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Shark Tac Holster Review

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As I mentioned in a previous article, I recently took a class toward and applied for my Ohio Carry Concealed Weapon permit (CCW) – I’m expecting to get the call any day to come to the Sheriff’s Office and pick up my permit.  Since applying for my CCW permit, I’ve been considering holster options for carrying my Ruger SR9c concealed – there’s a lot to consider.  I thought that I’d like to be able to hold and try out some of my available options, so I waited until a Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife Show came back to the area (they seem to have on in the Dayton area at least once a month) so I could do just that.

After surveying my options, I chose a “kydex” holster custom made to my gun by Shark Tac:

Unfortunately, the Shark Tac website is not currently functioning, but I’ve learned that Shark Tac is not the only maker of these kydex polymer gun holsters – Raven Concealment Systems also makes a very similar product.    Raven seems to indicate they have an extremely long order fulfillment time though – I think you’re much better off going to a gun show and having one made while you wait – it took about an hour for mine to be made, and cost $90.00 out the door.

I chose this product over other holster options for several reasons.  Firstly, I’m not a big fan of snap clasp style retention holsters or even Serpa style push button retention systems.  If I’m carrying my gun, I’m going to carry it concealed, so I’m not particularly worried about a bad guy taking my gun from me – they won’t know I have one.  And if I need to get the gun out, I don’t want to have to fiddle with opening a snap clasp or a push button release under stress.  With the kydex style holsters, they’re custom fit to your gun and have a considerable amount of retention as a result – I’m confident my gun isn’t going to come out of my holster unless I want it out.

I was also drawn to this holster because I wasn’t entirely sure if I want to carry inside the waistband (IWB) of my pants, or outside the waistband (OWB).  With the Shark Tac holster, you can do both, as the screws which hold the clips to the holster frame can be removed and the clips reversed.

When I placed my order, I was asked several questions about where I wanted the holster to be on my body (which side?  front, side, or back?) and the holster was shaped and contoured appropriately.  As a result, it’s extremely comfortable and light-weight due to the kydex polymer material used in it’s construction.  I have not yet worn it outside my home (as I don’t yet have my CCW permit) but I wore it for a few hours at home without any discomfort or annoyance whatsoever.

My Ruger SR9C in my Shark Tac holster

So far I’m quite pleased with this holster – perhaps I’ll try and get one for my Springfield Armory XD(m) 9mm.  I’ll try and update this article after I receive my CCW permit (hopefully this week!) and have more experience with it.

Update:  DO NOT do business with Shark Tac.  If you can find them at a gun show and they can make you a holster while you wait as I did, you might do OK.  But negative customer feedback on the Shark Tac Facebook page was so prevalent, they had to shut it down.  The company is non-responsive to inquiries and sloooow to deal with customer issues.  To add insult to injury, Shark Tac is illegally using photos from this review on their website without my permission or compensation.  Do you really want to do business with people like that?

Update December 2011:  I bought a new gun for CCW purposes, and as luck would have it, another Bill Goodman Gun & Knife Show came back around to the Dayton area.  So I thought I would pay the proprietor of Shark Tac another visit.  Sure enough, he was at the show so I handed him my gun and placed an order for the same exact holster I got last year, and was quoted the same price – $90.00 (this will become important later).  It was clear to me that he didn’t recognize me from our prior dealings.   He told me to come back in about an hour, so I did.  When I returned, he was finishing up with my holster so I mentioned that I bought one of his holsters the year prior, and did a review on my website.  “Ohhhh so you’re that guy” he said.  Now the wheels of recognition were turning – I had sent him SEVERAL emails asking him to either pay me, or stop using the clearly copyrighted and watermarked photo he took from my website.  He finished with the holsters and his assistant requested payment – $90.00.  I told him “you know, I was really hoping we could work something out against the money you owe me for the use of the photo you took from my website.”  He then said “you know, I never could figure out why this was such a big deal – you sent me the photo!”  I corrected him stating – “Firstly, I never sent you the photo you’re using on your website.  I did however send you a link to the review I did.  That’s not the same thing.  Secondly, I subsequently sent you several emails asking you to either stop using the photo or work out reasonable payment for its use, which you ignored and continued to use the photo.”  He then stated “I’ve already called my webmaster and asked him to remove the photo so it will be removed from the site today if it hasn’t already, and I’ve already given you a discount on the holster as a repeat customer and I can’t do any better.”  Lie #1 – he never was indicated that he recognized me when I placed the order, nor made any mention of a repeat customer discount.  Lie #2 the price he quoted me was the exact same price I was quoted as a first time customer last year, so no discount of any kind was being applied.  “I said c’mon man….you’ve been using my photo for a year…..clearly you like it or you would have taken it down by now, so at least knock $10.00 off the holster.”  He relented and I paid him $80.00.  Within a few days the photo in question was also removed from his website, so at least he kept his word in this regard.

It’s both a shame and a pity because his holsters are really nice – he does great work.  If you can catch him at a gun show, and he’ll do the holster there and then, you’ll likely be very happy with working with him.  But I’m finding increasing numbers of reports on the Internet like this one where people have tried work with him outside of a gun show – Shark Tac is growing infamous for having absolutely zero follow up via phone or email.  In fact, a good friend of mine went to a show, and had him make a holster, but Shark Tac used the wrong size belt clips.  “No problem he said – I have more at home and will mail them to you – here’s my card with my cell phone number.”  Days went by without word from him, and my friend started trying to call him – he never answered his phone.  My buddy left him voicemails and sent him text messages and emails, to which he never responded until one day he emailed my friend to tell him he as putting out a restraining order against him!  I asked Shark Tac about this when I saw him and he said he was going to have my friend arrested if he ever comes to a show and has a restraining order against him (which I strongly suspect was also not true as my friend has received any sort of notification of a restraining order).  I told Shark Tac that I had be happy to bring my friend the belt clips he promised him if he’d give them to me.  “He didn’t pay me for them and I’d have to make a special jig to make what he wanted” was his response, and both statements we also false.  I told him “no problem, I’ll pay you for them.”  To this he responded that he’d never do any sort of business with my friend ever again.

Update January 2012

So my buddy referenced above calls me to inform me that the Bill Goodman’s Gun and Knife show was coming back to town, and he’d like to go and pay Brandon at Shark Tac a personal visit.  At this point, Brandon still hasn’t contacted my friend, nor made good on the promised belt clips.  So we go.  🙂

The show was busier than usual, and Brandon had a few customers at this table.  We patiently waited our turn – Brandon did say a friendly “hello” to me, and never gave any indication that I wasn’t welcome.  My friend said I didn’t have to stand there and wait, so I ran over to another table to look at a gun with my wife.  I returned to a few minutes later to see my friend walking away from the Shark Tac table with a show security officer.  Apparently Brandon had requested that show organizers have both of us removed from his table area.  My friend overheard him telling another patron at his table “I’ve got a restraining order against that guy!”  Brandon later admitted to show organizers that he in fact did not have a restraining order against my friend…he’d looked into it, but never followed through.  In other words, he lied.  Again.

So, I’m done with Brandon.  The guy has a serious credibility/integrity issue as far as I’m concerned.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

  1. Having both a serpa and thumb strap holsters I can say that I don’t have problems getting the gun out of either of them. You develop the muscle memory to use whatever holster you use. My thumb automatically undoes the snap on my holster with out even a thought. That said, I really really like my new Sharktac holster and prefer it to both of the aforementioned holsters.

  2. I don’t doubt that at the range, at home practicing, or even at T3 the thumb strap or Serpa holsters don’t prove to be problematic and that muscle memory is developed. That doesn’t change the fact though that it’s an extra step which I’m not willing to gamble on in a stressful, life or death situation.

  3. The whole point of muscle memory is just that – muscle memory. I completely don’t even think about taking the thumb strap off – it just happens. Put my hand on the gun and the strap comes off. I think the thumb strap is easier than the Serpa though. That said, I still prefer the Sharktac for simplicity and ease of use.

  4. It disappoints me to see this kind of bad customer service from people especially since I draw my inspiration and look up to the wonderful people in the holster making community like those at RDR Holsters and PHLster who are known to do their best to satisfy their customers even at a slight expense to themselves with quality customer service.

  5. Well i have read the reviews from other buyers of this holister
    and i had bought a 40 cal at my local gun show in Columbus
    so now i needed a holster at first i was impressed that i could wait and have one made but the guy told me he had one already made that would fit my gun so i bought it for about 110 bucks
    he also said if i did not like it just bring it back and a refund would be no problem well that was two gun showes later and they have yet to show back in Columbus
    so i went over to a place in reynoldsburg Oh and had one made there
    which was cheaper and alot better made in one day great guys to deal with and they care about there customers the name of the place is Survival Tactics phone number is 614-864-9900
    go see them you will like what they have

  6. I have had the same issues that sooo many others seem to have had. I didn’t do my research first and based my purchase on the feel of the rig while at a local gun show. Well, fast forward a few weeks and now I have a problem that has made the holster totally unusable and they will not respond to my inquiries.

    Buyer beware!

  7. Sorry to hear that Linwood. 🙁

  8. Thanks for this review.
    I spoke with the shark tac guy at the local gunshow this afternoon here in Indianapolis and he wanted $150 for a molded kydex holster with a carbon fiber finish, after he tried to tell me it was real CF. when I went to the website, their online prices were far less. I took a card and walked away, but after reading your experience, I want no part of Shark Tac. It didnt feel right and I am glad I waited.

  9. Glad to hear it Brandon. You’ve got some nice photos on your website BTW!

  10. HeadshotTactical says:

    Seems like you should have been up front on your second holster deal. You agreed to $90.00 and could have easily brought up your issues before you agreed to the $90.00 price and tried to work out a deal on your photo before your order, not brought it up after it was done. If someone called me about a gun, got a quote, and showed up to pick it up, and threw me some story about how a year ago they bought a box of ammo and 2 rounds didn’t go off I wouldn’t be too inclined to give them a discount either. Running a business by yourself or with little help does take it’s toll on one person, and there are no excuses for poor customer service, but I still don’t take your side in this instance.

  11. Well, you’re opinion is certainly in the minority, and here’s why. You completely look past how unethical it was for him to STEAL my photography. Your example about someone wanting a discount based on buying some ammo isn’t comparable in the least – again, it ignores the immoral and unethical behavior on the part of Sharktac. In the end, I got the discount because this vendor knew I was in the right and he was in the wrong. If you condone his behavior here, then perhaps you condone stealing? Is that how you run your business?

  12. I bought a holster at the indy show form these people. As the show was closeing they said they had a pre made one for my Beretta 92 A1. I said are you sure as it has a rail. They said to bring it back if it didnt fit and they would wait 10 mins. Went out to my car and tryed it. Not only didnt it fit but it jammed and took considerable effort to remove. This could get someone KILLED. Went back into gun show and they had left. have emailed /phoned and texted numerous times. Finaly got reply to send it back to store and they would fix it. After it jammed ,im not going to trust it with my life. They said they would refund me. Wrong. Another 2 months and nothing. DO NOT buy from these shysters. BBB rating F. And thats just because they dont give a G. Poor product.poor customer service. unethical people. BUYER BEWARE.

  13. Sorry to hear from yet another of their unsatisfied customers. I have no idea how they stay in business.

  14. Sorry to here about all the bad experiences with this company
    I myself make custom kydex holsters.

    great customer service is what keeps my customers coming back to me.

    My products are sold at several locations with the newest one being
    Hard Knock Archery and gun shop in Englewood ohio.

    Keep shooting and god bless.

    John send me an email and I will hook you up with a holster of your choice for all you do for this community

  15. Hi Devin – thanks for you support! I sent you an email! 🙂

  16. went to sharronville today. sgarktac wants 50 bucks now for their prodouct. online they want 175… funny you can buy this stuff for CHEAP… and they sell it fo so much more.. business i know.. i wont be buying anything of these people.

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