As I’ve mentioned before, the SIG P226 is my favorite handgun. It’s as reliable as a Swiss watch and as enduring as the marathon runner. It fits well in my hand, especially the slide release, which is much further back on the slide than other pistols. I’ve tried to find a suitable replacement for the SIG, but so far, it’s been a fruitless search.

A pistol is pretty useless if it’s not on your hip (or ankle), so let’s look at a couple of options for carrying a P226. When going concealed, I enjoy the Galco Summer Comfort holster. It’s not terribly expensive, fits the SIG like a glove, and requires minimal break-in. I’ll do an article on it later.

But what if you’re going for open carry? Maybe you are running it in a pistol course, are a “prepper” or hike through the woods and want your trusty sidearm easily accessible. If you want to mount your SIG on your armor or plate carrier, I recommend looking at the Raine Inc Canted MOLLE Holster. You can find my review here.

I rarely wear armor. Okay, I almost never wear armor. It’s heavy, hot and restricts my movement. Now that’s not to say that when I go out bushwhacking, that I’m not loaded for bear. While many of my friends use the old ALICE LBE, I wear a Blue Force Gear BELTminus when out on the trail. As part of its incredibly light design, it eschews an inner belt, leaving MOLLE as your only option for attaching subloads.

Blue Force Gear was pretty clear that the BELTminus was never intended to handle a pistol holster. In fact, several people tried to dissuade me from mounting a holster. Being pig-headed, I ignored them and went with a modular tactical holster by Specter Gear. Though I’ve had luck with universal holsters, there’s always some slop and wiggle. Not so with Specter.

Notice the SIG P226 in the Specter holster on my right hip.

Notice the SIG P226 in the Specter holster on my right hip.

At first, I mounted the Specter directly to the BELTminus. While that was acceptable and certainly stable, it was not ideal. Having a pistol mounted that high on your hip leads to a rather unnatural and uncomfortable draw.  In order to fix this, I attached a surplus Drop-Leg Holster Extender to the BELTminus. With this setup, I was able to achieve an excellent draw position.

So now we can finally get to the Specter Gear Modular Tactical Holster. It’s designed specifically for the P226, so there’s no slop or wiggle. This is important when you’re trotting along a trail and unsecured gear flops around noisily and dangerously. It’s also important when you go to draw your weapon. When you grab your handgun, you want the draw to be smooth, consistent and uninterrupted. The draw with the Specter is all of these things.

It’s an ambidextrous holster. You can easily switch it from right to left handed. In fact, Specter includes a plastic tab specifically designed to assist you in re-configuring the straps. The instructions are clear and precise. As long as you follow these instructions, the thumb-break strap, or “Specter Snap,” will hold your P226 snugly even if you’re bounding down a rocky hill face. If you’re a camo-conscious shooter, you’ll appreciate the plethora of options Specter provides. Th holster is available in Black, Coyote brown, Olive Drab, Multicam, Foliage Green, Army ACU and Air Force ABU.

With a MOLLE extender, the holster rides lower on the hip, allowing for a very comfortable draw.

With a MOLLE extender, the holster rides lower on the hip, allowing for a very comfortable draw.

You can attach this holster to any MOLLE platform. If you want to run a vertical holster on your armor (perhaps lower down in front), then this would be an excellent choice. The two MOLLE straps weave into three and five colums, which leads to excellent stability. Talk about tough, the inner and outer layers are constructed from 1000 cordura nylon. The firm shape comes from four middle layers of 1650 denier ballistic nylon. Author’s note: this does not mean the holster is actually bulletproof. Shooting it is a bad idea.

As a side note, Specter doesn’t just make this holster for SIG P226 and P220 models. If you run a lesser pistol, such as a Beretta M9, Glock (17, 20, 21, 22, or 31), Springfield XD, HK USP (9, .40 or .45), Smith and Wesson M&P (9, .40 or .45) 1911, Ruger P89/P-90 or even a Browning Hi Power, Specter has you covered.

The holster has stayed in place during hikes, bushwhacking and firearms training. Repeated exposure to sweat, rain and mud have failed to degrade this holster. I am impressed. With their attention to detail and solid construction, I look forward to doing business with Specter Gear again. 

-By Allen Cosby

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53GR is an avid shooter, hiker and tinkerer. Introduced to guns at an early age, the hobby became a passion in his early twenties. After two years in Iraq as a contractor for a defense company, he developed an unhealthy addiction to military surplus gear. Though he's currently in treatment, the prognosis is that the condition is chronic.

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