18 July 2013

Panther Concealment Kydex Knife Sheath review

Earlier this year I was gifted a beautiful Bud Nealy from a close friend.  I really loved the knife but the MCS System was intended for one sheath to provide many options.  Because of the size needed to attach different hardware, I found it uncomfortable to carry IWB.  Wanting to carry it I began to scout out someone to make me a few new sheaths.

Now anyone reading this knows that everyone and their little brother is making kydex these days.  There is a ton of junk out there that may not be identified as such because the person looking at it has no reference.  If you have seen one sheath or one holster than that is the best and worst that you have ever seen.  I personally have kydex from about 10-12 different knife makers and kydex makers, however I have fondled sheaths and holsters from dozens of others.  Having both OCD and enjoying attention to detail I notice the little things.  With kydex, especially knife sheaths because they often use less material than holsters, little things stand out a lot.  Many makers make what I call a 90% product.  By that I mean for some reason they just don't do that last little bit extra.  Usually this comes in the form of a rough corner, or not melting the edge together on the sheath.  Because I enjoy introducing MCS fans to new products, especially those from other small businesses, I began my search for a  kydex maker I was not familiar with.

Within a few pages of Google I found Panther Concealment out of Jacksonville FL, and shot them an e-mail.  It did not take very long before I had a response from Scott Whigham who works with Jim Kay, the owner of Panther Concealment.  We went back an forth talking about options for my two sheaths and all I said was that I wanted to simple sheaths.  One I would use with an IWB loop and the other would be used on a mercharness or Tactical Tether..  My only real requirement was that they be as small as possible while still having positive retention.  Being a picture menu type of guy I try to keep things as simple as possible.  Here is part of the next e-mail I got from Scott-

RH/LH draw
Edge forward/edge back (you can set it up anyway you like, but we'd prefer to set it up for your preferred carry position). IIRC, you prefer an appendix-type carry, so please let us know where to put the IWB loop for you.

That's about it. Will let you know when the blade arrives, and we'll turn your sheaths around in short order.
 
It made me feel like I was getting a suit made instead of sheath.  I really enjoyed and appreciated the fact that I finally found a kydex maker who understood the difference between carry and deployment options.
According to my records they got my knife on 01APR13 and shipped it back with the new sheaths on 10APR13.  That is an amazing tun around for a custom product.

As with most things, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.  Just keep in mind that it would not be fair for God to bless me with boyish good looks and photography skills.  If you ever see a good picture here it came from John at Pho-Tac.  But here are my pics.
 

The tale of the tape.  You can see how much less material was needed to make the sheath by narrowing down the carry options.
 


Showing the ability to acquire the master grip in the sheath and silently deploy it with a simple push of the thumb.



This picture shows the balance between retention and allowing purchase on the file work.







Shortly after receiving the sheaths I broke my ankle and have been laid up since.  Prior to that I was working a "detail" in Baltimore and was wearing this knife behind my strong side hip in support of my handgun.  I found it very comfortable in all positions and movements.  My plan is to carry this when I feel inclined to carry a purpose driven defensive fixed blade.

The bottom line for me is that it is easy to hide errors and mistakes in anything when there is a lot going on, but when you make something incredibly simple there is no way to do that.  These are just minimalist .93 kydex sheaths.  Outside of these pictures, like many things we carry every day, chances are nobody will see these sheaths.  But the important thing is that they work for me so they will be carried.

Also be sure to check out Panther Concealment and all they offer for sheaths and knives on their Facebook page.




3 comments:

  1. They look and sound like great sheaths. :)

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  2. Hi George, I was just wondering what kydex holster you use for your Taurus 85 ? Thanks in advance.

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  3. Currently I am not using kydex for the 85. I am using a leather IWB from R Grizzle Leather that I am in love with.

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