, but with practice, you can perform a very quick draw and presentation. Reholstering is equally easy, as the holster's mouth is reinforced, therefore there is always a wide opening to receive the front part of your pistol as you insert it in. Very nice.

The "Back Stabber" I received was produced of brown cowhide. It is molded to the M-1911 lines and part of its leather extends to the right, completely covering the gun's thumb safety and rear sight, thus adding to the wearer's comfort. Stitching was flawless. I gave a full thumbs-up to this model. One small problem though, that should be mentionned here. When you sit down, it is normal (at least the way I carry my clothes) that the belt moves a bit down, thus allowing the holster to tilt further outwards. This mean that the gun butt can get attached to the chair. All you should do, is make it a habbit to use your hand to push the gun inwards, as you stand up. Otherwise, if the chair is light, you can get up and have it hanging from your gun butt.

To summarise, an excellent holster, well thought out and well executed.

Thanks Mark, for giving me the opportunity to try those holsters.

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