Many, many months ago, I was given the pleasure of receiving a pre-production model of Blastersmith UK Ltd's shiny new MkIII Drop-leg holster. Following the success of it's elder brother, the MkII which was designed for the Maverick/Strongarm, the MkIII is designed to keep your clip fed blasters handy for when things go south.
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Now, I'll be honest. It has taken me a fair bit of time to write this review. 4 months in fact. Not because I'm lazy or kept forgetting. It wasn't even because I wanted to make Mike angry! It has taken a long time because I wanted to test this holster with a variety of blasters in a variety of scenarios (maybe some of the other reasons too). I can now confidently say that I have tested this piece of kit in as many different ways as I can... and the results are good!
I have been using BSUK products almost since the company came into existence. My MkII holsters for my Strongarms are some of the first production models the company created and the designs have come a long way since then. When it was announced that the MkIII was being developed I immediately knew what to do with it.
Like many of you out there, I bought an Elite Stryfe as soon as it was released. To me, a more steam lined, clip fed electronic pistol was exactly what Nerf was missing. Many of my fellow nerfers soon set about adding barrels and stocks to make it into a rifle. Whilst I enjoy the multi-purpose nature of the Stryfe, for me it was a pistol and would be used as such.
The only problem with this was storage. When I nerf, I like to travel light. I tend not to use any large tactical vests or rig systems and carry only what I can cram into my pockets (and on the shorts I usually wear, that's a lot). However, with my EAT as a primary and 6-8 straight 18 clips in my pockets, there simply isn't room for a Stryfe. For this reason alone, I asked BSUK to send me a MkIII for the measly sum of £12.
It arrived with the promptness I have come to expect from BSUK and I soon had it strapped to my leg. Due to it's design, the MkIII is a little trickier to fit than the MkII. At least at first. Once you have worked out what all of the straps do and what attaches to what it becomes a doddle.
The design and construction reflect just how long the Blastersmiths UK team have spent developing the MkIII. For example the popper that secures the retaining strap is huge. This makes it easy to locate and close without looking, albeit after a little practise. The popper also offers just the right amount of 'hold' so that it retains the blaster nicely but is not difficult to undo. I understand they experimented with everything for this strap. Even magnetic handbag catches. The strap that attaches the holster to your belt (to support the weight of the blaster) is a lot wider than on the MKII. I'm not really sure as to the reason for this but it does make it feel a lot more secure. The main body of the holster is the same 500D Cordura that they use for everything so it is really tough and hard wearing.
The MkIII is also massively adjustable. It isn't solely designed for the Stryfe. Pretty much any clip fed blaster will fit although some are more practical than others. Although the Alpha Trooper, Longstrike and Roughcut actually fit, this rig is not a very viable system for them. You can also cram a Vortex Praxis or Vigilon in there but again, it's not really a workable solution.
When I initially started testing the MKIII, I noticed a flaw. Not with the holster, but with the way I had assumed you used it. By the way the holster was made and a picture that I saw from BSUK, I fastened the retaining strap across the blaster, below the handle. Although this held it snugly, when I ran, the blaster would bounce around in the holster and the triggers would be depressed by the strap. Although the "Rimm, rimm, rimm" noise was amusing and made me feel like a cyborg, it wasn't good for my blaster, the game or my sanity.
Looking at the holster again, I adjusted the retaining strap and this time passed it over the blaster's handle before securing it. This meant the strap went nowhere near the triggers and actually held the blaster more snugly. I later discovered that this was the intended method for securing the blaster but confused by the holsters design and the images I had seen, I had missed it entirely.
I have been sliding, crawling, jumping and running (most of the things you can't do in a swimming pool) wearing this holster and it has held up really well. 4 months of fairly heavy use and it's still as sturdy as the day I bought it. (Which reminds me, BSUK, I owe you £12)
The MKIII Drop-leg holster can be bought from Blastersmiths UK Ltd for £12 in either a left leg or right leg variant. Many colours are available. Contact the team for details.
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