Looking for a quality, handmade concealed carry rig at a price that won’t break the bank? Take a look at the offerings from Blue Ridge Holsters. Based in north Georgia, the company is a relatively new start-up with the goal of providing citizens with high-quality, reasonably-priced concealment holsters.
Currently, the company makes three different styles of holsters: two outside-the-waistband holsters (OWB) and an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. The company’s IWB, the Camo Hybrid, is the basis of this review.
I received an e-mail from one of the partners at Blue Ridge Holsters asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of the rigs to company makes. I responded in the affirmative, and they were kind enough to ship me a Camo Hybrid make for the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol.
The holster I received had a brown leather backing with a flat dark earth kydex sheath. While this specific color combination may not be aesthetically pleasing to many people, I chose these colors to lessen the chances of being “made” should my cover garment ride up and expose part of the holster.
The outward facing part of the leather is smooth and finished in brown or black. The rear-facing part of the leather (against the body) is unfinished.
The kydex is held to the leather with seven connectors that appeared to be very strong. I grabbed the holster and tried to rip the kydex from the leather but was unable to do so. I tried multiple times from different angles and was unable to do any visible damage to any part of the rig.
The edges of the holster – both kydex and leather – arrived nicely rounded. There were no sharp corners or hard edges with which to contend.
The metal clips that attach the rig to the belt are attached to the leather at a single point with screws. While a single point attachment might be less secure than having multiple attachment points, I was unable to rip either of the clips from the leather using my bare hands.
One of the primary benefits of the single point connection is allowing the user to tuck the shirt in on top of the pistol. Another benefit of the single point of attachment is that the clips can move laterally, which allows the holster a certain degree of “give” while being worn. I believe this flexibility increases the owner’s comfort when wearing this rig.
There are three pre-drilled holes on each end of the leather aligned vertically. The owner can use these holes to adjust how low the holster will ride in the waistband by moving the attachment clips up and down these holes. Although I did not test it, I could see how a shooter would be able to stagger which holes are used to increase or decrease the gun’s cant when carried.
I found the holster was comfortable to wear for both short and long periods of time. I carried my M&P in the Camo Hybrid with an untucked shirt just behind my strong-side hip. This effectively hid the full-sized pistol, and was comfortable while standing, walking and sitting.
Stop, Drop and Roll
One thing that might cause some people concern is that the pistol does not firmly “click” into place. The kydex is obviously molded for the pistol, and fits perfectly. However, there is not the positive snapping into place that is common with some holsters.
According to Blue Ridge Holsters, the holsters are designed to secure the gun while worn, and when the rigs are in place, the gun is securely held in the holster. While wearing the holster, I slipped the unloaded pistol into place and started jumping and rolling about (sorry – no videos of this foolish behavior.) The pistol stayed in place and did not dislodge. I personally like it when a gun snaps into place, but I can find no fault with the security of the Camo Hybrid design.
There are an increasing number of holster makers on the market. Many are offering all kydex or kydex/leather blended holsters. It is tough to know who is making good quality stuff without seeing them for yourself.
I like the Blue Ridge Camo Hybrid, and can recommend it to my readers. The quality is good, it wears comfortably, the price is reasonable and the people I’ve dealt with at the company have been friendly and knowledgeable. If you are in the market for such a holster, give them a look.
The Camo Hybrid is $59 and there is a $2.50 charge for kydex colors other than black. Firefighters, police officers and military service members get a 20% discount.