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31 July, 2012

Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe: Beauty to This Beholder

Foreword:  Crossbreed Holsters has not endorsed or funded me, this review or this blog in any way.  My only relationship with them is as a customer.

I can't say that I was ever dissatisfied with my previous EDC (Every Day Carry) holster, and I don't remember precisely why I began the search for a new one.  I think it was a consequence of the hottest summer the Midwest has seen in recent memory and the perspiration it brought about.  Anybody who's ever gone for a walk on a balmy summer afternoon with an In Waist Band (IWB) holster knows the amount of moisture that can collect on your weapon.  Additionally, many of the semi-sharp edges that may not have bothered you in the dryness of winter will soon start to chafe your skin under more humid conditions.  As you may remember, my EDC pistol is a Smith & Wesson M&P compact in .40 caliber.  This pistol has sharp cocking serrations at the rear which stick up above the top of many holsters and they can really hurt if you're walking and sweating.  So began my search for a superior concealable holster.
Crossbreed SuperTuck

I've seen the Crossbreed SuperTuck advertised in all the gun magazines, but that isn't always the best endorsement, so I continued my research on it.  A quick search of the net reveals an extremely high satisfaction rating, both with the holster and the company that makes it.  I also recall a wise old CCW instructor who showed me a SuperTuck during my CCW class.  His recommendation alone warrants the SuperTuck a closer look.  At the time I did not have a budget for another holster and I thought the SuperTuck was way too ugly for me to ever own, so I put it aside and did not look back for a long time.  If there's one thing I've learned in life it's this:  listen to the old folks, they just might know something.  This was one of those times when that lesson proved valuable.

I found the Crossbreed website extremely easy to navigate and the SuperTuck a highly customizable product.  They have a selection of clips available for the SuperTuck depending on your given application: the most concealable option fastens the clips to the inside of your belt by means of hook and loop, the second most concealable option has a small lip that wraps the bottom edge of your belt for retention, and the presumably least concealable clip is the standard SteelClip, a simple clip that wraps over the top of the pant and over the top of the belt, causing the weight of the pistol to rest on your belt rather than your pants.  I went with the over-the-belt option, but additional clips can be purchased separately and swapped back and forth with a simple Phillips-head screwdriver (the "plus screwdriver" for non-technical folks).  You can purchase the SuperTuck in black cowhide or natural horsehide, with or without a combat cut, left- or right-handed.

Before you can hit the "Place Order" button on the Crossbreed website you will see a warning that these products are handmade to order and may take 4 to 6 weeks to arrive.  I received mine in a mere 9 business days.

I chose horsehide due to it's denser grain and higher moisture resistance since this is intended to be a summer holster, and I chose to forgo the combat cut in the hopes that this would leave more leather between me and the pistol.  Both of these hopes have been fulfilled by the final product I received.

My first test was trying the holster around the house and I did need to adjust the position of the steel belt
clips on order to get just the right cant and depth.  I can say this without reservation:  the SuperTuck is made for adjustment.  Each clip has a possible 4 positions to which they may be independently adjusted.  You can cant this thing backwards, if that's what you're really looking for. I found I like just a little more cant forward than the kydex was set to already, so my Supertuck is riding in the first hole from the top on the front and the second hole on the back.  Once I got that out of the way I was ready to hit the street.

My first real surprise came while out about town.  I realized half-way through a marital shopping marathon of searching for the perfect something-or-other (was it a top? a pair of shoes?) that I had completely forgotten I was carrying a pistol.  I stopped in the middle of the store and pondered, with an expression that must have projected serenity and calm, whether or not I could sense the pistol on my hip.  I found that yes, there was a slight weight on my strong side and if I shifted my weight from foot to foot I could feel it.  Other than that my only signal was a slight pressure on my side, but it could have been a firm pillow just as easily as a steel and polymer pistol.  For the next couple of weeks I tested out my SuperTuck in the rather laid-back environment of suburban St. Louis.  The only possible negative I noticed is that the leather portion of the holster did creak if I moved in certain ways.  It was not annoying, it only happened intermittently, and the website forewarns of this possibility during the break-in period.

My next trial for the SuperTuck involved sand, water and muck in abundance.  Destination: the Missouri River, about 25 miles south of St. Charles.  To get to my favorite little fishing hole I park at a public access to the river and walk approximately a half-mile along the bank through rocks, sand and Missouri bottom land gumbo.  I'm usually there by sunup so heat is not an issue, but lately the nightly low temperatures have been in the 80s.  By the time I reached my fishing hole I was warm, and by the time I was ready to leave for home I was dripping in sweat.  With most IWB holsters, the left side of my pistol would be soaked as thoroughly as my clothes, but not so with the SuperTuck.  To my amazement, I could detect no moisture anywhere on the pistol except for the lower portion of the grip which extends past the horsehide.  In fact, the sweat only had a positive effect:  the holster no longer squeaks.

Crossbreed Gun Belt
If I sound like I'm fawning over this product, it's because I am.  So rarely these days does a product of any sort meet one's expectations, and even more rarely still does a product exceed them.  Not only is the SuperTuck everything I had hoped and more, it has raised my expectations of holsters in general.  In the very near future I would like to try their Gun Belt.

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