The Carry Rig: DSG Arms Alpha Holster
May 17, 2018
DSG Arms is known for offering of AR-15 components as well as a plethora of firearms-related gear. It is also a distributor for several companies including Beretta, FN, and Springfield Armory. What you might not know is that DSG Arms also offers its own line of branded gear including holsters, spare magazine carriers and gun belts.
After nearly a year of waiting, the new Hudson H9 is now in production and being delivered to retailers. This steel-framed 9mm with a low bore axis has been one of the most highly anticipated releases in recent memory. However, once you buy one you might struggle to find a holster to carry it in. That's where DSG Arms stepped up.
Working with Hudson Manufacturing before production began, DSG Arms became one of the first holster makers to offer a carry rig molded for the H9 — to include spare magazine pouches. So far, there is an inside-the-waistband (IWB) model called the CDC and an outside the waistband (OWB) model named Alpha. Both are Kydex holsters for right- and left-handed shooters available in either black or tan, and are adjustable.
Though it seems that the OWB Alpha holster had to be rapidly developed for the H9, the rig presents subtle details that suggest a person who actually carries a pistol every day engineered it. For example, the Alpha permits a full-firing grip to be established before the draw starts. I consider this to be the most important aspect of an acceptable holster for self-defense.
You'll notice a little rub that takes place against the front of the middle finger during the grip, but it didn't impede the process. We know that the engineer cared about allowing for a full-firing grip because there's a generous U-shaped notch cut underneath the triggerguard. Also evidence of a smart design is the notch cut above the 1911-style magazine release to push out when pressed. This has value because shooters, at times, want to verify the condition of an inserted magazine or change magazines while the pistol is holstered. It's a detail that was obviously intentional.
Like many Kydex holsters of this style, the Alpha offers a tension adjustment screw and wings that are raked inward. This type of wing on a holster keeps the gun tight against a body and minimizes printing. However, it can also limit a pistol to being comfortably carried at 3 o'clock. Worn in other locations, the wings can press against bone.
Six riveted eyelets on each wing allow for ride-height adjustment and the ability to change the size of belt loops. DSG Arms offer optional loops that accomodate 11/2-, 13/4- and 21/4-inch belts, as well as MOLLE-clip hardware.
The Hudson H9 is a clever pistol that seems like a striker-fire-type crossed with a double-stack, single-action Model 1911 in 9mm. Weighing 23/4-pounds loaded, it's heavy and pulls on the holster's loops toward the bottom of the magazine. Faster draws were experienced when the carry rig's belt was cinched tight. Though the holster hugs the waist, the grip is long and straight. In fact, it extends 1.93 inches beyond the holster, which makes it more difficult to conceal with no cant. Most will find that an untucked shirt is not enough to hide the H9's long grip with a no-cant orientation. For complete concealment, a jacket must be worn or the holster's rear loop must be adjusted for cant. At the range, the H9 in an Alpha with no cant will work just fine.
Hudson's H9 will be a challenging pistol for holster makers to accommodate the gun with a light attached. With limited holsters currently available, the Alpha is currently our best option for the H9.