Home - Volume 3 (2008) - Issue 2 (Spring '08) - Tucker Gunleather Easy Reach Holster Review

Tucker Gunleather Easy Reach Holster

By Don DeBusk

Kydex? From one of the world's premier makers of fine leather holsters? 10-4! When I heard that Tucker Gunleather was developing a kydex line of holsters, it didn't take long for curiosity to overtake me. I had to call Rob Longenecker of Tucker, to find out the scoop. "Well," explained Rob, "we have a new partnership with a very experienced maker of kydex products. Tucker has designed the holster, based on the popular "Cover Up" IWB. It's the best kydex available on the market and we are extremely pleased with the results."

DD: "But, why kydex when your company is so renowned for its leather work?"

RL: "The demand for top-quality kydex holsters is growing tremendously. As demand increases, with it comes the demand for better and better designs."

DD: "Looking at the Easy Reach, it looks nothing like anything else out there."

RL: "When Tucker designs something, given his vast experience, he isn't restrained by prior concepts and designs. He knows what works and what will work. As with Tucker's leather holsters, this was a ground-up design project. We weren't looking for 'different, for different sake,' it was all about function. Tucker realized that people wanted several things in a kydex holster. First, it has to be tough. We are using the absolute best kydex available; it's very strong and forms extremely well. Second, people prefer a modular system. This means that the Easy Reach OWB can work as a belt holster, or be outfitted with a paddle. Both the belt attachment and the paddle are brand new designs."

DD: "But, why was it necessary to start from scratch, when there are already several paddle and belt options?"

RL: "In research and testing, we found that the ability to cant a kydex holster is very important. The customer wants to be able to wear their holster for concealed carry. This usually means some amount of cant, in order to wear the holster behind the strong side hip. Many kydex users also wear their equipment for training and competition, like IPSC, or IDPA. The 'Big Dogs" in these sports generally wear their holsters vertical, on the point of the hip; some, muzzle forward. Others may have the need to carry cross-draw. We designed the Tucker system with 150 degrees of cant potential. However, when we looked at other cantable designs, we found that they required a great deal of offset from the belt. This has a tremendously adverse effect on concealment, and there are restrictions for offset in some competitive arenas. We needed to rethink the issue in order to come up with something that met these demands."

As a result, the Tucker Easy Reach indeed rides very close to the body. In testing, I found the Easy Reach to ride every bit as close to me as any straight belt holster I've tried, maybe even closer. There is no light between the optional sweat shield and the waist, or lower holster and thigh, whatsoever.

This means you can have your cake and eat it too; the ability to select the position, which affords you the best performance, without the disadvantage of offset.

Deep Concealment Anyone?

The Easy reach IWB is a viable alternative to the slimy leather holster on the 100 degree day. Since the entire gun is protected from the body, there's no chance of sweating all over your prized slab. Because of the svelte design, there is no sense of having a brick stuck in your belt. It's surprisingly comfortable. The single kydex belt clip holds the system quite securely and after a day of wear, I noticed no shifting, or need to continually adjust it. I found it to be very comfortable and it could just pass the "nap test."

Another benefit, also common in all Tucker IWBs, is that it's tuck-able. There is a ? inch diameter, leather washer between the clip and the holster body, so there is no pinching, or binding of the shirt. I love this.

Everything You Need and Nothing You Don't

The shape of the Easy Reach is like nothing else on the market. Again, based upon the leather Cover Up, the Easy Reach is an exercise in minimalism.

The contour follows the shape of the 1911 perfectly. The only extra material, of any sort is for the dual tension screws located behind the dustcover. Also in the spirit of keeping things clean, the Easy Reach incorporates Tucker's usual sweat shield. When the gun in holstered you can barely see the shield, yet you and the gun are well protected from one another

Two Is Better Than One

Utilizing dual tension adjustment screws, while more expensive, allows for greater distribution of tension throughout the holster. This means you can use less localized tension, yet achieve greater retention.

And trust me; there is a LOT of retention here. As a result of the precise molding of the Easy Reach, it envelopes every curve and nuance of the 1911. I found plenty of retention, even with the tension screws removed, yet it still draws like kydex. Za-Zoom!

Up a Creek without a Paddle

The optional paddle attachment for the Easy Reach, like the rest of it, is a brand new design. While their may be some advantages to a belt loop attachment, the fact remains that many of us have a need to remove and replace our holsters on the fly. For many, this means a paddle. The trouble with most paddle designs is that they are simply too bulky and cumbersome. Again, Tucker has taken an extremely minimalist approach to the problem. The Tucker paddle is very thin and slides into the pant with ease. There would appear to be a great deal of thought in the size and shape of the paddle as well. Because of this, the wearer is not restricted to one, "sweet spot," and otherwise sentenced to pain, or discomfort.

The Tucker paddle also boasts the canting feature of the belt attachment. Again, pick your spot and go.

One problem I did encounter with the paddle was that it was a cumbersome and tedious chore to install on the holster. At the top of the paddle are five fasteners and three shims. You have to remove this array first, then install the canting piece to the holster and then pry the sweat shield upwards; in order to reset the fastener backs. Three hands would be helpful here, but since the creator only gave me two, I was at a distinct disadvantage. Another issue is that the lower screw for the canting device rides against the flare of the paddle and pushes it outward; away from the body. This results in the muzzle of the gun sticking out prodigiously, making it difficult to conceal and making it impossible for the flare to obtain sufficient purchase underneath the belt.

I contacted Tucker Gunleather regarding my issues with the paddle attachment. The immediate response was, "Well, that sends us back to the drawing board. We will begin reworking it, immediately!" What more can you ask for? These guys really want to get things right!


While kydex isn't for everyone and even the Easy Reach won't threaten to put Tucker out of the fine leather business, it is the nicest holster of its kind I've tried. Most people would balk at calling anything kydex, "pretty," but, for what it is, the Easy Reach is a very eye-pleasing design. Functionally (which is, after all, where kydex shines), the Easy Reach is as good as it gets.

The paddle, in my opinion, needs a bit more R&D. The belt holster and the IWB versions are a pleasure to use and good to go. There are several accessories in the works; some are already available on the website.

The next time you ponder a new holster and you have realized that kydex' advantages are for you; definitely give the Tucker Easy Reach a hard look.

You may discuss this review in this thread in our Forums Site: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=50297



Tucker Gunleather
7027 Concho St.
Houston, TX 77074

Phone: 800-308-6628

Web site: http://www.TuckerGunleather.com

Home - Volume 3 (2008) - Issue 2 (Spring '08) - Tucker Gunleather Easy Reach Holster Review