A little while ago I receiver a custom molded, inside-the-waistband (IWB), Kydex Wraith holster from Zorn Holsters in Mesa, Arizona for my S&W 9mm Shield.
All the details from Zorn first:
Carry Style: Inside the Waistband (IWB)
Material: Kydex T Holstex
Sweat Guard: protects your skin from the gun, and vice versa, aids in comfort, re-holstering, and prevents your body from engaging any controls.
Right and left hand models
Clip sizes to accommodate anywhere from 1.5” to 2”+ belts.
Holster cant from 0ᵒ (straight) to 30ᵒ
0, 0.5”, or 1” extended barrel
Molded for safety on, safety off, or user select carry
10 colors in addition to the standard black
When I first received the holster I was impressed with the detail in the molding. Every detail of the Shield is represented; the safety, slide release, takedown lever, and every line of the gun are all visible in the mold. It was thin and light weight. The belt clip is seriously heavy duty and has two screws that can adjust how tight the clips hold on the belt; also nice for use with different belts. The holster also has two screws that can tighten or loosen the force needed to draw. Initially the holster held so tight it was pretty difficult to draw the gun, but some trial and error and a few turns had this adjusted to my preference. The clip holds so well on my belts that I’ve found it easier to just take my belt off first to get the holster off.
I’ll admit that at first I was not really looking forward to wearing a Kydex holster. A hard molded piece worn inside your waistband; it just seems like it would be uncomfortable. As soon as I put it on I realized that it isn’t really any different than wearing a soft holster with the gun in it and I didn’t notice any difference in comfort while walking around.
The Wraith definitely has a better grip on the gun. The mold is so exact; the gun just slides in and makes an audible clicking sound when it’s fully seated. I held the holster and shook it pretty hard to simulate running with the gun and there was no movement at all. I even turned it upside down and shook it some; I had to shake it pretty hard before the gun fell out; and this was after I loosened the screws. I definitely feel like the gun is more secure with it in the Wraith.
I have a habit of taking the gun out of the holster when I’m driving, getting to the gun in the holster under my shirt and under the seatbelt is awkward and slow, and re-holstering is a bit of a pain with a soft holster because it folds down flat without the gun in it; not a big deal, but a little annoying. The hard Kydex Wraith keeps its shape and makes this much easier.
I spent a few minutes trying (unloaded of course) to get the trigger, or any of the controls, to catch on the Wraith while re-holstering and drawing. Turning it a little sideways, leaning it to the left and right, to far forward and to far backwards, whatever I could do to catch the trigger on something. Nothing. I know I shouldn’t think this, but I don’t think it’s possible.
I am much more confident (after a few unloaded drills) with my draw and fire drills at the range than I was with the soft holster. Again, the gun fits so nicely. It’s one less thing I have to be concerned about when practicing with a loaded firearm.
I know the Shield is a pretty small gun, but the Wraith conceals it very nicely. It holds it nice and tight to the body and the little bit of cant hides the grip perfectly; even when using the extended magazine. I’ve even been able to conceal it pretty well under a wife-beater undershirt. This brings my only complaint with the holster. It might hold just a bit too tight to the body. I can’t get a full grip on the gun when drawing. It is so close to my body that I’m unable to get my thumb between the gun and my side. I’ve adjusted where I carry a little and how I draw to help some, but I still don’t have a full grip when drawing. This means I either don’t have a good tight grip when firing from the holster, or I have to take an extra second to adjust my grip. Neither being a great option. I’m hoping that with more practice I find a way to get the grip I want.
When compared to the typical over-the-counter Kydex holsters I tried, the Wraith is what a custom molder holster should be, custom. None of that, this holster fits guns X, Y, and Z. The Wraith is made specifically for your gun, and fits like it is made specifically for your gun. You can’t get that with a one-size-fits-all Kydex holster. When it comes to something you may have to trust your, or someone you love’s life with, the small extra cost isn’t much. I have other holsters that will work for the Shield, but none that will work as well.
I haven’t carried the Shield in anything else since I got the Wraith.
Zorn Holsters has a regular product line of kydex holsters for guns, knife sheaths, magazine pouches, and more. They also specialize in custom kydex holster work that fits your specific needs and applications. Visit their website for all the custom options available.