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Author Topic: Fobus OWB Paddle Holster Review  (Read 1107 times)

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Fobus OWB Paddle Holster Review
« on: March 28, 2017, 12:48:23 PM »
Fobus OWB Paddle Holster Review

I think that a Fobus paddle holster was probably the first handgun holster that I bought.  Well, maybe my first actual carry holster - I think I might have bought a super tacticool drop-leg holster when I was younger, but that is long gone by now.  I have since owned three, used two, and still have one that sees occasional use.

I got that first holster for a big, heavy, blocky Ruger pistol that was named on the front of the package.  My first impression of the Fobus was that it was terrible; it was far too tight and it was tough to holster or unholster the pistol.  I contacted the company to ask what I was doing wrong and a company rep got back to me that evening with some tips to try before they RMA-ed it for replacement.  But then, without any further feedback from me, the rep sent me a follow up email the next morning to say that it turns out that a different holster fit that pistol better and they had the correct holster in the mail to me.  Since then, I have had a favorable opinion of the company and their customer service. 

The original holster that I got was a Fobus Standard Paddle Holster, which is a pretty basic unit - two halves of a molded shell riveted together which are, in turn, riveted to the paddle.  Despite not working with my particular pistol, Fobus' Standard series are decent holsters for the handguns that do fit in them and the tricks that the CS rep told me allow for making the fit and usability a little better. 

The replacement holster that the company sent (nearly 10 years ago now) is also sold as a one of their "Standard" line holsters, but it has some of the features of their newer "Evolution" series - most notably, the retention adjustment screw.



Retention

With the exception of a few specialized models, all Fobus holsters use passive retention via a small molded bump that drops in behind the trigger guard to hold it in place  No buttons, levers, straps, etc.  I put this in the "good" category because the passive retention holds on pretty firmly and I am not in a position of worrying too much about someone trying hard to snatch my pistol.  Between the standard holsters and the adjustable retention models, I prefer the adjustable ones by a wide margin.

Due to the snug passive retention, these holsters are not necessarily well suited for dress toward the more casual end of the spectrum - read: gym shorts, sweat pants, trousers without a belt - lest you risk drawing your holster out along with your firearm.  Retention might be adjustable low enough to get away with pants, but they are really designed to be worn with a belt for the teeth on the paddle and holster body to grab to ensure that the holster stays put when you draw.



Durability and Holster Wear

I carried in the original holster off and on for years with no issue until I switched carry guns, from which point a family member has been using it since.  Since then I have picked up a Fobus Evolution holster for Glock pistols, which sees occasional use for around our property, at the range, hunting, gun games, and the rare OC excursion. 

There is some internet lore, based on a YouTube video, that paddle holsters, particularly Fobus holsters, can have the holster body snap off from the paddle if a bad guy tries to snatch it just right.  While it may be possible for them to break in such a manner, I have snagged and/or banged Fobus paddle holsters pretty hard on office chair arms, trees, door frames, seatbelts, and more with no issue.  Both holsters continue to hold up very well with the only noticeable wear on the holsters being some finish wear on the paddle reinforcement band and rivet heads.



The molded plastic is softer than the Kydex from which many holsters are made and certainly softer than just about any material or finish on any carry gun. As such, years of carry in Fobus holsters has not caused any noticeable holster wear on any of the firearms that they held.  There has been the occasional plastic streak from dragging a slide or catching a sharp corner, but they wipe right off with no harm done.

Comfort and Concealability

Comfort with the lightweight Fobus paddle holsters is pretty darn good.  Since it is an OWB holster, there is no need to bump your pant size or deal with any sharp parts inside your pants.  The paddle is the only part that goes inside your pants and it features rounded edges, a curved shape to fit your hip, and a rubberized back that not only helps with comfort but also helps to keep it in place.



Since the paddle is riveted on to most Fobus holsters, the ride height and cant angle are fixed.  What you see is what you get, but what you get is not bad - a fairly pleasant 15 degree forward cant.

Concealability is not especially great with the Fobus OWB line.  I know people who carry smaller guns like a Sig P238 in a Fobus and you would not even know it was there unless they showed you.  However, it is tough to make larger guns like a G19 disappear.  It is possible to cover it up with a loose cover garment, but both the Standard and Evolution holsters still stick out from the wearer's body quite a bit.

Along with a decent selection of other holsters and duty gear, Fobus did make a "Roto-Holster" that allowed for adjustable cant angle, but it appears to have disappeared - presumably because it stuck out even further than the other models and added an extra layer of stuff to go wrong with it. 



Conclusions

We have had good luck Fobus holsters.  Through many hundreds of hours of wear, the holsters hold up well and don't cause some of the holster wear that you see with Kydex, polycarbonate, or even dirty leather holsters. 

Comfort is good since the only thing in contact with the wearer's body is a thin, rubberized paddle, although you cannot adjust the height or angle of carry and the curve of the paddle limits carry positions to curved parts of your body.

While you can hide sub-compact pistols in a Fobus OWB paddle holster, concealability for mid-sized pistols falls a little short.  With a loose cover garment, you can hide them but will still have a noticeable bulge. 

If concealment is not a top priority, the Fobus makes for a good, inexpensive, durable, comfortable OWB carry option.

http://www.fobusholster.com/

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Fobus OWB Paddle Holster Review
« on: March 28, 2017, 12:48:23 PM »

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