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Old 08-24-2010, 01:44   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 54
IHL - Praetorian IWB Holster Review

IHL or International Handgun Leather is an Arizona based company owned and operated by a very respectable gentlemen with 15+ years as a top competitive shooter (one of the original USPSA/IPSC Grand Masters) who makes his holsters based on what he thought was missing or needed some improvement in high quality concealment holsters.

Visit his website for more info or to shop his beautiful holsters, gun-belts and accessories.

This is a review of one of his finest IWB Holsters, the Praetorian.

If you want to skip to the pictures they will be in the 2nd post, below is a detailed rundown of the holster's features and strengths.

The Praetorian is basically an IWB (Inside Waist Band) holster with a single attachment point in the form of a double snap designed to go around a sturdy belt, preferably a gun -belt. The attachment point is angled and positioned under the heaviest part of the firearm (the magazine loaded grip). Because of this single attachment point and the placement of it under the heavy area it is only wearable in the area between 3 and six o' clock of one's belt, depending on preference. As a reminder, your zipper would be 12 o' clock and the center of you back would be 6 o' clock.

There are several advantages to a holster specifically designed to ONLY be carried in this position, the biggest of which seems to be comfort. This holster holds tight against your body, stays put and feels like a part of you even when sitting in your car. This idea of sitting in your car comfortably may not be as obvious to all of you but since I own a Saturn Ion Redline which has 4 bucket seats designed to hug your body all around and be compatible with 5 point harness systems, this is a huge issue for me. I usually unholstered entirely when driving more than 5 mins, but now I don't even have to adjust the holster's position, it fits perfectly without pressing against my body to hard at any one point. Another benefit is consistency, the heavy magazine is fully supported so the holster doesn't want to twist under it's weight as the day goes on.

Another benefit also seems to be concealability, this is by far the most concealable holster I have ever worn. I am a very skinny guy and the 5 o' clock position is the only position I have ever had any real success with concealment, though there have always been issues, but with the Praetorian it fits me perfectly, it holds the firearm at just the right angle to keep the grip from sticking out the back and simultaneously increases the ease of drawing and reholstering.

Speaking of reholstering, this holster has a solid layer laminated between the 2 layers of leather which keeps the holster completely open for easy reholstering, even with a tight belt on. I found this to be a very welcome feature, but not one that I thought to hard about until I had it, in summary, IT IS AWESOME!

A feature that is designed into many of the holsters you will find at IHL is replaceable belt snaps. The snaps on this holster can be unscrewed and replaced should they get worn out, scratched up or otherwise damaged.

Putting design and function aside, this holster is beautiful and features better craftsmanship than a $200 custom holster I had recently ordered and returned.

How about their customer service you ask, well, in my opinion, 2nd to none. I spoke with the owner himself every time I called, and he called me several times throughout the build process to let me know how it was going. When we had an unusually wet couple of days during the drying part of the process he called me just to let me know what had happened and that it might take a 2 or 3 days longer than he estimated. I met him in person in his show room before I even ordered and he took the time to listen to what I was looking for and explain which of his holster designs would work and how. When I came to pick it up, I think he was more excited to see me try it on than I was, though I was way more impressed and flat out blown away by the result. He even sat down with me and talked shop for longer than either of us would care to admit.

I know one thing, this holster will never end up in the holster drawer and is only the first of many to be ordered and worn from this very talented company.

Check out pictures of The Praetorian in the following posts.

Last edited by zmarshall; 08-24-2010 at 02:11..
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