Over the past few years there have been a huge increase in the number of hybrid holster manufacturers and nearly endless debate about which is the best.
My favorite, the one I use and the one I like enough to stock, is the Minotaur M-TAC by Comp-tac Victory Gear. I believe it is the best thought out and executed design on the market and I have explained why in multiple posts, but I have never shown it in direct comparison between it and the market leader from crossbreedholsters.com.
The Sample Holsters
The 2 holsters that you will see in the photos are owned by Lee (Crossbreed) and me (M-TAC) both holsters have seen about similar about use, both are designed for the Glock 19 and both were adjusted, without discussion by their owners, to within half a degree of 13 deg muzzle cant to be worn just behind the right hip and adjusted low so that just the top edge of the kydex is above the pant waist line.
If you decide to purchase an inside the waistband holster this is a good place to start, when searching for a preferred adjustment.
Hybrid style holsters are made up of 3 main components…
- A leather backer
- A Holster body
- Belt Clips
Each of these components combine to determine the comfort, concealablity, and durability of the holsters. Each of the manufacturers have taken a different approach with each component each decision has its own pros and cons.
The Leather Backer
The leather backer on the Minotaur M-TAC is comprised of two pieces of leather laminated and sewn together. The top piece on this example is 0.15” thick. It is the visible potion of the holster and the only layer behind the slide. The thinner piece is just 0.07” thick and attached finished side out on the back of the holster. This is smooth against the skin and protects the wearer from any possibility of getting scratched by the hardware. The 2 layers could have been too thick, however; the second layer does not extend to the area under the slide and with use the backer actually stretches into this space.
The pieces are glued together but they are also sewn with nice even stitching (my 3 models have had 5, 6 & 7 stitches/inch) that you would expect on a quality full leather holster and have nicely finished edges. As a concealment holster this almost matter since the wearer is the only one that will see it regularly, however many CCW carriers choose gear that is a reflection of them and this can matter.
The leather on the Crossbreed is a single .10” layer that is noticeably wider and more flexible. Because of its width it can spread out the load over a much wider area of the belt and since each holster riveted for a specific gun, it does a better job of placing the center of mass of the gun between the clips. While it isn’t a significant issue with a most carry guns, it could add a significant level of comfort for someone carrying a steel frame 1911.
The single layer design also means that the hardware is exposed, although I have rarely hear that it is an issue, and the rough side is thought to increase the friction and reduce the chance of the holster moving, also not really an issue.
The Crossbreed also doesn’t have the odd little tab of leather found at the bottom of the MTAC. This means that the person carrying up to a Glock 17 or M&P doesn’t have that extra bit of leather inside their pants that is noticeable when removing something from you strong side back pocket. However, it also means that someone carrying a full size 1911 won’t have any leather between them and their muzzle on a Crossbreed.
Neither company changes the design of the backer based on the model of firearm but because Comp-tac offers customers the opportunity to buy different holster bodies they are a little more limited on where they place the holster body. They have also decided to be “safer” in their length proportions. Users are welcome to cut off the excess if they so wish.
Lastly, the Crossbreed’s adjustability is built into the backer, not the clips like MTAC. Because they are done so differently I will cover them together later in the post.
The Holster Body
The body of both holsters is molded from a thermoplastic sheet called kydex. The Crossbreed holster uses .06” kydex, molded the full width of the firearm and riveted to the backer. The mold appears to of either a blue gun or an actual firearm and is a slide design, meaning any small frame from a sub-compact 26 to a long slide 17L could use the same holster, but the gun can be pressed up out of the holster because the muzzle is exposed.
The holsters mold is the same depth as the width of the gun and has almost no retention on its own. It relies on the pressure of the belt to press the gun into the holster body and then is retained by an indentation into the trigger guard. This design keeps the holster body from stretching but it also limits the holsters ability to be effective at covering the trigger should it need to be used to store the firearm in a car or at the bedside on a trip. The riveting also increases the width of the holster body on the backer, increasing the non-flexible area of the holster.
Comp-tac’s MTAC uses a thicker 0.095” kydex, that gives it a substantial feel, and unlike the rivets on the Crossbreed, the MTAC is secured with hex head screws. On the slide edge, the body is mounted rigidly and it is adjustable on the trigger guard side. This allows the holster to have retention on or off the body and doesn’t require a tight belt to retain the firearm.
The Comp-tac design also uses a holster body that is not as deep as the gun. This is required for the adjustable retention, but it also stretches out the leather behind the slide. Over time this requires the holster to be tightened again, but it also presses the slide into the channel in the leather backer making the holster with thicker kydex and thicker leather the same width as the Crossbreed.
Another major difference in the holster body is that the Comp-tac holster body, like all Comp-tac holsters, isn’t molded on a blue gun so there is no definition on the inside of the holster. This allows the friction based retention to press on the full length of the slide and requires a small detent on the trigger guard.
Finally Comp-tac markets that you can get different holster bodies to allow you to carry multiple guns and while somebody probably changes them, I don’t and I recommend getting one for each. At one time I had three versions, before I started selling them.
The MTAC belt clips are an injection molded plastic and are available in 3 different styles and 4 different colors; however I like the standard black clips. They are 2/3” wide, designed specifically for a specific belt widths, are deep enough to fit over a thick gun belt and do not change shape with use so they always fit the same.
One downside however is that since they provide the adjustability, they can protrude past the end of the holster. I have never found a need to modify them, many people choose to cut them off and round the ends to their desired length after adjusting it to meet their needs.
While the MTAC clips are completely nondescript, the Crossbreed clips are a defining feature of the holster. They are 1” wide sculpted metal clips with a stamped cross cut-out. Anyone that knows holsters will instantly identify them for what they are… I don’t like that.
Both belt-clip designs are completely tuckable and should limit the wear they have on belts or other clothing.
The adjustability of the MTAC is built into the clips and therefore any changes have no impact on the rest of the holster. The clips are slightly longer than they probably need to be, but because of this it allows up to a 2” vertical adjustment or cants from 0-36 degrees.
The Crossbred is not as adjustable with only 1.75” of adjustability on each side and with slightly more coarse adjustments. While the range isn’t quite as great it still allow changes from 7-30 degrees, and gets really close to the 13deg cant that seems to work well for both Lee and me with Glocks.
Most importantly though to me is the damage done to the holster body every time the holster is adjusted. Since the flush fit nuts on the back use teeth that poke through the leather to keep them from turning, you do a little damage to the holster every time it is adjusted. (If you have ever wondered why the clips are so wide at the bottom, it is to protect the wearer from these teeth).
Both of these designs have proven to work, but the MTAC is a bit more refined, is a little more flexible in its use for the concealed carrier that has to go to non-permissive locations, is a little more stealth and has non-religious affiliation. Overall I find it to be a better choice.
There are select models of the Comp-tac MTAC available at factory direct prices available in the store… here.
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