I’ve had a CCL here in the People’s Republic of Illinois ever since the law was passed and licenses were issued three years ago. It’s almost cliche, but In that amount of time, I’ve accumulated a draw full of holsters. Most of them are Kydex because I prefer that material with plastic guns. I used to carry a M&P Shield but a month ago I “gunned up” to a Walther PPQ (for reasons I’ll document in another article). When I bought the PPQ, I went searching for a OWB holster that I could wear for concealed carry, classes, and IDPA competitions. After some research, I ultimately went with the High Threat Concealment Vantage Holster.
There is a huge number of thermoplastic holster makers out there and sorting through them can be an exhausting and somewhat intimidating experience. High Threat Concealment is a bit of a hidden gem; a small veteran-owned company “specializing in the development of low profile tactical gear for close protection and/or low visibility operations in both permissive and non-permissive environments”. All of its products are made in the USA and currently fielded by security contractors, federal agents, military units, and government personnel around the globe including DOS (Department of State).
Each piece of gear is made to order, hand fitted and triple-checked with an actual artifact (no blue guns). HTC uses premium grade Boltaron, which is harder to work with but has superior temperature and impact resistance versus Kydex. That can be especially important in extreme conditions. Kydex can deform in extreme heat, which can alter weapon retention, and can also become brittle and crack in below-freezing temperatures. I haven’t experienced that with any of my Kydex holsters to-date, but why not use a higher performing material if it’s out there and available at comparable cost?
The High Threat Concealment Vantage Holster comes standard with 0°cant, but it can be adjusted to have a 15° FBI-style forward cant. Ride height can be adjusted up to 3/4″.
Aesthetically, as you can see from the pictures, the Vantage is a nice looking holster with hand polished edges and quality hardware. The same goes for their Dual Magazine Holster.
I ran the HTC Vantage Holster and Dual Magazine Carrier during a full week of training at the legendary Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. For comparison, I also brought a Blade Tech rig, which is also sold in the Pro Shop at Gunsite. Blade Tech makes a great product but it didn’t take me long to figure out that I preferred the HTC setup.
The primary difference is that the Blade Tech product is friction fit to the gun. That’s great for speed of draw, but one day it rained and the temperature dropped requiring all of us to wear multiple layers. There were several times that my firearm didn’t seat completely into the Blade Tech holster because my rain shell got caught between the gun and the holster. This happened to almost every student in the class. The High Threat Concealment holster provides an audible click letting the wearer know that the gun is properly seated. Also, once I adjusted the tension, I didn’t notice much of a difference with my draw between the two. The Blade Tech went into my bag after the first day and I never looked back.
During the week, we drew from the holster hundreds of times. I’ve also used the Vantage for dry fire training since returning from Gunsite and have not had a single issue. The finish on my Walther PPQ also shows no wear. It’s been everything I could ask for in an outside the waistband holster.
The Dual Magazine Holster also performed. I was able to index my magazines effectively and reload quickly during timed drills. Retention was good without slowing down my tactical and speed reloads. It complimented the Vantage well.
Overall, I trust this gear from High Threat Concealment enough that it will be my competition rig for IDPA and I’ll also use it on days when I want to conceal carry outside the waistband. And ultimately that’s the best endorsement I can give, because if I’m willing to use a piece of gear that my life may depend on, you can be damn sure it has earned my complete trust.
The High Threat Concealment Vantage Holster retails for $94 and the dual Magazine Holster retails for $60. It’s available in Black or Flat Dark Earth for a variety of popular firearm makes and models. It can be ordered online direct from HTC’s website.