The Old Style Designs holster is one of those that you would overlook and dismiss at first glance, and rightly so. It isn’t much to look at and doesn’t have any attention-grabbing features that really grab the consumer’s attention. But overlook this holster, and you will be missing out on what I believe is the best appendix holster on the market for the Glock 43.
The holster is the brainchild of Erik McCright and a US Army Special Ops retiree named Bryan M. who coincidentally was the man to introduce me to the holster. Erik consulted with Bryan and used his extensive experience to come up with a lightweight, no-frills holster design that just plain works.
Like I said, it doesn’t look like much at first glance, but they say that appearances can be deceiving and my experience with the Old Style Designs holster holds true with that well-used saying. The holster has a rather low-tech looking spring steel clip riveted to the outward facing side of the holster. No ambidextrous capability here, but for someone buying a holster that would be a superfluous feature. The clip has a hidden bonus to it, but I will get to that in a moment.
You can see exactly how thin the Kydex is in this photo making it feel like there is nothing other than a gun in your waistband. I have heard concerns that the holster will collapse when the gun is drawn making reholstering difficult. There is a slight flex to the material that helps the holster retain the pistol but not so much that you are unable to reholster when needed. After over six moths of nearly daily carry and I never once experienced the holster collapsing so much that it wasn’t easy to reinsert the pistol.
Earlier I mentioned that the clip had a hidden bonus that makes it one of the best wide clips I have ever seen on a holster. I like it so much that I have scoured the internet looking for a source to retrofit some of my other holsters with no luck.
The little claw on the inside of the clip allows the holster to grab ahold of bare cloth or stay secure on a belt no matter how hard you yank on the holster. I found this particularly useful when wearing pajama pants or athletic shorts and need to don a gun for a late night run to the drug store for something my newborn needs or whatever other reason might pop up.
You can see here exactly how little of the gun protrudes past the belt making it a thousand times more comfortable than other appendix holsters on the market. This is one of the huge reasons that I fell in love with the design, not only is it thin as hell but it doesn’t stab me in the junk.
I said that the holster doesn’t look like much, a lot of that has to do with the way the thin material has to be molded. In particular, the muzzle areas is folded over as cleanly as possible, but it still looks a bit unfinished at a glance. Since the holster was designed to be a tool for a concealed carrier and not a fashion statement I can really embrace the overall look of the holster.
There is also an adjustable retention screw like many other designs. I found that I preferred to run the holster a bit on the looser side since the slight flex of the material combined with a good, tightly fitted gun belt provides more than enough retention.
You do get a sweat guard that keeps the slide off your skin, something that is welcome in Texas. I know there have been reports of the 4th gen Glock finishes rusting when carried in hot climates without being cleaned or oiled.
Taking the Old Style Designs holster out to the range I found it to be a perfect combo when paired with my Magpul Tejas El Original gunbelt or my Blue Alpha Gear Hybrid belt like it always is. Retention is just perfect, the draw is smooth, and you don’t have to overcome any molded in retention bumps. The holster wears perfectly and does a great job of protecting the gun.
So getting to it, and again pardon the belly, grasping the pistol on the draw stroke is quite easy thanks to it riding a bit higher than most holsters of this type do. Once the pistol is free of the holster, the thin Kydex bends freely so the sweat guard isn’t jabbing you in the stomach while you shoot but the pocket of the holster stays rigid enough to allow for easy reholstering.
Sure, the holster might not be a forever purchase, and you might need to replace it after carrying it for a decade. That could be construed as a real concern I guess. But when you consider that a leather holster would wear out a bit faster, if not a lot faster than the thin Kydex it stops being a concern.
Sadly holsters are consumables just like ammo, magazines, and even the guns themselves. I think that after no degradation in performance over the last 6 months, I can safely say that Erik hit a home run with this one. I don’t foresee myself using any other holster out there to replace this one, and when my current holster wears out, I plan to buy another.
Is there anything that Erik could do to make the holster better? Maybe add a model that would accommodate a light for the models he currently offers. I would love to see a TLR-6/Glock 43 option as well as a Surefire XC1/Glock 19 model as well. Maybe even offer a wing option for the larger handguns like the Glock 19.
I don’t want to sound like I am gushing about the dang thing, but seriously, this is hands down the best-concealed carry holster I have used to date. If you happen to be in the market for an appendix holster, save yourself some time and just buy this one.
Editor's Note: Old Style Designs has changed names to McCright Handmade. Sadly they are no longer producing the holsters anymore.