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Some time back, I acquired a Springfield Armory XD9 sub-compact pistol. It was the 3rd XD pistol to be put into my safe. Needless to say, I'd been very satisfied with the performance of the previous two and getting a sub-compact was something I had been hoping for. After getting my XD9sc, it was time to find a suitable holster for it.
While the Blade-Tech holster I used for range practice and training courses fit it without issue, I needed something much more discrete for concealed carry. My thoughts immediately turned to the folks at High Noon Holsters since I had an excellent Kahr PM9 holster from them. High Noon makes a great holster but with that comes both a wait time and the higher cost. While I intended to CCW the sub-compact from time to time, I had no intentions of it replacing my PM9 on a permanent basis. It was time to look for less expensive holster option.
I remembered a company that supported the Gun Dudes weekly podcast and dug up there information on the internet. Concealment Solutions solutions was the company and they had recently started offering a new outside the waste band (OWB) holster called the Sidewinder. The price was $49.99 with a few more bucks for shipping. After a couple of e-mail exchanges with the owner, I ordered one. It arrived about a week later.
This photo of the Sidewinder was obtained from the Concealment Solutions (CS) web site. I put it here because the holster I received was slightly different. It's not likely that a current purchase will result in what I obtained a year ago when I bought mine. Also keep in mind that mine was a fairly early production and so Concealment Solutions has most likely refined their process based on customer feedback and the economics of production. Also from their web site, "The Sidewinder holster is made with the highest quality U.S. produced cowhide matched with a horsehide backer for superior durability in a rigid platform. We combine this with extra heavy, hand molded Kydex to give you one overbuilt holster that hugs the body for easy concealment under a cover garment."
Here is my Sidewinder holster after using it on and off during the past year. Notice that the belt loops on mine are stitched while those in the CS photo are not. I also believe that CS did not start offering any horsehide leather until sometime after my holster was purchased. I say this because when I examine the backing leather on my holster, the grain bears little resemblance to the horsehide of my High Noon holster. Also, I recall comments on the Gun Dudes podcast where they interviewed the owner and talked about horsehide holsters. I am fairly certain this was also after the period when I bought my holster.
I'm pleased they are using horsehide for the holster backing material as I've been completely impressed with the its performance on my High Noon holster. I'm not so sure about the lack of stitching around the belt loops. It was obvious on mine, in the above photo, that the person doing it had difficulty in doing it well, at least from an aesthetic viewpoint. I'll wager it was determined to either be too difficult to do and/or contributed little to the proper function of the holster itself....resulting in it being discontinued. The appearance of the stitching on mine doesn't really bother me.
As I mentioned, I've been using this holster over the previous
year. You can see it has taken on a curve to match the shape where it
rides on my belt. While it was a little stiff at first during what I would
call its break-in period, it is quite comfortable now.