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CompTac vs. VersaMax Review (Long Post)

18506 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  MMH
I posted this on another forum but thought it would be worthy of posting it here.

CompTac vs. VersaMax Review (Long Post)


Late last year I had a renewed interest in 1911’s and picked up a nice Colt Commercial from a buddy of mine. At the time I did not have a quality holster to carry it in and thus started my quest for the perfect holster. I read all the posts about the various brands and models and for the most part the two which I read about the most was the Comp-Tac C.T.A.C. (Concealed-Tactical Adjustable Cant) and the Milt Sparks VersaMax II (VMII). I have been using one form or another of leather holsters over the years and frankly was interested in trying something new in kydex, thus the CTAC.

Anyways, I was talking to a good friend about the whole leather vs. kydex controversy as it applies to holsters and I mentioned that I was thinking of a CTAC. He and I discussed the virtues of leather vs. kydex and basically came to the conclusion that the only way to know if kydex was a material for me was to try it out. My Friend happened to have a spare CTAC that he wasn’t using and offered it to me to ‘try before you buy’. I took him up on the offer and he promptly sent it to me. I was surprised to find that the holster he sent me to test drive was brand spanking new. Talk about a generous offer.

Anyways, I digress. Back to the original topic CompTac CTAC verses Sparks VMII. I carried my full sized 1911 in the CTAC for 10+ hours every day for a month in everything from thick coverage to just a T-shirt. Details about the CTAC can be found on their site http://www.comp-tac.com/:

As you can see from the website and description the CTAC is a flexible platform that can be modified with little to no effort whatsoever.

The Pro’s of the CTAC:
• I found the holster to be very thin and light but rigid at the same time
• The holster fit my 1911 like a glove but allowed for a very quick draw and effortless draw
• Was moderately comfortable even after 10+ hour days
• Kydex did not mar my stainless steel finish or otherwise scratch the surface
• At $75 for the basic model this is a very affordable holster for the money.
• Interchangeable belt loops make the holster very adaptable

The Con’s of the CTAC:
• The holster I tested had the standard clips which slid onto the belt. I did not like the design of the belt clips and felt they were fragile and the weak point of the entire holster so much so that rather than stretch them to slide them down onto the holster I chose to thread my belt through them like a belt loop.
• The kydex clips also did not allow for very easy adjustment once the holster was on the belt. I found myself having to make adjustments constantly.
• The holster’s edge closest to the body was stiff and rubbed into my side to the point it became uncomfortable at times.
• Nothing about a silent draw with this holster. Any time I drew the holster you head the tell tale click/clack of the kydex as it released the tension on the firearm.
• The CTAC is not a secure holster when compared to leather holsters. I had my wife try to grab my gun from my holster and 9 out o 10 times she was able to pull it out with any resistance.

Overall the CTAC is a great design and basically the kydex version of the VMII.


Based on my experience with the CTAC I decided to purchase a VMII so I could compare them side by side. Details can be found on the Milt Sparks webpage http://www.miltsparks.com/ . I searched and searched and finally found a dealer who had one available in the configuration which I wanted. I received it a few days later. I then tested my VMII under the same circumstances as I did the CTAC. My conclusions are as follows:

Pro’s of VMII
• Though leather is significantly thicker than kydex I found it to much more comfortable and body contouring.
• I had no trouble wearing my VMII for 10+ hours a day.
• No discernible affect on the finish of my firearm.
• Changeable belt loops allows the holster to be converted from tuckable to IWB in minutes.
• The belt loops allow for on demand adjustments (forward and back) easier than the kydex loops on the CTAC.
• Draws from holster were smooth and silent.
• Ran the same gun grabber test with my wife and the leather offered much more retention than the CTAC.

Con’s of VMII
• If purchase directly from Milt Sparks the cost is $95 which is only $20 more than the CTAC.
• Delivery times are 16 – 18 weeks. I paid a premium to get mine but I bypassed the 16 – 18 weeks of waiting.
• Weigh, though not a real factor, was more than the CTAC.
• Leather finish is more prone to scratch than the kydex.




Overall, I much preferred the leather VMII over the kydex CTAC for all the reasons listed above. I found the VMII to be far more comfortable and felt if offered more retention than the CTAC. Even though it costs $20 more than the CTAC I would still go with the VMII. There’s just something about the smell of a custom made leather holster that brings a smile to your face knowing you are wearing it. Fit and finish were superb and the smell was captivating. No breaks in period on this holster were necessary.

Anyways, there you have it, my honest review of the CTAC and VMII. Both are great holsters and will give you years of service if given proper maintenance. In the end, the decision is kind of personal but for me it was an easy one. Thanks for reading my novel.

Here is a pick of my Three VMII's

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This is an excellent review. Your post will definitely be a great aid to someone who is undecided on the leather vs kydex choice. The photos are also excellent examples of the differences. Thank you for taking the time to post.
 

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Excellent review, but I have a question.

Was the VM II that you purchased for your 1911 the first VM II you owned?

You currently have three and I was curious whether your test resulted in the purchase of the other two VM II's for the HK and the Glock.
 

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A very good and fair review/comparison. I carried my 1911s for years in a Milt Sparks Summer Special II holster before I tried the CTAC and although I liked the speed of draw with the kydex holster, it just wasn't as comfortable. I've gone back to leather IWB holsters for my guns, Milt Sparks Executive Companion, Alessi PCH, Milt Sparks SS II
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your comments.

Seanmac45 -
I actually already had VMII's for my HK P7M8 and G30. Which was one of the reasons why I wanted to try something different in kydex, hence the CTAC. After trying the CTAC I knew from previous experience with VMII's that I would like them better so I purchased one.

Let me stress that my review was done with an unbiased opinion. I wanted to like the CTAC but it just didn't do it for me.

Mac
 

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Thanks for the reply.

I didn't thing you were biased at all.

Sounded like you gave the CTAC a fair shake.

Just to clarify, the VM II is the answer to my CC questions as well.
 

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Excellent post and info! I used a Kydex IWB rig (custom, small maker) for a year or two and my experience pretty much mirrors yours. It was lightning fast to draw from, but not nearly as comfortable as the Sparks Watch Six I have since purchased. My kydex rig has an adjustable tension screw. I never fooled with it much for the first year I had the holster, as it perfectly fit my 1911 and I had no problems with retention in my daily activities. It was set with light tension. Went to Thunder Ranch Urban Rifle school and carried the 1911 for transition drills. First time I hit the ground energetically for cover, the 1911 shot out of the holster and into the gravel on the range!
YOW! Next time I went prone, it did it again. No fluke, there. I then tightened up the adjustment screw to prevent accidents like that, and had no further problems. Even with the added tension, it remained significantly easier to draw from than the leather IWB rig I had used before trying Kydex.
One nice thing about Kydex for use in hot weather is that it does not absorb moisture and helps protect the pistol from persperation. Also, I had no noticeable finish wear from my Kydex rig (blue steel Gov't model.) However, I kept my holster clean; have heard that if the kydex gets dirt ground into it, it can eat up your finish pronto.

Hope this helps,
John
 

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Great review!

After buying and using a ton of different holsters, both off the shelf and custom, I'm switching entirely to the Versa Max II for all my CCW's. :biglaugh:
 

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Just arrived

My VM2 from TG Supply arrived 3 days after ordering it. I feel lucky.

They only had black and for some reason I was worried about that. It's flatter then in the pictures and the finish and overall construction is top notch. I am in the process of moving to New Mexico (an F+ state :) ) so it soon should develope some nice character.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Additionally. Here is more info regarding a VMII using the tuckable kydex belt loops.

Another member asked me the following qusetion:
Great write up and thanks for pointing me towards it. How is the Glock 26 in the VM2 compared to the 1911 in the VM2? Have you tried wearing the Glock 26/VM2 as a tuckable yet? If so, how did it work for you?
I don't know how comfortable a G26 in a VMII would be since I do not have a G26. The one pictured in my VMII family photo is a G30 (love it!:D) which is thicker and more square than the G26 so I am sure it will feel just fine. Prior to becoming a born-again 1911 fan my primary ccw was my G30 in a VMII. I find the G30/VMII to be just as comfortable as my 1911/VMII combo. I just find the VMII holster to be an extremely comfortable carry regardless of what type of firearm you are carrying.

The good thing about the VMII is the fact that you can switch from standard belt loops to the tuckable kydex loops in minutes





If you have multiple VMII's then you really only need to purchase one set of kydex clips (unless you alternate between them VMII’s in which case it would be worth the extra $15 to buy another set of clips). The kydex clips are unique in the fact that the clips slide onto the pants rather than the belt. The belt rides over the clip and does a good job of hiding the clips. With the kydex clips it is more difficult to make lateral adjustments on the fly due to the fact that the clips grip the pant line like a dog on a bone. I like to adjust my holsters to fit more comfortably when I transition from sitting to standing…etc and with the leather straps it is a synch to do by pushing the holster one direction or the other. With the kydex clips you have to move each clip independently until you find your sweet spot. It's not really as bad as it sounds but it is definitely not as easy as with the leather loops.





The positive thing about the kydex clips is that you can wear it as a standard IWB or as a tuckable IWB. For a period of several months I carried my G30 in this manner with the kydex clips but untucked sans a belt which really simplifies things. The kydex clips hold the holster so well that I never once worried about the holster coming loose and actually feel the kydex loops are more secure than the leather loops. I am not fond of tuckable holsters because subconsciously I can’t help but feel like everyone can see that I am carrying. This isn’t really the case but I just can’t get over the feeling. Anyways I digress, as a tuckable holster the VMII does a good job of hiding your ccw in part due to the flexibility of the clips. The way I tucked my holster in is to open my pants, spread the pant-line from the holster and then tucked my shirt in between the gap and then closed up my pants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It is difficult to take self portraits so please forgive me if these pictures are not very clear. Here is what the holster looks like with the kydex loops and tucked and then for comparisons with the leather loops and untucked shirt.






 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mike45 wrote: Why the need for the big bulky round pieceon the bottom of thr kidex clips. I find them uncomfortable
I believe the round end serves two purposes - first, it makes the clip springy so that the clip can be spread so a shirt could be inserted between the sides.

Second, if the clip did not have the rounded part I would bet the clip would not spring together also, I bett the clip would bend. Imagine a paperclip when you clip a thick stack of paper together, the clip bends and does not sit flat.

I have used my clips exclusively for all three of my VMII's for a number of years and never felt them to be uncomfortable. Too each their own I guess.
 

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Excellent write-up and insights. At least, I found your perceptions to mirror my own. While comparing a CTAC to a VMII, seems a little like comparing a Bently to a Wrangler, I think you sussed out the subtleties of both. No question that the VMII is near the top of the comfort scale. Like you, I found the CTAC to be a bit too position sensitive for my liking. There was only one spot on the body I could find that didn't cause disagreeable levels of discomfort. Not so with my VMII. It actually seemed as though I could place it anywhere between SOB and 2:30 and was acceptably comfy.

Well done.
 
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