Friday, December 30, 2011

UBG Holsters Canute Review

A few months back Nate from UBG Holsters asked if I was interested in reviewing some of his work.  With Concealed Carry right around the corner here in Wisconsin, I was definitely in the market for some IWB holster options and jumped at the chance to try out some good leather while I was at it.

I settled on the Canute model for my M&P9, and Nate sent one out to me a couple weeks later.  As a note here, I stressed that I was in no rush, as it would still be at a few months or so until I could actually carry it outside of the house.  Despite this, he still had it put together and in my hands a couple weeks later.  Having sat through a half-year wait for a Raven Concealment Systems rig a couple times, getting a hand built leather holster in a fraction of the time was a welcome treat.

The Canute is a typical IWB holster, featuring a full body shield and widely spaced belt loops with “pull the dot” style snaps, allowing the user to put the holster on or take it off without removing their belt; a welcome feature for those of us that must enter “posted property” on a daily basis.   The Canute also has a 22-25 degree forward cant, something I’ve come to appreciate for added concealment and a smoother draw when wearing the holster in the 4-5 o’clock position.

The model I chose is a plain, no frills black leather holster (other colors and even exotic skins are available) with no reinforcement around the mouth.  The leather is nicely finished and thick, and overall construction is top-notch.  The holster is molded to your specific gun, and my M&P9 fit well right out of the box (a little tight at first, as is expected with leather, but it loosened up quickly.  Instructions for break-in are also on their website.) Retention is still positive after a month of use, never has it felt like my gun was moving or about to fall out of the holster. 

As mentioned, the back features a full sweat guard/body shield to protect both the gun’s finish and your body from any pokey bits or sharp edges on your gun.

The only issue I’ve found so far with the full size body shield is that my thumb-safety occasionally snags on the top edge.  The safety does remain engaged, but it is something to be mindful of when reholstering.

As you can see, the holster is holding up well after a month of almost daily use, including snapping and unsnapping the loops a couple times a day on average.  Granted early winter in Wisconsin isn’t going to be severely torturous compared to summer on a big sweaty guy like me, it’s still reassuring to see practically no finish wear on the outside of the leather, and only a small amount of wear inside where a reference spot of grip-tape on the frame of my gun rubs during the draw (eventually I’ll most likely pull the grip-tape and stipple that spot though, and I think that will reduce the amount of wear it has on holsters.)

The belt loops are probably my favorite feature of the Canute, both due to their spacing, and the ability to remove the holster without undoing my belt.  Even with a full size duty pistol with 17 rounds of ammo in the mag, the loops spread the weight out well, and help spread the bulk of the rig out along the beltline, aiding in concealment.

Obviously, how well the holster conceals is very important with an IWB holster, and the Canute does so wonderfully.  I don’t know of many other holsters I’d be confident in trusting to hide a large gun under as little as a t-shirt, but the Canute excels in that department.

I wore a similar outfit at my family’s Thanksgiving day gathering (button-up cotton shirt instead of the T) and either no one noticed, or if they did they didn’t say.  A few days later I was talking to my dad about good concealment clothing, and asked if he remembered the shirt I was wearing that day;

“No, but I don’t regularly check out your wardrobe…”
“Well did you notice the gun I was wearing all day either?”
I figure if a house full of people familiar with you don’t notice it after a full day, it’s got to be good to go.

If you like what you see, UBG Holsters is offering free shipping with coupon code "gunsncoffee"

Fine print! UBG did provide the holster in this review for a reduced price.  Does that change my opinion? Hell no. This holster's good shit.