Being left-handed and interested in a variety of guns presents one major problem: where to find a holster. Universal holsters aren’t my favorite options, but I’ll admit to using them in a pinch. Unfortunately, these holsters don’t offer the best fit and are usually not the best quality. Enter Blackhawk and its new TecGrip FormLok moldable holsters. Available in six different sizes that are customizable for hundreds of different firearm models, the new FormLok holsters are here to save the day.
IWB and Clipless Carry
Most of us are no strangers to the inside-the-waistband holster. It is discreet, secure, and comfortable for everyday carry. Most of us have also tried clipless holster options from companies such as Blackhawk and Sticky Holsters. These options are less secure but seem to serve well for those who don’t move around a ton throughout the day. If you work at a desk, these could be great options, if you work construction, they’re probably not the best choice. Even when cinched down by a solid gun belt, I find that most of these clipless holsters move around on the hip and need to be adjusted frequently.
Blackhawk TecGrip FormLok Features
Now, I’m not going to tell you that Blackhawk solved everything with the new TecGrip FormLok, but there is a definite improvement. First off, the holster is fully ambidextrous. It’s constructed out of a thicker nylon material, making it more rigid and durable.
The rough and grippy exterior helps secure the holster in place and the reinforced interior and thick stitching improve long-term durability. Additionally, the FormLok incorporates a middle layer of Memory-Lok material. This allows it to be heated and molded to your specific firearm for the best fitment possible, providing passive retention similar to a molded kydex holster.
However, the FormLok can be fitted to your individual firearm in minutes and can be refitted to different firearms down the road. The holster holds its form well for what it is, even with the handgun removed. This provides you with the security of a fitted holster and the versatility of a universal design — something truly unique in the current market.
The molding process was fast and simple. I started by heating up some water to between 155-175℉. The instructions were to use a gallon of water, but I just filled up a midsize cooking pot. I placed the TecGrip FormLok holster into the provided plastic zipper bag.
Weighing the bag down with wrenches or rocks so it didn’t float to the top helped. Next, fully submerge the holster in the bag in the water for 5-10 minutes (I believe I did 8). After properly heating the holster, I removed the bag from the water with some tongs and removed the holster from the bag. Be careful not to touch any hot tools or rocks used to weigh down the bag.
Immediately slide the unloaded pistol into the holster and insert the sight track tool. Begin pressing and molding the holster to the features of your gun. Pay special attention to areas such as the ejection port, controls, and trigger guard area to make sure you get the best fit possible.
As the holster starts to cool, remove your sight track tool and use the corner of the handle to further mold the holster. Finally, when the holster is cool and no longer pliable, check your work. If you find any errors or are not satisfied with your work, start over and repeat the process.
Concealed Carry Effectiveness
The Blackhawk TecGrip FormLok is primarily designed for one thing: concealed carry. There is no one size fits all solution for carry. Your body is different from mine, and the concealment of a handgun will depend on your body type, carry position, and clothing selection.
I selected a SIG M11-A1 (P229) for testing this holster. I wanted a pistol with some size and weight to make sure the FormLok was up to the task. With a midsize handgun such as this, you may have to adjust the holster on your belt throughout the day, depending on your movement and lifestyle, I certainly did. No, it wasn’t every 20 minutes, but every few hours I found myself adjusting, especially after getting in or out of a car.
The bending-over movements will cause the pistol to shift a bit. It should be noted this occurred even with a proper gun belt. This would be made worse without the right support gear and clothing.
Conclusion: TecGrip FormLok
The Blackhawk TecGrip FormLok, what a unique holster. A moldable holster that can be used and reused for several different firearms may be just the ticket. The FormLok is a great option for lefties or those who like to carry a variety of guns, especially guns that are older or less popular.