I first encountered Crossbreed holsters when one of the reps came into a local gun shop looking to get their products on store shelves in the mid 2010's. Little did I know that those holsters would become as popular as they are today. In 2021, they are one of the most common holsters of any type that I see on people's hips. Always looking to expand my knowledge, I got significant hands-on time for myself over the course of the Summer with a Crossbreed SuperTuck.
Construction and Design
The Crossbreed SuperTuck is the epitome of hybrid holster design. While they might not have been the first, they certainly exemplify the type. Simply put, a kydex shell is bolted onto a leather backer, with two belt clips affixed in a similar manner. The theory is to provide solid retention of a kydex holster with the comfort of a leather holster. How does this play out in reality?
The shell of this specific Crossbreed Supertuck is for a Smith & Wesson Shield. This is a fairly standard shell, with the trigger guard fully covered, and the front half of the pistol wrapped in kydex. Crossbreed offers multiple colors of kydex, and provisions for laser grips, a variety of weapon mounted lights and lasers, and slide mounted optics. The muzzle end of the holster is open, allowing for debris to fall through.
Leather used in the backer is thinly cut, with a smooth finish facing the pistol, and the rough toward the wearer. This thin material quickly curls over the gun with pressure from the wearer's body. Curling is magnified when the backer becomes soaked with sweat. With nothing to improve rigidity, backers often stay curled, even after drying, as the leather begins to break down.
The SuperTuck features an overly large backer, which impedes the wearer from attaining a full firing grip upon the draw. To help in this effort, users will need to press the backer away from the pistol using their firing hand thumb during the draw. Buyers can choose a "Combat Cut" for an additional charge to remove this excess material behind the tang of the grip.
While thinner material helps reduce bulk on the waistline, and improve comfort, it can cause significant, and even dangerous problems. We'll touch more on this below.
Crossbreed uses steel SnapLok clips to attach to the belt. These feature four options for ride height, which also adjusts holster cant for either side. Clip angle can also be slightly modified since they use a single screw to attach to the backer. The clips are fairly easy to don and doff, with relatively light tension along the belt.
Buyers can also choose between J-Clips and V-Clips for an additional charge if they're looking to improve concealment at the cost of holster retention.
Crossbreed provides no means to manually adjust retention with the SuperTuck line of holsters. There is naturally inconsistent retention due to differing materials in the holster. The hard shell attempts to give solid retention, like you expect from a kydex holster. The leather backer flexes with the gun and the body, which reduces the shell's ability to grab the gun. This means that wearers of different sizes will have different levels of retention with the same holster.
With varying pressure and retention, this allows multiple firearms to be placed in same holster, reducing retention and longevity of the holster. I can easily fit a Glock 48 into this S&W Shield holster. I can even fit a Glock 17 into the holster with a little effort thanks to the flexible backer. This is not a feature, though some may tout it as one. There is enough flexibility here that I can access the trigger from the backer side. That could be a massive problem in an entangled fight, or even around children who may be curious as to what you are wearing on your hip. Additionally, using guns other than what the holster is designed for will produce even worse retention, and degrade the holster more quickly than normal.
Holster Use and Wear
I wore this holster for a few weeks around the house and while doing yard work during the Summer. Despite somewhat short hands-on time, I've seen dozens of these in classes and lessons across a variety of wearers and weather. The results are usually comparable, which helps make my conclusions.
Regarding donning and doffing the holster, I have to unbuckle and unbutton my pants to get the holster inside my waistband. This is due to the sheer size of the hybrid rig, and is not the case with kydex and leather options carried in the same place or at appendix. I also have to loosen my belt by one notch to accommodate the SuperTuck, again, due to its size. This isn't a huge deal overall, but could become an annoyance if you're the type to remove your holster throughout the day.
Due to the thin and relatively weak nature of the leather, the backer presses fairly deeply into the holster when the pistol is drawn. This forces the wearer to push the backer inboard, using the muzzle of the pistol. More often than not, I see shooters using the muzzle to manipulate a floppy sweat guard as well. During this process, people typically have set themselves up for a self inflicted gunshot wound across their hips. Floppy backers have also been known to press triggers during the holstering process. I've seen this first hand, with a vigilant safety officer stopping the shooter before it was too late. This occurred with a holster which had been taken out of the box that morning, less than an hour into class.
Proper technique can help manage some of these problems, but not eliminate them. Many people like to talk about appendix carriers shooting themselves, but I see problems far more often with poor quality leather and hybrid holsters.
Crossbreed is also fairly notorious for the shell breaking off of the backer. With substantial pressure being applied to the mating point, this hard 90 degree angle cracks under pressure. This occurs within normal wear and range use. Imagine how one would hold up in a gun grab.
The leather backer of the Crossbreed SuperTuck is somewhat rough against the skin compared to options Black Arch Protos-M. Additionally, the backer gets sweaty very quickly and holds sweat for extended periods of time. This rough finish, frequently causes irritation against the skin, and is magnified by moisture.
While thinner than most other hybrids, the bulk of the SuperTuck reduces comfort compared to traditional holsters as well. Overall, this is the least comfortable hybrid holster I've used to date.
The Crossbreed SuperTuck is probably the worst hybrid holster I've used. While there are certainly worse models out there, such as those from N8 Tactical, you can do better than this. If you're dead set on a hybrid get an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.5. But you really shouldn't use a hybrid holster if you have an option. Check out something from Tenicor or Henry Holsters instead. Want holster recommendations? Leave a comment here, message us on Facebook and Instagram, or join or Discord.