Reviews > Gear Review

Bravo Concealment BCA Kydex OWB Holster


Like many others who carry a pistol, we have a big box o' holsters at the GunLink HQ - many of which still see plenty of use while others gather dust. Those who carry frequently end up with such a collection as they try to find that just right holster or as their carry needs change either over time or based on day-to-day changes in carry methods.

I recently found myself with a need for a Glock 19 holster that would accommodate a Streamlight TLR-1.  As you might expect with the myriad Kydex holster makers out there, we found a LOT of solutions to meet this need. Not too many years ago, holster options were somewhat limited this kind of thing, but then the "secret" got out that Kydex holsters are not rocket science. Everybody with a source of Kydex, a heat gun, and the ability to fog up a mirror was mashing the material around pistols and selling the holsters online or at gun shows. To be sure, there are some great holster makers out there (and plenty of not so good ones), but with the current market saturation, many of them are lucky to get recognized locally or develop a cult following online.

Given the price of some holsters, the extra length requirement for the TLR-1, and the possibility of carrying the G19 with a threaded barrel or future use for a G17, I thought I might as well get one holster that would check all of those boxes without having to have even more holsters in "the box."

During my search, one name kept coming up in a lot of discussions as the OWB Kydex holster to have for Glocks with TLR lights: the Bravo Concealment BCA holster. Surely they must be doing something right if they can bubble to the top among a sea of other makers so I figured I would give the BCA a shot. Before ordering, I wanted to confirm that the BCA for a G17 would accommodate the G19 (with or without the threaded barrel) as well as the G17 for which it was made, so I sent them a twitter message to confirm. Despite being the middle of the night, I got an affirmative response back from the company owner himself within minutes and, after a few messages exchanged thanks to my cranial density, I figured out that they were offering to send the holster that I was looking at for us to do a review. As such, I ended up opting for the G19 model instead of the G17 holster so that I could give as honest of a review as possible for a holster that is actually made for the pistol it is cradling.

When our new holster, the Bravo Concealment BCA (which was actually part of a bundle with their DOS Torsion IWB holster, which we'll review separately) arrived, it looked pretty much like any other Kydex holster, but closer inspection shed some light on why they had risen to the top of the heap of holster makers.

The BCA is clearly a well thought out and well made holster. The blocking for the pistol itself, as well as the light and its controls is perfect with no unnecessary high spots to create excess wear on the pistol or light. Since the usual retention point for Kydex holsters, the trigger guard, is narrower than the light, the light itself is what the holster grabs on to. On the topic of retention, the BCA's is just about perfect for how I like it. I have worn the OWB holster (mostly concealed, but also open) while riding motorcycles, out hunting and knocking around in the woods, on some tough manual labor jobs and had no issues of the pistol moving around even when getting beat on or caught on objects - which rarely happens thanks to how tight the holster pulls in to your body.

Despite the firm grip that the BCA has on the pistol and light, it has a great draw. The holster has a comfortable 10-degree forward cant and a generous cut that allows for a solid shooting grip before you draw with no busted knuckles on the edges of the Kydex - a problem I have had on custom OWB Kydex Glock holsters costing twice as much as the Bravo model.

The perfect blocking - achieved by using precisely machined CNC plates instead of press-forming the material to a Blue Gun or actual pistol - and roomy grip cut aren't the only well thought out features of the BCA layout. The sweat shield comes up about 1/4" short of the rear of the slide - just enough to protect the slide from your body but not so far to dig into you or pinch. Off the shelf, the holster is cut to fit an RMR red-dot that will accommodate custom slides or Glock's own factory MOS models, as well as extended slide releases and threaded barrels - features that would add extra cost to holsters from many makers. 

One note, however, about the threaded barrel accommodation, is that it is only slightly oversized from the barrel, so the original thread protector from our PSA threaded barrel was too fat to fit. Swapping the protector for a skinnier one that we had around solved that in short order.

The holster hardware mostly appears to be pretty standard fare: grommets, chicago screws, o-rings, etc.  The belt loops, however, are another well thought out custom part. Instead of being squared, loops are angled, allowing even our thick Bigfoot Gunbelt to slip right through while staying close to the holster without prying the belt outward. The end result is that the BCA hugs tightly to your hip and offers outstanding concealment.

Along with the review holster, Bravo also included the otherwise optional pancake wings for us to try out. I was already amazed at how close to my body that the BCA stayed with the standard loops and we didn't have any problems concealing the Glock 19 OWB with minimal printing in a t-shirt.  To my surprise, the pancake loops it pulled in even tighter! Except for the fact that it was on the outside of my pants, with the pancake configuration the BCA rode just as closely as an IWB holster and concealed just as well under a t-shirt.

The pancake loops do, however, make it slightly more time consuming (by a few seconds) to thread the belt through as well as adding extra width along the belt. I preferred the compact footprint and "tight enough" ride of the standard loops, so I switched back to them.  I can see how, especially on slimmer users, the pancake configuration might make it more difficult to find a comfortable spot to place the holster further forward on the strong side as it moves up closer to 3 o'clock where the body may have more of a curve than a flat spot.

I'm not sure if other holster makers are doing this as well (my other custom Kydex holsters do not), but Bravo also makes good use of o-rings to hold the chicago screws to make removing, repositioning, and reinstalling the loops very easy without dropping the fasteners or having to wrestle with holding the nut while tightening the screw.

Between the outstanding customer service, build quality, and features, this would be a fantastic holster at a significantly higher price. At their current price point, it is really no surprise at all that they kept coming up as the answer to my "which holster for this setup" search. I would have zero problem recommending the Bravo Concealment BCA as a solid OWB Kydex holster and do recommend it when asked about it if I get "made" wearing it around the shop, range, or anywhere else.

Above, I mentioned other makers that are out there mashing Kydex around guns and hustling to sling holsters online... it turns out that is actually not too far off from where the roots of Rene Aguirre's Bravo Concealment company came from. He started out in a tiny room in his house making holsters for himself and friends, which grew into an Ebay store for online sales, then to their own web store, and now into the holster powerhouse that they are today. Check out their story here.


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