Zero 2 Hero Concepts
Quality Kydex Products for the American People

The shear number of kydex holster companies out there makes it difficult for anyone to try and decide on a specific holster. When I first began exploring what Zero 2 Hero Concepts offers, I was pleasantly surprised that they include unique features in nearly their entire product line, and that these guys will have an easy time building a name for them selves.

Z2H Concepts is a small shop, and all of their products are hand made to the exact specifications of the customer. They even offer custom gear for those who want something even more personalized, but with the amount of options they make available for their customers, I am surprised they even need that as a separate option!

I contacted them inquiring about one of their holsters, as I had just found myself into a nice little HK45 with a Surefire X300, and didn’t have any gear for it. I was pleasantly surprised to have such great communication with the company, and their customer service in answering any and all of my questions, no matter how simple, complex, or stupid, was absolutely outstanding. After many messages back and forth about my needs, it was recommended to me to check out their Hunter Light Bearing T.R.S. 1 Holster lineup This lineup only differs from the standard Light Bearing T.R.S. 1 lineup in that they come in various camo patterns rather than solid colors.

What first struck me about this holster, and all of their offerings in general, was how customizable it was from my end of the deal. I didn’t need to message them and request anything special. It was all right in front of me as an option, We all know of the big-name kydex companies that have “customizable holsters” to the extent of cant angle, belt loop size, and color. Well, Zero 2 Hero Concepts blows that right out of the water. Along with the typical choices regarding gun model, light model, dominant hand, color, and belt loop sizes, when you order a holster from Z2H, you can also choose the sweat-shield height, if you want a muzzle cut-out, the rivet color, what type of screws you want, any optic specifications, retention level, and whether or not you want Patriot Stripes (more on these later). I was dumbfounded, and promptly turned into a kid in a candy shop to pick out my holster.


I selected a Hunter Light Bearing T.R.S.1 holster for my HK45 and Surefire X300 in a two-tone color combo - Krypek Highlander for the exterior and coyote brown for the interior. I am right handed, got the belt loop size I needed to fit my cobra belt, and although I don’t have a threaded barrel on my HK45 yet, I chose to get the muzzle cutout and threaded barrel upgrades regardless, both for looks and future functionality. I chose a high sweat shield, Phillips head screws, coyote brown rivets to match the holster, adjustable retention, a 5 degree cant, and of course their unique Patriot Stripes.

Once I received the holster in the mail, I was very excited. There were countless trips to the range and the field where I had to leave my beloved HK45 at home since I didn’t have a holster for it. Those days were gone now! I was very pleased to see the entire order wrapped in bubble wrap for protection during shipment. As I write this review weeks after using this holster, I am amazed at the quality, workmanship, and thought that went into making this holster. The color combo turned out exactly how I was hoping, and the rivets were a perfect match to the rear kydex. The belt loops are a perfect fit to my cobra belt, and the cant is exactly what I needed to aid in faster drawing and holstering. Since these are all “standard” things that most kydex companies offer, let’s go over some of the other details unique to Z2H, shall we?

The Muzzle Cut – I absolutely love this feature, regardless if I had a threaded barrel or not. It lessens the profile of the bottom of the holster, and gives it an awesome look. I honestly do not see any issues with the muzzle being exposed, whether it be for safety concerns of element concerns.


The Sweat Shield – You can choose between low, mid, high, or high with added protection for the rear sight. I chose high, which has very clean and smooth edges, and is flush with the rear end of the slide of the gun. It is exactly what I wanted. It is also cut to allow plenty of space for the external safety that the HK45 has.

Retention – You can choose between Static Level 1 retention, which is what nearly all other kydex companies’ use, or Adjustable Level 1 Retention. I chose the adjustable retention feature, especially since this is going to be my hunting sidearm, used in pistol courses, and generally on me when I am moving a lot. The retention is adjustable through the use of a screw located below the light on the holster. There is an extremely thick rubber gasket on the inside of the holster to keep tension on the kydex. When you tighten or loosen the screw, the two pieces of kydex ever-so-slightly converge or diverge, thus making the holsters’ grip on the weapon either tighter or looser. This is by far one of my favorite features in the entire holster.

The Patriot Stripes – These are what I think sets Zero 2 Hero Concepts apart the most from any other kydex company I have ever seen. Here is an excerpt from the Z2H website regarding what these are: “Three stripes on the front side of the holster that aid in emergency one handed firearm manipulation and also add to overall badass-ness.” How can you not want these? Not only are they functional, but they look absolutely bad-ass! They weren’t lying. I think the looks of them speak for themselves, but how do they perform for their intended purpose? I have done many different drills for emergency manipulation of a firearm, such as reloading while kneeling with the weapon in the crook of your knee and racking the slide on the back of your boot, or clearing a malfunction by racking the slide on a table top with the rear sight. These Patriot Stripes are an absolute game changer. They took me a little while to get used to and commit the sequence of reloading and clearing malfunctions with them to muscle memory. Now it has become second nature and is my go-to for these situations and drills. To use them, you simply find one of the three stripes either internally or externally with a front corner of the slide and press down to cycle the weapon.

The holster is one of the most comfortable OWB holsters I have ever had the pleasure of using. It looks bulky to the eye, but with the kydex hand-folded belt loops, it has a very sleek profile against the body. A full size HK45 with 10+1 rounds of 230 grain .45ACP is no light weapon in any sense of the word. When using this holster, however, I feel the sidearm and its’ weight no more than my XDS when I carry it IWB. Even when jogging, running, and maneuvering, the holster never jumps around on my hip, it never slides on my belt, and the weapon never feels like it wants to pop out. The holster has a perfect undercut to allow for a complete positive grip on the weapon without un-holstering, and the Freedom Wings on the side allow for a natural guide when indexing on the holster.

Zero 2 Hero Concepts also includes their ‘Freedom Wings” on every holster made after 9/25/2014. These are reminiscent of their logo, and look awesome too. This holster, and any holster you can get from Z2H, is absolutely packed with features and awesome subtleties that set their gear apart from the rest. My holster stands out at the range and I have had countless people ask me where I got it. It is easy to see why so many people find themselves attracted to this rather that to some generic piece of black plastic.

I also received a matching pistol magazine holster and rifle magazine holster. They are the S.M.P 2 and R.M.P. 2 respectively. The pistol magazine holster is for my spare HK45 magazine and the rifle magazine holster is for my AK47. Both are in Kryptek Highlander and both have belt clips that can be used either IWB or OWB depending on what I choose and what activities I may be partaking in. Both have adjustable retention systems identical to that of their weapon holsters, but using two screws and gaskets rather than one.


The overall fit and finish on the holster and magazine pouches is second to none. It is easy to see how much care and attention to detail Z2H takes when making their gear. That only reflects how highly they value their customers and how much they believe in their products.

I believe I have found the kydex company that will get my business until the end of days!

Check out Zero2Hero Concepts here: http://www.z2hgear.com/

Their Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Zero2HeroConcepts
Here is the direct link to the Hunter Light Bearing T.R.S. 1: http://www.z2hgear.com/kryptek-series/kryptek-lb-trs-1
Here is the direct link to the Hunter S.M.P. 2 and R.M.P. 2: http://www.z2hgear.com/kryptek-series/kryptek-smp-2

Spend some time exploring their site, galleries, and other offerings. You will quickly understand why I love their products as much as I do! If the Hunter Light Bearing T.R.S.1 is not exactly what you’re looking for, Z2H makes countless other types of holsters with different profiles, retention systems, and features. Of course they do complete custom gear too!


Chris Baldwin

Owner/Operator
Valkyrie War Cord

 

Liquid Transformations
A Hydrodipped Camofluage Finish 

I had been in the market for ages to get my O/U shotgun coated. I spent days and weeks searching for the right pattern and company to do the project without it being sub-par work or a 4-month wait. Hunting season was around the corner after all. I chose my O/U to get coated because it is my trap/skeet competition gun, and I recently sold off my other hunting specific shotguns since I was so great with the O/U, and used some of that money to fund this upgrade. I don’t mind the camouflage on the trap range, but the ducks and geese would mind the bluing and wood furniture much more. 


I began to look semi-local to me, as I like supporting smaller business as much as possible. I am an owner of one after all. I contacted a few Cerekoting places, but they could not offer the hydro printing services I needed. I figured if I had to get it cerekoted, I’d rather do it myself, being an artist and doing camouflage patterns on numerous guns previously and all. I finally got in touch with Steve at Liquid Transformations in Spokane, Washington, and it did not take me long to come to the conclusion that my shotgun would be in his hands by the end of the week. 


Steve spent countless personal hours, going the extra mile, to help me decide on the perfect pattern, quote me prices for numerous scenarios, and even explaining how the process would work, the timeline to be expected, and how I could choose a slightly different color of a base coat to alter the overall tone of the print – something I had no idea was an option!

We had decided on this awesome waterfowl pattern you see here. Due to the cost and time required to get the true licensed waterfowl patters such as Realtree Max-4, Max-5, and Mossy Oak Duck Blind, I chose this one. It also give the gun a more unique look, setting it apart from other waterfowl guns you see on store shelves. 

The same day Liquid Transformations received my shotgun, Steve personally sent me a message to verify that every part arrived, and in one piece. I chose to keep the receiver, as I didn’t want to have it coated; however Liquid Transformations has their FFL if you need to send them something that requires it. I previously mentioned to Steve that I had accidentally chipped the stock from moving it around in the gun safe and he assured me they would make it look good as new. A few days later, I had an email in my inbox saying that they had already finished the base coat on all the parts, and it was in line waiting to be dipped.

Unexpectedly to all of us, the forend developed a crack. This was absolutely not by the part of anyone at Liquid Transformations. Wood can dry out, and it split – simple as that. I had a phone call from Steve as soon as they found the problem, and the next day their in-house wood workers and gunsmiths had repaired the damage, and believe the resin used actually made the wood stronger than before! What awesome service. After this minor setback, the shotgun was back on track to be dipped. Once it was dipped, it was sent through clear coat – another part of the process you can personalize. I chose a matte finish so it would not reflect much in the sun, but you have tons of options based on what application you need the coating to perform in.


Back to me the shotgun came. I reassembled it and I was blown away. The pattern was incredible, the finish was perfect, the color was outstanding, the previously mentioned chip was unidentifiable, and the split forend was fixed professionally. There are no chips, scratches, bubbles, drips, or blemishes to speak of on the entire gun, and that is even after multiple trips to the trap range. It was outstanding. I have since had the shotgun out in the field on numerous occasions, and I have yet to see a single crack or chip develop on the surface of the gun. I plan to post some photos of the finish in the spring to show how well the finish holds up against abuse in the field. I could not be happier in the end result, as well as the hospitality and customer service that Steve and the Liquid Transformations crew displayed. I will, without a doubt in my mind and without any hesitation, be visiting them again in the future for my other hydro dipping needs. 


Liquid Transformations can coat about anything you’d like, from firearms, bows, and game consoles, to cars, trucks, ATV’s, and boats. In fact, they have a few examples of their work that can be seen in many car shows in the Spokane area. You can even watch the entire dipping process take place through live webcams they have posted on their website! 


Be sure to check them out when you have something that you want to add a custom look to!

http://liquidtransformations.com/
https://www.facebook.com/liquidtransformations

1707 E Holyoke Ave.
Spokane, WA 99217

Phone: 509-242-3296
Fax: 509-242-3294


 

K Rounds IWB Holster and Dual Magazine Carrier

I recently contacted Wes at K Rounds, LLC regarding my needs in a new holster for my every day carry (EDC) set up. I had heard great things through word of mouth about Wes and the gear coming out of the K Rounds workshop, and figured I would get ahold of him. Being another company in the PacNW certainly gave him some more brownie points in my book too. I began to browse the K Rounds webpage (http://www.krounds.com/index.php) and was instantly struck by the outstanding prices of their custom gear. After discussing my needs with Wes, he happily gave me some recommendations regarding which holster would be right for me.

I carry a Springfield XDS in .45 ACP on a daily basis, and the holster I was using was an IWB kydex holster with a single, large belt clip. Although I enjoyed the ease of putting this holster on, and its removal, it was not worth the discomfort I was experiencing every day. I am not the skinniest of people, and I liked to blame my discomfort on my own body shape, but no matter where I carried the XDS, it was never comfortable - whether it be 2 o'clock all the way around to 5 o'clock. I decided it was time to find something else, and K Rounds was my go-to.

After discussing my needs with Wes, I had decided on getting their Concealment Double Magazine Carrier in addition to their Traditional IWB Holster with the FBI Cant for my XDS and its magazines. After patiently (as patient as one can be with new gear on its way) waiting for the two to arrive at my door, they finally came. It took an entire 5 days from my order to their arrival. That is hard to beat, and I was already impressed with the customer service at K Rounds. At one point in time, I even received a personal phone call from Wes giving me an update on the holster's progress as it was being created. This attests to the fact that they do custom work, to each order - not some huge assembly line cranking out thousands of items each day with low tolerances and the usual poor customer service that comes with the territory. This particularly appeals to the Mechanical Engineer inside me.

On to the gear, shall we? I eagerly opened up the box and my eyes first arrived on the awesome packaging K Rounds uses with their gear. I love the zippered bag packaging they use, since I am usually one to keep all the empty boxes and such from my gun purchases. These store great, and most of all, they're easy to open. I can't count the amount of times I have cut my fingers trying to open plastic packaging that companies in the gun industry seem to think their customers will want to shoot the package or light it up with a flame thrower just to get the thing open.

Well, I couldn't wait to try the gear out. I promptly pulled out my XDS and put both the holster and magazine carrier on, and loaded them up. Let's start with the holster. It rides higher than my old holster, but I enjoy it. it allows for a much better purchase on the firearm when drawing. The loops are made of very nice rubber, and the clasps are very strong. I suspect they might get a littler easier to manipulate with more use, but it does not bother me in the slightest. If anything, it makes me feel more secure that the gun and holster will have a harder time coming out. the clasps also allow you to remove the gun and holster without needing to take your belt off. This was a big necessity for me. I don't want to be questioned for public indecency when I need to leave my gun in the truck if i'm going into an establishment where it is prohibited. There is absolutely zero wobble of the gun the holster. The fit and finish of this holster is at the absolute top of its class. How does it fit though? The higher ride height took a little getting used to, and the holster is specifically designed to be carried at the 4 o'clock position - right where I like it to be. The XDS not only felt much lighter, it was also now enjoyable to carry! I was initially worried the higher ride height would make the gun print more, but I was completely wrong. I have carried every day for the past few weeks with this holster, and most days I went out in a single colored t-shirt...the kind that love to print. That being said, I never once noticed it printing on myself, nor did my significant other. There were even days where she had to ask if I was carrying since she couldn't see it. I don't think i'll ever own another holster, and come winter time, I plan to pick up the same model for my 5" 1911 and really test out its weight distribution. 

You're probably also asking how I like the magazine carrier by now, too. Let me start off by being honest. I have previously been in situations where I wished I had more than the 5+1 in the gun, so I began to carry a spare 7 round magazine in my back pants pocket. I hated this because every time I sat down, I was worried i'd somehow damage the magazine, and when I needed it, it would not function and turn into something no more effective than a rock in a gunfight. I got the magazine carrier as a "just in case," "it'll be cool to have," "maybe i'll use it once a year," type of thing. I imagined the weight on the magazines and ammunition would be uncomfortable and that my pants would constantly need to be hiked back up. I also couldn't really believe that two magazines could be concealable, but then again they aren't Glock 'fun sticks' (the 33 rounders for those not in the know).  After the first day, I was hooked with this thing. I absolutely loved the peace of mind of having the extra ammunition, and I absolutely loved the lack in weight I felt around my waist. I was also pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the magazines were against my sides when moving around, especially when getting into and out of a vehicle. The thing I mentioned with carrying the pistol and never printing, yeah that is the same with the magazine carrier. The carrier is also slightly curved so it fits much closer to your body. I can't say enough good things about it. Now, whenever I carry my XDS, the two spare magazines go with me, simply because it no longer is an inconvenience or causes discomfort. 

Over the course of the previous weeks, I have carried nearly every day with the K Rounds gear. Some days I chose to carry only the XDS, other days I chose to carry both it and the magazines. Never did I find myself feeling out of balance in either outfit. Some days I found myself only carrying for a few hours in the evenings when going out, but others I carried for well over 12 hours at a time. Some days were low key and uneventful, while others were made up of constantly moving around whether it be driving, hiking, or walking. All in all, I like to think I was able to test out these two pieces of gear in about every situation, position, and configuration as possible. I even made it out to the local range one day to practice drills, and the draw is much more smooth than with my other holster. It did not take me long to have my draw-shoot time much shorter than it was with my previous holster, and I attribute that to the higher ride height and better purchase you can get on the weapon. 

I think anyone in the market for a new holster should put K Rounds at the top of their list. Whether you need a new EDC set up or a nice race rig for IDPA or IPSC competitions, they can get you squared away. The combination of an awesome product and amazing customer service is a rarity these days. Enough thanks can never be said for Wes and the rest of the K Rounds crew!

If you want to order either of these for yourself, or check out what other gear K Rounds, LLC has to offer, go check it out! http://www.krounds.com/index.php
The traditional IWB holster can be found here: http://www.krounds.com/iwb-holsters-traditional-iwb-kydex-holster-p-63.html
The Concealment Double magazine Carrier can be found here: http://www.krounds.com/mag-and-light-pouches-the-concealment-double-magazine-carrier-p-70.html
Also, be sure to check out their Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/KRoundsLLC

Chris Baldwin
Para-Mountain Survival Gear
Owner-Operator