I believe I mentioned back before Christmas that my favorite belt gear was pretty much all HSGI and G-Code holsters, but I haven't gone into a lot of detail about it yet. I'm going to rectify that.
I'll start with the holsters, because my G-Code has hands-down become my holster of choice. It is, in my opinion, what the SERPA
could have been if it had been better designed - you may not be aware of it, but the G-Code actually preceded the SERPA, and I believe likewise came before most of the Safariland rigs. I harbor a Safariland 6004 no ill-will, I carried one for years on and off duty. However, when you add in the smooth action of the G-Code's release (it has pro-safe tension and the SOC has a self-powered tactical release mechanism) and the excellent way it achieves modularity, I find it superior to the Safariland. Now, I'm well aware holsters, like bullets and boots, are a subject of contention, and that many of you reading this have more experience than I do or are better shooters - I'm not arguing you should run one or the other, I'm just telling you what I like, and why. If I had to, I would go back to a Safariland. I should also be clear that I am not a proponent of the SERPA, after experiencing some reliability issues on the range and would not go back to one.
Anyway, I'd honstely never heard of G-Code until I was talking to Mean Gene of HSGI and Blake Danyeur of MSE about the Tacos and P-Tacos (which we'll get to shortly, rest assured). Gene and I pow-wowed at length about LBE, various types of loadout, holsters, shooting and he wound up sending me a G-Code paid for out of his own pocket, along with a battle belt to try out.
Full disclosure: my first G-Code holster was given to me for T&E. I didn't pay for it. However, I have since ordered more parts, another holster for my M&P and assorted pieces. I absolutely would spend my own money for one of these, and offered several times to reimburse Gene for it. He wouldn't take the money.
First, the fit. It’s flawless, not just on my SOC for the Glock 35, but on every one I’ve looked at. Each of their Kydex molds are made in house, for every variant, to assure repeatable precision fit. I don’t know f-all about CAD and CAM and whatever else, but I can tell you there’s no difference in quality of fit between my G-Code and my custom-made one-off Kydex holster. There's no cookie-cutter quality issues with a G-Code rig
Second, the afore-mentioned modularity. The RTI Wheel feature of this holster is superb. A lot of people don’t realize G-Code was the first Kydex holster to have a truly modular holster system. Most everyone associates modularity with the SERPA and to a lesser extent to Safariland, but they actually came later. I like their modular integration because of a number of features, including the way it’s streamlined (you put a SERPA or a Safariland on your plate carrier, it sticks way the hell out there), the cowling system for lights (it’s the only thing like it that I’ve seen, and allows you some options for those proprietary holsters that fit only certain light systems) and the MOLLE/belt conversion/attachment systems.
At the risk of belaboring the point, I really can’t say enough about the RTI system and other accessories. You can switch your holster from hip to drop-leg to IWB concealed carry, OWB concealed carry to plate carrier with ease. Not only can you take one holster and move it all over the place, switching out paddles and belt-slides and whatnot, you can change pieces. The RTI can be used for more than just holsters, they can be used now on a variety of magazines and other modular pieces.
Here’s my only issue with the G-Code: it does not have the kind of retention I think you would need to wear on duty in a LEO capacity, at least by most agency standards. If you’re in plain clothes, on a tactical assignment, etc. I think you’d be good to go. However, within the confines of work as a flatfoot patrol officer or deputy I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with it from an officer safety perspective. In a crowd or a fight with multiple suspects I just think it's too vulnerable to a snatch from behind (not the kind of snatch MAJROD, SFC YOUNG and FORMERSFMEDIC are thinking of, get your minds out of the gutter). Having had two brothers try to get my gun away from me in the process of trying to kill me once (after separating them in a domestic) made an indelible impression on me. In fairness though, this might not even be an issue, since they aren't currently available in colors/textures that your typical police agency would authorize for everyday wear (and some of you snake-eating ninja types might not be vulnerable to a rear gun grab anyway).
Don’t let that make you think the holsters aren’t secure. They are. I’m confident your weapon would remain where it’s supposed to be even if some big bastard turned you upside down and shook you…though if that happens, you’ll have other problems to concern yourself with.
Oh, and note; please advise if this sort of multiple installment article is good to go. If you prefer one-off articles, this will be the last 'series' we bother you with. Let us know.