U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I have reviewed a lot of holsters for Ammoland. Most manufacturers make their holsters from Kydex or leather. One type of material I haven’t had the opportunity to try out is Boltaron. That is until JM4 offered me one of their new RELIC holsters to try out for Ammoland.
Before we get into the holster itself, we need to talk about the Boltaron material. Boltaron is a polymer much like Kydex. The advantage of Boltaron is two-fold.
The first advantage of Boltaron is that is stronger than Kydex or most mold injection polymers. With this added strength the Boltaron holster should last longer and be more durable.
Kydex is an excellent material, but one of the issues that it does have is that it has a low heat distortion temperature. Kydex has this heat issue due to its high molecular weight. This low heat distortion temperature is why a lot of smaller holster companies make their holsters out of Kydex because of ease of molding of the material.
The Boltaron has a lower molecular weight than Kydex or even most injection molded holster which in turn gives holsters made of Boltaron a higher heat distortion temperature. Skipping the chemistry lesson, just know a Boltaron holster can handle the extreme heat that would melt other holsters.
The JM4 RELIC holster is a tuckable inside the waistband (IWB) Boltaron holster with a single hook. JM4 sourced the Boltaron shell for the JM4 RELIC from the US. I love the fact that they used US sourced plastic. Most companies get their plastic from China or India due to the cost savings. I would rather pay a little more for a US product.
Another issue companies that source polymers from China or India run into is the inconsistent quality of the foreign plastic. Most international companies use naphtha oil to produce the plastics while most North American companies rely on natural gas. In the end, the North American plastic have better quality controls due to material engineering advantages of using natural gas. That might be getting a little too far in the weeds.
Hermann Oak Leather covers the JM4 RELIC Boltaron shell. The leather looks great and feels expensive. One thing that can destroy the look of a leather holster is the stitching. JM4 did a great job on their stitching, and it is almost flawless.
You can tell JM4 uses skilled leather workers in attaching the leather to their holsters. Another advantage to using the leather is that is less likely to mar the finish of the user’s gun. I like the fact that material fights against the dreaded holster wear.
JM4 designed the RELIC holster so the user can appendix carry their gun on the strong side, wear the firearm at the 4 o’clock in the small of the back, or anywhere in between these positions. I decided I needed to try out multiple locations.
The first position I tried was appendix carry. I am not a big fan of appendix carry. I wish I could pull it off, but in most cases, I fail. It was no different with this holster, although the adjustable ride height of the RELIC holster did help out a lot. If you like to appendix carry your gun, then this holster will work for you. I simply do not.
I moved the JM4 RELIC holster to the 4 o’clock position and adjusted the cant to fit my needs. It was a lot more comfortable for me in this position. It wasn’t the most comfortable holster I have tried, but the comfort level is still reasonable.
I was able to draw my firearm smoothly and reholster it. After 200 rounds using the holster (100 draws). The holster was none worse for wear. I would repeat this over the next couple of weeks. In the end, I got around 500 draws using the holster, and it held up beautifully.
One issue I did run into is the retention of the holster was too much for me. JM4 did make the RELIC holster with adjustable retention, but it still was a little too tight for my liking even with the retention at the loosest setting. Drawing my gun wasn’t the issue, but when I was reholstering, it felt like a round was going to eject. Retention is a personal preference, so if you like the retention on the tight side, then this will work for you.
Another issue I did experience was with the screw that attaches the belt clip to the RELIC holster. It would come lose all the time. I found myself tightening the clip every day. I added a bit of lock tight, and it held solid from that point.
The RELIC holster has a very minimal print. Unless someone is looking for a concealed handgun, they will not notice your gun. Even then of the gun is worn right they aren’t going to catch it. I used a Glock 19 with only a slight print
One of the issues I have experienced with single clip holsters is that they slide around. The RELIC holster had very little movement. That was one of the things I thought I would have problems with, but I didn’t have any issues.
Another huge advantage JM4 has is their sheer number of guns that the RELIC holster supports. Do you have an NAA Pug? No problem! How about a Hudson H9? JM4 has you covered as well.
The JM4 RELIC retails for $94.97. That is expensive for this type of holster. What the user is paying for is the Boltaron and the Hermann Oak Leather. I am willing to pay a little more for the US made, polymer, but what I really care about is performance.
The holster performs as well as it does look great. What it comes down to is how long you keep your holsters. I looked at the engineering, and this holster should outlast most other holsters on the market, but I change holsters too much to see that advantage.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.