We all carry pistols, or at least we should be. And unless you’re in a bad movie or in a movie as the bad guy, you should be carrying in a holster. One of the great things of being in the firearms industry is that there are always new and innovative players, pushing the envelope for quality, customer service, and product.
A few months ago, I was connected with Werkz Holsters, a family-owned business located in Idaho. They make kydex holsters, and I needed a new kydex holster for better and more comfortable appendix carry. I recently began carrying appendix (AIWB) after becoming one of 10 or so people to have a Silver TruStandard challenge coin (two rounds on target from concealment, in under a second), and have come to enjoy the speed, comfort, and easy accessibility benefits it offers. I still carry at a more traditional 3:30/4:00 position from time to time, depending on clothing. So when I started talking to Shan, the owner of Werkz LLC, he offered me a few suggestions.
As I wrote in my article The Daily Arsenal of the Armed Citizen, I am a big advocate for carrying a backup magazine. Even though my every-day-carry (EDC) gun is a Glock 17 holding 17+1 rounds, I still carry a backup magazine everywhere I go! Among other things. Shan’s first suggestion was the Werkz Bisect AIWB holster– a complete carry solution for AIWB carry, with an integrated mag carrier. He also recommended their Minimalist holster for 3:30/4:00 carry, which could be used for AIWB if needed. And then he also sent me one of their minimalist mag carriers. Throughout the entire process, I was amazed at the personal customer service, and the almost-instant responses to my emails. I’m not the easiest person in the world to deal with, asking 3,000 questions for everything, but Shan answered all of my questions and offered solutions. Overall excellent customer service, and an easy to follow ordering process, with email updates as to the status of my order.
Bisect AIWB Holster
The Bisect holster is designed for inside-the-waistband appendix carry. The first thing you’ll notice is that it has an integral mag carrier, which is canted outward for easy access. It attaches to your belt with a pair of one-way clip-on loops, but newest version of the bisect uses injection-molded kydex tuckable belt clips. I never had an issue with the straps, but the new kydex tuckable clips are definitely a plus. The gun sits fairly low in the waistband, which is ideal for concealment, but still allows for a firm purchase on the grip. The holster itself is angled for comfort, so it wraps tight to my gut, and allows me to have an extra pizza every once in a while and not worry about comfort while carrying. Yes, a pizza, not a slice, an entire pizza. As long as you’re not trying to win a Jabba the Hut lookalike contest, appendix carry can be comfortable, and the Bisect’s angles make it one of the more comfortable AIWB holsters I’ve used.
Minimalist IWB Holster
The first thing I noticed about the Minimalist was just how well it lives up to it’s name. It covers the trigger guard- the first, and most important, requirement in a holster- and has the same one-way clip strap as the Bisect. And that’s it- it’s a small, thin, and simple holster. The Minimalist fits very well within the waistband, and has several adjustment holes to either raise or lower the holster in relation to the belt. I have used it for both 3:30/4:00 carry and appendix carry, and it just Werkz (pun unfortunately intended).
Both holsters came nicely packaged with a short description on holster care, use, the Werkz warranty, and some other information. Their stated lead time is two weeks, and two weeks later, my holsters arrived.
For the past few months, I have been carrying my Glock 17 in the Werkz Bisect holster. As the newest element of my EDC, I have put the Bisect through it’s paces- training, shooting competitively, and carrying it just about everywhere, every day. It’s Every Day Carry for a reason, right?
The Bisect both conceals well and is fast- the two critical elements for a conceal carry holster. Obviously you don’t want a bad guy to see your gun printing, but you need to be fast enough to utilize your window of opportunity effectively if the need arises. The canted backup magazine helps to balance out the weight and more evenly distribute the print of the gun. In a loose-ish t-shirt, the gun conceals well, although there is minimal printing in my case- carrying a Glock 17 does come with drawbacks. I wear a vest, light jacket, or second shirt in a lot of cases, and then the gun becomes almost invisible.
Having a backup magazine integrated into my holster definitely simplified my daily arsenal. Instead of a holster and mag carrier, where I could afford to be lazy about carrying my extra mag, now I carry one everywhere my gun goes. And it’s fast- with the slight outward can’t, it almost looks like a competition setup- just for concealment. I went down to my local indoor shooting range’s weekly action shooting competition, and ran the courses from concealment. The Bisect performed flawlessly, and I placed first overall two out of three competitions. On the third competition, I missed a round and fumbled a reload, and still managed to get within 1% of the winner’s score. At first I was bummed about being first loser, but then I realized they were all running custom 2011s or 1911s with competition belts, holsters, and carriers. So shooting my EDC Glock 17 from concealment and winning two out of three… I’ll take it.
The Bisect is fast, concealable, and extremely well-suited to everyday conceal carry. Even for close retention shooting, the holster draws easily and gets to the shooting position fast.
My only complaint is that sometimes, the holster was a little bit on the wide side- but then again, I have to remember carrying a full-size pistol and backup magazine does have drawbacks. The option for adjustable retention would have been a plus, although the factory retention was about right. I like holsters with a little less retention than normal. Not a deal breaker by any means, but the option would have been nice. Lastly, I would have liked to raise the gun higher, which provides less concealment but more speed. None of these factors stopped me from having an overall excellent experience with the Bisect holster, they were just my personal wants.
It seemed as if Shan over at Werkz was reading my mind. This past week, Shan contacted me about the new Bisect V2. Not only is it slimmer, it has the injection-molded belt clips I keep waxing poetic about, which can be raised or lowered depending on ride height preference. Finally, in what may be the coolest improvement, the mag carrier’s ride height can be adjusted independently of the main holster. Needless to say, my Bisect V2 is on order, and I will post a followup article when it arrives. Just another reason I love working with small and innovative companies- fast improvements lead to better products, all of which make the industry more competitive and better as a general whole.
"…I love working with small and innovative companies- fast improvements lead to better products…"
While the Bisect was the main holster I used, the Minimalist didn’t disappoint either. A very utilitarian holster, it was impressively thin. But even as a minimal holster, it met all of my requirements- protected the trigger guard, provided some form of retention, and allowed me to carry the gun comfortably. The belt strap that it came with worked excellently, but the newest version of the Minimalist has the improved injection-molded tuckable belt clips. Another win. The Minimalist conceals excellently, as well. Kind of hard to elaborate on a holster named the "Minimalist" that works well and lives up to it’s name. If you’re looking for a do-everything holster with an extremely small footprint, this one fits the bill.
Werkz makes some excellent holsters, and I have been nothing but happy with my experience with them. I’m looking forward to seeing what this small, innovative, and family-owned business produces over the next few years. You can find their holsters in stores, or at www.werkz.com.
All in all, the one thing that stood out most to me was in the "About Us" section of the packaging insert:
"The Werkz logo is a stylized image of dove wings, expressing the desire for peace, but the understanding that we live in a fallen world. We believe Jesus condoned self-defense by stating, 'he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one' (Luke 22:36). It is the right and responsibility of individuals to be armed to protect themselves, their families, and their communities."
And I couldn’t agree more.
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