In today’s article, Richard Johnson takes a look at the Reckoning — a hybrid holster design from CrossBreed for the Echelon. The holster was provided to the author by Springfield Armory for this article.
By any measurement, the Springfield Armory Echelon is one heck of a handgun. The gun combines all of the desired features of a modern defensive pistol into one package with the unique benefits of a revolutionary optics mount, the industry’s best grip texture and unparalleled factory sights. It’s been a well-deserved hit from day one in my opinion.
Of course, one significant consideration for any new firearm is third-party support. Many shooters look to customize a firearm for their specific needs. When it comes to handguns, people often look for quality holsters in tandem with a pistol purchase. This is where Springfield Armory demonstrated notable forethought with the Echelon launch.
When the gun was announced, numerous holster manufacturers were ready with rigs for the Echelon at launch. One of those companies was CrossBreed Holsters, and I recently had the opportunity to try one from the Springfield Armory Webstore.
While the Echelon is a new fit for the Reckoning, the holster itself is an extremely well-established design. Like many of the company’s offerings, the Reckoning blends different materials and holster styles to create something that aims to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Specifically, the rig features a top-grain leather backer onto which a rigid Kydex “pocket” is mounted. The Kydex ensures the gun is securely held, while the leather slab offers comfort against your body. In my opinion, this style of holster — often called a “hybrid” — offers the best of both worlds.
CrossBreed offers the leather backer in three forms: black cowhide, premium horsehide or the Founder’s Series 100% vegetable tanned leather. The one available from the Springfield Armory Webstore that I tested features the black cowhide option.
I appreciate good craftsmanship, and this quality is very evident in this holster. The Kydex molding is precise without having burrs or edges. The belt clips are likewise well made and contoured with the company’s logo. All of the screws are top notch fasteners that did not back out at all during my testing.
With any product I evaluate, I attempt to understand who the target market is. The Reckoning is obviously designed for the concealed carry market. Duty-sized handguns, like the Springfield Echelon, aren’t the typical choice for CCW. A lot of people opt for a smaller pistol like the Hellcat.
There are, however, a number of people who still opt to carry a full-sized handgun. Larger pistols like the Echelon are often easier to shoot and offer greater ammo capacities than smaller guns, so they are an excellent choice for many.
Earlier in life, I spent many years as a uniformed cop. I frequently dressed in the department locker room, meaning I would carry my duty pistol concealed back and forth between the house and station. The Reckoning would have made a great choice in carry rigs for me if it had been available at the time.
I mentioned that the Reckoning is designed for concealed carry, which might lead you to assume it is an inside-the-waistband (IWB) design. You would be correct — but not totally. In fact, the Reckoning is a quite adaptable holster, and one designed to be adapted from the IWB mode in which it is shipped to an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster with the included hardware.
Utilizing nothing more than a screwdriver and a little time, swapping the hardware on the Reckoning allows you to convert from one style of carry to the other. While the conversion is a nice option to have, it is not something that is very quick to do. I don’t want to leave you with the impression that you can swap on the fly.
If you have your tools and parts ready to go, the process will take about five minutes. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but you probably don’t want to do it if you are in any kind of rush. To avoid cross-threading the screws, I strongly recommend taking your time. Again, the process is not difficult, but just requires a little bit of time and attention.
The Reckoning features multiple points of adjustment for cant and orientation, making it extremely adaptable. If you so choose, you can use this to adjust the holster’s tilt from a neutral position to a forward or rearward tilt. It can be worn IWB on strong side, appendix or crossdraw positions. As mentioned, you can also set it up for OWB carry.
The belt clips of the holster are similar to split loops and allow you to slip the holster onto and off of a belt quickly without needing to thread it through. Each prong of the clip has a ledge that hooks under the belt to anchor it.
In my testing, the belt clips seemed to anchor the gun well. Throughout normal carry, the gun stayed in place. I did extensive dry fire with the Echelon, including drawing the gun from the Reckoning holster. The Reckoning stayed put. I did not need to readjust it during this practice. Also, I should note that the holster as tested was not compatible with threaded-barrel models of the Echelon.
Remember, the primary benefit of a hybrid design like the Reckoning is comfort. The leather backer contours against the body, making it comfortable for extended wear. It’s thick enough to prevent any hard edges on the gun from poking through, and I wore the rig for an extended period of time in the IWB configuration with no problems. However, have no illusions — carrying OWB is still more comfortable than IWB. When concealment isn’t critical, I prefer to wear this in the OWB mode.
To safely hold the gun in the holster, the Reckoning uses a friction-fit mechanism. Two screws near the trigger guard are user adjustable — tighten them to increase the friction and retention. I found the system worked well and had no problems with it.
The reckoning features multiple points of retention adjustment. As part of this, you can also tighten the screws mounting the Kydex “pocket” to the leather backer.
One thing to keep in mind is that the friction retention system does not make this a retention holster that would help you defend against a disarming attempt. Retention holsters frequently use several mechanisms to resist a gun grab. While this is a quality rig, it does not offer multi-level security properties like you would find in an law enforcement-oriented design. This is one designed for secure, but low-profile carry.
The Reckoning Holster offers good concealability under a loose shirt or light jacket. It has a fairly minimalistic design without undue bulk. As is typical, I found it easier to conceal in an IWB configuration than when in an OWB configuration.
One of the features common to many CrossBreed rigs is their tuckable nature. The Reckoning uses IWB belt clips that allow you to tuck a shirt in between the clips and the holster. With smaller guns like the Hellcat, this works well. For the Echelon, however, I found that it was not ideal.
Regardless of how I carried it, I did find it easy to get full grip on the firearm during draw, which I think is important in a self-defense rig. A smooth draw is critical in an efficient presentation of a pistol in a personal protection scenario.
Out of the package, my Springfield Echelon fit right into the holster. I tightened the friction screws slightly for a bit more retention.
As mentioned above, the holster allowed me to get a full firing grip when drawing the Echelon. Also important is that the rig allows for full-size red dot optics on the pistol. One of the great features of the Echelon is its revolutionary “Variable Interface System” optics mounting system that allows for the direct mounting of a wide range of red dots. Any holster for this gun should accommodate those in my opinion, and the Reckoning does.
With the Echelon, I preferred to carry it in the 4 o’clock position — just behind my strong side hip. I also carried in the appendix position, but I spend too much time behind a desk to make that a viable daily carry mode with a full-size handgun.
Traditionally, I’ve had good experiences with CrossBreed holsters. Each one I’ve tested exhibited quality workmanship and was comfortable to wear. As a result, I give the company a nod of approval.
Specifically with the Reckoning, the rig performed as I expected; which is to say, very well. For IWB carry, I think I like the company’s original SuperTuck slightly better from a comfort perspective. The SuperTuck spreads the weight over a wide portion of the belt, reducing the stress on the hip and back. But, the SuperTuck is more of a one-trick pony.
The Reckoning makes carrying in the appendix position possible, something the SuperTuck isn’t going to help with. If you want to appendix carry your Echelon, the Reckoning is an excellent choice.
As I pointed out in this article, the Reckoning also offers the ability to convert it to an even more comfortable OWB rig. As OWB rigs go, the Reckoning works well. In my opinion, there may be some better choices if you are willing to dedicate to a single style of carry, but this one gives you the option of OWB or IWB carry — a not insignificant consideration.
Frankly, not many holsters offer an opportunity to convert to a different mode of carry. In both IWB and OWB modes, the Reckoning performed quite well. If you want one rig that can perform in both carry modes, it’s one of the few capable choices available on the market.
Priced at $76.95 on the Springfield Armory Webstore and available in left- and right-handed models, the Reckoning offers excellent value for the money. It performed well in my testing, and showed every sign that it would last for a lifetime of carry duty. I have no reservations in recommending this rig for your consideration.
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