Left: Raven Concealment’s Vanguard 2 for Glock pistols. Right: A pre-production Vanguard 2 for M&P pistols.

Back at SHOT Show 2012, our friends at Raven Concealment unveiled the latest incarnation of their Vanguard Holster. For those not familiar, the original Vanguard was a minimalist holster design that eliminates the bulk of traditional holster designs, but still provides the safety of a holstered pistol. The original design was essentially just a trigger guard cover with a paracord lanyard to act as a static line.

The Vanguard 2 is the logical evolution of the original Vanguard design. By using state of the art molding technology, Raven Concealment was able to mass produce the body of the “holster” and offer it at a competitive price. In addition, a strut and soft loop was attached to the holster to allow it to be used like a standard in-the-waistband holster. It is tuckable, and ambidextrous.

Since I first tweaked my back about five years ago, the Glock 19 replaced my steel framed 1911 for off-duty carry and it quickly became my favorite concealment gun. I previously carried it in a Milt Sparks Summer Special, which was comfortable and stable. As soon as I returned home from SHOT 2012, I began using Raven’s Vanguard 2. I haven’t looked back since. It is extremely low profile and light weight. It’s versatile and can be carried appendix in-the-waistband or standard strong side IWB as well.

For the past 15 months, I’ve been carrying a Glock 19 in that Vanguard 2 holster. It is comfortable and durable. There is no material to add any bulk to the sides of the pistol, and really it is like tucking the pistol right into your pants except it stays put and is far safer. With the Vanguard 2, is no worry about maintenance or rot (other than maybe checking the screw that attaches the strut to the holster body.

Some people have noted that the Vanguard system prevents you from re-holstering one-handed. That is true. The price of having such a low-profile, lightweight, and simple system is that you will have to use two hands to reattach the Vanguard system and then tuck it back into your pants. I don’t find this to be an issue for me but your requirements will vary. Like with any piece of gear, check your requirements and select your equipment based on those requirements.

At SHOT 2013, the Raven guys unveiled their prototypes for their M&P model of the Vanguard 2. I predict this one will be a home run as well. Keep your eye out on their website for launch information.

SOURCE: http://www.ravenconcealment.com

This entry was posted in Gear, Review by Tim Lau. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to qualified civilian, law enforcement and military personnel.

6 thoughts on “RAVEN VANGUARD 2: 15 MONTHS LATER

  1. Tim,

    are you using the Vanguard 2 in the AIWB or standard IWB position?

    • Both, but I prefer standard IWB. A lot of good folks prefer AIWB. It is perfectly valid so try both and see what works for you.

  2. I carry a G19 in a Vanguard 2 off-duty. It’s much easier to grab and snap onto my belt than a typical kydex holster. I can also easily throw it in a Camelbak MULE or backpack when hiking or mountain biking. Less bulk than a full kydex holster. You definitely have to be more aware when removing it, as I’ve had the Vanguard 2 get caught up in my belt and I end up drawing the pistol.

  3. I too have found the VG2 extremely effective and useful. I use it extensively for AIWB carry. Suprisingly (to me anyway) I’ve found that carrying a G26 in it I often will develop a hotspot at the front of the hip area whereas I don’t experience that with a G19. With carry; you never know until to use it over an extended period.

  4. I have been carrying a G19 in the Vanguard 2 since this past summer. I personally use AIWB. I can’t say enough good about this holster for daily carry. It’s that good, IMO. As for Regular IWB at 3,4, 5:00 I’m not so sure. I’ve done it in a pinch, but for me I worry about retention. Your mileage may vary.

    My main CCW piece is a Gen 4 Glock 19. Raven states that they can’t promise it will fit other sized frames. Mine receives the Gen 4 Glock 21 quite well. And it’s so minimal, I can carry the Gen 4 Glock 17 AIWB as a daily carry gun!

    What the Vanguard 2 does is fill all the promises the old 1911 clip-draw couldn’t deliver. True retention, true stability, true trigger coverage, true versatility. It’s so genius. So out-standing. So simple. My only real complaint is why in the hell didn’t I think of that!?!


  5. I attended a class by Chris Costa sponsored by raven recently and we were given the original vanguards which like the 2 are a very interesting carry option. With the string retention of the one I also consider other uses – like hanging on a hanger underneath clothing for a quick into action but concealed way to store the gun. On thin guys ( which I am not) it makes a great appendix carry rig. I look forward to testing mine out in the near future. A really unique and effective concept

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