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Review: N8 Tactical G2 IWB Holster

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Every holster has its good and bad sides, features that work well, and features that leave you scratching your head. The N8 Tactical Professional G2 IWB Holster is no exception. There are several things I really like and think you will, too, and one that I wondered what they were thinking. Let’s start with the good.

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The basic design of the Professional G2 is an IWB purposed as a strongside-hip concealment holster that likely won’t work well if you prefer appendix carry, mostly due to the enormous, cushioned leather and polypropylene pad that rests against the skin. I prefer strongside carry anyway, so this worked well for me. Once I got over the odd shape and how huge it is, I realized the genius behind the design. The backer is extremely comfortable and kept the gun’s grip off my skin perfectly. No complaints. I just had to get used to the odd shape. Could N8 have accomplished the same with a smaller footprint? Maybe, but aesthetics is less of an issue on an IWB because nobody sees it in public.

Belt retention was excellent, with a single adjustable plastic clip that was easy to put on and fit snugly over both belts that I tried: a leather belt by CrossBreed and a Nexbelt Supreme PreciseFit adjustable nylon belt, which is a bit thinner. Testing with both let me see if the clip held with different thicknesses. The holster didn’t move through all-day carry, including in and out my car, bending down, squatting, walking, and other everyday activities. It stayed right where I had put it in the morning. No complaints.

The belt clip cant is adjustable with a single screw. Similar systems I have tried in the past tended to loosen throughout the day, causing the holster to swivel. This one, however, did not. I deliberately tried to get it to move, but it would not budge until I unscrewed it. The patent-pending LockDown clip mechanism works as advertised.

The gun is held in place via a Kydex shell bound to the backer by seven screws. They held the gun firmly, with an audible and tactile click. It stayed in place and felt secure all day.

Even with those plusses, however, herein also lies my biggest complaint about the holster: the draw. Touted as a safety feature in the enclosed literature, the Twist Release Draw Stroke is, in my opinion, a detriment. Rather than allowing the gun to pull straight out like on almost all other IWBs, the N8 Tactical Professional G2 requires a twist to free the gun from the small “bump” (their term) that holds the trigger guard in place.

While this may not sound so bad at first since some Level 3 OWBs have a twist-to-release system, and this is certainly not a new concept, in this case the twist is toward your body, not away from it. So, once you’ve acquired the firing grip on the gun, you must twist it toward your body, essentially pinching your thumb between the grip and your side. And it’s not just a small twist. It’s substantial. This motion disconnects your grip and forces a regrip when you bring the gun up on target. It’s also not an intuitive motion, requiring a lot of practice to commit it to muscle memory, hardly something you want to deal with under stress. I rarely give holster companies recommendations, but I suggest changing the retention feature on this one.

All that said, overall the N8 Tactical Professional G2 IWB is a comfortable holster that stays in place through activities. It’s easy to adjust and holds the gun extremely well. Too well, in fact. Total grade: B+, slightly downgraded only because of the draw twist. Retail price, $59.95.

Article by DAVID WORKMAN

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