Condition: Yellow - responsible preparation, and fun, for an unpredictable world

Andy Rutledge

Got a Nice Gift

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

Walked into the gun range yesterday and they said they had a package for me. Which is odd, because I don’t order items and have them shipped to the gun range, unless it’s a firearm for FFL transfer.

Anyway, seems that a super nice guy named David enjoyed one of my blog posts on the Eagle Gun Range blog and sent me a channel-cleaning tool that he makes as a thank-you. Well, thank you, David!

Made my day!

channel-cleaning tool

Kit Review: The Bravo Concealment Torsion Holster and Double Mag Pouch

Bravo Concealment has been making holsters and other accessories for more than 10 years and their products are deservedly well known. One of these newer holsters is the Torsion IWB holster and its distinctive for its native ability to torque the grip of your pistol in toward your body in order to enhance concealment.

Full disclosure: I recently received the Torsion holster and a double magazine pouch from Bravo Concealment to use and evaluate for review. I carry a pistol IWB and double magazine pouch OWB all day every day so I’ve been trying these components out and putting them through their paces for normal everyday carry and for dynamic defensive drills at the range. Here follows my raw evaluation of this kit.

Bravo Concealment Torsion holster and double magazine pouch

Features and Components

The first thing to note is that the Torsion holster does not come in a model that accommodates a weapon light, so while using this holster I had to slightly alter my normal EDC with a pistol that doesn’t have a light. I know that not everyone carries a pistol with a light mounted, so that may not matter everyone. I prefer to have a light as do many other EDCers, so this missing configuration is something of a disqualifier in some cases.

But there’s plenty this holster does have. The holster accommodates a threaded barrel, tall sights (up to .355”), and a pistol with a red-dot sight. These are very nice pluses and I’m sure many folks will warm to those features of the Torsion holster.

The Torsion holster can be run anywhere on the belt and when using both of the holster’s clips, the holster does do a good job turning the pistol’s grip in toward your body. That’s a very nice concealment trait and more manufacturers should devise similar features. If you’d like to wear the holster tucked in, however, you’ll need to remove the secondary clip. The holster rides just fine with the single clip and I found it to be quite comfortable and stable. The clips are made so that they’re very unlikely to ever come out when you draw your pistol. I like these clips.

One problem with the single-clip configuration (the way I prefer to use it) is that the holster loses the torsion characteristic, meaning the holster does not tilt the pistol grip into your body. The result is not terrible, however, just not as good as with both clips. I think it’s a viable option, but the single-clip concealment is not really as good as some other holster (my normal edc holster, for instance) and I see this as a knock against it.

wearing the Bravo Concealment Torsion holster

showing no torsion

The double magazine pouch is sturdily made, but it has a few flaws that I find pretty annoying.

Firstly, the mag pouch has a slightly curved profile so that it better fits your body contours, but I found the curve to be far too slight. The pouch needs to have a more pronounced curve if it is to be properly form-fitting and comfortable. Secondly, the way it’s made to allow the belt loops to bolt onto the back of the pouch leaves far too much material in the way on the outside front edge of the holster. This “wing” of the pouch gets in the way of your index finger when you go for a magazine. I found it to be pretty uncomfortable and clumsy. Moreover, the pouch rides too high so that the top is about 3/4” above your belt line. This puts material in your way when you go to index and draw your magazine.

mag pouch

Lastly, the mag pouch configuration places the two magazines far too close to one another. When going for a magazine quickly, as for an emergency reload, I found my hand was all over the second magazine and when training I managed to pull out both magazines a couple of times, dumping one onto the ground. I remember this flaw from a few years ago when I used a previous generation of Bravo Concealment mag pouch. I ultimately switched to another brand that does a better job in the configuration.

The Kydex used for both the Torsion holster and the double magazine pouch are of good quality and texture; glassy smooth on the inside and lightly textured on the outside. Feels like material that’ll last quite a long time and stand up to much abuse.

Observations From the Range

I adjusted the single holster clip to its lowest setting to allow for the deepest ride in the appendix position where I carry it and I believe that most folks will like that ride height, as it allows for a full grip on the pistol before drawing. As for me, I found that it was still too high a ride for my taste (I use deep concealment and draw differently than many folks). So that’s not really an objective ding against the holster, it’s just not for me.

running drills

I ran quite a few dynamic drills that included running, crouching, drawing from concealment, executing speed reloads, etc… and had relatively few problems—most of which are detailed above in the previous section. The one thing I didn’t like about the holster was that the higher-than-normal ride height caused the pistol to bounce around a bit too much when I was running. I didn’t get a very secure feeling from the holster in those running passages, but it did stay in place. So no real problems.

For more insights and a far more detailed look at the features, check out the full review video on my Patreon channel.

Conclusions

Overall, I’ll give the Bravo Concealment Torsion holster a solid B. It could have been a B+ had the holster accommodated a light-bearing pistol. The double magazine pouch I’ll give a C. Bravo Concealment should do much better on that item and I’m sure they can if they decide to.

I’m going to hang onto this holster as I’m sure I can get some use out of it in some cases where I can’t carry in the appendix position. I’d like for it to conceal better in the single-clip configuration, but it’s still better than 90% of the holsters out there. The price is excellent for what you get and I believe that many folks will love this holster.

Unsafe at Any Speed: The Springfield Armory 911

I have the opportunity each month to try out a different handgun—either a brand new model or an established model that are new to me—and then write a first-blush review article about it. As a one-gun guy I train exclusively with my carry pistol, so getting to shoot and review other models on a regular basis allows me to become familiar with different platforms and, essentially, survey the landscape of handguns. I enjoy this shoot-and-review process and sometimes there are unexpected rewards.

One such reward is the rare opportunity to find a fatal flaw in a firearm and warn my fellow citizens about it. Sadly, when shooting the new Springfield Armory’s 911 subcompact pistol this week, I found one of these flaws and folks need to know about it.

“This will get someone killed.”

The Springfield 911 is a new model of subcompact, hammer-fired pistol that is chambered in .380 auto. It is of the same design and dimensions as the Sig Sauer P238 (in fact my friends at a local gun range found that the magazines are interchangeable between the two models—at least they fit perfectly and feed dummy ammo—no one has tried to fire the pistols with the mags exchanged).

The Springfield 911 feels pretty good in my hand (and hands) and delivers very little recoil when shooting it. Also nice, I was able to get amazing accuracy from this little pistol…when it actually fired.

The problem arose immediately in my first string of firing. After the third shot, I got a dead trigger. After a couple of futile trigger presses, I cleared it and tried again dry. Still dead. I thought perhaps an internal component broke and called the range officer over for a look. He saw what model I was shooting and said that he knew the problem: the safety had engaged. This was a problem he had seen with every individual who had rented the gun and tried to shoot it. “This will get someone killed,” he remarked as we were both aghast, discussing the failed-self-defense implications of this design flaw. He is right. This is truly a fatal flaw.

Springfield 911

The Problem

The issue occurs in one of two ways: When shooting two-handed, the mild recoil impulse causes the meaty part of your support-hand thumb to flick the left-side safety lever up enough to engage it. The other way happens when shooting one-handed; the same recoil impulse causes the base of your trigger finger to slightly engage the right-side safety lever. I experienced the failure shooting two-handed, but not one-handed. My range-officer friend experienced the failure when shooting one-handed; I’m guessing due to his particular hand size and shape and grip.

The reason the safety lever is so easily engaged may be due in part to its location and design, but the primary culprit is the ridiculously weak toggle strength. It takes almost no pressure to move the lever from one position to the next. If it had any stiffness at all things might go differently. As it is, this is a “safety” lever that will engage or disengage at the drop of a hat. Meaning: in the frantic moment when you’re trying to save your life, your trigger will go dead and you’ll be defenseless against your attackers.

Right now my informed recommendation is DO NOT BUY. Springfield Armory needs to immediately address this fatal flaw. I highly recommend Springfield implement an immediate recall of the pistol and redesign of the component.

Replacing the Glock Slide Lock Spring

I replace the (horribly mislabeled) slide-lock spring every 10,000 rounds. This part will break in half and your slide will fall off of the frame when it fails. Best to just spend $8 every 10K rounds and keep your gun in perfect running order, as a part of required, periodic maintenance.

Concealed Pistol from Back, Kneeling, and Prone

Today’s drill was the same one from this early-winter-2018 video. I’m shooting at 20 yards onto 6″ steel (today’s was on 4″ steel), doing a soft breakfall to my back then drawing from concealment to put one round from both right and left sides around cover from my back, then up to kneeling over the cover, the going prone for 1 shot from both right and left sides.

Marksmanship is a bit more challenging when you’re on your back/side and prone on your sides. This drill challenges my ability to remain accurate while using cover from the ground. The kneeling shot is just to practice rising to a knee from my back, facilitating the transition to prone.