The Grandfather Oak Hidden Companion
I picked up this guy a few years ago at a local gun show primarily for 3:00-4:30 IWB carry. It’s definitely a minimalist holster, not much going on other than a clamshell kydex design adjusted with a rubber bushing tightening system and a leather strap with a Chicago-style “nub.” Pretty standard. I bought it to match my carry firearm of choice at the time, my trusty Springfield XD9 Sub-compact. I still love the gun, however the newer XDS and XDM 3.3 systems by Springfield really made the sub-compact obsolete. It was the first gun I bought specifically to carry and, as such, holds a very special place in my heart!
So I found the holster just perusing the tables at the gun show and figuring it would be a really good easy-in, easy-out IWB holster. For years it was exactly that and it worked just fine. When I began this study, I remembered the very friendly salesman at the gun show telling me that this holster was a 360 holster – you could wear it anywhere.
This is a little different then the other two reviews simply because I’ve had it for so long and only recently repurposed it for appendix carry. As a IWB holster it’s a no frills, easy-to-use holster. It’s simply a clamshell of kydex with a retention adjustment screw with a leather tab with a brass tab on one end. You stick the holster in the waistband and the leather tab goes under the belt, held in place by the belt itself and the brass tab. It’s the only IWB holster I’ve found that can actually go on and off without loosening the belt, which is nice. One you get it in your waistband it’s easy to adjust. I like the holster a lot.
Rotating around to the 12:30 appendix position was a whole new look at this holster. Like all appendix holsters, it’s positively murderous when sitting. But because of the single point design it rotates slightly making it easier to find that perfect position. Like most people who carry guns, I tend to let the holster gravitate to where it seems to be designed to fit – in this case, it’s almost 12:00 exactly when seated, which is a strange feeling at first but, over time, surprisingly comfortable. Having the barrel of the gun between your legs as opposed to digging right into the top of your thigh or femoral area is not too bad. Again, being able to easily cant the holster, owing to the fact that it doesn’t have two clips, is a nice feature.
After 6 Weeks
It’s not the sexiest holster I have but it gets the job done. I actually like it quite a bit. I was ready not to – after all, how good could it be for $35 – but somehow it really works. The one thing I think I’d like to see is an easier way to adjust ride height. As it stands, there’s a screw, but covering the screw head inside the kydex is a adhesive piece of the “pile” from velcro. I know it’s to protect the gun from scratching the screwhead but it’s definitely on the ghetto side and I know, after years of wearing it, that pulling it off would just be an adhesive mess… I know that’s really minor. For some reason I feel like I have to ding this holster somewhere – a cheapo holster can’t be good. But it is…
Would I recommend it to a friend? Absolutely. For $35 it’s a surprisingly solid holster and being able to move it where you need it is very convenient. I would especially recommend – hell, almost mandate it – it for anyone thinking about appendix carry. Because appendix carry is different. If you sit down or drive often it can really suck and I’d hate to be out $100 or more on a holster only to find out you don’t like it. Pay the $35 and if you don’t like using it as appendix, put it where you like it. That simple.
Time to deliver: The website says they stock everything.
Customer service: The website, like the holster, is no frills. It’s a HTML landing page with some pictures. Like the holster, it gets the job done. They don’t appear to have an online ordering system yet, just a form where you tell them what you need and they contact you. I didn’t order through the website so I don’t know how painful or painless that process is. I will say that the guy I met at the show was super nice, if not a little bit cocky (not uncommon in this industry), and didn’t try to pressure me into buying anything.