In a recent conversation with Jason Slisz, owner and operator of TCB Firearms and Holsters, located in San Tan Valley, AZ, I asked him what drives him to put so much time and effort into each and every kydex product that he makes, and he replied, "The larger picture that keeps me moving forward and progressing the craft is that in some small way I am helping people embrace the right of self-preservation."
Ruger SR9 with Streamlight TLR-1 in desert digital on-waistband
(OWB) holster with Tek-Lok MOLLE attachments
Jason Slisz has a condition that I will call "craftusperfectitis" - or in other words, he's not happy with his work until it meets his strict level of quality, and his condition is terminal, at least in the sense that he won't be cured anytime soon. For over a year, the instructors here at Independence Training have been using TCB's handgun holsters, magazine holders, and knife sheaths, and as of right now I can honestly say that they are among the best kydex products that we have ever used. This is spoken in greater volumes, however, by how many of our students are also going out and buying TCB products. TCB uses kydex to make their products, and kydex is a thermoplastic - a blend of acrylic and PVC materials, which makes it rigid and durable, but also pliable at certain temperatures so that it can be formed to an exact shape, and then retain that shape once it has cooled. And retain that shape it does. In fact, kydex is such a durable and strong material that all of my own personal holsters, magazine holders, and the majority of my knife sheaths are all kydex, even my in-waistband (IWB) concealed carry holsters are kydex, and nearly all made by TCB.
Ruger SR9 in a Bravo in-waistband (IWB) concealment holster
There are several advantages to having a rigid holster, sheath, or magazine holder from TCB, not the least of which is the ability to re-holster or re-sheath with one hand, as the material does not collapse when empty. Kydex also does not lose it's shape, such as nylon or leather will do. You can use a kydex holster to perform single-handed malfunction clearances with a handgun thanks to its durable and stiff body, and kydex is strong enough to stand up to being run over by a truck, so it won't break or snap if you fall on it or bang it around when you're putting it to good use. Because it is formed to one handgun, type of magazine, or knife, it securely holds that item in place, as opposed to "universal" holsters and sheaths that are more likely to drop your equipment when turned upside down or rattled around. Those types of holsters may even require snaps, buckles, or straps to secure your gear - and all of those can get in the way when you're trying to draw your handgun, re-holster, or reload. However, even though it's been formed for one specific item, it's easy for TCB to modify your holster or sheath if you upgrade to a new slide stop on your handgun, change to a different style of magazine, or decide that you want the tension of the kydex to fit more tightly or more loosely. TCB can also mount several different types of carry systems for your holster or sheath, including belt loops, belt clips, rubber straps, and Tek-Lok MOLLE compatible slips and systems.
9mm double-stack magazine holder in coyote tan
There's one thing that kydex isn't, however - at least, not naturally: it's not pretty. And while the holster itself may not always get you the same looks of admiration that a custom-made leather piece may, for those of us who care more about function than fashion, this is hardly a concern. And besides, you can get TCB to make you a kydex product in just about any color! Want a coyote tan magazine holder to mount on your coyote tan tactical vest? How about a pink holster for that little pink handgun? Or even better - how about some camo patterns? TCB has kydex materials in several different camouflage patterns, including the desert digital and woodland digital patterns that I am so fond of.
Smith & Wesson Model 64 in an Alpha on-waistband (OWB)
holster in woodland digital camo
Becker Campanion in desert digital sheath
with Tek-Lok belt slide
And don't think that TCB can only make you handgun holsters, magazine holders, or knife sheaths. Kydex can be formed to hold just about anything, and I have seen TCB phone sheaths, flashlight holders, axe and tomahawk cases, even TCB chapstick holders! If you've got a piece of equipment that needs to be retained securely but accessed quickly, contact TCB Firearms and Holsters to see what they can do! And since here at Independence Training we like to work with other quality-driven Arizona businesses, TCB fits our needs very nicely. TCB isn't just limited to producing one or two pieces for the average citizen, either - they are a major producer and supplier of holsters and duty gear to law-enforcement agencies, competition shooters, and military organizations both local and national. In fact, TCB just finished up a batch of M9 holsters and magazine holsters for some soldiers headed downrange, including our very own John Pinnix. And if those who put themselves in harm's way on a daily basis trust TCB's gear, then that says a lot about TCB's addiction to quality equipment.
M9 holsters that will accompany our soldiers downrange
In short, if you haven't tried out a TCB product yet, why not? Call Jason today to see what TCB can make for you, and if you're in the neighborhood, he'll have you swing by the shop just to try a few things out. In my opinion, there is no greater compliment I can give than to do repeat business with a company that I believe in - and that's why I continue to do business with Jason and TCB.
Jason Slisz, owner of TCB Firearms and Holsters, putting his own gear to work and
getting dirty at an Independence Training Defensive Carbine course.
Stay Aware, Stay Safe, Train Hard.