When I left the kydex holster making business 2 years ago, kydex color choices were pretty extensive, as long as you liked black, OD, and Coyote.Â Fast-forward 24 months and these days pretty much anything is fair game on the color wheel.Â The customization that we’ve seen, especially in the last year, has been explosive to say the least.Â If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen the guys constantly one-upping each other with more unique and artistic designs.Â
Rob at OTG threw down the gauntlet with his Boba Fett, only to be answered by Jon at PHLster with his Yoda.Â Then came Chewbacca. If you havenâ€™t seen it, it took what was possible with a kydex holster to the next level.Â The guy responsible for Chewy was none other than Johnny from Black Center Tactical.
Black Center is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week and recently hosted the Behind Enemy Lines shoot with some very well know national instructors involved.Â Being a veteran owned business and a training company, Johnny, like most folks, got impatient with the wait times for the top kydex shops for gear.Â He decided to invest in making his own as a result and has spent the last year learning from some of the best in the industry.Â He has gotten extremely proficient in a very short time and is kicking out some very nice gear that is on par or better than a lot of the kydex shops in the industry.
Features and Materials
He recently sent me one of his outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters for my Glock 19 with a single mag carrier.Â Johnny is local to Index Fasteners and has access to their vast color pallet of kydex and hardware.Â Whatever color combination of kydex and hardware tickles your fancy, BCT can deliver it.
For my rig, I went with .080 A-TACS AU with coyote hardware.Â This was one of the first holsters out (at the time) with A-TACS and personally I love the pattern.Â I went straight drop, mid-shield, and as with all of my other rigs, chose Malice clips.Â He also offers Indexâ€™s proprietary injection molded OWB loops and clips as mounting options.
I’ve said this before and it warrants saying again.Â Retention is subjective.Â How I like mine may not be how you run your guns.Â Â That being said, Johnny nailed it out of the box.Â Perfect from day one.Â Solid â€˜clickâ€™ as the gun is holstered with no play, but snaps right out buttery smooth on the draw.Â Â Like I said, for someone that is relatively new to the holster making game, he has clearly asked a lot of the right questions and that shows in his application.Â With the Malice clips, the gun pulls tight to the body and I was able to carry it the last few months with nothing more than a t-shirt while OWB.
Quality and Value
There are LOTS of kydex shops out there.Â Last I checked there are probably 125-150 guys putting gear â€œout thereâ€.Â Large shops all the way down to guys sitting at the kitchen table have kydex offerings.Â There are about 10-15 shops in my opinion that are turning out very high quality kydex gear.Â In his first year, Black Center Tactical has reached that upper echelon.Â His attention to detail, the quality of his work, the level of customization offered along with his pricing and delivery times make BCT a definite player to watch in the future of the kydex market.
As of the time of this review, his wait times are a reasonable for custom kydex at 5-6 weeks and OWB holsters start at $70, with IWB starting at $55.Â Aside from his success with the kydex, Black Center Tactical also offers very affordable training, as well as survival/disaster preparation.Â If you are in or near SoCal, definitely check out what Johnny has to offer.Â Get trained.Â Get good kydex.Â Thatâ€™s a winning combination to me.