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G-Code / Haley Strategic INCOG IWB Holster System

update: 2/16 - I posted second review of this holster so check it out for points not covered with this review.

Per the manufacturers website this holster is injection molded plastic, not kydex, wrapped in "tactical fuzz" which is a type of synthetic suede (per their description - "Tactical Fuzz is a "suede like" synthetic outer laminate. This outer layer presents a softer surface that significantly reduces noise during movement, lowers the rigs reflective signature in the IR spectrum and blends with the surrounding environment. "Tactical Fuzz" has a near 0% water absorption rate and is permanently bonded to the holsters outer surface. Tactical Fuzz is an available upgrade on ALL G-Code holsters (except for the SOC Rig) and magazine carriers as well as select G-Code accessories.") and is a "minimum bulk, multi-positional, deep concealment holster. Its distinctive features enable the concealed carry of a handgun from a variety of carry positions while facilitating the acquisition of a full firing grip on the weapon prior to the draw. Inherent are adjustments in the depth of carry, angle of carry, the position of carry and security of carry."

I was given this holster by a friend to review it.  I wore it for about two weeks, hitting the range twice with it (for about 5 hours totals) and while that is not up to the standard I normally require for a solid review of something, especially an EDC item like a holster, I have hit the ceiling with this holster.  The holster runs $69.95 plus shipping and a 4-6 week wait period.  The holster can be purchased in various different colors and patterns (even kryptek!), for what purpose I do not know since it is designed to be a concealed holster.

The holster measures about 4 inches wide at its widest point (plastic clip end to trigger guard cut out), it measures 5.875 inches from bottom of holster to top of sweat guard, it measures 1.875 inches deep (opening for pistol).  With the G-Code clips in their standard position once attached to pants and a belt, there is .5 (half) an inch of clearance from the top of the pants to the first finger groove of a Gen4 G19.  The Glock is exposed about 3 inches from the same position from the top of the pants to the end of the slide.  What does all this data mean? I'll explain as I am talking about master grip/grip placement, holster design, comfort and overall usage.

Reason for Purchase:
I did not purchase it.  I had no intention of purchasing one, but a friend of nice enough to lend this one to me.  This holster, when first released appeared pretty different than others on the market.  It was not hand-made kydex, which is already different and it was not leather or leather/kydex mix.  So if you were looking for a "hip" new holster that was all the rage when it came this is definitely it.  They are hard to find in the secondary market, those that are put up for sale on the forums are sold extremely quickly, demand is very high, even while that may be true today, I would still not buy one and am content to not have spent a dollar on this holster.

First Opinion:
When I saw this holster online, watched the Haley video (on the manufacturer website linked above) the marketing worked.  I started to think if I wanted to spend the money for a holster I will not have for at least a month from the point of order.  I then did what I always do when on the fence of a new kit order, closed the browser at the checkout page.  I slept on it.  Then I began to look at the AIWB holsters I had at the time and compare then to the INCOG.  Then I figured what I had already is fine for me and I do not need anything else (I was running a DarkStarGear AIWB holster at the time).  Then when I got my hands on this holster I realized it was the right choice.  The concept of a holster that can go from AIWB to strong side carry to small of back carry is great, on paper, in reality it requires too much of the holster.  Look at the picture I posted above.  There is a silver metal strut that is designed to allow the G-Code plastic clips to adjust in height and position, it covers the tension screw that allows for customization of retention.

What exactly does this setup provide that a standard kydex setup, like from #Wulfberht AIWB does not?  Other than the obvious ability to change the height (which would require cutting the G-Code clips down in size) and angle of retention (which would require only one screw to be used).  Also the fact the INCOG requires two G-Code clips that are at opposite ends of the holster that measure 3.75 inches from end to end is just added bulk.  Yes I understand you can just use one G-Code clip, yes I also understand that if you get the magazine pouch add-on that second clip is going to be required.  While I understand all that, I cannot help but have the opinion of bulkiness is not going to translate over to speed or comfort.

The above three pictures show the trigger guard.  When I first get a holster I inspect the holster for possible issues I need to be aware of, specifically how the holster covers and protects the trigger area.  This is extremely important since I am not in the business of shooting myself in the groin.  As you can see in the three pictures above, the end up for holster is either cut too short or this holster is meant for a Gen4 G19.  I tried a Gen3 G17, Gen4 G26, Gen4 G34 and a Gen3 G19, the result was exactly the same.  You may be thinking "that gap is not too big, a shirt cannot get in there!"  Maybe, maybe not, not really something I want to test with a loaded gun.  There is a gap, on the bottom of the trigger guard and on the back of it (by the mag release).  This is not something I expect from a top tier holster.

The holster also did not pass the upside down shake test for retention, no matter how tightly I screwed the bushing down.  There has to some sort of retention available, perhaps it is this specific holster but that is what I have in my hands as I write this and that is an issue since it also did not pass the 50m sprint test. The G19 flops out.

In the Field:
I do not wear my AIWB holsters at the 12 o'clock position because it is extremely uncomfortable since it digs in the top of my groin, especially when I am driving.  While comfort is not on the top of the list of requirements I have for kit, it is still on the list and the INCOG is not comfortable.  Getting in and out of vehicles required adjusting.  I tried to carry one week with both G-Code clips and one week with just the inner clip at the trigger guard, still same issue.  I even had the clip pop out a few times because of non-standard dry fire draw positions.  Of course that may be because of the Volundgearworks Atlas 1.75 belt I wear EDC, which is stiffer and does not allow for the flex of other belts, meaning its unforgiving.  The above belt is a Cobra belt from Volundgearworks, at 1.5 inch thickness (contrasts better in pictures since its two toned).

So lets get to the performance of the holster, how fast is it?  With the DarkStarGear AIWB holster I put down a 1.00 second from concealment beep to one shot on target at 7 yards A-zone or chest size steel, so we will use that as a base since that is a nice round number.  I timed myself shooting one shot from concealment draw with the INCOG with two clips, standard height of clips (the way its pictured in this review) and put down an average of 1.31, with the slowest being 1.49 and fastest being 1.21, this is out of ten shots once I felt comfortable with the holster.  I did the same ten shot run with only on clip on the holster, and the result was similar, in the area of 1.30, slowest being 1.45 and fastest being 1.19.  I can only guess that because there only one clip it allowed my to push the holster to angle the grip up which allows more of a master grip on the gun during draw.  Non-standard drawing positions required some finesse and were extremely difficult with both clips on the holster, this cause the holster to not be able to twist or bend when I needed an extra tenth of an inch for grip placement. 
The following pictures will break down the draw from the INCOG with two clips at the 1 o'clock position unconcealed.

With both clips the gun sat deeper than just with one clip, specifically because the two clips when aligned equally on the holster push the grip of the Glock to be horizontal with the belt, in the picture it looks angled because that is the way it settles when I walk around with it.

Above depicts the first step of the master grip, I am pushing my thumb against my shirt by the rear sight and pushing my middle finger against the top of my pants, the G-Code clip and the trigger guard.

Master grip attained.

Draw process begins, you can see the belt line slightly move up in this picture from the last one.

Glock beings to clear the holster, finger off the trigger, safety first.

Successfully clears the holster.

Last step of draw before Glock is rotated towards target.  Obviously these pictures were staged for clarity of draw so I can show the way the holster acts during draw.  As you can see it is a deeper carry than many other holsters, of course if the clips are cut and the holster is raised higher it allows for greater easy of attaining a master grip.

The above pictures shows a cover garment, which is a 5.11 tactical polo, the way the polo is designed it conceals AIWB a lot better than other traditional polo's (like tight fitting golf polo shirts).  I wore this polo specifically because I wanted to show a "best case scenario" of concealment.  From the left side you cannot see anything.

From the right side, however, you can see the tip of the magazine poking out, high concealment is towards the top of the list of things I expect from a good AIWB holster.

Ownership and Usage:
If I actually owned this holster I would have cut the clips down and pushed the holster up, higher than it was the way I got it.  I could not do that to this holster because I did not own it.  I did push the clips down and tried to wear it that way, without the clips being cut and it was a real pain.  The clips stuck out in the pants appearing to give me a throbbing erection and digging in my thighs, but it gave the Glock a better position for draw.

The "tactical fuzz" is really the only truly cool bit about the whole holster.  I like the fact that it retains the shirt well, especially when you wear a solid belt to push against your body.  The tactical fuzz actually helps keep the shirt away from the trigger area.  I had two instance of my shirt getting tucked into the trigger area (behind the trigger itself and in front of the trigger guard) during training.  This is an issue, but happens with many holsters.  I do not know if changing the design of the holster, specifically the trigger guard would benefit the performance or mitigate shirts from coming undone and falling into the trigger area.

In my opinion the second clip, as you can see above to the left of the Glock, is completely pointless in the way this holster is designed as a standalone holster.  When you add the magazine pouch add-on I can see why it is required.  By itself, however, it makes the holster too bulky and obvious.

The above image shows another issue I have with the design of the INCOG.  Why is the front sight exposed?  Having the front sight exposed is a check in the no-go box.  Some may think this is not an issue, and I would be willing to agree with them if I had never had front sights break on me rendering my gun a point and shoot tool at best, which legally is a road no one should want to go down.  The front sight should be covered and protected as it is just as important as protecting the trigger area from debris and loose clothing.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations:
This holster is not for me.  It does not do what I need it to do in the capacity I require.  As a strong side holster it may work fine with the two clip system but as an AIWB holster (the capacity in which I reviewed it here) it has more possible issues than benefits.  The G-Code clips are bulky, the holster is too wide and takes up too much space requiring constant adjustment and fitting for proper comfort, retention and development of draw stroke for speed.  It does not conceal as well as other holsters on the market and along with the magazine add-on (that I purposefully chose not to review) the INCOG offers little improvement on many kydex AIWB holsters, especially those I listed above.  During some of the dry fire I did when I first started carrying this holster my cover shirt would snag on the G-Code clips, that is a problem.  The exposed and unprotected front sight is a no-go.  The fact you need to cut the G-Code clips in order to get a proper adjustment means if you ever wanted to sell the holster or try a different type of carry you would have to buy new G-Code clips is also a no-go when setups like "pull the dot" exist to specifically alleviate that issue.  The only benefit I can see of the G-Code clips is that they are easy on and easy off, which is not really a factor in my opinion.

Now you may have read this review and thought "damn, you really don't like this holster!" Or that this review is negative in some way.  That would be incorrect.  I am merely stating my personal experience with AIWB holsters, my personal requirements for AIWB holsters and my opinion on functionality of the holster as I see it.  Your experience may vary since you and I may have different standards, which translate into gear choices.  G-Code and Haley Strategic wanted to make an innovative holster design that has not been done before which can be a fits all type of setup.  They did it and it works in the capacity it was designed.  As all things that are "one size fits all" they rarely do any one thing particularly well, but merely well enough to get by, which this holster does.