June 19, 2017
I've mentioned High Threat Concealment holsters in my column before. The company is most well-known for developing an integrated belt/holster/ pouch Low Profile System where the Kydex pieces interlock on an easily removable outer belt. The outer belt with its attached pouches secures to the inner belt threaded through your belt loops with the use of Velcro.
While a bunch of gear stretching from hipbone to hipbone designed to carry pistol and AR magazines, radio, first aid kit, holster, handcuffs and/or whatever else you think you might need might be a bit overkill for most Handguns readers, HTC has now come out with a convertible inside-the-waistband/outside-thewaistband holster designed to appeal to everyone— the HTC EVO.
A little background first. The founders of HTC were working as contractors in Afghanistan about a decade ago when the U.S. government announced that the Taliban was no longer a threat. Instead of wearing tactical vests and carrying M4s, contractors had to go low profile and wear casual attire — which meant they could carry only what would fit under a blazer.
Unfortunately, no one told the Taliban it was no longer a threat. As a result, the contractors began doing everything they could to stuff more and more gear under their blazers.
However, the more HTC's founders experimented with the holsters/pouches/belts on the market, the more dissatisfied they were. They bought some Kydex and an oven to form their own holsters and mag pouches and went to work. At first they just made equipment for themselves and their teammates, but then everyone they worked with started asking them where they got their gear and could they make some for them. And soon High Threat Concealment was born.
Its new EVO holster in military speak is "user configurable," which means that by deciding which attachment hardware to mount on the holster you decide whether it will be an outside the waistband or inside the waistband holster (including appendix style).
HTC doesn't use Kydex anymore but instead manufactures its holsters out of Boltaron, which is now the preferred holster material for many non-animal-hide holster manufacturers. Boltaron has 10 times the impact resistance of standard plastics, is fire retardant and is resistant to many acids. It resists cracking in cold and deforming in high heat much better than Kydex.
The EVO holster body is two sheets of formed Boltaron connected forward and aft of the gun by rivets, which sounds a bit old school, but those rivet holes are the mounting points for the attachment hardware. The Boltaron is thick enough to keep the holster sturdy, but there is some flex as well, which you absolutely need.
If your holster is so rigid it doesn't flex at all, at some point it will crack. When working as a private investigator, I spent an average of 50 hours a week for over a decade sitting on my gun in my car doing surveillance, and I cracked the belt loops on a number of Kydex/plastic OWB holsters. And I'm skinny. I don't have any worries about that happening with the EVO.
If I squeeze the EVO when it's empty, the top of the holster will flex a bit. With a pistol inserted, the holster doesn't flex under finger power, but that "empty flex" means when it's mounted on your belt and you bend down or sit, and your body and belt pull the holster in different directions, the holster will work with you, not against you.
The "wings" to either side of the holster with the rivets (for the mounting hardware) are only as big as they need to be and are angled in toward the wearer's body, ensuring that when mounted on a good
belt the holster will pull in close to your body. There is a tension screw on the holster just below the trigger guard to adjust the force needed to draw the pistol.
With the holster you'll get a small resealable plastic bag with all the mounting hardware you need to personalize the holster. You have your choice of belt clips or closed belt loops for 1.5- or 1.75-inch width belts, plus all the screws and rubber washers you'll need for mounting. All the rivets, screws and assorted metal mounting hardware are stainless steel.
The closed belt loops are for OWB carry, the belt clips for IWB or appendix carry. HTC recommends one belt clip and one closed loop for secure appendix carry, and it provides an info sheet with photos for quick reference. Because you have your choice of numerous mounting holes for the hardware, you can set up the holster for vertical or canted orientation and adjust its height on the belt.
Right now the EVO holster is offered for Glock pistols from the Glock 17/22 on down to the subcompacts, as well as most of the SIG Sauer P220/226/227 models. It is also offered in left-handed versions. I obtained one for the SIG P226 and have worn it for about two weeks, switching between OWB carry (my preferred) and IWB. No appendix carry; I'm not fat, but the SIG P226 is way too big to stick down the front of my pants.
When carrying OWB I had the holster set up to ride a little low because I'm short-waisted and highriding belt holsters park guns close to my armpit. That's the beauty of the EVO; you can easily adjust ride height and angle, at least when it's set up for OWB carry. For IWB carry you can't adjust the height of the holster on the belt, just the angle. The holster encloses the muzzle of the pistol and almost all of the trigger guard while allowing a full grip on the pistol. And here's a tip for you: One sure way to spot someone who doesn't know how to make a holster is the presence of sharp edges or material at the rear of the trigger guard that hit the knuckle of your middle finger when you're trying to obtain a firing grip.
Right now the EVO is available only in black, but since HTC offers many of its other holsters in flat dark earth, I'm sure that color is probably in the EVO's future. As I mentioned, the EVO comes with all the mounting hardware you'll need, and it retails for $115.