Comp-Tac: The International – Initial Impressions

Recently Comp-tac released The International, a holster that is a modular holster with conversion between a normal belt holster, a paddle holster, and with a drop and offset piece. For me this raised my eye brows, because until recently all Comp-tac holsters were normal belt riding holsters, and after Bianchi Cup I was seriously considering going back to a drop and offset holster. Well I ordered one, and after about a week and a half I had it in my hot little hands. Unfortunately due to a match canceled by weather this is just an initial impressions based on dry practice.

If you are familiar with Comp-tac’s offerings, the first thing you notice (after eating the Smarties), is that they’ve appear to have made some major changes in their production methods. Though the International appears to still be made out of kydex, they appear to be using molds of some sort as all the lines are sharp and defined. They also added their logo, and the gun make in big letters on the outside of the holster, this is a nice change as in the past it was done with an engraving tool and was hard to read. Despite being a modular holster, Comp-tac takes the effort to ask what configuration you want, and configures the holster so it is ready to use right out of the box.

As you dig deeper in the package you get the belt holster attachment, and the usual Comp-tac items like the Smarties, wrench, NRA flyer, etc. But there was something that I didn’t expect, spare hardware, included were a complete set of screws, and nuts. These days few holster companies are sending out spare hardware with holster, instead depending on customers to spend their own money to buy spares.

Normally a paddle attachment isn’t the best way to go with a dropped and offset holster, as the force of the draw isn’t always straight against the belt. But Comp-tac’s design of the dropped and offset adapter really locks onto the belt. It locks so well that it is much harder to get on and off the belt compared to Comp-tac’s Paddle Holster. I haven’t tried the belt attachment, and based on my dry practice I likely won’t as there is no need as the paddle works well enough. One thing I will mention is that the attachments come out of the box for a 1.5″ holster, if you request that the holster be fitted for a 1.75″ belt they will remove material for you on your selected belt attachment, but if you want to fit the other attachment you do it yourself.

The draw itself is very smooth, the new design has deeper groves that grip onto the trigger guard. So you don’t have to be as tight on the other adjustments, which allows for a smooth draw. One thing I like about dropped and offset holsters is that you have a reference point for your thumb on the top of the DOH adapter. This is a benefit two fold, one it keeps the practice of using your thumb on retention holsters, and second it ensures that your thumb is flagged when you bring your hands together during the presentation from the holster.

  During the draw I noticed that Comp-tac has made an improvement on their cut. With the two M&P holster I have material sticks down below the trigger guard into the undercut where you middle finger goes. This material will start to bother you on high round count days. To the point that you might have to wrap you finger, or even modify the holster yourself (which to be honest I’ve been meaning to do). Now I will say that this issue isn’t on my Comp-tac Paddle Holster for my XDM 5.25″ and that Comp-tac’s aren’t the only holsters to have this issue. But it is nice to see it fixed without user intervention. Also for those that care you can easily access the magazine release while the gun is holstered.

So far I am liking the holster, I will see how it performs at a match this weekend hopefully. If it does well this weekend, I will be ordering one for my Springfield XDM 5.25″ as NRA Action Pistol matches start up again next month.