In an recent post a alluded to the fact I had shelved my Blackhawk IWB Leather holster for a new Blade Tech Nano IWB replacement. I have a few hundred more draws from my newest piece of gear so let me spend a few words and give you a first review of this particular holster.
Some time back I wrote an article entitled “All Things Holsters” where I reviewed what I see as the purpose of a holster and the major categories that encompass them. The particular issue that was beginning to present a problem for we was that my Blackhawk IWB Leather holster was no longer holding itself securely in place. It has a single snap strap and while wide and plenty sturdy it simply was no longer holding the holster securely in the exact same location. I would draw . . . and it would move slightly, the angle would change just a bit and the draw became “sticky” while the reholster could devolve into a bit of a “hunt and peck” process. This became much more apparent after a good friend took a video of me at the Rangemaster Tactical Converence in February of this year. He mentioned that things looked a bit less than smooth and suggested it might be time to try something different. That exploration has led to the new Nano that now rides at my 4 o’clock as opposed to by Blackhawk.
According to Blade Tech’s on-line literature the Nano IWB holster is one of Blade Tech’s most popular holsters. After a month’s worth of wear and range use I can see why. It is made of a Kydex material that is slightly thinner at only .080” thick. The ribbed design lends strength of the overall design and insures that the throat remains open receiving my Glock 17 easily each time it’s returned to the holster. There is a satisfying “snap” as it “locks” into place. By the same token, the rigid material also insures each and every draw is just as smooth.
The packaging was simply and delivered via USPS to my mail box within 10 days. While it can be adjusted for a belt from 1.25” to 1.75” it came adjusted for the larger size fitting my 5.11 belt perfectly. It also can be adjusted for a FBI cant, but comes configured for a straight drop which is my preferred configuration.
One little thing I noticed is that there is a very small tab on the inside of the female side of the snap to help hold the snap junction securely closed. The trick to snapping this is to “roll” the snap from bottom to top. I confess it took me more time than I care to admit to figure out this little “feature” but it truly does the job.
Since there are two straps to secure the holster to my belt, I find by placing one on either side of a belt loop the Nano does a far superior job insuring that the holster remains in the exact same position regardless of the number of draws I do during a training trip to the range.
For much of the coursework I’ve done I use a Blackhawk Sportster OWB (or one of the infamous Serpa) holster. So I was quite familiar and comfortable with the touch and feel of drawing and holstering using a kydex holster. Other than very slight adjustments due to IWB vs OWB positioning, there is virtually no difference that I can readily detect between the two options.
While my draw times remain right at 2 seconds +/- a tenth or so, returning my Glock 17 to the holster is much more consistent and the draw seems to be smoother as well. I’ll continue to post one set of drills each trip displaying draw times and splits this year and well see how that progresses throughout the year.
So, if you are looking for a new option for IWB carry – I would recommend that you take a hard look at the Blade Tech Nano IWB . . . it looks as if it’s going to be a very good upgrade for my daily carry gear.