I have been looking for a good kydex holster for my Ruger Mark 3 22/45, so I was excited to hear about a holster announced by Black Dog Machine at the 2010 SHOT Show. This new holster is an innovative new design that works with the entire Ruger Mark series pistols. Kevin recently sent me two examples of the holster to review for you all and here are my photos and thoughts:
The only difference between the two is the mounting paddle. The upper configuration in photo above allows the pistol to hang lower relative to the belt. You can purchase the holster in either configuration and buy the other mounting paddle for $5 if you feel the need to change the height of the holster. When I say mounting paddle, I use the terminology of the manufacturer. This is not a paddle holster. Those holes in the mounting paddles are for your belt.
I found the holster to function well, but I do have a complaint. The paddle does not have a smooth arc and doesn’t conform to the hip. This does make it easier to fit the belt through the holes, but I would rather have something that grips the hips for extra stability. No, I’m not looking for an Elvis style holster, but just a smoothly curved mounting paddle without too many extra angles.
Of special note is the notch in the holster to allow for mounted optics. It is important to note that the notch in the holster is not long enough accommodate the factory supplied mounting rail that. BDM recommends the shorter scope base from Tactical Solutions. Derek over at the Packing Rat wrote about how to simply modify the factory mount.
This holster also retains the gun well. There is a snap when the pistol is fully inserted or removed. The retention is stiff enough that if your belt is smaller than the loops, the holster will first slide up before releasing. The holster lets the gun angle away from the body for a quick draw and would be great for rimfire competitions.
In conclusion: This holster is a major step up from my previous Uncle Mike’s holster. It is definitely recommended for rimfire pistol competitors. Personally, I would like to see a better shaped mounting paddle in the future and maybe even real paddle mounting option(sans belt loops). Check it out. ($38)
(BTW: Is it just me or does the logo looks like a white dog? Maybe they should change the name of the company. Or maybe just the logo…)