Milt Sparks VMII vs. C5 Leather Montana XLT

Discussion in '1911 Gear' started by Quack, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Quack

    Quack it's mmm, mmm good... Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011
    As a longtime user of MS VMII holsters, I went out to try a C5 Leather Montana XLT holster for my STI Tactical 4.15.
    I ordered the C5 because the shorter wait time (3-5 weeks) and cost ($80 shipped).
    I received my holster the other day and ordered on 9/11.
    Taking it out of the box, the C5 is a nice holster, and looked similar to the VMII.
    Last night I put it on and practiced drawing from the holster. I noticed that something didn't feel right compared to my VMII's, and looked at my VMII and saw the differences that were affecting my draw.

    here's a few side by side pics. my SACS 9mm is in the VMII and the STI Tactical is in the Montana XLT:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    can you see the difference in the photo's above?

    here's some close ups of what's causing the issue:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and another angle. The sweat shield of the C5 is lower, which prevents a good grip on the gun when drawing.
    You can also see that the C5 is thicker and the sight channel isn't as nice as the VMII
    [​IMG]

    lastly i like how the straps on the VMII are attached, it seems to keep the holster lined up on the pants better.
    [​IMG]

    The extra leather that goes past the end of the slide makes it a little less comfy (to me) than the VMII.
    So while i will use the C5, i i'm gonna call Milt Sparks, Yoast or Top Gun Supply and try to get a VMII ordered for my Tac 4.15.

    as Chuck says "Cheap - Fast - Good, pick 2"
     
  2. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Looks like an extremely well made holster.
    However, since I tried the VS II, I have sold most all other holsters.
    I do have a MTAC on hand for the P2000......love it!
     

  3. Quack

    Quack it's mmm, mmm good... Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011
    it is a well made holster, it's just that extra leather prevents a good purchase on the grip. i thought that it was me that was having issues, but after looking i saw that it's actually the holster.
     
  4. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Yes,........seems just a small difference in cut and the extra material makes a great deal.
     
  5. Dumbell2

    Dumbell2 Member

    127
    Sep 7, 2011
    I have a C5 that I bought for the same reason as Quack-I also have 4 VM-2 that I bought since buying the C5. My VM-2 are used daily. The C5 is brand new in a draw.
    Make your own conclusions.
    Black C5 holster for sale-fits 1911 Commander never used. :)
     
  6. Wheezy

    Wheezy Bullet Banger Supporting Addict

    Aug 31, 2011
    Wanna sell that C5 Dumbell2?
     
  7. Dumbell2

    Dumbell2 Member

    127
    Sep 7, 2011
    Glad to.
     
  8. wade-19

    wade-19 Global Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    894
    Aug 17, 2011
    I bought a C5 when they first came out. I understand there have been several revisions since then. I don't have it any longer. VMII FTW !
     
  9. Wheezy

    Wheezy Bullet Banger Supporting Addict

    Aug 31, 2011
    PM sent.
     
  10. Trent

    Trent Site Founder Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011
    I have 3 C5 holsters. I love them!
     
  11. Sir Guy

    Sir Guy Sharpening Ockham's Razor Supporting Addict

    Aug 20, 2011
    Good review and comparison. Thanks! The only Milt Sparks I have so far is a Summer Special II. I've been meaning to try a VMII at some point though.

    Andy
     
  12. TSiWRX

    TSiWRX Member

    861
    Aug 21, 2011
    Heya Don,

    That's a great set of photos - great comparo. :smile:

    One thing that, as a fatboy :oops: that I do compromise in favor of the comfort of the rig. If the gun's not comfortable to carry, I probably won't be carrying or I'll carry less often...and to me, that's just no good. So, given my rather doughy mid-section, with its plentiful love-handles and beer-belly (I don't drink, so that's all buffalo wings, right there!), one thing I look for in a IWB concealment holster is how well it shields the gun from my softness.

    Now, this is complicated by two more factors:

    (1) My year-round typical attire consists of an un-tucked $5 Old-Navy T-shirt over jeans. :blush:
    (2) Most of my family/friends do not know that I carry.

    The first means that there's only the holster to keep the gun off my body, while the second means that I can't go around adjusting my rig all the time: it has to truly be concealed, in the strictest sense of the word, and what's more, I'm not going to be moving it around every time I get in or out of a car, sit down or get up, etc...neither the gun nor the holster should cause me any discomfort throughout my daily routine.

    So, that sweat-shield takes on a huge significance, for me, with my personal needs/wants.

    I don't have a 1911 (yet :wink:), nor do I own either of the holsters presented in this thread, but I picked up on your "something didn't feel right" during practice, right away, because that's something that I've had to overcome.

    With the extended-coverage sweat-shields, that I prefer, I use a different draw-stroke: I dig my thumb down and in as I draw - using the second knuckle to forcibly displace the sweat-shield away from the gun body.

    That sounds like it would be slower, but not really. Even at my current novice level (this was also the first class where I had to shoot, timed, from concealment), I clocked a 1.43 draw-to-first-hit from concealment, with my usual attire, with my carry gun and my carry holster, stepping off the X.

    I think that if you had to, this is something that you (and others) could work around. Sure, it took me more than a few hours to get decent, and yes, I did shed some skin and some blood (although, by the time of the above-cited class, I'd practiced enough that I'd built-up some tougher skin there, already: through an entire afternoon's worth of shooting from concealment, my knuckle was none the worse for wear :grin:), but for me, this is something that I not only have to compromise on, but is actually something that I specifically seek, in a holster. I'm going to have Dan Dan make me a custom holster in the near future, and yep, an extended sweat-shield will be on the laundry list. :smile:
     
  13. carljc72

    carljc72 1911's & Gunleather Supporting Addict

    324
    Sep 27, 2011
    Great side by side comparison.
    I think everyone has personal opinions when it comes to their daily carry holsters. What works for one may not work for the other. There have definitely been many debates in the holster world about what makes a good holster. To me it comes down to one thing and one thing only...does it work and meet the needs of the person wearing it. If it does not, then it will just end up taking space in "the holster drawer".
     
  14. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    Great review.
    I think you meant to say the C5 has a Higher sweat shield.




    THat's another reason why I also like the VM2s. The overall details to such "small" areas.
     
  15. John

    John Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Oct 7, 2011
    He meant lower. The C5 sweat shield extends down more of the frame, covering part of the grip safety. The VMII sweat shield barely goes down past the slide, which makes it easier to get a good grip.
     
  16. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    from that POV, yes. But from the other POV, it is taller, extending pass the hammer and BT, thus I thought he meant that.
     
  17. John

    John Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Oct 7, 2011
    Yeah, easy to get confused when it does both. It's just a bigger sweat shield all around. I just knew what he meant because he explained it in the chat the other day.
     
  18. TSiWRX

    TSiWRX Member

    861
    Aug 21, 2011
    ^ Exactly.

    That's, I think, why it's important to have threads/posts like what Quack made, so that the perspective buyer can be aware of the unique traits of each holster design, and buy something that will suit their known preferences a little better than another. :thumb:

    I'm a holster whore, so I've always wanted a Milt Sparks, but after this thread, I think that I won't be so eager to get it any more. :wink:
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  19. Quack

    Quack it's mmm, mmm good... Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011
    Lower down towards the grip.
     
  20. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    The MS Versa Max II is the best I've ever tried for the 1911!
     

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