Review: Bravo Concealment IWB & OWB Holsters
The Glock 19 is the carry pistol of choice for many people, myself included. I could carry a CZ75 ultra B super star model 16 mod 4 but I’d never find a holster. Everyone and their mother makes a holster that is compatible for the Glock. But with so many holsters out there, it’s important that we look at a leading competitor in the Glock holster market, Bravo Concealment.
Being on the skinny side, at 5’10 and 135 pounds, I’m a bit of a noodle making concealing a pistol on myself during the summer sort of a challenge. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have the same issue with conventional holsters and concealment as I do.
I’m going to talk about my experiences and thoughts with Bravo Concealment’s BCA Outside the Waistband (OWB) and DOS Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters. My personal gripes do not affect everybody so some of this might not apply to you, but hopefully it should be a useful guide for anyone in the market for a Glock holster.
I was inclined to believe that the OWB holster wouldn’t work for concealment on my frame, but I was wrong. It hid the weapon better than expected, and with more comfort than typically provided by IWB holsters. It works best with a jacket, but even with a t-shirt it concealed just fine.
The IWB DOS is a little more slim than the IWB Torsion which I already own, so I didn’t think much of it. I originally thought the DOS was just the “cheaper” model, but again I was wrong. It’s a bit of a different system than the Torsion altogether. It fits my frame better but doesn’t conceal the weapon on me as well. So far, the OWB is better for my thin frame.
With tight pants comes tight groupings right? Being a noodle, nothing in the tactical world is my size. Not many holsters fit me very well and I can’t actually appendix carry without printing. The IWB DOS holster is thin and conceals under my belt, conforming nicely to my frame, while the OWB holster conforms to my frame outside my belt. Even the Torsion that I bought a year ago conceals no problem with the tightest of pants but it’s not about the holster all the time.
The weapon itself needs to be hidden because that’s the point in this, and I honestly have a lot of trouble hiding my Glock 19. Jackets and baggy shirts negate these issues most of the time but summer is tough on me. I can say that the holsters conform to my frame in a natural fashion which is certainly a plus. There’s nothing unnatural sticking out below my waistline, but above the waistline is where I start to lose the “concealed” part of “concealed carry”.
The gun is a “compact” so it’s supposed to be small, but that doesn’t mean it’s small enough for me in particular. I’m not sure who thought of this but Bravo Concealment decided that riding the grip as high up as possible was the best choice. I’m just slightly critical of this for my purposes because it’s so high that the pistol grip doesn’t conceal well for me. If the grip rode lower, then concealment would be significantly improved. If you feel differently about this, comment below.
What Bravo Concealment did to try and negate this height was forward cant to the entire gun. This is a great feature that I don’t see many other companies doing although it still doesn’t work so well on me, despite working perfectly on friends who are twice my size.
Sitting down and bending over are entirely out of the question for me. I can’t do either without flashing, brandishing and blowing my cover entirely. The pistol grip sticks out, the holster gets under my shirt and makes a huge mess. I can’t bend in any direction either due to printing. The only real concealment I get is walking or standing. I’m sure on larger people this is a non-issue. It’s possible that the only way for me to fix this issue is to reduce grip size by choosing a smaller gun, IE: Glock 26/27/43/42 etc.
Sitting down or driving I notice that the DOS IWB system doesn’t dig into my side like the OWB which is strange since the OWB system has forward cant, while the IWB does not. Whatever the reason is, I don’t really enjoy sitting down with holsters on. When leaving my vehicle I always have to reset my shirt over my setup because it just rides right up. While this isn’t a huge problem, I did have to develop a new routine for every time I leave my vehicle.
The IWB holsters are perfect for my army issued belt. The loops on the IWB are bigger, while my OWB has a fixed size that doesn’t quite fit. The OWB has a special system for their belt loops where they are completely closed on both ends. I prefer belt clips of the IWB entirely.
I’ve never had to draw from my holster, thank God. Who else is in the “a weapon has never made a difference in any situation I’ve ever been in, nor would it have actually helped anything” club?
Like many people, I’ve practiced pulling my weapon out of my holsters. I don’t have any sort of authority on drills, but as a regular Joe I can say it’s pleasant. There’s no snagging or snapping. The holsters are crisp and sturdy. I cleanly draw, aim and fire in a moment, at least in training.
There’s a slight offset going away from my body with the OWB holster which I’ve come to really appreciate. Mind you it’s counterintuitive to concealment, but it’s a huge help in the draw. The IWB is just straight up and point. No real cant out of it.
All in all in all…
I noticed a few parts of the build quality that were good and some that might be slightly lacking. I love the contorting going on, that it’s fitted to a person and not to a ruler. Another part is the crisp, firm build. The holsters are stuck together at a perfect size to allow friction to hold the weapon in place. On the other hand I didn’t like how either holster does not protect my threaded barrel–but in hindsight a threaded barrel isn’t very common and may appeal to a niche market. It could always make for a nice future design, nonetheless.
I really like the Bravo Concealment OWB holster system. It feels good against my body and so far offers the best concealment. Plus it has the option to open carry. Where I live, nobody looks at you twice for doing so. It’s sleek, thin and sturdy. The OWB is comfortable and does a job better than the IWB systems do for me. In the future I might find myself something more suited to my body, but for now the Bravo Concealment OWB holster is my go-to.
If you’re in the market for a new holster, I’d recommend giving Bravo Concealment a try. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you don’t love it, you can send it back for a full refund.
Additionally, Bravo Concealment is currently running a promotion in which any gun holster purchase will net you a free mag pouch. Neat!
If you liked what you saw here, let me know in the comments. I might do more holster reviews in the near future. Stay tuned.
Hey, just thought I’d throw a few tips of things that worked for me and then ask a question at the end. First off, I’m 6’2″ 195lbs, but large framed so I still look somewhat skinny, I’ve found for my full sized m&p9 2.0 4.25″barrel- with the torsion iwb holster I remove the short clip off(clip on the sight side) and then adjust that long deep clip so that I’ve got the clip itself at the very highest spot(like their one clip representation shows only higher) or my way I wear daily is with the long clip on the sight side/top of slide-side where shirt clip was originally, and set it so that the clip is right where the first belt loop is on my left side- and the entire holster is level with my belt so if I lifted my shirt it would look like there wasn’t a holster there. That way fits super snug, yet it naturally cants where handle settles inward and printing literally is non existent. Even though u have to tuck my shirt in at work. My question is if you have tried adding the iwb belt clips to you OWB holster and removing the inside loops, and tried running owb as iwb, it has 2 slanted edges instead of one of the torsion, and I was wondering how that worked if/when you tried it and if it felt flatter than the torsion? Thanks Dave!