The Bianchi Model 7 Shadow II is a belt holster made of soft leather with a thumb snap. The Shadow has several belt slots to allow the user to wear the holster with the handgun straight up, with a forward cant or even cross-draw. This Bianchi holster is made for a wide range of popular handguns, including compact and full-sized pistols and revolvers. Reasonably priced, the Model 7 promises a quality holster at a reasonable price. But, does Bianchi deliver? With a single caveat, I believe it does.
I’ve owned a Model 7 for several years, and have worn it on an occasional basis. Generally, my attire is more suited to an inside-the-waistband holster, but during colder months and for the occasional open carry event the Bianchi did get more frequent use. Additionally, on long car trips I would tend to wear this holster rather than an IWB for comfort reasons.
First of all, this was a very comfortable holster to wear. The rich brown leather is soft and supple as compared to many other leather and kydex holsters. Wearing my Glock 19 in this holster all day was not a problem. I preferred to carry in the forward cant position, but I did find the straight up position to be comfortable as well. However, I felt the forward cant concealed better. Regardless, with the Shadow, the choice is yours.
The Bianchi is designed to be used with belts up to 1 3/4″, and I found that it worked well with a 1 1/2″ belt, such as my 5.11 belt (reviewed here.) I tried it with a 1 1/4″ belt, but I did not like the extra movement the smaller belt allowed.
The finish on the holster is nice, but not as durable as some othe holsters. As I already wrote, my Bianchi holster is a rich brown color with a smooth, soft feel. The surface of the holster will show scrapes, in my experience, more readily than similar holsters from other manufacturers. If this is a “working” holster, purchased just for concealed carry, this should not be an issue for you. If it is bought to sheath your best bar-b-que gun, treat it carefully and it will maintain its good looks.
The inside of the holster is sueded, so I do not think it will mar the finish of any factory gun. It certainly did not harm my Glock. The double stitching appeared to be heavy-duty and showed no signs of any problems after years of use.
The holster is soft, and because of that it does not naturally retain the firearm. However, the Model 7 has a thumb strap that holds your handgun in place. To check the thumb strap retention, I put an unloaded gun into the holster, turned it upside down, and shook it. The Bianchi kept the pistol in place, indicating that the thumb strap appears adequate for retention.
One-handed reholstering in the Shadow was easy. The gun slips easily into the mouth of the holster. Once seated the thumb strap naturally covers the back of the gun’s slide, and you merely snap the reinforced button snap.
The bottom line is I like this holster. The Bianchi Shadow is soft and comfortable. It is good looking enough for open carry, and with the right garments can be a excellent choice for concealed carry. The only quibble I have with this holster is the finish is not as durable as I would like. Mind you mine still looks good after eight years, but I also do not carry it daily. So if you are looking for a very belt good holster that is very comfortable and reasonably priced, consider the Bianchi Model 7 Shadow II.
Click here to get the Bianchi Shadow II holster from Amazon.