If you ask someone what they carry on a daily basis, you’re likely to hear about their favorite knife, their Glock 19, or whatever other firearm they keep on them most of the time. A good holster might be the last thing you hear about. In fact, it might be the most overlooked piece of gear in most peoples’ minds. But it’s also one of the most important.
You won’t see many glamorous discussions of holsters on most forums or in most magazines. And while it is true that a holster is a very personal preference-oriented type of decision based largely on comfort, there are also infinite options from even more manufacturers than the firearms themselves, so there’s no shortage of material to consider. What it comes down to is that a holster is more dependent on the interplay between the product design and an individual consumer’s body type than a lot of other gear, because that is what determines comfort.
But when a holster really impresses me, I’ve got no choice but to write about it. And that is precisely what happened here. High Threat Concealment (HTC) has really caught my eye with some of its products over the last year or two, and the Spektre IWB has been an excellent carry holster that I felt would appeal to a large number of readers, regardless of gender, weight, build, or carry style.
I want to note early in this article aside from the fact that I really like this product is that this is not some two-week or six-week trial. I have been carrying this holster for well over a year. I’ve carried it appendix and I’ve carried at the more “traditional” 4 o’clock position. It works for both very well. I intentionally wanted to take a lot longer than most reviews on this because I wanted to see if any of the issues I had seen or experienced in the past with other holsters popped up with the HTC Spektre. A lot of times clips break or other issues develop sometime after about six months of use. And if you stop reading here, what I want to make sure you know is that after a full year of use (actually more like 15 months), not a single part has broken and this holster remains the primary option in my daily carry setup.
HTC is a veteran-owned company that specializes in low-profile carry methods, both with respect to concealed carry and other fields like executive protection that might require a lot more gear than just a gun and a spare mag. The concentration on low visibility for bigger gear has served them well in developing easily-concealable holsters, though. Because for a company that spent a lot of time and R&D dollars figuring out ways to hide full battle belt rigs under suit jackets or normal clothes, a good IWB holster must have been one of the easiest things to develop in their lineup.
HTC does a few things that I really like: first off, they do a final fit with a real weapon before the holster ships rather than a blue gun. I don’t know how much a difference it makes with respect to the shape (probably negligible), but for retention purposes doing the final fit with a real gun/light could make a big difference. Turning a holster upside down with a fully weighted pistol instead of a blue gun is a whole different ball game. When I got my Spektre, one of the things that really impressed me was the lack of adjustments I had to make. The draw was extremely smooth, but I could turn the holster upside down and the gun would not fall out. To me, it was perfect out of the FedEx box from a retention standpoint. Second, a point which also goes to the smooth draw I noted, HTC treats its holsters with Quick Draw, which is a lubricant that decreases the drag on the inside of the holster. Third, they burnish all of the edges, so the outside edges of the holster are smooth and rounded. This matters a lot with a holster that is going inside your waistband and is something I wish more companies did. I also like that HTC comes out with gear for new lights pretty quickly. I got this holster when the Streamlight TLR-6 was first catching on and they were one of the first companies to start pumping out TLR-6 compatible holsters.
The Spektre is available with three clip configurations: a single nylon foldover clip, a dual injection-molded clip configuration, and dual soft loops. I began my trial of it with the single clip, but after talking to various HTC personnel and playing around with the holster a bit, I found that the dual clip configuration allowed the gun to sit a little bit higher, which meant that when I carried appendix on car trips, it was a lot more comfortable. When I carry at roughly 4 o’clock, it remained comfortable as well. I know a lot of guys need higher/lower options for appendix due to body type and where the holster goes when you bend over forwards to pick something up, and the adjustments on the Spektre allow for those types of changes.
Now, I run the Spektre with the two-clip setup pretty much all the time, as I prefer it to the single clip and the loops. But if you just want a single clip or you’ve been using loops for a long time and that’s what you prefer, you can order the holster with any one or all three for a small amount more.
The MSRP on the Glock 43 Spektre I have is $85. And I realize that might sound expensive, but in the high performance kydex market, a lot of holsters regularly go for a good bit more than that these days. All things considered, the price is a bargain for what you get. Additionally, the Glock 42/43 and Smith and Wesson Shield models have a closed bottom instead of the open bottom design found on larger models. Although an open bottom allows for the use of a threaded barrel, I don’t typically carry a gun with a threaded barrel on it inside the waist, so I like the closed bottom because it keeps lint and dust out that inevitably makes its way into the action when you carry inside the waistband.
I’ve also been testing out the HTC Everyday Tactical belt for the last chunk of months and I’ve worn it in everything from hanging out around town to a match and a training class. It’s handled everything in style. And best of all, it can be a regular belt for casual IWB carry or an underbelt for the HTC battle belt systems if you don’t feel like changing belts before training. That kind of simplicity is pretty awesome, so I’m looking forward to trying it out with other HTC products soon.
High Threat Concealment has proven itself to be a company that cares about putting out a great product without cutting any corners. As a result, they do things that some companies don’t do, and it really shows in the final product. If you’re in the market for anything from a concealed carry holster like the Spektre, to a full “battle belt” rig like the QRS, they almost certainly have something that will fit the bill. I’m glad I gave them a chance. HP
–Colt Driver; www.highthreatconcealment.com; Spektre, MSRP $85; Everyday Tactical Belt, MSRP $60