first published on October 30, 2016 by Matt
Several times now, I have been lucky enough to find myself in possession of some products before they have been publicly released, and a couple of those times, they have been products from StealthGear USA who once again gave me the honor of getting my hands on a new product, or two, several weeks prior to its release. Today, as I sit here writing this, I have two examples of their newest product line that was just publicly released two days ago, the StealthGear Revolution. I received two holsters from this new product line, a “Mini-IWB,” which is a tuckable hybrid design and an AIWB (appendix inside waistband) that is also tuckable.
Upon opening the box, the difference between the Revolution products and their original Ventcore products is readily apparent. The platform (which I sometimes refer to as the chassis) is now a one piece synthetic material (a proprietary “ACX-57 polymer”) as compared to the multiple layers of different materials that make up the platform on the Ventcore products. The Kydex® shell appears to me made from the same thickness as their other products, albeit in a different color, and as I have come to expect from StealthGear, the Kydex® is perfectly formed with all of the edges rounded, which not only makes them easier on your clothing (less wear) but it also makes it much easier on your hands when you go to draw the gun. When I first picked the Mini-IWB holster up out of the box, I was immediately surprised by how light it felt. Later, I put a couple of the SG holsters on my digital postal scale and the SG Revolution Mini-IWB for a G19 weighed 4.4oz while my SG Ventcore IWB for the G19 weighed 5.7oz, which is not as significant a difference as I had thought, but it is still noticeable.
After my initial inspection of both SG Revolution holsters, the Mini-IWB and the AIWB, I was impressed with the workmanship as well as the quality of the materials used, and the light weight of both holsters stood out to me. However, running scenarios in my brain as I always do, I had concerns that the platform was not going to be comfortable and that the pebbled surface of it was going to cause issues when it came time to draw my gun. I’m happy to report that my assumptions were wrong on both counts.
I have worn the SG Revolution Mini-IWB all day, every day since I received it, except for a few times when I used the Revolution AIWB instead. In fact, despite the fact that I normally carry a light equipped G17 in an Raven Concealment OWB holster when I am working (as of a year ago, I am no longer in patrol so I do not wear a duty belt daily), I swapped it for my G19 in the Revolution Mini-IWB during my testing.
The very first day that I wore the Revolution Mini-IWB was a day that I was doing a ton of yardwork, including removing weeds from an area at my house and later laying sod there. I was quite surprised by the comfort level the new platform provided. Not only did I not notice any hot spots on my hip, but it was surprisingly stable. Despite the fact that I was moving all around, bending, squatting, raking, kneeling, picking up arms full of weeds, etcetera, I found that I was not readjusting the holster like I am accustomed to doing after performing a bunch of physical actions. In fact, as I cleaned up that evening, it occurred to me that I could not recall a single instance where I needed to readjust where the holster was riding. This is a holster that is just as comfortable and secure wearing it out working in the yard as it is when you are dressed nicely for a business meeting.
Before wearing the holster out in public, I wanted to check one of my initial concerns, which was the draw. When I initially holstered up, I found that it was very difficult to draw my gun. Thankfully, as with all the StealthGear holsters I have tested or use, the level of retention is easily adjust by tightening, or in my case loosening a couple of the mounting screws. I found that there was more than enough adjustment in the included screws and was able to get the tension adjusted to where I wanted it (I suggest a dab of light duty thread locker, such as #222 purple Loctite, on the screws once you settle on a retention level). Even though I loosened some of the retention, it is still more than adequate to hold the gun in place. In fact, it will still keep the gun secure, when not worn, and shaken upside down. When worn, the extra pressure from my hip adds even more retention. I have no concerns about the gun falling out or even about someone grabbing it, because unless you pull it at the correct angle, it does not want to come out, but when it comes time to get the gun out and into action, it is no problem, as I demonstrate in the video of my first range outing with it.
The carry angle is good for both concealment and for my draw. I am able to easily conceal my G19, with a +2 mag, under a light tee shirt making it viable for year round use. While I had concerns initially about the comfort level of the new platform, I was surprised by just how comfortable it proved to be. While not at the same comfort level as StealthGear’s flagship Ventcore models, I found it to be more comfortable than some other similar products which use leather as the platform. Additionally, the synthetic material that the Revolution platform is made from is not susceptible to damage from sweat, oils or other liquids, making it more durable.
Here is the kicker, because the new platform is laser cut and does not require nearly as much hands on time for assembly, the StealthGear Revolution line comes in at only $59, shipped. That is significantly less than the StealthGear Ventcore models, and is on par with other manufacturers of hybrid designs while offering better durability and comfort compared to them. In addition to the lower cost, the Revolution series is quicker and easier for StealthGear to produce which results in much fast delivery times. According to StealthGear, the turnaround time for a Revolution holster is 72 hours compared to 15-25 days for the Ventcore products.
I was initially a bit skeptical of the new Revolution product line, but that skepticism was very quickly won over. While it is not quite as comfortable as their Ventcore series, it is far more comfortable than many other similar products from other manufacturers. If you are in the market for a very comfortable, lightweight, durable, secure concealment holster, you would be hard pressed to find anything that would top the StealthGear Revolution, and once you consider price, the other options pale in comparison. The StealthGear Revolution holster definitely gets the Deputy Matt seal of approval (if there was such a thing).