Damned near everybody knows that I’m a self confessed Holster Whore. I’ve confessed it several times, in fact I’m somewhat proud of it.
Circumstances dictate your mode of carry, plain and simple. Where you live, why you’re carrying, where you’re going, season, what you’ll be doing, the list goes on and on. I live in California where there’s no open carry, so concealed carry is the only option. It also can get damned hot here too, so most of the time I’m in a T-shirt and my usual belt holster isn’t a good idea. Finding a dependable, inexpensive and durable inside the waistband holster has turned out to be a bigger challenge than I had thought.
I’ve bought a lot of garbage that wasn’t what it was advertised to be, wasted a lot of money trying to find the holster. Seriously, I’ve got a box full of holsters I’ve worn a couple of times and for one reason or another found they weren’t for me. They rubbed me funny, poked me in places that I don’t like to be poked, or the pieces of shit fell apart on me. But that’s part of life as a Holster Whore.
I kept hearing about this Fugly that Dennis over at Dragon Leatherworks puts out. Several of my readers have one and anytime I did a post about DLW, several folks would talk about their damned Fugly. I didn’t really pay a whole lot of attention to it because at the time I wasn’t really in the market for an IWB holster.
For the past couple of years I’d been wearing a 3-Speed holster, belly band style, and while it was extremely concealable it had a couple of faults and the first was that the gun tended to shift a lot, and the second one was the material it was made out of. I’m not sure what it is but it’s an instant sweat generator. In 10 minutes of 105 degree heat, your weapon is distinctly outlined in sweat against your pants. If you were wearing drawers, they soaked up the sweat and held it.
Warm weather is coming so last month I said fuck it and ordered a Fugly for my Colt. Dennis told me then that he had a gunbelt on the way for me too, but he wanted me to wear the belt for about a week to ‘break it in’ before I strapped on the holster.
I got the belt in the mail a week or two before the holster and went through my DLW package opening ritual – first I just slightly open a corner and inhale the scent of freshly worked leather and close my eyes….. then I slowly pull my order out and whisper “Oh my God, just look at it…..” and when I catch my breath I gotta try that motherfucker on. It may be pretty as hell (in a rugged sort of way of course) but it damned well better work.
The belt is stout. It’s two pieces of leather with canvas strapping glued between them, the longer top piece of leather forming the tongue and buckle end. Two pins hold it together as well as the bonding and stitching. The top piece is the thickness of a normal belt. Keep in mind there’s two layers of that plus webbing from the front of the hips around the back because it’s bearing the weight of the weapon and reloads.
Okay, I see what he meant by breaking it in first. I had to take my pants off to put it on and when I went to put them back on it was like stepping through a barrel hoop. All right, all right, I’ll work with you, Bro. I’ll give it a week.
It took right at a week for it to flex up, but even on the first day it wasn’t uncomfortable. No raw spots, no blisters and my fucking pants stayed up. By day 6 I realized I wasn’t even thinking about it at all – the belt was broke in to me. Dennis was right. Now you’re probably wondering if taking a week to break it in was worth it. I mean, why go through the trouble?
Because it’s the last belt I’ll ever buy. It is that rugged. You know how after a couple of weeks a normal belt, especially under the weight of a weapon will begin to bend, especially at the belt loops? Not this one. Heh.
The advantage of the initial stiffness became apparent when I started strapping holsters on it. I put on several different styles and the belt carries them well. Your firearm will not tip away from your body with this belt, I guarantee you that.
So there it is. The belt is beautiful, it is extremely heavy duty. I only had one issue with it at first and that was because of the thickness of the belt, I had a hard time getting some of my holsters on. They’d slide down the tongue fine and when it hit where the layers were joined, then it was all about working the belt through the belt slits on the holster and as stiff as it was, it took a little doing. After a few times it wasn’t an issue – the belt flexed more and the belt slits on the holsters enlarged from the belt coming though. The holster still needs to be fed on, but the advantage is that you know the holster will stay put and not shift on you.
Funny thing is, the more expensive the production line holsters were, the harder they were to get on. I think Dennis did that on purpose.
Here’s a couple more pictures of the belt. Keep in mind this is my everyday belt now, so it’s a little scuffed up. And take note of the III that Dennis put in there right on the front of each hip.
Aptly named. It is by far the ugliest goddamned holster I have ever laid eyes on, much less owned. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
It’s a holster that’s been turned inside out and the belt loops hung so it is worn inside the waistband. The mouth of the holster is – hell, go to his website HERE and read what he has to say about it – he does a much better job in describing it than I can. Matter of fact do that for the belt too.
The holster is durable. Uglier than a motherfucker, but durable.
You know what? I’m having a hard time coming up with something nice to say about it’s appearance. Okay, wait. I got one. It’s brown. A very deep dark brown. Plus the embossing on the body shield is cool, the DLW logo, a Spartan helmet and Molon Labe and then of course the Made in the USA stamp. But really, nobody’s gonna see the damned thing but you and your sweetie.
Anyways, I strapped on my Fugly to my gunbelt and popped in my 45 and off we go for a test drive. Where did I go to see how concealable it was? Everyfuckingwhere. I went to Walmart and Home Depot, places where they have security looking for bulges under people’s shirts, I went to city hall, I paid bills, I helped old ladies across the street, I even went into a motherfucking liquor store. Nobody noticed nothin’. In short, I went about my normal routine, only two things were different. Normally I’m wearing a Jak-Slide and a loose button down shirt – this time I was sporting my new Fugly and wearing a T-shirt. Let me repeat – Nobody noticed nothin’. I didn’t expect anybody to and I wasn’t surprised.
I was wearing an extra large T-shirt. I can wear either a large or an extra large, so it didn’t look excessively loose on me. Because the bulk of the holster is inside my waistband, the T-shirt hung down naturally. The holster was worn in the 5 o’clock position because of 2 things: Number one, I got no ass. My hips are too damned bony to be wearing any holster in the 3 o’clock. Number two, I have always and will always carry a gun in the 5 o’clock if I decide I’m shooting righty that day. I can draw from there without thinking and most of all, I’m confident that I’m concealed there. I’m not tripping about some mother in the store seeing my gun print and freaking out. But the main reason is that no ass thing I got going on. Somebody with a bigger frame (and that’s most everybody) can wear this in the 3 o’clock with no problem.
Retention was as always excellent. Dennis knows his shit when it comes to this. Both DLW holsters that I own have outstanding retention. They don’t just grip the gun, they also allow it to be released smoothly. Here’s my 45 with a loaded magazine and empty chamber upside down.
Re-holstering was (ahem) different at first. I like my weapons tight against my body. Once that weapon is drawn, my concealment holsters are usually crushed by my belt being cinched in or in the case of the 3-Speed, down around my balls somewhere, so re-holstering was never really an option. With this holster, all there is to do is reach back and pop the gun back in the holster. No need to reach around with your off hand and pry it open. Very nice. It took me a little while to get used to that.
The holster stayed right where it was supposed to on the belt with no shifting whatsoever no matter if it was full of 45 or empty – with the design, it really can’t shift. It’s there to stay. It rode well in the truck, didn’t poke me and wasn’t uncomfortable at all. No shifting around there either, even after climbing in and out.
The one thing that I really never thought about but appreciate about this holster is the body shield, but not for the reason you think. Where it really shines is allowing a smoother draw on your part. Your thumb is not going to snag on your T-shirt on the draw. It’s a smooth slide down.
Perspiration doesn’t appear it’s going to be an issue. It’s been in the low 90s here once or twice and that wasn’t a problem at all, even with me not wearing drawers.
All in all, it’s a very good holster. I can’t really see myself buying another IWB holster if that tells you anything.
What didn’t I like about it? It’s fucking ugly. Um, I had issues at first with the re-holstering. Old habits die hard. With Wranglers or any denim pants, you might want to go a size larger if you don’t have any spare room in your waistband.
Okay, your Fugly is going to cost you 80 bucks, and that my friends, is not a bad deal. Any of your mass produced quality holsters are going to run you close to a hundred bucks just for the brand name and not only are these handmade for you, they’re made by a Patriot. A member of our community.
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