By Jeff Gurwitch
September 2, 2016
Last updated on 9/02/16.
I’ll admit it, up until very recently, when it came to kydex holsters, I was a Raven Concealment guy all the way. After all, Raven Concealment Systems was the first company that really seemed to take the market by storm with their great designs (particularly the Phantom Modular Holster series), excellent quality and a pretty-damn-good website that made obtaining one a breeze. Now, I say I “WAS a Raven guy” because I’ve since found a Kydex holster manufacturer that has converted me via their quality, attention to detail and excellent price. The company…Bravo Concealment.
What first turned me onto Bravo Concealment was actually not their holsters. I was actually looking for suitable magazine pouches for my S&W M&P 9 combat/tactical pistol (previously reviewed here on DR awhile back). A couple of years ago, to save money, I purchased some very inexpensive kydex magazine pouches (not from Raven) to go with a Raven Phantom Modular Holster. Let’s just say you get what you pay for.
While the pouches work ok, the workmanship and quality was far from ideal. Searching around on the web it was first looks and then price, I ended up replacing them with Bravo Concealment’s single magazine pouches with slant cut. I say “looks” because literally I thought it was the coolest-looking slant-cut pouch when compared to others on the web.
It was my disappointment with the mag pouch on the left that drove me to look at Bravo Concealment (right). The difference in quality is easy to see. Also priced at $31.99 this single magazine pouch from Bravo Concealment. Is cheaper than a lot of other single kydex mag pouches on the market.
Fast forward to last April. I’d just recently purchased a new GEN-4 Glock 34 (G34), while at the same time receiving the new VooDoo Innovations Enforcer Glock 17 Slide [aka VDI Slide Assembly – G17 Enforcer]. Of course to properly test it out and be able to run it at matches, I needed a holster and magazine pouches for it. Based on the quality of the Bravo Concealment mag pouches, I decided to go all in with Bravo Concealment for everything.
Bravo Concealment for the Win!
So, along with the new Glock, for the majority of the summer, I’ve been carrying and running a Bravo Concealment BCA Light Bearing Gun Holster, and both their single and double magazine pouches. I have to say I could not be more pleased with how they have performed. Now I know what you are thinking “how does Bravo Concealment compare to Raven?” Quality wise they are both excellent. I am not going to throw Raven Concealment under the bus, they do produce excellent quality kydex products (seeing how I own three different Phantom holsters I think is testament to how much I like their products). But there are two things that now make me prefer the Bravo Concealment holster more. The first is price; you can purchase a Glock 17 BCA Light Bearing Gun Holster from Bravo Concealment for $74.99 USD. Compare that to the same type of holster from Raven Concealment at $109.99 USD. At a 35-dollar difference with the same quality, I’ve gotta’ go with the less-expensive Bravo Concealment holster.
My new night time EDC; Bravo Concealment BCA Light Bearing Holster and single mag pouch. A Good looking Kydex holster at a great price.
Bravo Concealment double and single magazine pouches proved to be very fast. And with adjustable tension capability they allow the shooter to set the magazine retention where they like it.
The next item that makes me prefer now Bravo Concealment over Raven Concealment Systems holsters are the belt clips used. While you could say this is a minor item, I think it makes a big difference in terms of how the holster rides against your body. One issue I’ve always had with Raven holsters is that I find they tend to let the butt of the pistol lean out ever so slightly off the hip, thus leading to more “printing” under a shirt. I like the pistol as tight as possible to my side. (Yes, I have tried Raven’s OWB wings, but found them uncomfortable against my waste).
Now, the belt loops on the Bravo Concealment BCA Light Bearing Gun Holster are actually angled in towards the center of the holster, I assume to strengthen the grip around the belt. While there’s just a small angle to the clips, it works very well. I find the Bravo Concealment holster sits flatter against my side, and the butt of the pistol doesn’t seem to want to lean out against my body. Let’s face it, carrying a full-size, light-equipped pistol, it is going to print some. But, with the angled belt loops, I think the Bravo holster does a better job when it comes to actually concealing the gun under a shirt.
Live Fire Evaluation
On the range, I found drawing from the BCA Light Bearing Gun Holster to be fast and easy. The holster stayed in place, and the release is crisp. Draw time compared to an open top competition-style holster is impressively close. Where I can average a first shot just slightly under one second (.95-97 or so) with the competition holster, using the Bravo holster, I was just slightly slower (best time 1.06). Not bad if you consider the design of the holster is based around concealment first, and not competition.
With their built in tension adjustment screws, the Bravo Concealment magazine pouches allow the shooter to adjust the tension on the magazines right where they want them. Loose for competition, or tight for practical carry, including concealed carry (CCW).
To see it in action, check out the video below:
The pistol used in the video; a Gen 4 Glock34 frame equipped with a Voodoo Innovations G17 Enforcer slide. I have been running it since last April. Not only does it look bad ass, so far well over a 1,000rds and runs like a champ! A complete review is planned for DR.
Side Note: Raven Phantom Adaptability
Now, I will point out the one cool thing current Raven Concealment Systems tactical-white-light-bearing holsters do have over Bravo’s, and that is multi-light capability. A Raven Phantom Modular Holster fit for a Glock 17 with Surefire X300 light will also work with the older Surefire X200 light. The Bravo Concealment holster will not.
The reason for this, as far as I can tell, is that the Raven holster goes off the body of the light to keep tension on the pistol. Bravo Concealment appears to keep the tension around the bezel of the light. (Surefire X200 and X300 share the same body size, and it’s their bezel size and shape that’s different). So, if you’re like me and own a few different generations of pistol lights, and don’t want to get multiple holsters, then the Raven Concealment Systems Phantom Modular Holster may make more sense for you [at least until Bravo Concealment modifies their holster design accordingly].
The Wrap Up
Quality and best price, that is what you should consider whenever you’re searching for anything shooting-related. In regards to Kydex holsters, there are a number of great companies out there that produce quality gear. So, when the quality is equal between manufactures, then the next thing you should be going with is best price. This is the case with Bravo Concealment, top notch quality work at very competitive prices. In the market for a new kydex holster? I highly suggest you give Bravo Concealment a look!
About the Author (Jeff Gurwitch):
– Currently serving with U.S. Army Special Forces
– Competitive shooter: USPSA, IDPA, and 3-Gun.
Company Contact Info:
Raven Concealment Systems
Email Contact Page: http://raven-concealment-systems1.mybigcommerce.com/contact-us/
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