Flexible Design Improvements From Blade-Tech: The New Ambi Eclipse Holster

Blade Tech Ambi Eclipse 2

This Blade-Tech Ambi Eclipse is shown with an inside the waistband clip on one side and an outside the waistband on the other just for illustration.

New for 2014 is a major improvement to Blade-Tech’s popular Eclipse pancake style holster. The previous design was molded specific to right to left hand use with a curve in the pancake to fit around the body. The new model features an ambidextrous holster pouch. Instead of molding the holster pocket itself to fit the curve, it’s identical on both sides of the gun pocket and features a straight vertical cant angle.

To achieve a curved fit to the body, the clip mounts are shaped with a curve. Swap or flip them to get a curve appropriate to right or left side mount.

The holster comes with two sets of clips – one for outside the waistband mount and the other for inside the waistband. The IWB clips are now molded from really, really, really sturdy kydex. This accomplishes two things. First, it won’t scratch up your nice belt as will metal clips. Second, the kydex does not lose its spring over time.

The new design simplifies things for the retail buyer, as you just pick out the model appropriate to your gun, without working about IWB, OWB or which side you’ll carry it on. For dealers, it’s a really big deal. They can now stock one SKU rather than four which should allow them to stock more variety.

Blade Tech Ambi Eclipse 1

The clips themselves are contoured to provide the body wrap for a variety of her bangles and flipping them upside down makes it work for right or left-handed users

A Brief History of Gun Holsters

Gun HolstersHolsters have been around longer than you might think – almost as long as Cher has been parading around wearing doilies. In fact, holsters actually pre-dated guns. Do you really think bands of wooly mammoth hunters carried spears and rocks in their hands? After all, they couldn’t invent important things like fire and Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts with their hands all full of weapons.

While we don’t have the space to cover all of the many interesting and important developments in the history of holsters, we can touch on some of the highlights.

11th Century BC
Future King of Israel, David, popularizes the concept of holsters by toting around large round stones with which he kills big bullies. This earliest form of holster is known, from careful study and translation of ancient texts, to be called a ‘sack.’

William Wallace, otherwise known as Braveheart, popularizes the SmartCarry holster design – then known as a sporran. Sporrans were, and continue to be, worn on most fashionable kilts. As guns were not yet invented, historians believe that Wallace carried spare breath mints and a copy of his film rights agreement in his sporran. Wallace’s aggressive attitude prompts officials to ban sporrans in New York City.

Europeans discover that kangaroos were designed with natural inside-the-waistband carry holsters when James Cooks’ ship Endeavor runs aground off Queensland, Australia. Kangaroos are immediately banned in New York City.

Western style pommel bags serve as carry devices for multiple large handguns. They quickly fall out of fashion when Clint Eastwood refers to them as ‘man purses.’

Historians believe that French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte invents a predecessor to the FlashBang Bra Holster, as evidenced by many portraits showing him fondling a derringer underneath his blouse.

From careful frame-by-frame analysis of period documentaries like Blazing Saddles, historians have learned that belt holsters became fashionable for single shot pistols and early revolvers.

Leather sixgun holsters become popular when a series of low budget spaghetti western films are produced like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Early design ideas are scrapped when it is determined that spaghetti does not ride well in leather holsters. And it makes many holsters soggy.

Richard Gallagher founds The Original Jackass Leather Company in Chicago, IL. When he discovers that few Jackasses carry guns, the company is renamed to Galco Gunleather and relocates to Phoenix, AZ. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg immediately bans Jackasses from carrying concealed. And the state of Arizona.

Man purses become fashionable, primarily in Europe. Otherwise known as man bags or murses, they are still just purses. Some men, concerned about their metro-masculine image, encouraged folks to call these bags ‘satchels’, but let’s face it – if it looks like a purse, and acts like a purse, it’s a purse. While seemingly a great concealed carry holster innovation, the fad rapidly lost popularity when European men realize that handguns are banned in most of their countries.

Inspired, and scared probably scared witless, by his pack failing and dumping “a ton” of gear into the middle of an Iraqi minefield, Navy SEAL Mike Noell founds Blackhawk!

EDITORS NOTE: We do not recommend or condone dumping your gear into an enemy minefield. Always hurl your gear into enemy minefields from a safe distance. For example, from central Idaho.

One of Blackhawk!’s successes is the Serpa retention holster designed to secure a handgun against accidental release or removal by evil d00dz. In a launch publicity stunt, illusionist David Copperfield attempts to escape from a 23x scale Serpa Holster.

The Kydex revolution begins when Blade-Tech founder Tim Wegner melts several toaster ovens in his kitchen in early attempts to make Kydex knife sheaths. Wegner’s wife gently and lovingly encourages him to move the budding business to the garage – where companies are normally started. When associates point out to Wegner that one shouldn’t bring knives to gun fights, the business begins to focus on Kydex holsters for guns.

Addressing concerns that holsters can make one’s butt look big, Lisa Looper invents the Flashbang bra holster. Apparently it’s better for one’s, umm, chest to look big. Ok then, moving on…


We hope you have enjoyed this preview from our forthcoming book, My Gun Culture’s Insanely Practical Holster Book.

Our free Insanely Practical Guide PDF is available here. While it contains a fraction of the information that is covered in the full book, there’s plenty of useful stuff in there, and it’s free, so check it out.

Holster Review: Blade-Tech IDPA Competition Pack with SRB (Sting Ray Belt) Holster

Blade-Tech IDPA Competition Pack with SRB (Sting Ray Belt) Holster

Blade-Tech IDPA Competition Pack with SRB (Sting Ray Belt) Holster

This is our favorite Kydex oustide-the-waistband holster. For concealed carry, it’s rock solid and adjustable to your belt width – anywhere form  1 1/4” to 2 1/4”.  This prevents any wobble on the belt, assuming your belt fits within the holsters’ adjustable range.

Gun retention is excellent while the draw is still silky smooth. A great fit from carefully molded kydex combined with adjustable tension screws allow you to set your preferred ease of draw, or level of tension on the gun, depending on how you want to look at it.

The SRB is insanely adjustable. Out of the box you can adjust for a vertical mount, forward cant, or reverse cant depending on your preference. The SRB is also compatible with Blade-Tech’s system that allows for optional paddle, drop, or offset belt attachments.

Oh, and if you want to try some healthy competition, the Blade-Tech SRB is IDPA legal out of the box.

Available Here Blade-Tech IDPA Competition Pack with SRB (Sting Ray Belt) Holster

Read about more carry styles and over 120 different gun holsters in The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – available at Amazon.com! Learn more about our Insanely Practical Guides!

Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Holster Review: Blade-Tech Looper Gun Belt (An ‘almost year’ of abuse in the rainforest)

Blade Tech and Looper gun belts are a Kydex and Leather sandwich

Blade Tech and Looper gun belts are a Kydex and Leather sandwich

About 10 months ago at SHOT Show 2011, I happened to stop by the Blade-Tech booth. Mainly because they had boatloads of really cool stuff on display. Holsters, magazine carriers, flashlight holsters, Taser holsters, and a whole assortment of tactical things designed to carry other tactical things safely and securely.

After discussing a Sting Ray Belt holster (which is IDPA approved) for a Beretta PX4 which is near and dear to my heart, I happened to notice a retail display of leather gun belts – and I was in need. You see, living in South Carolina, where steam is infused into the atmosphere nine months out of the year by massive Solyndra photo-electic humidity generators, leather belts tends to get bendy and mushy. By the way, while ‘bendy’ and ‘mushy’ are desirable features for the beer belly crowd, these are not welcome features for a belt designed to support a couple of pounds of gun, ammo, and holster.

So I asked what was so special about the Blade-Tech Looper Gun Belts on display. Turns out that this belt is really not a belt, but more like a kydex sandwich. While not particularly appetizing, it is functional – especially with extra mayo. The inner kydex lining is covered on both sides by sturdy leather. This combination results in a belt that won’t flex, bend, or stretch over time – kind of like a competition speed shooting belt that you can wear with business casual attire. You can wear it to the office or fight virtual combat battles against the clock!

The Blade-Tech folks working the booth made it very clear to me that this belt was not built for comfort, but for utility. While I don’t remember the exact words, the conversation went something like this:

Me: “So this belt seems really rigid. Will it stay that way? What will happen after a few gallons of sweat and a daily treatment of superheated South Carolina steam?”

Blade-Tech Marketing Person: “It will stay that way. This belt will not break in. It is NOT going to get soft over time.”

Me: “Awesome. All my other gun belts went south of al-dente months after I got them.”

Blade-Tech Marketing Person: “No I don’t think you understand. This belt will not get softer. It’s going to be like this forever. You realize that right?”

Me: “Yup. Exactly what I’m looking for.”

Blade-Tech Marketing Person: “OK, fine. As long as you realize that this belt won’t break in like a normal belt. It’s going to stay rigid like this. Are you sure you’re OK with that?”

After their unnecessarily apologetic disclaimer, I talked the marketing person into selling me both black and brown belts off the trade show floor.

The Looper belt uses a cowhide leather covering over the kydex interior support. The belts use a sturdy brass buckle with the brown belt version showing a raw brass finish and the black belt version featuring a silver plate over the brass for a sporty black / silver color combination. Belts are available in two widths to match most standard holster loop sizes: 1.5 inches and 1.75 inches. I opted for the 1.5 inch version as these belts were to be used with business casual attire and inside the waistband holsters. The 1.75 inch belts would make great options for outside the waistband carry.

I’ve been wearing one of the two belts in our lowcountry rain forest daily for the past 300+ days – toting either a Glock 32, Beretta PX4 full size in .40 Smith & Wesson, or Beretta 92. No featherweights for sure. I’ve also used the brown one as a double duty competition belt for IDPA and Steel Challenge with outside the waistband holster setups and lots of spare mag pouches mounted on the opposite side. Results? A little normal scuffing where I‘ve mounted holsters and that’s it. Both belts are as rigid as they day I bought them.

The Blade-Tech folks were right. It’s still not broken in. And that’s good.

Read about more carry styles and over 120 different gun holsters in The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters – available at Amazon.com! Learn more about our Insanely Practical Guides!

Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Ruger Announces New LCBM Pocket Rocket Pistol

Ruger LCBM Pocket Rocket Pistol

New LCBM Pocket Rocket as shown in Ruger promotional materials

One day after stunning industry insiders with the LC9 9mm Centerfire Pistol announcement, Ruger added fuel to the fire of the pocket arms race with the announcement of the Ruger LCBM Pocket Rocket Pistol.

Designed to offer maximum defensive power in a lightweight and pocket sized form factor, the LCBM retains many of the LC9 features while increasing payload. Like the LC9, the new LCBM offers double action only operation, a locked-breech design, and smooth trigger pull. However, contrary to the LC9 design, the new models will require customized holsters with liquid oxygen fueling apparatus. Ruger spokespersons claim that holster maker Blade-Tech will be announcing an inside the waistband version soon.

“We’re ending the small caliber gun debate once and for all” observed Ruger CEO Ben Cartwright. “The first LCBM models will carry a single .25 kiloton warhead, but we’re working on subsequent models that will offer up to 6 +1 multiple re-entry bullets, or MIRB’s. That should be enough gun to handle most imaginable self defense situations. Hopefully the LCBM will give new meaning to the phrase come on punk, make my day. Either that, or dude, we have a problem.”

Gene Kranz

Product Manager Gene Kranz

Product managers at Ruger explain that the new Pocket Rocket technology simply became a matter of necessity. “We were working on .44 Magnum and .50 caliber LC prototypes, the LC44 and LC50 respectively, and quickly found that recoil in the seven ounce guns was just a little too stout, even for our experienced product testers like Harry Callahan” explained Ruger Product Manager Gene Kranz.

In a related announcement, Crimson Trace announced its next generation integral aiming units for the new LCBM. Similar to the existing LG-431 Front Activation Laserguard model, the unit is also custom designed for the LC series, but will now feature GPS aiming, instead of laser, technology. Early models will boast accuracy to within 100 feet, easily within the effective radius of the LCBM.

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