On Tactical Tool Tuesday I will share with you a tool aimed at improving your life as a Woman Who Shoots. I’ll always give you my honest opinion, regardless of how I obtain the item. If you know of something you’d like me to review or discuss, please drop me a line or leave a comment below.
Straight talk time. Competitive shooting takes a TON of gear. 3 Gun Competition in particular requires a carefully thought out set of equipment including holsters, firearms, magazines, etc. What you see in the header photo above is my current 3 Gun belt setup. I use a battle-belt style rig for reasons I will explain more in a later post but each component has a purpose. Of these parts, perhaps the most critical is my pistol holster.
In stages during which the pistol is used, you must draw and shoot. A good (or bad) holster can make or break a performance. It needs to be secure, because having the pistol fall out while running from place to place is an (understandable) automatic disqualification, but it also needs to have enough give to allow for a fast draw. I’m not there yet, but the best shooters can draw and accurately hit a 7 inch target at 20 yds in less than a second. Finding the right fit for your pistol is critical.
A good holster needs to fit your competition rig well and not take up too much space. One’s waist only has so much real estate and you need space for shotgun shells, magazines, and anything else you need handy. You’ll want something that sits well on your belt. Since it is a major part of your setup and should be the feature around which you base almost everything else, you definitely want it to be the right size for you.
But perhaps most importantly, you need your holster to fit your gun. That’s how both Mr. SiL and I ended up with the Comp-tac International Holster. It is worth noting he uses it for Steel Challenge as well. Comp-Tac is a really cool company and I like that their Sales & Marketing Director, Randi Rogers, is not only a woman but an extremely accomplished female shooter. The company makes excellent holsters for everyday carry as well. Their website also showcases which holsters work best for women.
As it happens, they have a woman friendly, competition ready holster made just for my Walther PPQ M2 Navy. I am super happy with it. It is made of a rigid material, Kydex, which is hardy and scratch resistant. It also won’t change shape over time, which means you can use this for years. The cut of the Comp-Tac International Holster also allows you to use it with pistols with optics attached. As many people compete with pistols that have red dots, this is definitely a useful characteristic
One the coolest things about the holster is the versatility in configuration. The holster is configured to be worn outside the waistband — but that’s almost the only rule. It has what Comp-Tac refers to as a “modular mounting design” that allows for multiple wearing styles. By combining the holster body and 3 mounting pieces that come with the Comp-Tac International you can loop the holster through a belt, use the paddle mount to mount over and around the back of a belt, and in either configuration you can attach a drop-offset piece which will locate the holster body lower and a bit farther out than a direct attachment.
In any of the configurations you can also “cant” the holster forward or backward depending on how you draw. Both the direct belt-mount and the paddle mount will work with a 1.5″ or 2″ belt, however, using a 2″ belt requires knocking out some plastic detents which you can’t re-attach… so it’s a 1-way decision there. That said, you can set one mount up for 2″ and the other mount for 1.5″ without a problem, or buy another full mount kit individually.
The Comp-Tac International holster comes in multiple colors, including pink, red, and purple. I chose to purchase mine in black for two reasons. One is that the “girlie” colors aren’t especially subtle and the other is the black goes well with my rhinestone lip stickers (proving that I am also not especially subtle). It is great to have options and further cements that Comp-Tac is thinking of female shooters in their offerings.
Comp-Tac offers this holster to fit many models of pistol so you are likely to find one that fits yours and they tend to launch them quickly. For example, when the PPQ M2 was released, they had a holster for it really quickly – well ahead of their competition. This shows me Comp-Tac is paying attention, another win. In case you have multiple holsters, they print the model pretty prominently so you can always tell which holster goes with which pistol.
I have been trying to think of some drawbacks of this holster, but there honestly aren’t many. It isn’t super easy to get on and off the belt, but you want it to be secure. And it does take some tools and time to reconfigure it. I suppose, like Mary Poppins, this holster is practically perfect in every way. At $65, it isn’t inexpensive but it certainly isn’t the most costly holster I’ve seen.
The Comp-Tac International Holster:
- Made for many makes and models of pistols
- Comes in a few color options
- Made by a company that has female executives and clearly has a focus on products for female shooters
- Not made to reconfigure or move on the fly
- Sometimes my sticker falls off and I have to reapply it
All in, I am extremely pleased with this holster and I anticipate using it for 3 Gun competition for years to come.