Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: Bulldog OWB Polymer Holster

Lately, I’ve was in the market for an outside the waist band (OWB) holster for my subcompact Glock. I ended up buying a Bulldog P-G27 polymer OWB paddle holster from Cabela’s for less than $30.  The holster fills a niche for when my ordinarily concealed carry gun is going to be openly carried. I am a big proponent of retention systems for firearms when openly carrying. Even though gun grabs from armed citizens, especially the situationally aware ones, are very rare, one is better safe than sorry. Retention systems can be as simple as a sturdy leather holster and a thumb break, to polymer holsters with an automatic locking system, disengaged with a swipe or a push.

The Bulldog holster I purchased has a push-button release activated by the index finger. In contrast to the problematic Blackhawk! Serpa holster with a similar mechanism, the Bulldog’s release is slightly higher up and the finger naturally indexes along the bottom of the frame. There is also a small channel to assist with this. The Serpa holster is known for being problematic because the lower finger position makes it easier for the digit to slip and pull the trigger.

Angle is a little off due to one-handed photography.
 On the Bulldog, a conscious full-finger flat against the release, as if I were indexing it on the pistol itself, gave a safe draw. The release is fairly light and minimal pressure operates the lock, gripping the front of the trigger guard inside the holster. To create a potential negligent discharge situation, I had to curl my finger into a hook and push down with the tip, rather than applying lateral pressure with my entire finger during a hasty draw. A practiced draw, fast or slow, using the correct method was totally safe.

As far as drawbacks, there are two, which may not apply to everyone. First, the holster is wide. It stuck so far out, I had trouble covering it without printing horribly beneath my shirt. For those of you who haven’t gotten out of shape, you might have it easier, but it is significantly wider than the Safariland Glock 19 ALS holster I had re-purposed. Strictly for open carry, it is not an issue. The extra width is due to the paddle loop and the any-angle adjustment nut. The adjustment feature is a good one, easily loosened or tightened with a provided Allen wrench.

Second, the paddle does not work with belts very well, despite being molded for belt use. Given the design of a paddle holster, there is no way for me to put the holster on my belt over a belt loop. I had to put the holster on a segment between loops, instead of over the three o’clock loop and using two segments like I usually do. I ended up with the holster right over my hip pocket, making it very difficult to dig out my keys and wallet. But hey, it beats re-purposing my IWB holster to OWB or trying to do a Virginia tuck.

Had I realized this inside the store, I might have spent double the money to buy the Safariland 578 GLS which has the option of paddle or traditional belt loops. All in all, it’s a good holster. If you prefer the paddle to belt carry, this is the better option. As far as economy, this is also a good choice. Ultimately, knowing this was to be a limited-use holster, I am happy given the money I saved. 

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