Gear Review: Guardian Angel holsters

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Guardian Angel’s AIWB concealed carry holster has a grip that keeps a Glock 19 or S&W shield snug to the torso. (Photo: Team HB)

In this test, we tried out two separate models of Guardian Angel brand holsters for the Glock 19—one outside-waistband (OWB), and one appendix, inside-waistband (AIWB).

Both holsters are made of Kydex.  Right- and left-handed options are available. Here are our testers’ impressions of each holster:

Guardian Angel OWB holster

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Guardian Angel OWB holster for Glock 19. We found it contoured and form fitting. (Photo: Team HB)

Our tester for the OWB model is a male who customarily conceals AIWB.  He wore the Guardian rig, strong-side, for several weeks, both concealed under a long shirt and carrying open on the range.

The first thing one notices about this holster is the contour.  It’s curved to match the contour of a waist.  This enhances concealment and comfort, but didn’t compromise the ability to draw quickly.

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The OWB holster boasts three levels of height adjustment. (Photo: Team HB)

In the photos, the holster is shown adjusted as it arrived, on the lowest setting.  There are two higher adjustments if the user wants to raise it for easier concealment under shorter shirts and jackets.  The screws showed no sign of loosening during the test, as holster screws are wont to do.  We recommend Loctite treatment for any holster screws, once the rig is set to desired height and retention levels.

Speaking of retention, this holster had just enough right out of the box.  The gun stayed secure, with no rattling around, yet drawing was relatively easy.

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Drawing from the OWB holster was easy and the comfort carrying it excellent. (Photo: Team HB)

Guardian Angel offers these holsters in many colors.  The matte black is just right for concealment, in our opinion.  The inside surface is shiny, but not visible when the gun’s in place.

A sweat guard extends to the top of the slide on the body side of the OWB model.  It doesn’t look comfortable, but our tester had no complaints and used the holster rather heavily, going to kneeling and prone shooting positions as well as normal daily chores.

Two sizes of belt loops are offered.  The 1.75-inch loop fits a 1.5- or 1.75-inch belt fine, with the latter being very stable.  Of course, the holster will slide a bit on a narrower belt.

Guardian Angel AIWB holster

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The AIWB holster offers ample room for aftermarket sights. (Photo: Team HB)

A Glock 19 is a large gun for most females to conceal IWB style.  Standing is one thing; sitting down or doing physical activities often becomes painful, with the muzzle jabbing you.  I took this holster as a sort of last-ditch, worthy challenge to get along with my 19 in concealment.  Though I was skeptical, the holster surprised me.

The AIWB model is made with a slight forward cant.  When carried strong-side AIWB, the barrel rides in the natural crease just in front of the front “wing” of the pelvis.  I believe this trait of the holster makes packing a G19 in front it as comfortable as it can be.

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This AIWB holster holding a Glock 19 is comfier than it looks. (Photo: Team HB)

This holster covers the muzzle, clamshell-like.  The rounded edges of the holster eliminate any cutting-into or poking.  There’s an elevated channel that doesn’t get in the way, yet would accommodate most aftermarket sights—a nice feature for what’s probably the most frequent alteration of concealment guns.

My first day wearing it, I decided to really put it to the test and wear it under a long shirt while spending a couple hours moving hay bales.  The holster never threatened to come loose from the belt, never shifted uncomfortably, and despite its size, kept the grip of the gun snug up against my ribcage for great concealment, albeit under a big shirt.

The holster is quick and easy to don, assuming one is wearing a sturdy belt. I love not having to thread belt loops or otherwise waste time putting a rig on, especially when my plans include everything but the range.  This is definitely grab-and-go convenience.

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G19 concealed but covering much of the torso in the IWB. (Photo: Team HB)

Understand, I’m not saying this is the all-that-ends-all holster for females and the G19.  It does require a big, loose shirt to conceal.  It has a place in my life for occasions when I’ll have a heavy jacket or over-shirt on, and want the round capacity and easier handling of a double stack Glock 19—or a Shield, as described later.

The only thing I’d change is the color.  Like most New Mexicans, I like turquoise just fine.  However, I also believe in discreet carry, and the color is so bright it shines through some sweaters I own.  But hey, if you want loud colors, knock yourself out.

Potential buyers can be confident that this one will help them carry a Glock 19, assuming adequate clothing coverage.

Prices and ordering

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OWB holster rides easy under a camp shirt. (Photo: Team HB)

The AIWB models are priced very reasonably, starting at $35 for solid colors. OWB models begin at $50.  Guardian Angel is also offering a suede-backed IWB holster with two belt clips for $65.  A wide range of colors are available in all models.

Guardian Angel holsters are made in Iowa, USA by Benjamin Dangler.  Each holster is custom made and could take up to four weeks to arrive. Currently, there is no website, but the company can be contacted via their Facebook page or at (757) 510-3660.

Other details

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Guardian Angel kydex holsters offer superior weapon retention for active people. (Photo: Team HB)

Both holsters in this test have a feather logo stamped discreetly on the grip-facing side. These days, it can be a challenge not to be a walking billboard of logos for clothing and firearms gear companies.  Guardian Angel holsters kept the logo small, allowing the product to speak for itself.

One random added advantage: Messing around with various holsters and guns shortly after the arrival of these two, we discovered the Glock 19 model also holds a Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield just as well.  Always nice to get more bang for a buck.

Conclusion

Of course, the first priority in any concealment holster is safety.  Both models cover the trigger guard well and impenetrably and are therefore safe as long as the user follows the rules of firearm safety and makes sure to always clear any clothing out of the way when reholstering.

Retention is excellent.  A person could do cartwheels in these holsters without risking the gun falling out.

The Guardian Angel holsters slogan is “we keep the piece.”  That cute slogan is backed up with performance.  In terms of retention, they definitely do. This holster represents a sound choice for open or concealed carry at a price slightly below market average for handmade Kydex holsters.