Monday, December 22, 2008

Fobus Magazine Pouch Review

I've been a Fobus advocate for years (still am), and I bought a magazine/flashlight holster from them about eight months ago that I haven't really worn for any length of time until this past weekend. I own many of their holsters and magazine pouches for just about every handgun in my arsenal, and I've done a review on one of their ankle holsters in the past. It still serves me well.

The pouch for this review is a SF6900 that holds one double stack 9mm magazine and a Surefire 6P or equivalent flashlight. I will tell you up front that this holster is unwearable for any length of time. I doubt that I will ever wear this holster again unless I can modify it enough with a Dremel tool to make it comfortable.

The holster is made out of the standard "injection molded polymer" that is very durable. Myself and many friends that I know wear a Walther P22 in a Fobus paddle holster as anti-snake medicine when we go fishing in the river, and they work well. Around here, river usage is a true torture test for gear, as wading around all day in the Rappahannock amongst the sharp rocks will separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Fobus holsters are waterproof, light, and tough, and the paddle feature lets me slip the thing onto my belt and take it off again in seconds.

Here is a picture of the beast with one full magazine and a Surefire Aviator flashlight.
SF 6900 Frontside

The body of the Aviator is smaller than the 6P; thus the pouch is not designed for this particular light, but it still rides in the pouch just fine. The only difference is that the 6P is a little more snug. If I were rappelling out of helicopters for a living then I might be worried about the extra retention, but as it stands my 6P is standing duty mounted on an AR15, and the Aviator is my EDC light.

The retention of the magazine is good. It may not feel like it is very tight, but if you flip it upside down and shake it with reasonable force the magazine will stay put. When you slide it down onto your belt it will not move. You can slide the pouch horizontally on your belt while it's in place, but it will not move on its own during day to day tasks.

So far, this pouch has been worn while I run to the grocery store to grab a few quick things; never more than a half hour, and for that it is convenient. This particular model is the new design that has a red rubber backing on the pouch. The rubber gives the pouch some grip against a tucked in shirt, and helps keep it from adjusting while you're moving around.
SF 6900 Backside

The reason that I say it is unwearable is that Fobus changed the rivets on the back that hold the paddle to the body of the holster. There is a steel bar that is sandwiched in between the rivets, and on the new design that bar has two small protrusions that stab painfully into your side:
The offending protrusions

I am going to try to modify those protrusions by grinding them off with a Dremel tool. That is the only way I can think of to salvage the holster for my use. They do not exist on the first generation of Fobus holsters, and I can't see the purpose in them being there. Grinding them off may destroy the pouch, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Other than that, there is not a whole lot more to say. It conceals well under a T-shirt, and the magazine is positioned forward of the light to facilitate a quick reload. You will probably need access to your light far more than you will ever need access to the magazine, but when it counts you want to reach that mag first.

Fobus holsters are a steal for the $25 that you pay for one new, and I definitely recommend them; just not this particular one. I will post updates and pictures when I make the modification, and if it goes quick and easy then I might still recommend this one for the price.
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