I shot the course more to check its usefulness by using guns & holsters across the spectrum of often-used service and service-compact pistols from examples of the 1911 through modern striker fired guns. Following that, I made it a point to get test and evaluation guns on record for comparison.
Using my most typically carried setup, the holsters I currently use are from Massaro Holster Works; the holster model is the American Purebred IWB. The holsters are kydex pouches formed with a 12° angle to prevent printing; they are .080 inch thick, the pouches molded and cut for red dot sights, suppressor height co-witness sights, grip style lasers – all while featuring full muzzle coverage for protection of the gun and clothing.
The holster pouch is attached via military-grade velcro to a breathable neoprene backing pad. On the backing pad, at the leading and trailing edges, we have the belt clip assembly. Made from ATSM spring wire – very discreet – with a black zinc coating, it is extremely secure to the belt.
The backing pad has high coefficient of body friction – so it closely adheres to the location you place it (keeping your shirt tucked in). There is 3.5” of tuck area in the full-size configuration. The
thickness is less than .125 inches – as thin or thinner than leather backed hybrids.
The guns are GLOCKs. Frankly, I’ve carried that brand longer now than any other format in my life – aside from small revolvers. One is a Gen5 GLOCK 19, which I’ve used since it was announced in 2017. The other is the newest, a Slimline pistol, the G43X. Both have been fitted with the Striker Control Device, a great implement discussed here.
To cut to the chase, I didn’t do as well as I should have. The good news is that the gear works – guns and holsters, though I was going quite low with the ammo used (CCI Blazer Lead-Free 124gr. TMJ) in the G43X at 25 yards.
The Massaro "American Purebred" hides the gun and keeps it secure. Below, I really should have been quicker with the Gen5 G19 -- but was sadly out of practice.
With the G43X, I found I was very slow to the grip and to the sights; that’s a software issue: it requires some practice in pressing out and avoiding the sad tendency not to draw to high compressed ready … “bowling.”
Part of the use of the Comparative Standards (as well as other drills) is to find problems so you can sort them out.
The befuddled draw stroke is my problem. The Massaro holster is terrific. With both guns, I found that they were exactly where they should be for each (attempted) presentation. They held secure, released properly and are comfortable – even with the thicker G19.
I was noticeably faster with the G19. That was good news/bad news. Of the pair of penalties with the thinner gun, both were at distance. That’s simply failure to attend to business on my part. With the GLOCK 19, one was at distance and the other was just slipping out of the head box on the failure drill at seven yards – that was pushing for time.
I smoked the reload and the final single to the head with the G43X – neither deals with the snappier aspect of shooting the very short Slimline gun. As to the G19, I was really moving on the ‘singles from guard’ at fifteen yards; both were compellingly under 1 second, with one at .84 second and the other at .62 second.
That’s familiarity with the piece. Now for practice pressing out to rid my self of “finding the sights” on the draw.
Is there anything I’d change?
Rimfire analog, the GLOCK 44, fits the Massaro holster and was used to work out. The comparison of the steel target to the CS paper target is shown below.
Not the holsters – even though Eddie has some new designs, including the SENTINEL 2020 IWB and the S.P.E.E.D. OWB -- "Spaulding Enhanced EDC Design" – models. I won’t change the guns – but I’m thinking that Talon Grip may well be in the future for the GLOCK 43X to sort out that slow grip issue. I use them on the S&W Shield, the micro G43 and did have them on a GLOCK 48. I think it’ll help.
So, what did I do to square myself away?
I got out the GLOCK 44. Using it from my American Purebred IWB holster, with some Remington “Golden Bullet” 225 ammo on the “small” (head box is a four-inch square, the body is 11 ½” wide and 15” high) IPSC steel target, I did singles to the steel starting at 20 yards and moving back. I finally quit at about forty yards. Some of my (perceived) misses were actually hits, high and left on the “hostage-taker-swinging-head”/high shoulder/ left side of the headbox.
Pretty fair shooting. Had I been holding center, they’d have all been body hits. As it was, I hit 17 of 20. That was good holster practice. I then used the Dirty Bird 12” x 18” BC27 silhouette. The red “10+X” scoring circle is 1 15/16” wide by 2 7/8” high oval. The ‘head’ zone is 3 3/8” wide x 4 ½” high (depending where measured). I worked singles to the head from five yards. There was one miss, high, from me shooting unlocked. My average was 2.6 seconds (low 1.8 seconds to high of 3.0). I shot singles to the “red” zone – the hits tended left and that’s a grip deal I need to sort. After every few hits, I moved back. I got back to 17 yards before pulling one into the “8” high (about 11 o’clock).
I ended with close range precision shooting with one hand. At three yards, it was time for one-handed shooting. I shot dominant hand only at the trademark on the top left side of the target. The rounds predictably hit low, with five hits into 5/8”. Shooting with the less dominant hand at the target description verbiage on the top right, I put five hits into ¾”.
I’m still not seeing stoppages with G44 … with no cleaning nor lube, an interesting data point. I intend to run some lube before next range.
It was worth doing, showing where I need work and getting a start on it.
-- Rich Grassi