Thursday, November 19, 2009

Appendix IWB Kydex Holster for a S&W 908

After proving my newest acquisition, the Smith & Wesson 908, was reliable and accurate enough and then carrying it a couple weeks concealed & tucked I decided it needed it's own holster. Since it fits very well in the Crossbreed SuperTuck that I use tucked at the 4 o'clock position I don't need that kind of holster. For winter carry, when I can wear sweaters or fleeces I like to carry at the appendix location. It enables a quick draw and because it's directly in front of me I have more control over exposure. I've also found that it isn't nearly as uncomfortable as most people would think.

I've made similar holsters before, but at times had problems with clip breakage. So this time I decided to go with the slightly thicker kydex I had (.080 gauge vs. .060 gauge). It adds minimal thickness, but also adds much more strength to the J-clips. The design is a single piece folded scabbard integrating the J-clips secured using one bolt/nut. The .080 gauge kydex is too thick for me to use the rivets I have, but I actually like the idea of being able to take it completely apart in case it ever needs to be totally cleaned. Here are pictures.
It fits tightly, but draws quickly and smoothly. This holster holds the gun much like a traditional leather holster does where it feels like it grips the gun all over. Most kydex holsters rely on clicking points (typically the trigger guard) which cause the gun to click or snap in and out of the holster. It all comes down to personal preference, but I'm happy with it's retention. I put together a short video showing this holster & gun concealed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

S&W's Budget 3913: The 908!

I had the opportunity to pick up a 908 for a steal of a price so I jumped on it. I previously owned the second gen S&W 469, but had traded it off. My father in law got the 457, the 45acp version of this "Value Series", last spring for a great deal at a gun show (yeah, I know how often does that happen?).

Anyways, for $220 that included a total of 3 mags not to mention a less than desirable nylon holster, I picked up my first 3rd gen S&W auto. I'm a little thrilled that it's covered under S&W's lifetime warranty (from what I understand all 3G's are). It's a very slim gun! Slimmer than my Sig P239 and lighter as well. It's not quite as thin as my Kahr, but not many guns are. I still need to give it a good cleaning as it's barrel looks like it may have been a little neglected. It's definitely not a looker, but as a working gun it sure looks the part. Not as nicely finished as the 3913 and containing a few *gasp* plastic parts, the 908's still has a good feel. This week I'm planning on taking it to the range to give it a little workout and see how well it operates. If all goes well, it will then move into the rotation.

Pictures...of course...

My view is, if you can find a pistol in a fighting caliber from a name brand maker for under $250 that works then it's a good value. Any blemishes to the finish are marks of character.

***Range Report!!!***

Ok, just got back from my lunchtime range after running the 908 through the paces. I put a little over 100 rounds through it with a few hp's to check feeding. I came away liking it very much. I brought my Sig along to compare triggers and sights. I'm a big fan of the "dot the i" as with three dot sights I tend to miss the middle dot when quickly acquiring the target. The 908 lines up very instinctively so I didn't have too much of a problem with it when doing double taps. Accuracy was similar to my Sig. I'm no master marksman so both of these weapons are more accurate than I am. I can easily do head shots at 10 yards so take that for what it's worth.

The trigger is pretty smooth and very different than my previous 469 primarily in DA. Mostly because the 469 employed a half cock notch which you could feel as you pulled through DA. Compared to the Sig trigger it feels a tad lighter and just a hair less smooth, though it is a shorter pull than the Sig.

I wanted to go ahead and give it it's first carry day. I've been carrying a Sig P239 in a Crossbreed SuperTuck and since they are both very similar in size I figured why not try it out. The CBST's kydex is molded specifically for a P239, but since the backside is all leather the gun never "snaps" in like kydex-only holsters. I was a little worried that it might slide or wiggle around, but after trying it out...success!

Here are some shots.

It's always nice when an existing holster works well for different guns.

Overall, I'm very satisfied and think I got much more than my money's worth.