There are many ways to conceal carry: inside the waistband, outside the waistband, appendix carry, pocket carry and so on. I like to change my carry style depending upon where I am going, what I am wearing that day, and what activities I’ll be engaging in. While I’ve gotten used to carrying inside the waistband (IWB) as time goes on, lately I’ve looked into other options. I wanted something that was less holster, more ability to adjust cant, and lightweight.
A few weeks ago part of our team paid a visit to F3 Tactical in Chantilly, Virginia. We wanted to check out what was new on the market and what products in particular their customers were asking for. While we were there, we met Michael Goerlich of Raven Concealment. Mike walked us through Raven’s Vanguard System and why it might be just the alternative I was looking for. The Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 Holster is an IWB holster unlike anything out there. It’s unique in the fact that it only covers your weapon’s trigger guard, thus eliminating the extra bulk typically associated with an IWB holster
I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing at first, “How is that going to secure my firearm safely and how will the draw feel?” While I had my doubts, I was convinced when two things happened. First, when it snapped it onto my sidearm, the audible sound of the holster affixing itself around the trigger guard should tell anyone that it’s secure and fits rock solid. The second thing was when I tucked it inside my waist and fastened it to my belt. I grasped the holster, shook it vigorously, and the my sidearm didn’t budge at all. It remained secure and stayed put.
Once I tucked it in and fastened it, I started to adjust the holster for cant. After ten to fifteen minutes of bending, squatting, kneeling, and going through various daily motions, I was able to figure out exactly how I wanted the cant and where I wanted to place it on my belt. To say this holster is comfortable is an understatement. After wearing it for some time, my sidearm and holster felt just as comfortable as carrying my keys or wallet in the pocket of my pants. Removing my sidearm from the holster was much easier than I expected. Just like every other draw, all I had to do was grip my sidearm and pull. It was that simple. I didn’t feel any part of my weapon grab, or snag, anything and the holster stayed in place just where I had attached it.
The Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 Holster actually has multiple uses. First, it can be used without the included static-line tether for storage or weapons transport. Not only does this prevent something from entering the trigger guard, it also allows you to safely clear your firearm and prevent a negligent discharge by allowing magazine release and movement of the slide.
If you choose to transport your weapon in a purse, bag, or need an attachment point, using the included static-line tether is a great option to consider. If you choose this method, the holster can be removed by simply grasping the nose of the holster and prying it free. Raven Concealment went to great lengths to make sure it was the most user-friendly option and included a full set of detailed instructions. The instructions have many illustrations and cover the four basic firearm safety rules, fitment instructions, attachment points, and use of the Vanguard 2 with lanyard deployment or with the strut attachment method.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional IWB style holster, you might consider taking a closer look at the Vanguard 2. The Vanguard 2 retails for $34.99 and is available in Black, Coyote Brown, or the yellow and black “Bees!” combination. For more information on the holster, visit the Raven Concealment website. Be sure to also check out their Phantom Modular Holster and Appendix Carry Rig (ACR) as well.