Bianchi Model 82 Pancake Holster Review

Bianchi Model 82 Pancake Holster Review

This is a discussion on Bianchi Model 82 Pancake Holster Review within the Gear Talk forums, part of the The Armory category; People who carry concealed for more than a few months have a "Drawer of Many Holsters". That's where the majority of holsters go to live ...

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Thread: Bianchi Model 82 Pancake Holster Review

  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnL's Avatar
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    Bianchi Model 82 Pancake Holster Review

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    People who carry concealed for more than a few months have a "Drawer of Many Holsters". That's where the majority of holsters go to live out their days and there they stay, never seeing duty again after the first few hours of ownership.

    My own Drawer of Many Holsters is filled to overflowing because (a) someone told me about a neat holster, (b) I read a description online and fell for the marketing hype or (c) I read about it on a forum website.

    And yet, here I am, reviewing a holster for my fellow Glockers on this forum. So if you've had the same negative experiences as me with reviews and decide I should be ignored - or maybe even locked away for everyone's good - I understand.

    But -- if you're still reading, here's my review of the Bianchi Model 82:

    I purchased the Bianchi Model 82 pancake holster for my Glock 23 from Cheaper Than Dirt for $52.00 plus shipping. The holster retails for $78 and the best price I could find on the Internet was $49.99 however that vendor did not have the product in stock and didn't know when they would receive a new shipment.

    After wearing this holster for four days of daily concealed carry, here's what I've discovered:

    Comfort

    Carrying Concealed gives you psychological comfort but is not necessarily physically comfortable. This holster however is comfortable to wear.

    OK, the full truth is it's as comfortable to wear as you're likely to experience with a product that's designed to hold itself and a firearm tightly against your body. I'm 6'2" and weigh 215 pounds but it accommodates the roll of fat encircling my aging midsection without introducing body cramps or applying excess pressure - which is good because it took me a long time to grow this spare tire to the size it has reached and I'm not about to undo years of diligent work just because of a holster.

    Print-Through

    Print-through is minimal when worn at the 2:30-3:00 position under loose fitting clothing. If you carry your weapon under tight clothes however, observers looking for concealed weapon print-through are going to think you either have a growth near the bottom of your ribcage or realize they're seeing the outline of a Glock Grip. No OWB holster is going to be free of print-through in all cases and this holster is no different.

    Features

    o The holster has a 16 degree forward sweep which is just about right for my tastes. Once installed properly on your belt, the angle allows for rapid presentation of your weapon with an easy, intuitive draw.

    o Bianchi has an excellent automatic retention system for this holster that securely locks to the trigger guard when you insert a weapon into the holster. Because of this feature (and the construction of the holster itself), the result is like an open top holster as far as drag-when-drawing is concerned and yet the weapon is retained in the holster until you activate the release. The system is far better than a thumb release retention strap and much less likely to snag your weapon. (Note that one possible downside to this system could be that over time the retention mechanism might cause some wear marks on the trigger guard. Not saying it will, but I can see how it could depending on how much you draw and re-holster your Glock.)

    o The third feature I like is that the holster does not collapse when the weapon is withdrawn. Those of you who presently use - or have ever tried to use - a pancake holster know that they are prone to collapse at the top as soon as the weapon clears the holster making it a two handed job to get the gun back in safely. With the Bianchi 82, this is not an issue. The top of the holster stays open - unless your gut is even bigger than mine.

    Road Test (Tested using a Glock 23, Gen 3, Stock 5.5# Trigger Pull)

    Using an unloaded, ready-to-fire G23, I tried jamming the gun down into the holster several times to see if I could force the holster to cause a (dry-fire) accidental discharge or if I could break the retention mechanism. I was unsuccessful in 25+ tries using different re-insertion angles, (and I jammed it down very hard several times). I also experimented with different draw angles (e.g. intentionally forcing the Glock's nose to drag against the fore and aft parts of the holster as well as putting excessive side drag on the holster as I drew the weapon). The Glock came out with just a little more drag and more importantly, these actions did not result in an A.D.

    When drawing the weapon, the drill is to use your middle finger to operate the small paddle which pushes the retention lock out of the way. You draw in a fluid motion, tripping the release and continuing up and out of the holster.

    I found that after I pressed the paddle in with my middle finger to release the retention tab, it helped if I then used the middle finger to press downward on the paddle to gain more leverage. Without doing so, I was depending on only my ring finger and little finger wrapped around the grip to pull the Glock out. By adding the leverage of the middle finger against the top of the paddle, the weapon came out easier plus the middle finger then naturally fell into it's normal position on the grip as I continued to draw and present the weapon. Tripping the paddle does not get in the way of proper trigger finger placement above the trigger guard and, as mentioned above, there's no interference from a strap across the rear of the weapon. Finally, the trigger guard area is properly blocked by holster material on both sides when the gun is holstered as it should be which again works to prevent an A.D.

    When I first received the holster, the weapon was held tightly because of the new leather. I drew and re-holstered the weapon numerous times until it slid into and out of the holster without any leather induced drag. This was the only break-in action I had to take.

    The holster is available in tan or black leather and there are specific models available for many Glocks as well as many other brands. It's pricier than some competing pancake holsters but the features make it worth the price IMO.

    All in all, I'm impressed. I've relegated my Blackhawk pancake holster to the Drawer of Many Holsters and made the Bianchi 82 my OWB concealed carry holster of choice.

    Features

    FingerLok internal retention mechanism
    One-handed holstering
    Quick, middle-finger release
    Auto retention
    16 degree forward carry angle
    Strong-side carry
    Open muzzle
    Dual belt slots
    Fits up to 1.75" belts
    Smooth Leather, Black or Tan


    Caveat

    Reviews are of necessity subjective. Each person has specific goals and expectations for a product and yours may not be the same as mine,
    Last edited by JohnL; 03-04-2013 at 09:17 PM.
    texcowboy likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member barstoolguru's Avatar
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    Bianchi makes some good leather hoster
    the difference between wisdom and intellect, wisdom foresees the dangers in life, and intellect studies the aftermath

  3. #3
    Senior Member texcowboy's Avatar
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    Now you have gone and done it! I dont have a drawer of many holsters, I have a full storage box and 1/2 of another and now I am getting the itch for the Bianchi 82. I could use it with my G32, is it open bottom? Also, do you have a sub-compact to try in it?



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  5. #4
    Senior Member JohnL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texcowboy View Post
    Now you have gone and done it! I dont have a drawer of many holsters, I have a full storage box and 1/2 of another and now I am getting the itch for the Bianchi 82. I could use it with my G32, is it open bottom? Also, do you have a sub-compact to try in it?
    Sorry, tex -- There doesn't seem to be a model currently available for the G32.

    Here's the complete list of firearms that the 82 will work with (including brands other than Glocks):

    Model 82 *CarryLok™ Hip Holster Bianchi Leather Holsters

  6. #5
    Senior Member texcowboy's Avatar
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    I found one at E Cop on E Bay for $59 shipped. The fitment chart says it fits a 19, 23 and 36. If it fits a 23 it will fit the 32 as they are the same size. If it should not for some reason I could still use it with my G36 or if I decided to carry my G19 (dont like 9mm)

    I have the fever for it so here I go to order it!



    Only a Biker knows why a Dog hangs his head out the window.

    G29SF, G20SF, G30SF, G36, G21SF RTF2, G32 GEN 4, G33, G19

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  7. #6
    Senior Member JohnL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texcowboy View Post
    I found one at E Cop on E Bay for $59 shipped. The fitment chart says it fits a 19, 23 and 36. If it fits a 23 it will fit the 32 as they are the same size. If it should not for some reason I could still use it with my G36 or if I decided to carry my G19 (dont like 9mm)

    I have the fever for it so here I go to order it!
    Tex, I'd really like to see you tell the guys and girls what you think after you've tried it since it's always better to have more than one opinion on something. (You might hate the thing - and me for recommending it. )

  8. #7
    Senior Member texcowboy's Avatar
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    I ordered it and will give it a wringing out when it gets here. BTW, you certainly still have your writing skills, Nice Review.
    So far I am most comfortable carrying with a covering garment with my Galco Jak Slide as it fits between my belt and my pants and is held close to my body. I rode today on my Harley (temp was in the upper 80's here today but due to drop now) with an untucked button up shirt with the G32 in the Jak Slide at 4 O'Clock.



    Only a Biker knows why a Dog hangs his head out the window.

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    Senior Member rowabi's Avatar
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    Great objective review...thanks



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  10. #9
    Senior Member texcowboy's Avatar
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    Received the holster today and just sent in a request to the seller to return it. The problem is the size of the holster. It does not fit in the 4'OClock position. To wear it I have to have it over the belt loop at my 3"OClock which for me is not optimum for concealment. As far as the retention device I really like it, I tried it with my G36 and the weapon releases easily when the thumb lever is pushed. I am just not of the correct build to wear this one. The Seller has a 14 day return period so I am OK there. It was worth a try, all it will cost me is return postage. It a shame because it really is a nice holster.



    Only a Biker knows why a Dog hangs his head out the window.

    G29SF, G20SF, G30SF, G36, G21SF RTF2, G32 GEN 4, G33, G19

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  11. #10
    Junior Member handgunholsters's Avatar
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    Not surprised to hear your positive review of this holster. Bianchi has perfected simple, comfortable and functional.

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