Shark Tac Holster Review
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.
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.