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DOWN UNDER THUNDER! High Noon's Fabulous IWB

Posted by kr on August 3, 2011 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (145)

In this review, I will look at a very popular concealed carry holster type:



"IWB" or more commonly known as "Inside The Waistband" to police officers

and armed citizens. Is comprised of a concealed carry holster that features either

belt loops or a clip to hold the holster on a belt or pants, with the holster body

inside the waistband.


One usually wears a jeans or trousers/shorts one or two sizes bigger than you would when

using a traditional belt mounted hoster in the" OWB" or "Outside The Waistband position".


I'm often new to modes of carry and can say that I've only came to the IWB method

in the last couple of years.


Firstly with the High Noon Holster  "Bare Asset" IWB holster for my RUGER LCR.

While rugged and secure with the belt clip, it didn't fit me quite right with my

'extra padding' as well as I thought it would.


I weighed about 70 pounds more last year than now- and

there is some extra room in my waistband that comfortably allows IWB carry.


Again, My  new IWB holsters have been from the good folks at HIGH NOON HOLSTERS,  and  really can't say enough about the cary method or quality of the holsters.


My last review of a HN product was of the HIDEAWAY IWB holster for my Ruger LCP .380

auto with the Crimson Trace laser guard.




Shortly after a two week evaluation of that holster and the HIGH NOON Slide Guard

holster for my Ruger LCR 38+P revolver.


I was so impressed.. that I requested a sample IWB holster in horsehide for my new (to me)

customized CZ 2075 RAMI P 9mm.


A polymer framed version of the chunky mini-gun that's modeled after the CZ40B

and Colt Z40s.  While the Z40s didn't fare well on the 1990s market, the RAMIs have

carved out a niche in the domain of the CZ faithful.


Being a quality carry piece,  the high quality of HIGH NOON products was a perfect match.


From the shop in Florida, to my doorstep here in Clarkston Washington. The wait time was minimal, about a week, and the holster looked like this from the box:


Looking  can immediatley notice the beautifully colored natural horsehide, and deep molding of the RAMI used  to make this holster.


This holster is listed by HIGH NOON- as a high riding model, with a 15 degree forward cant to  the holster.

Coming standard with 1 3/4 inch belt loops,  but 1 1/2 is optimal, with others being available.

The usual 'golden thread' stitching is evident throughout the body and in other areas.


This is very strong. No fading or fraying in all my years of owning HN holsters and other

carry gear from them.


When you order a HIGH NOON, you get this fabulous thread and tight stitching, every time!


Two very sturdy snaps, as they have to be with me being hard on holsters in general.


I prefer the snaps over the loops, but some  concealed carriers do fine with the clips.

Those clips from HN are generally well thought of be owners in comparison to other

makers and their less secure or poorly designed clips on IWB  holsters.


Hand boned molding for your specific gun model by the HN craftsmen.


As with some holsters in the extensive HIGH NOON line.

The Down Under- has a reinforced mouth to aid in reholstering and a sight track:


A feature that you probably won't get in any other IWB holster on the market.

Also a open bottom muzzle for any debris to fall through.



The holster was a perfect fit  from the box  for my RAMI P and it only took

minimal adjustments to the tension screw to get it to slide easily from the

holster. No need to remove the screw or rubber grommet like with some

prior holsters with the adjustable tension feature, but nice to know that it

can be done.


I do like the sweat shield on HIGH NOON and other holsters, as it does protect your body from the gun and the gun from any sweat if carried close to the skin.


I've had the safety come off a Combat Commander, by my boddy rubbing against the safety.

So that extra tab of leather or horsehide on holsters( called a Slide Guard by HN)  such as the PUBLIC SECRET, SLIDE GUARD or other HN products -makes some sense to me for cocked and locked carry with the RAMI or 1911, ect.

You can see the HIGH NOON trademark stamp on the back of this rough out finish holster.


The RAMI P and Public secret look quite nice together on my HN Rock Steady 1 3/4 inch gun belt.


Should a person add the HN DOUBLE TAKE magazine  pouch with some CZ-USA nickle plated 16-shot mags, it would look even better!

Like the IWB holster, the DOUBLE TAKE- has adjustable tension which is very important for gear that should last more than a few years. I've had and seen mag pouches (and holsters) that stretched out over time.


(My HN TIE BREAKER single mag pouch for my alloy framed RAMI is going on 8 years now,

and still looks and performs like new.)


You can see the same quality and attention to detail with the Double Take, as in the IWB

holster for this review. Strong 'golden thread' stitching and no sharp corners front or back.

A tunnel loop or belt slots in the back with two snaps. They don't come off easily.


Getting back to the DOWN UNDER IWB .  The draw is  and smooth and consistent , with little break- in needed in this case.


Unlike some belt mounted holster (OWB) there seems to be no new leather squeaking  with the

belt loops on this IWB model.

HN's matching DOUBLE TAKE magazine pouch squeaks a bit on my belt, but that's usual

with new carry gear, and still the case with my SLIDE GUARD for the Ruger LCR.


(HIGH NOON has a FAQ section that helps new customers with any problems like this

that's well worth the read.)


What can I say about the Down Under for the RAMI P or other RAMI models?


Fast,  yet still secure. Comfortable to the extreme and very handsome.


I like how it rides fairly high and very tight to my boddy.


Conceals very well under my "Shoot Me First" vest and my jackets, and more importantly-doesn't shift around in my waistbandor on my belt.

The sturdy and also handsome DOUBLE TAKE mag pouch adds that extra flair, giving you a well thought out and durable/comfortable  way to carry that critical spare ammo.




A cool $89.95 for cowhide, in a choice of black or tan.

Horsehide as shown in this review will be $129.95.


Cowhide: 49.95

Horsehide: 69.95


With the MLB World Series coming to us at the end of our Summer.


Whether you root for the Boston Red Sox, NY Yankees, or any other team.


You can always count on a Home Run,  with carry gear from HIGH NOON HOLSTERS!


Visit HN's website for more information.

Please us the LINKS section at the top right hand of  the GUNSTUFFS webpage to get there.
















HIGH NOON For Rugers. A tale of 2 holsters.

Posted by kr on June 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM Comments comments (0)

While nobody could predict the impact of the Ruger .380 LCP when it hit the shooting world. There has also been quite a shake up in the industry with the advent of the first polymer framed revolver that's produced in the United States. I'd owned a number of .380s and .38 Specials before, but never imagined that I'd own a "plastic" wheel gun: Ruger's splendid (Light Compact Revolver) LCR in 38+P chambering. 

Both the LCP and LCR have been widely accepted by shooters, and demand remains very high. With warmer weather finally hitting us in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere around the country for about a month now. Interest in obtaining a smaller gun for Summer carry, or buying a first gun seems to dominate the online gun forums. Finding a suitable holster of good quality to carry the gun(s) in are also popular topics as well. The good folks at High Noon Holsters gladly sent me two holsters for my small Rugers, in comparison to my larger CZs that is. With an evaluation period of around 2 weeks from the day they arrived at my house. I've tried to give each on equal time for concealed carry in that time frame.

As usual in my reviews.


I give readers a look at the holsters or products fresh from the box.


Looking firstly at the holster for the Ruger LCR in 38+P.


The SLIDE GUARD is among the most popular holster models from High Noon.

In the most commonly called "Pancake" style of holster.


This one is in natural horseshide- a material that I it won't stretch or

rot over the years like cowhide.



The SLIDE GUARD has a  15 degree forward cant and 1 3/4 inch belt loops.


Here is the S.G. after a few inserts of the LCR:


Featuring the high backed sweat shield or what I would call a safety shield if using  an automatic.

I'm not sure of the terminology, only that the Slide Guard remains my most favorite

of all HN holsters, with the HN "Need For Speed" as shown here:



 (in black horsehide) a close second.


Like most High Noon products.

Please not that this model is also IDPA approved!



This Slide Guard holster is hand crafted and hand boned/molded for a superb fit.

I've often had to take out the rubber grommet as found on most holsters

with an adjustable tension screw, but found this one to fit my LCR perfectly.


No real break-in time required for horsehide in most cases, although some holsters

might squeak a bit more than cowhide on your belt.

You can see the typical HIGH NOON quality shining through with the gold colored stitching.

Very even and strong. I have to say that im my over 10 years of using and reviewing HN

products. I've never had any problems with the stitching or any other part of the

numerous holsters, that wasn't my fault..

Should I do loose a chicago screw or tension screw through my normally hard use, they are soon to ship me the part free of charge!


From the super quality holsters to superb customer service.

You get more than you pay for with HIGH NOON.



Now forwarding a couple weeks, and you can see what the Slide Guard

looks like:



Still vibrant in color and construction, and a joy to carry.


You can really see the wonderfully strong stitching here on the back:


Marked LCR with the HN maker's stamp.


A view at the mouth of the holster shows that it has a generous opening and

no real need for a HN sight track. The mouth isn't metal lined but the horse-

hide is quite firm.


I've had no problem with my LCR holsters and using the tall XS tritium front sight.


The holster is both beautiful and functional from any angle.



With my LCR inserted into it- the Slide Guard  looks ready for business!


Once mounted on a quality belt like High Noon's Ostrich pattern embossed

Rock Steady belt.


The draw stroke is both firm and fluid. The LCR comes up smoothly from the

holster without much effort, but you know it's in there securely when carrying.




Unlike my SLIDE GUARD for my 2075 RAMI:


This SG for the LCR is a bit different, or at least to me.

It does take some skill to reholster on the belt, as you need to kind of slide it in from a rear

angle, by putting the nose of the Snubby into the back of the holster. Then pushing a bit forward, and  rocking downward. No big deal once you do it as couple of times, but something that I feel should be mentioned. This has gotten eaiser as the holster breaks in further.

Overall, the Slide Guard for the LCR is as wonderful as any other High Noon holster I've owned.



A superior material (to me) and a great design that's both fast on the draw, but still remains secure when needed.

Pricing? $89.95 for Cowhide. $119.95 for the Lined version,  and $129.95 for Horsehide.

One might be ideal for your  concealed carry needs.



Switching over to the holster for the Ruger LCP (Light Compact Pistol) in .380 ACP.


You can see that it's a IWB (Inside The Waistband) holster with straps for your belt.


I've owned a High Noon IWB holster for my LCR that was called the Bare Asset.


This featured a sturdy belt clip. After a few weeks of carry with the LCP holster, I much prefer the straps.


Some guys like the belt clip just fine, and at around $30 for the Bare Asset, it sells very well.


The new holster with straps is called the HIDEAWAY and is very nice to wear.

It's a low riding model, but didn't seem too low for me.


You might see the holes in the bottom of the straps?  According to HIGH NOON,

they are for relieving stress on the loops and preventing cracking where the loops

meet the belt..

Something I'd never have guessed -so I'm glad I asked.


Like most High Noon products intended for concealed carry. The Hideaway

has an adjustable tension screw.


In this holster's case, I tried to loosen the screw and insert the gun.

Had to take the rubber grommett out and then retry.

Still too tight, but I didn't give up.


Using the old plastic baggie method.


I unloaded the LCP. Stuck it inside a sandwich baggie- then put it into the holster.

Letting it sit overnight seemed to do the trick.


I was then able to remove the bag, then re-holster with some ease.

During week one, I had to kind of pull the gun out a bit then twist slightly for the

draw. Not much of a twist, but something I should mention.


(Now after 2 weeks of carry. I can say that the holster has broke in some and is easy to draw from.)

Looking at it from the front..

Constructed by hand and hand molded. The Hideaway is in rough out finish ( like most quality

IWBs) and has a metal lining and reinforced mouth- with leather sewn onto it, along with the

2 straps that are anchored by two screws. Then completed with two sturdy black snaps.


Marked LCPCT on the back side, and cut  to accommodate my Crimson Trace laser.

With the High Noon maker's stamp to the right side.



Typical goldish thread stitching that's strong and even throughout the holster.


This model is straight drop, meaning no cant or angle, and is IDPA Approved

for competition use.


It looks very good on a belt and carries quite nicely as well!


You can hardly tell that you have a .380 in your waistband.


The draw is smooth and re-holstering is no problem with the metal lined mouth.

I can't bend the mouth, so I know it won't close on me when I re-holster.

The holster also features an open end so any debris can fall through.


No sign of squeaking when worn on my HN belt, which is pretty good for out of the box.


The belt loops are cut for 1 3/4 inch belts, but 1 1/2 are optimum, with additional straps available

for purchase.

Price is a very reasonable $64.95 in Cowhide, with Horsehide at $104.95


You can find the Hideaway and other IWB holsters among the many other products at the

HIGH NOON Holsters website.







LCR SG Large:

LCP Hideaway Large:

Large 2:

NFS Large:


Large 2:








A look at: Some Summer Carry Loads.

Posted by kr on May 24, 2011 at 5:01 PM Comments comments (0)

DOUBLE TAP AMMO: Summer Carry Loads


Here are a few loads in popular calibers that are seeing some interest

this Summer.



The Double Tap loading of the Barnes X bullet in .380 ACP.

Known as the 80 gr. TAC-XP.


This is a fine looking cartridge that should perform on the street equally as well as the

Barnes bullet Cor-Bon DPX or similar loads using the all copper hollow-point technology.

I'll be running some of this through my new LCP and also my Micro Desert Eagle

"KEVIN" pistol in the near future.

Taking another look at the DT/BARNES TAC-XP in .38 Special +P.

You can see that this 110 gr. copper HP is has a very long and tubular/conical profile.

Like with other Barnes loadings out there like .38 Special




This load should be equally effective.


My past experience with it in my Crimson Trace equipped

Ruger LCR revolver, showed it to have low recoil but outstanding

accuracy from the short barreled DAO snubby.

The TAC-XPs are lighter than most JHPS like a Speer Gold Dot,

and therefore-  shave a few ounces of the LCR carry package as well.


Lastly, we have a cartridge in caliber that I've never handled before.

While I don't own any .32 caliber handguns, I know that the Rugers

and other guns out there have some following by women and elderly

shooters who like to minimize recoil.

Not to forget, those with Federal .327 Magnums that could also utilize a .32 H&R Magnum in their guns.


I really don't know of any .32 H&R loads out there other than

Gold Dots, but think that this DT offering will have some appeal

for defensive carry.

Double Tap CZ and Ruger Defensive Ammo!

Posted by kr on May 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM Comments comments (1)

We've had the new Ruger LC9 for about 3 weeks now and have been waiting for a break in the medical tests for me, and also  a break in the nasty weather.


So, with limited time, ammo.. and more bad weather upon us.


The decision was made to to finally shoot the LC9, and to try out some DT and other loads in the 9mm, .38+P  LCR and new RAMI P.


Taking my small camera, we drove over to Lewiston, Idaho

and the Diamondback Shooting Range.


Knowing that I wanted this to be a test up some of today's

most serious defensive ammo at normally close up and personal distances.


Wanting a different type of target. We selected the Card-1 "Playing Cards" target.


First up was Nancy, and the LC9 loaded with 7 of the the superb Hornady 115 grain flex-tip FTX.


While sitting on a stool, she racked the slide and slid the nickel plated (case) FTX in the chamber.


5 rounds of that, and she was able to crank through the long and heavy DA only pull and get good [email protected] approx. 7 yard mark.


She then decided to remove her soft ear plugs and mess up her hair with some ear muffs.


The next two rounds were the Double Tap 147 gr. JHPs,




of which she then declared that..


A. the gun was very loud!


B. she didn't like the recoil and didn't wish to shoot it anymore.


I then took over control of the Ruger and slammed a fresh mag of Double Tap's

new 80 grain Barnes TAC-XP into the black as coal LC9.




 Lined up the small fixed sights on one of the small playing     cards and let  'er fly!




Being a slim single stack gun. I'd heard stores about harsh recoil and was expecting some stout or stinging palm recoil from a load that by DT specs, clocks over 1,500 fps in some guns!


Well.. I have to say that it was a real pussycat to shoot.


The DTs came screaming out and punched some nice 9mm holes in the target.


The best comparison that I can make is shooting the S. African

Police Service issue NGA Sentry tubular load through my RAMI

alloy framed carry gun of the past 8 years or so.


I've shot the Double Tap 115 gr. Barnes TAC-XP


 Out of my CZ P-01, but never in the smaller RAMI.



The LC9 showed  about the same recoil than both of the guns above, but you could tell you were hodling onto a slim polymer framed gun.


I did have to really stage the long DAO trigger to get good hits, but it wasn't too hard.



I then loaded up another 7 round mag and shot some more cards with this very impressive and accurate DT offering.


Next up was my Crimson Trace equipped Ruger LCR in .38+P.

Liking what I had experienced with the Double Tap Ammo and

the LC9.


I was a little leary of the recoil with the light LCR and DT's

110 gr. TAC-XP @ a published 1,140 fps.

I lined up a playing card and activated the red dot laser.


Cranking off 5 fast shots, I was able to place the rounds

exactly where the dot was for the most part.


Even though this was a close distance, I think it would have the

same [email protected] 15 or even 20 yards.


The little gun roared- but like with other loads tested.


I didn't see much of any muzzle flash from my end.


Nor, did the crappy lighting capture much in the photos.


5 more of the Double Tap went into the cylinders and

I was able to get good hits this time as well.


I noticed that recoil was mild in comparison to the 125 gr. Remington JHP, and Speer 158 gr. JHP that I  usually carry in this gun.


My next move was to load up 5 rounds of that Remmy load and

let loose.


The gun bucked in my hands noticeably more, and I had to really control it to gets as good of hits with the 110 gr. Barnes load.

Recoil was no fun with this load but I've shot enough of it to go with the flow as far as the

stinging of my palm.


Switching back to the Double Tap 38+P for another 5 rounds.

The smile on my face told the whole story, but there was more shooting ahead.


After setting the LCR and LC9 back in my CZ-USA range bag.


I then pulled my new ( to me ) customized RAMI P ( polymer frame) from concealment, and proceeded to pound the playing cards @15 yards this time.

Given the fact that I'd never shot the gun.


I was able to really get good hits with the 80 grain DT/Barnes



The recoil was seemingly milder than say a 115 or 124 grain JHP from DT out of my alloy RAMI,

Nominal muzzle flip was there, yet not as dramatic as the photo might indicate.


The excellent trigger job and CZ85 Combat trigger that was installed on the gun- allowed to concentrate on the target and not the trigger.


Everything lined up sweetly- and I had a real fun time making a quick mag swap and firing 14 more TAC-XPs!


This portion of the target was among the best of all the groups fired. and can clearly demostrate that the DT loads as tested were far more accurate than I could shoot.



I think that overall..


The LC9 did well for reliability with all loads, as did the LCR and

my RAMI P.



Th recoil wasn't nearly what I expected, and I can truly see why:


A. Double Tap claims that this 80 gr.9mm+P and 110 gr. 38+P stuff is ideal for defensive carry, esp. in the smaller 9mms and .38 snubs.


B. People like the Barnes copper bullet technology for Hunting or Defense.


Proven in the field by hunters, and on the streets by cops

and armed citizens in TSX, and DPX form.


The Barnes TAC-XP and other designs by them have much to offer.



My plan is to get some rain free days.. and get into the woods and shoot some more next month.


I'll hopefully be doing a full Review on the RAMI P and testing these and other loads (esp.

the DT 147 gr. loads)  through my gun and new chrono.


For more information on the LC9 & LCR or other products mentioned here: