A few months back, the good folks at We The People Holsters (WTP) invited me to join their affiliate program. For those that don’t know what an affiliate program is, it is an agreement where I get a percentage of sales that result from readers clicking a link on this blog and purchasing a product. I take these affiliations seriously and only join programs from companies I am familiar with and have first hand knowledge and experience with their products or services. Given I didn’t know much about their company or their products, I requested a short meeting with them and some sample products to review. In typical fashion, I provided a fair warning that my reviews are honest and include the good, the bad, and the ugly. We The People Holsters obliged and sent me an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster and an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster, both from their custom kydex holster product line, to spend some time with and review.
Here are my thoughts.
One of the most attractive features of We The People’s main line of custom kydex holsters is the price. These holsters range from $40 to $60 which makes them an attractive option for folks for a value priced holster. While I don’t recommend being overly frugal when it comes to a holster especially when it comes to daily defensive carry applications, there are a handful of situations where a value priced holster makes sense. For instance, one may need a holster for an armed self defense course but is unsure what features are important in a holster long term and may want to hedge their bets before investing more. Another reason might be because the pistol is intended for occasional recreational use and the return on investment on a top tier holster doesn’t make sense. Or perhaps an individual is dealing with an exceptionally long lead time on a custom holster and requires a temporary holster in the interim. We also can’t discount that a person might be in a tough financial position while also being in a circumstance where having the ability to have a defensive tool on their person is preferable.
These holsters aren’t without their drawbacks which I’ll cover shortly. However, they do meet most of the requirements I have for a good holster. The first quality I look for is good retention and the WTP holsters exhibit this quality. The good retention bar is dependent on the application and the carry method. At a minimum, I want a holster to have sufficient retention to retain an unloaded firearm when the holster is held upside down and gently shaken. These holsters pass this test. Additionally, the holsters include an adjustable retention screw that allows us to increase or decrease the retention in order to ensure enough retention to securely hold the pistol, but not so much retention that drawing the pistol becomes difficult.
Another key quality in a good holster is that the trigger and trigger guard are sufficiently covered so that the trigger cannot be unintentionally manipulated while the pistol is in the holster. Once again, the WTB kydex holsters possess this quality. Both of the holsters I was provided with, which are essentially identical with the exception of the belt attachment mechanism, completely cover the pistol’s trigger and trigger guard.
One more important quality of a good holster is that the design allows a person to establish a full firing grip when drawing the pistol and maintain a full firing grip when securing the firearm in the holster. This box was checked by the WTB holsters. Additionally, the belt clip on the IWB holster and the paddle on the OWB holster allow a person to adjust the cant of the holster which might be necessary to establish and maintain a good firing grip on the pistol depending on one’s physical build and limitations.
A holster that won’t collapse on itself without a pistol in it is yet another important quality as it allows us to safely holster the firearm without having to use the support hand to hold the holster open. That quality is both a functional and a safety feature as it minimizes the chance of a negligent discharge. The all kydex taco design is a simple yet effective design that ensures this quality will be present for a long time.
One of the things I noticed immediately when I was getting familiar with the product line was the large number of firearms supported. While they don’t have options for every make and model, they do have options for all the popular pistols and revolvers as well as many make and models that aren’t widely supported by holster makers.
Another nifty thing I found while getting familiar with the product line was the selection of solid colors and patterns available. Looking for a hot pink holster? They have that. Hot pink camouflage? Yup, they have that too. They also have flags and various RealTree camouflage patterns.
The last thing that some folks might find important is that all of their holsters are made in the USA with materials and parts sourced entirely in the USA.
Given the number of firearms supported in the product line, I was somewhat surprised to see no support for red dot sights, lasers, and weapon mounted lights. While this isn’t a deal breaker for everyone, it will be a dealer breaker for some – including me since I can imagine carrying or competing with a pistol without a red dot sight mounted on it. I also think this lack of support will become a deal breaker for more folks given the growing popularity of red dot sights and the growing number of optic ready pistols hitting the defensive pistol market.
I also wasn’t fond of the belt clips and paddles that came with the holsters. While they are functional, the holster can shift depending on the combined thickness of the waistband material of the pants (or shorts) and the belt the clips are attached to. This is not ideal for holsters used for defensive carry, competitive, and duty applications.
Additionally, the clip on the IWB holster isn’t tuckable. This means that a person can’t tuck a shirt between the holster and the pants which limits clothing options and forces a person to dress around the holster.
I’m going to bash the paddles and clips a little bit more. Generally speaking with it comes to defensive carry, competitive, and duty applications, there are a handful of IWB clip designs and OWB belt attachment systems, such as, but not limited to, the DCC Monoblock clip, the Ulticlip, or the Tek-Lok belt clip, that have been proven to be durable and reliable. Comparing the IWB belt clip and the OWB paddle to those proven belt attachment systems makes me question their durability and reliability for those applications.
The good news is that there are still plenty of applications for these We The People IWB and OWB holsters which I’ll cover in a second. That said, those of you in the market for a defensive carry holster should take a look at the new Freedom Platform Modular Holster from We The People. While I haven’t had the opportunity to try it myself, it appears to address the concerns I have with the clips and paddle by offering different belt attachment options and adding compatibility with some of the proven belt attachment systems I mentioned above.
For the price, the We The People holsters have a lot going for them. As I mentioned, these holsters would not be on the top of my list for defensive carry, competitive, or duty applications given my concerns about the belt attachment durability and reliability as well as the holster shifting potential. However, I think there are some good use cases for them such as:
- As a stop gap measure for a person that is having a hard time finding a top tier holster for a particular handgun or a person who is dealing with an exceptionally long lead time for a custom top tier holster.
- As an inexpensive holster for a recreational firearm where a top tier competition, defensive carry, or duty holster is not needed.
- As an inexpensive loaner that instructors can provide for their students in beginner level courses when the student brings an unsafe holster.
I’ll also mention that We The People has a couple of other product lines to consider although they are more expensive and only support a handful of popular pistols today. The first is the Freedom Platform Modular Holster which seems to be RDS friendly and addresses some of the belt attachment system concerns by offering other belt attachment options and compatibility with other belt attachment systems. They also recently introduced a leather holster product line which I might want to look into as soon as they start supporting revolvers.