I love the simplicity and utility of paddle holsters, but I don’t see too many paddle holsters being used with revolvers. Thankfully, there are several manufacturers that make them for my Smith and Wesson Model 19 and Blade-tech and Fobus were kind enough to provide samples for this review.
I received the Fobus first and started using it immediately. Is is a simple, light weight design that works with both the K and L frame revolvers with a 4″ barrel.
The holster I am reviewing is the Model SW4
and retails for $27.99. The paddle has red, rubberized surface and is joined to holster by three rivets in a single horizontal plane. (see photo below)
There is also a horizontal ridge across the paddle that creates a depression for the belt to rest in. Unfortunately, that ridge gets pressed into your side and after wearing this holster for several hours can cause discomfort and leave marks. No lacerations, just rubbing, and pressure marks. The overall curvature of the paddle was very comfortable. It fit me well and the edges did not press into me or stick out.
Because this holster is made to fit Smith and Wesson revolvers with both K and L frames, it didn’t quite have a perfect fit with my Model 19(K frame). The gun was by no means loose, but the holster did rattle a bit with jumping, running, fast walking, or sudden movement. If you look closely at the photo below, you will notice that the frame and cylinder are not perfectly aligned in the holster as with the factory photo above. Close, but not perfect.
In the above photo, you can see the crease in the plastic where it pinches the trigger guard to retain the gun. This method of retention requires a very “stout” tug on the revolver to pull the trigger guard past the pinched plastic. In all my “testing”, the revolver never came out of the holster on it’s own. Headstands, rolling on the floor, running, and jumping never got the revolver past that pinched trigger guard. Even strong pulls on the revolver at off-center angles failed to remove it. Dislodging the gun requires a sudden strong pull directly out of the holster. Once the trigger guard breaks free, the gun is very loose and easy to remove. The reciprocal is also true when it comes to holstering the gun. When placing the gun in the holster, make sure you press until you hear it snap past the trigger guard pinch. Without that, the gun is very loose and easily falls out of the holster.
Overall, this holster is a good value. It is a functional holster and easily slips on and off and retains the gun well.
Check it out