General Background: Kydex was originally engineered in 1965 to be used in designing aircraft interiors. Since then, its use has widely expanded and has become an extremely popular material to thermoform holsters, magazine pouches, knife sheaves and much more. Once heat is applied to Kydex, it transforms into a moldable material to form various objects. As the properties cool, it becomes a rigid high performance plastic structure that is durable.
A couple weeks ago I received my Shadow Concealment carbon fiber patterned Kydex OWB holster formed for my Sig P226 and SureFire X300 light attachment ($75). Shadow Concealment, located in Georgia, is owned by Keith Buckner and he has been manufacturing Kydex products since 2011. Out of the box, aesthetically it is a nice looking holster. You can tell time was carefully spent in smoothing the edges after the cutting and riveting process. The two pieces of Kydex adjoin together in symmetry. Surprisingly, the carbon fiber pattern looks realistic and maintained its geometric design even after the thermoforming process.
Personally, I like Kydex holsters because of the lightweight durable rigid structure. It helps me have a quick draw and the material curves against my body. The handgun and light snap into the holster and is held securely even while running. The draw out of the holster is smooth. Another advantage is being able to customize it for my needs. Having a holster that can also fit my light attachment is important for personal defense. Many times before or after hunting I am backpacking in the dark and having my light attached to my gun and on my person is crucial. That moment’s draw can define my future.
Overall, I was pleasantly pleased with Shadow Concealment’s Kydex holster. They offer a wide selection of colors and patterns. The craftsmanship is high quality while the price is reasonable with a full lifetime warranty. My only suggestion is if you are in a rush, check the lead time (typically 6-8 weeks). During my holster build they were relocating facilities, so it was delayed a slight bit, but what I appreciate the most is they stayed in contact with me giving me updates.
Lastly, I was able to ask Keith some questions…
Q: What’s your warranty?
A: At Shadow Concealment, we stand behind each product we manufacture. We offer a full lifetime warranty. If your product ever becomes unsafe to use, damaged (to the extent it hinders performance), or is unusable, just return it and we will make any necessary repairs. Any adjustments needed are also covered by the warranty including retention and curvature of the holster to better fit the body. You can read about our warranty in length here- http://shadowconcealment.com/pricing–warranty.html.
Q: As far as care and maintenance, what can I do to keep my Kydex holster in top shape for a long period of time?
A: The amount of care is going to be dependent on how hard you use the holster. We recommend washing it out with warm water and soap at least once a week (or at least water). This is going to keep down dust and debris down which can cause wear to the gun when it is un-holstered and re-holstered. If you are training hard, you may want to do it after each session.
Q: Just curious… what happens if you leave it in the sun?
A: That’s actually a good question. I’ve heard of one incident (I did not verify) where someone left their holster in their car for a long period of time and it lost its shape and retention to the point it could not be used. I’ve not done any testing to check this out but I have notice, that depending on the thickness of the Kydex, it will begin to become pliable between 180-220 degrees. Because of this we don’t recommend leaving your holster in your car in direct sunlight. Not only does it have the potential to damage the holster but it’s also irresponsible gun ownership.
For more information:
Shadow Concealment- http://shadowconcealment.com/