During my pocket pistol testing, I experimented with a bunch of different holsters. For pocket holsters, we either have soft holsters (suede, leather, fabric, etc.), or hard plastic/kydex. Both have a place, and depending on your clothing, some work better than others. For my kydex choice, I ended up finding the BORAII Eagle holsters, and have been using them since the start of 2023. What is the Eagle, and how does it work with the pocket guns that I've tested?
What Is the BORAII Eagle?
BORAII is an abbreviation for "Bill Of Rights, Amendment II", and is a relatively small holster maker. BORAII makes a few different types of holsters, but the Eagle pocket holster is the topic here. It is an extremely simple design, yet has proven to be excellent for carry.
Price on the Eagle is quite inexpensive, at $18 a holster. Now, these are US made, however with how little kydex there is, it easily explains the price. How's the Eagle's construction?
The Eagle is a simple, two piece kydex holster, that covers the trigger guard of your pistol. This is a low profile holster, as it really just is enough to retain on the gun, and then a claw edge to catch on your pant seam. Compared to other kydex pocket holsters, the Eagle is much more minimalist. For me, that's a very good thing.
The Eagle is has grommets all over the front of the holster. These act as the method to connect the two kydex halves, but it also allows you to lash it in place using cord. If you wanted to have your handgun in a fanny pack and make it easy to yank off the holster while drawing, this is a godsend. I've not had a need for them, but they also don't do anything to detract from the holster.
The drawstroke on the Eagle is based around the claw of the holster. When we go to draw our pistol, we need to yank the gun off of the holster, using the claw. The claw needs to catch on a hard point of our pants, (generally a seam), which will leave the holster behind, and let us deploy the gun. I'll discuss how well that goes later on.
BORAII Eagle Fitment
The Eagle has a very precise fit, and it fits well on the three guns that I tested.
The LCP Lite Rack is the smallest pocket gun that I carry, and as such, has the smallest Eagle. Fitment is great, however, the holster has slightly bowed out over the last 8 months of use. While not actually bad for carry or drawing, I'd be remiss if I hadn't mentioned it. The gun has a positive "click" noise when attached to the Eagle, and takes up about the same space as a cell phone in the pocket.
Fitment on the Smith 442 is fantastic. Just like the LCP, we've got an extremely positive feel and sound when holstering, and a fairly easy, but positive draw too. With the Smith 442 being a taller gun, the Eagle fills in the pocket better. This is the smallest footprint I think I can get the J-Frame, without forgoing a holster.
Lastly, we've got the LCR. Just like the 442, the fit is great, and the holstering/draw is very positive and clicky. The LCR is a larger gun than the J-Frame, however it carries quite well in the pocket. The Eagle manages to even work well with the slightly large Roger Enhanced Grip, which is great.
Overall, fitment of the Eagle to the three handguns is awesome. How's carriage been?
Carrying With the Eagle
Well, it's great. With the minimal footprint of the Eagle, the gun and holster just melt into the pocket. Since the Eagle basically weighs nothing, there doesn't feel like any added weight. I've carried it a ton, both in normal everyday life, and while traveling.
Whether out on the town, or up on a mountain, the Eagle has been a breeze to carry. It has survived sweat too, which while out in the hot Utah summers, is bound to drench everything. The grommets on the Eagle are brass, so they won't rust on you!
The only gripe that I have about carrying the Eagle is very much clothing dependent. Since we've got a nearly perfect mold of the gun for the holster, it does nothing to break up the profile of the gun in a pocket. We can mitigate this by using something such as a Raven Pocket Shield, or wearing pants/shirts that help to conceal the pocket with a gun in it. This is something that I've easily worked around, and don't hold against the Eagle. When referring to clothing, I find that the Eagle does well in light to medium weight pants. If you've got fairly heavyweight pant material, a fabric holster will likely do better.
So the Eagle carries well, and is inexpensive. How is drawing and shooting with it?
Eagle At the Range
Well, it's generally pretty good, with an asterisk. The Eagle has a learning curve to it, more so than normal fabric "dump" holsters. For the majority of quality fabric pocket holsters that I've used, getting the gun out is quite easy. However, with the Eagle, there is a possibility that the holster will want to retain to the gun after the gun has left the pocket. For the 442 and LCR, this basically never happened. However, I had it happen a handful of times on the LCP.
In the above video, I had the holster retain to the LCP as I drew it from the pocket. Now, this is certainly a user error thing, rather than the fault of the holster. However, with how small the LCP is, this is something that you really need to train around. I won't ding the holster, but rather, acknowledge that you need to practice drawing quite a bit if you use the Eagle, especially on a smaller gun. When we draw the gun, we need to make sure that we are catching the claw on a seam in our pants, so that the gun separates from the holster.
For the LCR and 442, I had no issues, and did not find the Eagle to impede or really impact my shooting at all. The biggest thing I'll say is that we need to retrieve the holster from the pocket when we want to clip it back onto the gun. With a normal fabric holster, we may be able to put the gun back into it while still in the pocket, but not with a kydex one.
Aside with the learning curve, I've got no range complaints about the Eagle.
The BORAII Eagle has become my go-to kydex holster for pocket guns. It is well made, inexpensive, lightweight, carries well, and (generally) doesn't negatively impact my shooting ability. While there is a learning curve to the drawstroke on smaller guns, it's nothing that dryfire cannot smooth out.
I'll mention this point again too, if you decide on the Eagle, remember that you need to pull the holster out of your pocket to put the gun back into it. Do not try and fish the gun into the holster in your pocket.
I really enjoy the Eagle, and for the future pocket guns that I test, you can bet that they'll be wearing Eagles. While it isn't the only pocket holster that I use, it's the only kydex one that I'm using now.