Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fobus Evolution Ruger Mark III Holster Review

Fobus Evolution Ruger Mark III Holster Review
To say I am a fan of the infamous .22LR Ruger Mark III would be an understatement.  I hunt with it, target shoot with it, plink with it, and tactically train with it.  I own three of these fine reliable pistols and have even remedied the thumb-busting speed reloading issues with a McFadden reloader... however holsters have been a challenge until I discovered the Fobus holster and magazine pouch options.

The inherent challenge with the Ruger Mark III holsters have been that they are all pretty much centered on hunting and not the more dynamic task of drawing, charging and shooting.  The Fobus Evolution Holsters are nothing new, in my case I finally decided enough was enough and picked up the Fobus Holster and magazine pouch to finally turn my Ruger Mark III into tactical training tools. 
The Fobus Evolution Paddle Holster with NRA gel Tab makes it easy to comfortably carry the Mark III in a similar position and similar retention as your duty or an exposed concealed carry holsters.  During that shopping adventure I also picked up the Fobus Double Magazine Pouch for .22LR single stack magazines, which provides an opportunity to practice reloads.

FIT, FEEL, & FEATURES
The Mark III Fobus Evolution Paddle Holster with NRA gel Tab fits both the Ruger Mark II and Mark III models and provides tunable retention via an adjustment screw.  The holster body is one piece polymer construction and is riveted securely to the rubberized paddle insert.  The Paddle itself is covered on the outer facing side with a gel which provides retention to the body curve molded paddle.  The use is extraordinarily simple, just slide it into your pants or shorts and it provides a solid weapon carry platform.  Many government and undercover law enforcement utilize this style of holster because they may be required to consistently remove thier weapon and holster for security... plus it is very convenient. 

To improve and speed the draw and protect sights, the Fobus holster body has a protective sight channel built in so that the front sight never comes in contact with the holster.  The Gel tab is grippy enough to hold the gun securely in your pants, but not so much that attachment or removal is a pain.

The Fobus Double Magazine Pouch for .22LR single stack magazines is designed similarly to the Mark III holster with the same gel tab insert.  In reality you do not need it due to the weight of the magazines.

FUNCTIONS
The Fobus Double Magazine pouch is a “universal” single stack .22 magazine pouch and did require a bit of heat applied tuning to tension up the magazine retention fingers. The Fobus Double Magazine pouch fits two Single Stack .22,.380, and .32 Caliber - Sig 239, Barretta U22, Bobcat, Ruger MK I, II & III, Walther P22, Browning Buck Mark, S&W 22, 41, 622, 422, and all similar models.  Initially out of the box they seemed to hold the magazines loosely but without an issue even during rigorous running drills, however once I hit the deck, the mags fell out.  Heating and bending the retention fingers slightly solved the issue and delivered a nice tight fit.  

The holster was pretty much perfect out of the box and paddle slide into the pants and held securely and comfortably throughout my initial testing, however the tension was loosened just a bit to a point of compromise between retention and draw speed.  After months of use and what has to be thousands of rounds and hundreds of draws, the Fobus Evolution holster has performed perfectly without any further tuning.  Of note the holster will sadly not fit the 22/45 Ruger, the new Ruger 22/45-Lite, or the Mark II or III versions with the scope rail attached.  I believe both problems could be overcome with a little creative Dremel tool tuning, however at this point this is your only option as Fobus does not currently make a 22/45 or optic compatible holster option.

FINAL THOUGHTS
If I have said it once I have said it... well at least three times in other articles, .22LR training analogs will pay for themselves financially from a training perspective in a very short period of time.  A Ruger Mark III with a couple extra magazines, and Fobus gun and magazine holsters all combined can be paid for in only around 4000 rounds comparing to shooting a 9mm.  Along with the shoot more and spend less benefit, this training will help you develop invaluable muscle memory that will transition to your defensive or sporting firearm.  

Sure my Ruger Mark III may not be the perfect training analog for a Glock 19, however the funny thing is that Draw, Charge, Fire, and Reload drills sure feel the same when you are doing them especially when the Holsters come close to your real rig.  This is where the Fobus Holster and Magazine pouches are critical training tools and I believe one of the best accessories you can purchase for your Ruger Mark III even if you just plan on carrying your Mark III occassionally on a hunt. Simply put the Fobus Evolution Ruger Mark III holster works and helps you get out, shoot more and train more all for a lot less money.

SPECS
Fobus Evolution Paddle Holster with NRA gelTab for Ruger Mark II & Mark III
Model -  RU3
MSRP - $24.99

Fobus Double Magazine Pouch for .22LR single stack magazines
Model - 6922P
Price -  $21.99

SOURCES
Fobus Holster
http://www.fobusholster.com

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