While Comp-Tac is more widely known for their competition focused equipment, they have a solid following for conceal carry gear. I've carried Comp-Tac holsters in the past, and found them to be a solid option in their price bracket. Once beginning my research on hybrid holsters, I managed to get my hands on two MTAC holsters from Comp-Tac. How do they compare to other hybrid holsters?
Construction and Design
The Comp-Tac MTAC is a fairly traditional hybrid holster. We have an outward facing shell made of kydex, bolted onto a leather backer. The soft leather of the backer is designed to increase comfort for the wearer, while the kydex shell provides retention on the pistol. The MTAC has a few unique features which I'll detail below.
The shell is well formed, with features allowing extended controls. Unfortunately there are no provisions for slide mounted optics or weapon lights. The shell itself seems high quality, with the make and model of the pistol molded into the face. Muzzle ends are open, allowing debris to fall through the holster. For firearms like Glock, this open muzzle design allows the use of varying slide lengths in the same holster.
Interestingly, the entire area of trigger guard is not connected to backer. This ends up playing into rigidity of the backer, and security of the holster later on. Another curious design cue is having parts of the shell covered in leather. This helps to increase comfort, but I am concerned that it may hide potential parts wear, and complicate preventative maintenance.
The Comp-Tac MTAC backer is very high quality leather, probably the best I've seen on any hybrid holster. A smooth surface feels soft against the skin, making it comfortable for long durations of time. Portions of the backer are fairly thick, with nicely rounded edges, helping to eliminate hot spots. The backer is well cut, allowing for a full firing grip in the holster. The MTAC's backer reminds me of old leather goods my uncle kept around, with a note for craftsmanship. There is extra material along the bottom of the holster, which protects the wearer from a hot muzzle, or the harsher edge of the shell. This extra material was cut off on one example by the holster's owner.
Mounting to the belt is accomplished via two plastic clips. These are held in by a single screw each, and feature four to five positions for ride height. Varying the ride height between the two clips can help modify holster cant in the waistband. These clips are fairly small and thin, which makes me question their durability a little. This question is magnified by the single point of contact for each.
Retention on the Comp-Tac MTAC hybrid holster is a little lacking. There are two screws below the trigger guard, which allow manual adjustment of retention. Due to the varying pressure from the hard shell, and the soft backer, wearers of different sizes will experience different levels of retention based upon how much their body presses against the gun.
Even when worn, the holsters are loose enough for me to achieve a full firing grip, with finger on the trigger from the body side of the gun. This can be a significant problem whether it be in a struggle, with debris such as drawstrings and undershirts, or the curious hands of a small child. While the gun managed to stay secure in the holster, the easy access for unwanted parties is worrying.
Throughout the review process, I used models for a Glock 19 as well as the Smith & Wesson M&P. Due to the looseness of the holsters, I'm able to place multiple guns in these holsters other than what they are designed for. Some take this as a feature, but it's not. Using the improper gun for your holster can result in excess wear, reduced retention, and potential parts breakage on the holster.
Holster Use and Wear
Throughout the Summer I wore the Comp-Tac MTAC hybrid holster doing normal Earth people tasks. Lawncare, housework, exercise, things of that nature. During this time I wore the holsters for extended periods of sitting, standing, and squatting, when pouring sweat, and relaxing. Unfortunately, I repeatedly ran into issues with the durability and rigidity of the backer.
In addition to problems noted above, the backers also became very floppy. This allows them to easily bend once the pistol is drawn, and increases the potential for interference with the trigger upon holstering. This was surprising due to the quality of the backer. I think the relative lack of connection between the shell and backer may be a culprit, as there is significant movement in the area of the trigger guard.
I found the MTAC to be pretty comfortable compared to other hybrid holsters, which I attribute to the high quality backer. It combats sweat fairly well, being less prone to becoming soaked than options from Crossbreed or Black Arch. While not as thin as a Crossbreed, the MTAC manages to be relatively svelte, which helps reduces pretty along the waistline, making it more comfortable than most hybrids. This is the one hybrid holster I've come across that I can wear for several hours without experiencing significant discomfort.
Final Thoughts on the Comp-Tac MTAC Hybrid Holster
I'd like to see a more rigid backer paired with this holster along with better belt clips and a more secure trigger guard. If you combine the steel liner of the Alien Gear CloakTuck 3.5 with the MTAC leather, I think you'd have a winner, as far as hybrid holsters go. Unfortunately, that's not the world we live in. Comp-Tac, take my advice and call me!
Overall, the Comp-Tac MTAC offers more of the same, with a few minor tweaks of the hybrid holster design. While comfort is great with this holster, security is severely lacking. Due to the above mentioned safety concerns, I can't recommend the Comp-Tac MTAC at this time. Instead, you should check out holsters from JM Custom Kydex, PHLster, Dark Star Gear, and others we've reviewed on the site.
Author's Note: Special thanks to Karl Rehn of KR Training for loaning me this holster, along with a few others. Without your help, my hybrid holster project would've been a lot more expensive. If you're looking for training in Central Texas, Karl and his team are an excellent resource.