Werkz Holster FAQ
Here are answers to our more frequently asked questions.
- I'm new to carrying; which holster should I buy?
- I hear about IWB, OWB, AIWB... what do those acronyms mean?
- What colors or patterns are available?
- Origin holster questions
- Can I buy a holster for one model pistol and also use it for a different model?
- What should I do if I don't see my pistol's model listed?
- How much retention should I expect?
- How do I adjust the retention?
- Can I adjust the ride height?
- Can I adjust the holster cant (i.e. angle)?
- What is a "body shield" and why would I want the standard configuration versus the "no shield / thumb clears" configuration?
- Does the Origin holster come with belt loops?
- What belt loop size do I need?
- Can I attach the holster to other things, such as webbing, or wear IWB?
- Where should I wear this holster?
- What is "straight drop" and why would I want that?
- Origin holster for pistols with lights or laser questions
- Will my holster retain my pistol if I remove the light?
- Will my holster work with a different model of light?
- Where can I find out more about Werkz?
For most customers, it is best to start off with an Outside the Waistband (OWB) holster. In the Werkz product line, this is the Origin line of holsters. The reason for this is wearing the pistol outside the waistband is comfortable, concealable, and accessible. Because the belt doesn't pull the pistol in to the hip as hard as wearing Inside the Waistband (IWB), this method of carry is often more comfortable. Additionally, since our holsters ride somewhat high and pull the pistol close in to the body, and our curved shape reduces extra plastic material, the holsters tend to conceal quite well under a jacket or untucked shirt. Finally, putting a pistol on the hip outside the waistband simply tends to be accessible. Most gun stores and trainers will recommend a quality custom-fitted holster such as the Werkz Origin holster to those just starting to carry concealed.
OWB: Outside the Waistband. This is where the holster sits outside of your pant/short and outside of your belt. This tends to be quite comfortable and reasonably concealabll
IWB: Inside the Waistband. This is where the holster sits between your body and your pant or short, inside your belt. This method may be comfortable, and has the concealment advantage of keeping the muzzle of the pistol and holster out of sight.
AIWB: Appendix Inside the Waistband. This is a modification of IWB, where the pistol is carried up front, typically between 11 and 1 o'clock. This is typically for experienced operators only as it requires a strong degree of pistol discipline and an appropriate body shape. For those who can carry AIWB, it is often considered one of the most concealed, fastest, and most comfortable methods of carry.
Please refer to information posted on this page.
Short answer: no.
Longer answer: Because the holster is molded to your exact pistol model, any variations in size, width, or shape will result in the holster not fitting correctly. While a Glock 19 may fit in a holster for a Glock 17 properly (because the only material difference is a slightly reduced muzzle length), this cannot be expected with most pistols. For instance, a H&K HK45 will "kinda" fit in a H&K P30L holster due to their similar shapes, it won't snap in properly, and may leave the trigger partially uncovered. This results in retention issues and potentially safety issues. If you want a universal holster, inexpensive nylon ones are available. However, if you want a holster that fits closely to the shape of your pistol, provides good passive retention without external mechanisms such as straps, we have a great solution for you in our Origin holsters.
Unless your pistol is a standard variation of those listed, such as for a particular barrel length Kimber 1911 which will match up to the same barrel length 1911 listed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-937-5901 to see if we can get the appropriate mold for your holster. Our policy is if a customer requests, and if we can source a mold, we will buy it to build holsters on.
Werkz tunes the holsters to have enough retention to hold a fully loaded pistol upside down with some movement. Vigorous shaking upside down (obviously pistol must be unloaded) will allow the pistol to release.
Holsters for nearly all models should allow the pistol to "snap" into place, which you should both feel and hear. A sharp tug on the pistol should allow the pistol to release cleanly after overcoming the initial retention. Werkz holsters do not use external retention mechanisms, and relies upon this natural retention in the Kydex.
If your holster needs more or less retention, please send it to us with a note indicating what you desire. We will tune it and send it back no charge.
If you insist on trying it yourself, we will not warranty the product. We can tell when Kydex has lost its shape due to overheating, and will not replace the holster. That said, if you insist, I'll let you know the best way to do it. Get a heat gun or hair dryer. MAKE SURE THE PISTOL IS UNLOADED AND SAFE. Set the heater on low so you don't "burn" the Kydex which can result in offgassing of hazardous chemicals. Heat slowly around the trigger guard area, including inside the trigger guard (i.e. where the trigger is). Move the dryer / heat gun constantly to reduce the chance of overheating one specific area. Once the Kydex reaches about 140 to 160 degrees, it still retains its shape but can start moving. If you want more retention, pinch the front bar of the trigger guard, pressing also inside the trigger guard to dimple it in. If you want less retention, pinch in front of the trigger guard (below the muzzle) and start pulling the pistol from the holster, and reinserting repeatedly. One method causes more material to be "in the way" of the trigger guard front bar on draw, and the other method pushes some of that material out of the way. If you didn't get it right the first time, keep trying. Remember, you just voided our warranty, so keep trying until you get it right.
Yes! If your holser has 5 eyelets on each side, which most full size pistols do, then you can unscrew the belt loop assemblies from both sides of the holster, reposition them in the next lower set of belt loops, and reinstall things. If you have a compact pistol, you may only have 4 eyelets, but you will likely be able to turn the belt loops upside down to push the pistol up a little bit further on your body. If you need to drop the pistol, contact Werkz to purchase drop belt loops, which will drop the pistol about 1/2".
We build our holsters "straight drop" which means the pistol sits straight up and down in the holster. However, just as you can adjust the ride height, you can move a single belt loop to adjust the cant. Our measurements are that by simply turning the belt loop by the trigger guard upside down (on 1.5" loops), you can get almost 5 degrees of cant. If you need more, you can move the belt loop (straight up) down a set of eyelets, getting about 10 degrees. If you need more than that, move the belt loop AND turn it upside down, which will net you approximately 15 degrees. Finally, if none of that is satisfying, you can call us and discuss the possibility of canting the pistol within the Kydex mold.
Here are two examples of configurations. The FDE Kydex simulates the angle the belt would be at.
What is a "body shield" and why would I want the standard configuration versus the "no shield / thumb clears" configuration?
The Origin holsters are made with two pieces of Kydex, one on the body side, and one on the outside. We purposely cut the body side of the Kydex so that it goes up the slide a little further. This provides two benefits. The first is that it helps keep the garment (shirt, jacket) out of the holster. The second benefit is that it provides a little more Kydex for the muzzle to touch, providing more tactile feel upon reholstering. We don't go all the way up the slide, but rather extend approximately 1.5 inches up (varies based upon pistol model). This (standard / short body shield) configuration is what 95%+ of our customers go with. If you're unsure of which to choose, choose this. If at some point you want no body shield, send your holster back and we'll remove it and re-polish the cut surface.
The following picture has the body shield area circled. This is a "standard body shield".
The following picture shows two VP9 holsters. The one on the left has a standard body shield. The one on the right has no body shield.
However, some operators do not like the possibility of having their thumb touch something other than the frame or slide of their pistol when drawing. These are people who know they want their thumb to not touch Kydex. For them, we have the "no shield / thumb clears" option.
Yes. Our standard belt loops are 1.5", which is what most customers use.
Most customers use 1.5" belt loops. However, for customers who use tactical belts, those belts are often 1.75". It's easy to tell what you need by measuring your belt.
Yes, the Origin holster can be adapted to many different configurations. We offer accessories to convert the Origin platform to IWB using plastic hooks or straps. We have straps that will allow you to attach teh Origin platform to webbing, such as on a pack or battle belt. We also manufacture belt loop wings that may help pull the holster even closer to the body and do not require threading the belt through the holster belt loops. In addition, we have fabricated attachments to backpack straps, drop leg platforms, among other places. For those special requests, please contact us directly.
We find that our Origin holsters are best worn between 2 and 4 o'clock for right handed shooters, and 8 to 10 o'clock for left handed shooters. Straight drop designs such as ours don't lend themselves well to far behind the back draws.
Straight drop holsters keep the barrel of the gun vertical; they do not cant the pistol to the rear (or front) by design. Straight drop, when carried appropriately (see question immediately above), is often faster to draw from and provides better protection against someone else drawing your pistol without your permission. Straight drop means that it has to be drawn straight up into the side, often providing ample opportunity to prevent someone else from drawing.
No. Normal holster retention for pistols without a light is on the trigger guard. Due to today's light designs, this area must be clearanced to properly draw the pistol with the light. Further, the light is where the holster will retain the pistol. This means that when the light is removed, the holster doesn't have retention. If the light is removed, the holster may hold the pistol under gravity, but it won't have the "snap" feel you have come to expect.
No. Due to different light shapes, it will not properly retain the pistol, and may not fit at all.
Werkz can be found on many social media outlets, YouTube, and other places. Further, Shan Hemphill, the owner, has been interviewed on podcasts and newspaper. Here are some of the available sources: