Opinions between two holsters


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smalls
March 31, 2013, 10:21 PM
I'm looking for a new IWB for summer. Currently I carry in a knock off of the Milt Sparks VMII. I enjoy the style, but not the one from the maker I currently have.

I could buy one from a better maker, but I've been toying around with the idea of trying something new. I'm torn between the Mitch Rosen ARG style (http://www.mitchrosen.com/product_line/product_line.html), or a Milt Sparks Summer Special 2 style.

So if you've got experience with either, I'd love to hear some pros and cons.

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JTQ
April 1, 2013, 09:17 AM
I own neither, but have been studying them.

The ARG has a good reputation for concealment, as the single rear loop pulls the grip of the pistol close to the body. However, it is often knocked for rocking forward with heavy guns like a full size, all steel, 1911. The problem doesn't seem to be reported with smaller guns. Rosen does make the ARG-DL (meaning Dual Loop) to address the rocking issue. Interestingly, the similarly designed Andrews Custom Leather MacDaniel II, that also has just the single rear loop, doesn't seem to have the same reputation for tipping as the the ARG. I don't know why.

The Summer Special II has a sweat shield (the standard Summer Special doesn't have one), while the ARG doesn't have a sweat shield, if that makes a difference to you. The more holsters I own, the less I like sweat shields. However, the sweat shield on the Summer Special II is a good height, in my opinion, ending at the back of the slide. I find taller sweat shields get in my way when trying to get a full firing grip on the pistol.

Both have a reputation for excellent workmanship.

Here is a review of a Summer Special type holster, the 5 Shot Leather IBS. The review is done by Heirloom Precision's Jason Burton, the "B" in IBS.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=265817&highlight=inside+burton+special

Unfortunately, his picture links have gone away. I include the review since he spends some time comparing the Versa Max II style with the Summer Special style and explains his preference for the Summer Special style of holster.

9mmepiphany
April 1, 2013, 12:23 PM
I'm pretty old school as my first 1911 holster was the Milt Sparks Summer Special (single loop)

If you understand the original design (undercover narcotics work) intent, the fact that the holster moves/tilts makes sense...it was designed to carry a Colt Commander in the Appendix position.

The ARG becomes more useful as the wear position move more towards the point of the hip. It also offers a thinner profile as the loop isn't stacked atop the gun. I tried a friend's ARG and didn't see enough benefit to change...but then, I wear in the hollow behind my hip.

I shy away from sweatshields also, as they do tend to interfere with initial contact with the gun in the holster...which is more of a problem with a 1911, than a Glock or a SIG.

The greatest difference you discover, from a VM II, is that the gun isn't going to be as stable on the belt

smalls
April 1, 2013, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the info, guys. I'm starting to shy away from sweat shields, too. I find that they tend to bend over the rear of the slide because of my love handles. I should probably have mentioned this will be for a Commander.

I'm not sure stability is much of a concern to me, as long as it stays where it's supposed to, and doesn't slide around. I feel like the ARG will slide less, due to tension put in the loop by the gun.

I do feel that the SSII will likely droop my pants more, though, due to no weight distribution.

I have a decent gun belt, but I'm kind of in between holes right now, and this is a small concern.

smalls
April 1, 2013, 06:33 PM
Also, I may try Galco's version of whichever I choose, first before handing over $150 for a Rosen or Sparks. I have a gift card from my LGS, and they're a Galco stocking store. Obviously not as nice, but it'll give me an idea whether I like the style(s) or not.

wojownik
April 1, 2013, 07:34 PM
I have the Milt Sparks VMII for my Sig. It is by far the best constructed, durable and most comfortable IWB holster I've used. I also have a Milt Sparks Summer Special for my S&W, and a pretty decent copy of the Summer Special for the 1911
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So - the VMII has worked extremely well for me for Sigs from the size of p225 to a big old p220.
The Summer Special has worked reasonably well and comfortable for my S&W wheelgun.

However, the Summer Special clone is not working well for me for the 1911 - didn't like the way the 1911 moved around so much. I'll be saving up my pennies for another VMII for

9mmepiphany
April 1, 2013, 07:55 PM
The advantage of the VM II is that is is very stable due to the widespread attachment points and it spreads out the weight of the gun. If I was carrying a butt heavy gun like a H&K P7M13, my first choice would be a VM II

smalls
April 1, 2013, 08:08 PM
The advantage of the VM II is that is is very stable due to the widespread attachment points and it spreads out the weight of the gun.

Like I said, I like the style, and the widespread attachment points, but I was curious as to what else was out there, and just kinda want to try something different.

My plan is to use the gift card on a Galco copy, first. That way if I don't like it I'm not actually out any money. If I like the design I'll spring for a Sparks or Rosen.

wojownik
April 1, 2013, 09:01 PM
I'd also like to hear more about the Galco clone of the VM II (the V-Hawk).

I have a Galco Skyops that works very well for concealment, but the leather is rather thin and lacks reinforcment. Great concept, but lacking a bit in execution. I'm wondering if the Galco V-Hawk shares similar construction to the SKyops

smalls
April 2, 2013, 02:55 AM
I've seen the Vhawk in person brand new, and it seemed almost as good as a VMII. Seemed better than most other Galco products I've seen if used.

JTQ
April 2, 2013, 07:59 AM
Like I said, I like the style, and the widespread attachment points, but I was curious as to what else was out there, and just kinda want to try something different.

Well, have you seen the new Milt Sparks "Nexus"?

http://www.miltsparks.com/IWB_holsters.htm

smalls
April 2, 2013, 10:57 AM
I had. I like the more flexible wings, but it seems like basically a lower riding VMII to me.

smalls
April 2, 2013, 12:37 PM
Well, I made a decision that I really wanted to try the ARG. I stopped by my LGS, and they didn't have any of Galco's model, the N3. An employee there said they had a bunch in, and they didn't sell well, and some that had got returned for most of the same reasons you guys listed. I then decided that maybe the design wasnt for me. So I ended up buying a Galco Summer Comfort.

I'll let you guys know how I like it in about a week, once it's somewhat broken in. But my first impressions are that I like how high it rides, but it obviously doesn't tuck into my body as well, with no wings to help it. I usually carry about 4:00 ish, so I'm not sure it'll be a problem with concealability.

popper22
April 4, 2013, 06:20 PM
Don't neglect to look at Remora Holsters, no clip iwb. I have tried many and will use nothing else anymore. No clips and they stay put. http://remoraholsters.com/

ObsidianOne
April 4, 2013, 06:23 PM
Haven't used either, but if I may make a suggestion to look into Crossbreed Holsters. Very comfortable, made of leather (except the exterior piece that actually grips the gun, it's Kydex). Best IWB I've ever bought.

smalls
April 4, 2013, 07:24 PM
I'm sure the Remora has its place, but in my opinion daily carry isn't it. I have no experience with one, but I can guarantee that it's not as secure or stable as something with attachment points.

Also, my holsters must have belt loops, as opposed to clips. Some people like clips, I don't. That rules out the CB. I have no experience with them, either. The design seems cool, I might have tried something similar with loops.

But, either way I've already made my purchase. I neglected to check what size belt loops it fits, and they are too big for my 1.5" belt. I'll have to call Galco this week and see if they offer them in 1.5". If not I'll order from another maker.

I was able to get the loops from my other holster to work, though. So I sat the gun in the holster with a few zip locks over it for a couple nights, and started carrying it already.

I was worried about weight distribution, but it seems to be ok, and isn't dropping my pants. It rides about perfect height for me, and the draw is smoothing out pretty nicely.

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