Kydex Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters can be classified into three categories. Lavishly comfortable, feature-rich and expensive... simple and efficient.... and cheap junk. Luckily I don't do many reviews of the third kind of holster, and like many of us I am not wealthy enough to spoil my guns with exotic materials and fancy gadgetry. This time I wanted to review a solid, simple and relatively affordable kydex holster that is built to flat out work and work hard.
The Annihilation IWB Series holster from Patriot Concealment Solutions is a dedicated inside the waistband holster. Its a very simple design that bears a lot of resemblance to other kydex holsters on the market, until you see the quality and customization that it offered upon ordering your own holster. I was told is the Annihilation IWB holster was the most popular product among Patriot Concealment's customers, and I had to give it a try for myself.
The Annihilation boasts more than just a obviously awesome name. There are several options available to the customer in order to make the holster just right. Starting with your gun make/model and left or right handed orientation, you can then choose between three sweat shield lengths, three front sight channel sizes (to accomodate oversize or suppressor height iron sights), a nice selection of colors/patterns, IWB fold over clip or soft polymer snap loops, an optional concealment claw, and whether your handgun has a threaded barrel, accessory rails, or a slide mounted optic that needs to be accounted for in the kydex mold for proper fitment.
The only options missing that you often see in other competitor's holsters is an adjustable cant angle, and the option for ambidextrous hardware for swapping orientation and which side of the hip you are carrying on. Patriot decided to make a permanent 15 degree forward cant, with the reasoning that in the most ideal carry position of near one's kidney and just above the user's wallet, the preset 15 degrees of forward cant provides the proper angle for reaching the grip and drawing the firearm. Personally I like the option to set me own cant angle, but the simplistic design of the Annihilation is really only comfortable in two positions on my belt, 4:30 -5:00 at the back of the kidney as suggested... or appendix carry (only if you selected the shorted sweat shield so your not jabbing yourself in the gut) however the inability for a negative 15 degree cant rules the latter position out.
The retention is user adjustable by the tightening or loosening of two phillips head screws compressing rubber bushings forward of the trigger guard. I believe this is a standard, must-have feature on any holster, unless it falls into that "Cheap Junk" category mentioned earlier. The Polymer FOMI clip is easy to use, overlapping the waistband of pants and accommodating belts up to 1.5 inch width and a generous thickness of 3/8 of an inch. The thickness of the belt clip is a double edged sword... while it gives the user an ability to move the holster on the fly to find their sweet spot... the lack of friction on belts 1/4 inch or thinner will likely cause the holster to move too freely, depending on your figure and tight your pants holds the holster against your body. Some manufactures address this by offering different sizes of belt clips. Of course you do have the option to substitute a polymer soft belt loop with a snap button, but I'm not a big fan of those either personally, and they add an extra $15 to the total cost.
In all honesty, this holster design has never been the most comfortable or concealable for my body type, pants and EDC belt choice, but it has been known to work for plenty of other concealed carriers. I'm not afraid to say loosing 30-50lbs would make this design more comfortable on my belt, and also print less. However the most positive feature I can point out about this small and efficient use of kydex, is that you can fully wrap your hand around the pistol's grip without any hinderance from extra kydex, belt loops, or anything. This is really nice when practicing drills of drawing from concealment garments, as there's nothing to get in the way of a nice solid purchase on the grip.
All-in-all, the Annihilation is an easy to use, no frills IWB holster that is rock solid in hardware and construction. With the ability to choose customizations for a tricked out pistol with aftermarket accessories without spending $80+ on a custom holster. The saying "Simpler is Better" or "Keep It Simple Stupid" definitely applies to the strength of the Annihilation holster.
**NOTE: If you have a popular holster model and don't require as many customization options, Patriot Concealment offers a "Quick Ship" option to get the product in your hands faster (3-5 days vs the 4-6 typical lead time for a customized holster) Models included are Glock 42, Glock 43, Glock 26/27/33, Glock 19/23/32, Glock 17/22/31, S&W MP Shield, Springfield XD-S 3.3, and the Sig Sauer P238/P938. Color is Black Carbon Fiber only, right handed only, and sweat shield size is full.
FIREARMS INSIDER REVIEWS – 8 KEY POINTS
Claim to Fame: This holster has been battle tested and proven to be a go to choice for concealed carry.
Target Market: Concealed Carry Handgun owners
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Light Weight
- No Added Bulk, .080 thickness
- Hardware is American Made Brass & Steel finished with Black Oxide
- Adjustable Retention
- Customized molded for each individual order
- Each Order custom finished to perfection
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Black Carbon Fiber, Storm Gray Carbon Fiber, OD Green Carbon Fiber, Killer Coyote Carbon Fiber, Coyote Brown
What others are saying?:
"I regularly carry everything from a Glock 26 all the way up to an HK45 and have bought many holsters. I ordered one of these for my glock 26 having not found a viable everyday carry IWB holster that met all my needs. I was looking for something comfortable in every position (2-6 o'clock) and something easily concealable. This holster exceeded my needs. So comfortable I can't tell it's there, small in size, and the best holster on the IWB market for reholstering the gun! I have owned crossbreed, aliengear, Galco, desantis, and many more but I liked this holster so much I went ahead and ordered one for my Glock 23 and my Sig P320 which are my other 2 guns most widely used in my rotation. Excellent quality, excellent functionality, and excellent customer service. I am very picky on holsters so I would urge everyone to buy one of these, you will not be sorry!" Seth Wright, customer
"I am a big guy....you know the adage for big guys, I have enough inside the trousers why would I want to carry IWB, get an OWB. With this holster this is not the case, it is extremely comfortable, I wear appendix carry and there is no problem with this holster while sitting, especially in a car. Excellent holster at an excellent price." Bear Miller, customer
- MSRP: Starting at $64.99, add-ons increase price
I NEED IT NOW! AVAILABILITY:
- Very lightweight
- Design gives user 100% access to frame's grip
- Limited carry positions for comfort
- Cant angle is preset
- No beveled edge or flared mouth to assist in reholstering
- No instruction or literature included