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When it comes to concealed carrying a firearm, you need to have it on you for it to matter as a line of defense — you know, “a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush”? While some of us might have a defensive firearm within reach, in a desk drawer or the center console of our vehicle, it is advisable to have your carry pistol on you and accessible at a moment’s notice.
Both Nate Beard and Nate Johnson, the founders of N8 Tactical, intimately understand this reality. They started N8 Tactical back in 2009 because they were thoroughly disheartened by the lack of quality holster options out on the market at the time — especially, the lack of comfortable ones. They always had said that “if a holster isn’t comfortable, gun owners won’t wear it and therefore, not have their firearm if and when they needed it.” Truer words may have never been stated.
Now, with pistols like the Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP (Rapid Defense Package) on the CCW (concealed carry weapons) market as a very popular option for carry, yet with a unique footprint for a holster, I looked to N8 Tactical to answer the call for a comfortable carry option for it. This means a holster that will fit a pistol with a micro red dot, a compensator and (ideally) the optional extended 15-round magazines Springfield offers. Let’s dive in and see if N8 Tactical, once again, has everything we need in a concealed carry holster for the Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP!
The holster from N8 Tactical we are specifically looking at is their Xecutive Kydex AIWB (Appendix Inside-the-WaistBand) for the Hellcat RDP. This holster is compatible with practically all variants of the Hellcat including the original Hellcat, Hellcat OSP (Optical Sight Pistol), Hellcat RDP and Hellcat Pro.
Even before I began to use this holster with my personal Hellcat RDP, I knew it was a more intelligent design than others I have previously seen and handled. Traditionally, when you purchase a holster the story ends there, but with N8 Tactical and their Xecutive, there are a multitude of additional components to upgrade your holster if you desire, which vary from $4.95–$12.99.
- Xecutive Cerakoted red hardware — improved finish and durability — $9.95
- MonoBlocks Clips — a more flexible retention option for varying belts — $9.95
- IWB Loops — buttoned loops for easier holster removal with dress attire — $7.95
- TacClip — a tuckable option for your holster during everyday carry — $4.95
- UltiTuck — a highly engineered option for tuckable carry — $12.95
- ModWing — to reduce printing under clothing — $8.95
- Wedge — to push the holster away from one’s body so it is more comfortable — $12.99
With this battery of additional pieces at your disposal, you can have a truly customized holster without the pain in your wallet of a “custom shop” price. The N8 Tactical Xecutive is affordable and functional.
When it came to concealed carry for myself, I utilized the holster sans accessories and I found it to be very comfortable. My day job of managing a gun shop provided an ample test for the AIWB holster. I have a short commute to work, which is common for most all of us, and I found it both comfortable and feasible to carry driving. Unholstering my firearm while in a vehicle was not necessary and it did not feel burdensome to be carrying.
Once in a retail setting, I often am sitting on a barstool at a computer or in a computer desk chair completing lovely government paperwork (background checks, acquisition/disposition of firearms, etc.). In these more hunched-over, seated positions, it still was comfortable to be carrying the N8 Tactical Xecutive holster with my Hellcat RDP on board. The rear of the slide on my pistol poked into my gut in this seated position, but it was not exaggerated or uncomfortable.
Other tasks I execute are unloading pallets of freight (heavy ammunition, firearms, soft goods, etc.) off of semi-trucks into my family’s store. During more strenuous, manual labor tasks, the N8 Xecutive worked right alongside me, never hindering my movement. So, from simply walking, driving, sitting and even doing farmer’s carries of ammunition, the N8 Xecutive was a great companion and supportive holster for my Hellcat RDP.
Finally, I spent some time at the range attempting to draw from the Xecutive. There are two Phillips screws on the lower portion of the holster that can be tightened or loosened depending on your draw preference. I prefer very tight retention on my holster, which demands a strong, deliberate draw-stroke. When doing live-fire from retention, I could cleanly remove my pistol from the holster. The holster stayed on my waistline, and my form throughout never suffered. I felt confident — should the need ever arise — that I could draw my Hellcat RDP and defend myself.
At an MSRP of $39.95 for the Xecutive Kydex AIWB holster for the Hellcat RDP, I believe the Xecutive is not only an affordable and comfortable option for carry, but a logical one. When you have the multitude of accessories available to you to make it your own, why wouldn’t you give it a try when you own a Hellcat?
If you are in search of a holster to cover all your bases for any Hellcat you might own, the N8 Tactical Xecutive could be a valuable addition to your holster lineup. As always, join us again soon on The Armory Life, and happy shooting!
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