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Alien Gear IWB review

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by 1911 guy, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    I carry a 5" 1911 and my preferred holster is a Galco Concealable. Second behind that is an IWB frankenstein I made of a Galco holster body and Desantis belt attachment because the original design sucked. The IWB is more concealable, but lacked any cant. The pistol sat straight up and down. The several other holsters I have should have stayed on the store shelves and we'll leave it at that. Lived with these two holsters for several years, pondering which IWB to replace my franken-holster with.

    Settled on an Alien Gear IWB. Having a little experience with metal belt clips, I ordered the optional leather belt loops with the new holster. Holster, loops and shipping came to just under fifty dollars. When i placed my order, they quoted 4-6 weeks. At week seven i sent a polite e-mail. Got a polite response immediately. They got behind with sudden demand, my holster would ship within the week. They must have shipped it that same day because i had it in hand before the week was out.

    Customer service, IMO, very good.

    The holster itself is typical for the type, a hybrid. The backing is relatively thin, yet strong enough to support and distribute the weight of a handgun across the belt. A kydex shell, also made thin to keep profile to a minimum, attaches to the backing by threaded grommets and screws. There are small rubber spacers to both allow for some degree of fitting and more importantly, keep tension on the screws to prevent them from loosening. Keep in mind that over tightening the screws merely pushes the handgun into the leather backing. It wasn't designed to be an active retention holster, though.

    Design, very adequate for its intended purpose.

    The kydex shell was immaculate, no marks from molding, no scratches around the holes from tooling. The leather backing had normal marks from being made of cow leather. The finish (one side only) was even, not blotchy. The edges are cut cleanly. The hardware is installed cleanly, also. No tool marks around the attachment points, no scuffs from missed punch strikes, etc. All the threaded grommets were installed fully, none protruding more or less than any other. There are three points at which to attach the belt clips or loops. The clips came installed on the middle set and I have left them there. The difference in ride height between attachment points is about 1/2 inch, for a total adjustment range of about 1 inch. Might be a bit more, i didn't actually measure.

    Execution was excellent, in my opinion.

    The holster came with extra hardware. There are enough screws and rubber spacers to re-do the entire holster at least once, probably twice. The rubber spacers are cut to different lengths, although the difference between shortest and longest is probably only 1/16th inch. The spacers are made of what seems to be automotive grade hose. Frankly, i give them kudos for making an existing item work, rather than making a similar "gun item" and then upping the price to reflect additional manufacturing cost. An Allen key was included in the bag of hardware.

    Points for supplying hardware which may be lost and saving me a buck in the manufacturing cost.

    I have worn this new holster every day for six days now. Day one was rough. The backing had not yet broken in and it made my pants feel as though they were heading to the floor. Thank goodness for Perry suspenders. Day two was an entirely different story. The backing, being rather thin, took only about 12 to 15 hours of constant use to break in. The second day felt like an entirely different holster. Very comfortable. Not exactly "I forgot it was there" comfortable, but I don't expect that with any holster. It's a two pound service pistol, after all. Day three was even better as I slightly adjusted the holster position on my belt.

    Now the optional loops i bought with the holster. They're good. No problems with them. But I wasted my eight bucks. The clips on the Alien Gear are that good. Made from what i believe to be spring steel, they are in every way superior to every other clip I've used on every other holster. While they fit my belt great, they also have enough of a lip on the bottom edge to grasp the pants themselves. Even after my belt was removed, the holster had to be pried off the pants. The downside is that it's impossible to adjust the position of the holster while you're wearing it. The upside is that when you get it in the "sweet spot", it's not going anywhere. Put it where you want it before you button your pants up. It does NOT slide around when you yank on it, the gun, or it and the gun at the same time.

    Bottom line, I'm liking this holster. It's not pretty. It's not fancy. It's a hunk of leather and plastic. If you stand on your head, the gun will fall out. However, moving around, a little jogging after my kids and some standing, bending, sitting, walking, contorting around machines, etc. at work has seen no issues. I'm sure a lot of that is the soft leather backing pushes against the pistol and squeezes it between the kydex when the belt is snugged up.

    For under fifty bucks, i might buy another just to have a spare. But i won't buy another set of belt loops.
  2. hariph creek

    hariph creek Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review.
    I'm considering their 2.0 version. It's made with neoprene instead of leather.
  3. DFisher3112

    DFisher3112 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review. I have been looking at their holsters for about a week now trying to figure out if I want to try theirs or N82 Tactical IWB holsters. Seems like a solid holster and might be the one I try for my first CCW.
  4. Captains1911

    Captains1911 Well-Known Member

    If it can fall out of the holster when you are upside down, assuming your belt is properly tightened, then I would suggest the retention is insufficient.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  5. xjsnake

    xjsnake Well-Known Member

    I've got one of the original version for my SD9 and it's great. I have one of the 2.0's on the way for my Shield. Will be interesting to be able to do a direct comparison between the two.

    Good through review!
  6. Phaedrus/69

    Phaedrus/69 Well-Known Member

    Great write up! I have the same "problem"...I often hem and haw about which loops or clips I might wind up preferring so I often order several options.:eek: Most of the time I don't end up using the extras but it's nice to have the options to play with. I think the Alien Gear holsters have some great elements. Since the backing kind of distorts/shifts over time it's awesome that they include materials to adjust the fit over time. Nice!

    For my body type I just haven't had much luck with hybrids. But the AG looks very good for the type!
  7. ThePenguinKnight

    ThePenguinKnight Well-Known Member

    I bought one for my SW99. I disliked the cut of the leather, which really interfered at the Web of my hand with getting a firm firing grip while holstered. It could have been trimmed, but i chose to return it and get a different holster.

    The clips are doggone strong. However there was no leather between the top of the clips and my body, and the edges could irritate through a thin undershirt or if not wearing an undershirt. I was somewhat concerned about sweat rusting the clips, especially during the summer.

    I ended up sending it back, though i have respect for the company. They were good to deal with. I have another holster that suits my needs now, but AG is an option in the future.
  8. snapshot762

    snapshot762 Well-Known Member

    I just placed an order for one of the new 2.0 versions with the neoprene back, looking forward to giving it a try. I was quoted a 4-6 week wait time, we will see how long it takes.
  9. DFisher3112

    DFisher3112 Well-Known Member

    Ordered mine today for a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. I'll keep updates as far as shipping time frame and how functional it is when I get it and put some use to it.
  10. snapshot762

    snapshot762 Well-Known Member

    Bad news. I had to cancel my order, apparently they are having issues with the molds for my gun (CZ P-01). If they get the mold issue straightened out I would still be willing to give one a try.
  11. DFisher3112

    DFisher3112 Well-Known Member

    I still have mine on order. After 10 days, my account still says my order is processing so I'm interested to see how long it will take. Will keep everyone updated.
  12. oss117

    oss117 Well-Known Member

    I'm looking at the Alien Gear conceal carry package and also the N82 professional for my sig 938. Is a hybrid style IWB holster like Alien Gear makes with the two clips appropriate for appendix carry? It seems like it would be too wide.

    Thank you
  13. royal barnes

    royal barnes Well-Known Member

    I purchased an Alien Gear IWB for a 3" 1911. I have started carrying a Sig 938 almost exclusively. I tried it in the Alien Gear and it fits just fine. I wear it AIWB and it is very comfortable in that position. It is wide but that helps stabilize the rig. I have a 38" waist and the forward clip sits at 12:30 and the rear one at 2:30. No problems.
  14. oss117

    oss117 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Royal Barnes.
  15. Webologist

    Webologist Member

    1911 Guy,

    Thanks for the awesome and very detailed review.

    I purchased a V2 for my 9mm Shield from AG and it took about 6 weeks from the time of ordering to delivery.

    I've tried it on around the house and it seems comfortable, but since my CA CCW is still being processed, I've not actually dressed to conceal outside the house.
  16. StingRayRay

    StingRayRay Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this review. I ordered the 2.0 a week ago and can't wait for it to show up on my doorstep someday. :). I couldn't decide which one to get so I ordered 2 extra shells so I could switch it to the one I like the best. 1911,5905,XD40SC After I get mine I will definitely wear it around a few days before I make any judgements on comfort.
  17. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Well-Known Member

    They had a 2 for 1 special going the other day so I ordered a standard and a neoprene, both for a j-frame. Will let y'all know which one I like better when I get em.
  18. MotorCraft

    MotorCraft Well-Known Member

    Just called ….shipping is $8.95 and they do not include return shipping if you decide to return it. You pay both ways.
  19. markman

    markman Active Member

    I just received one of the new 2.0 versions with the neoprene back. When I get some more time with it I'll report back. I actually had one of their leather back versions that I never bonded with. The holster itself was made very well, but it just didn't work.
  20. F-111 John

    F-111 John Well-Known Member

    I placed an order on September 6th and my confirmation email said that the wait for the Cloak Tuck 2.0 was 4 to 6 weeks.

    On Sepember 20th, I got an email saying we haven't forgotten you.

    Here on the 26th and I'm still waiting. But knowing how much I love my Old Faithful Holsters, and that the owner of Alien Gear is the same guy, I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

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