JM4 Tactical, of Abilene, is best known for their innovative magnetic holsters. But there’s more to their product line, the newest of which is an outside-waistband (OWB) holster called the Maven. The Maven is understated, casual, yet unique in design. A single piece of Hermann Oak Grade A leather forms the entire holster. The lower half is folded to create a pocket for the gun, with the fold over the slide. The opposite ends are joined in front of the trigger guard by saddle-quality stitching. On the upper, body-facing side is another fold that forms the belt attachment. It accommodates belts up to about two inches wide.
Like JM4’s flagship holster, the magnetic Quick Click & Carry, there’s a Maven holster to fit just about every handgun. The company website has a fit guide organized by brand/model to aid with selecting the right size. Some, but not all Mavens are fitted with a Phillips screw just aft of the trigger guard. It makes retention somewhat adjustable. Color choices are black and brown, with a semi-gloss finish.
I wore a Maven around for a few days as a test, carrying a Lone Wolf LTD I, a near-clone of a Glock 19 and a fit for the Large/Long size holster. Also worn was a nearly identical Glock 23. At first I was concerned that retention might not be adequate. But between the retention screw adjustment and the beginnings of breaking-in that began as soon as I really seated the trigger guard as deep as it would go, I wasn’t concerned about the gun coming loose during typical mundane activities like household chores, mowing, and weed-pulling. There is a break-in video on the JM4 Tactical website to assist consumers in speeding up the process, which can only improve retention and ease of use, not to mention it lends a lovely, gun-specific patina over time. Because break-in and retention are closely linked, I would recommend only using the Maven for a single model rather than moving it between guns.
This holster is designed as an economical alternative to JM4’s Boltaron/leather Relic model. While the Relic’s custom fit is sacrificed, the Maven does offer the advantage of never being abrasive to gun finish, something that’s important for many OWB carriers.
My Lone Wolf LTD I proved to be comfortable to wear in the Maven. There is a very slight drop effect, placing the gun in easy reach whereas I struggle with many OWB holsters that carry the gun high for concealment. This holster does have an FBI cant, industry vernacular for an approximate 10-degree rearward tilt of the muzzle end. While many people prefer a cant for concealability under a jacket, it does make drawing slightly unwieldy compared to a vertical-hanging holster. But because this one doesn’t fit tight to the body, I didn’t find that to be a big impediment to drawing or reholstering.
Speaking of re-holstering, especially as the Maven is being broken in, it’s important to insert the muzzle carefully into the holster, clearing the unsupported outward-facing section of leather on the way. Re-holstering is perhaps the most underestimated task associated with wearing a handgun. It’s not acceptable to muzzle one’s support hand while inserting the gun, an action many wearers of soft holsters aren’t even aware that they do. It is possible to reholster safetly with the Maven, but caution is warranted as outside pressure during re-holstering or an odd break-in crease could impede its opening, which does stay open and sufficiently rigid under normal conditions.
I think the Maven has a place as an entry-level holster or for casual wear when intense physical activity or threats of the gun being involuntarily wrested from the holster are not on the day’s schedule. Its generic sizing offers some range-day transferability when multiple guns are in use. Its unassuming look makes it a contender for cold-weather OWB concealment under a long shirt or jacket. In comparison to the company’s excellent Quick Click & Carry design, and their Relic model too, its retention and sturdiness pale. But at $69.99, it stands as a good candidate for casual days and a budget OWB holster. Due to its flexibility and not being crush-proof, it’s not a top candidate for serious training.
JM4 Tactical is a Texas-based, family- and veteran-owned company. Their growing footprint in the holster, training, and social media realms, along with significant support for area charities and gun rights causes, have earned the company a respected place in the industry. Those traits played a part in the inspiration of the Maven. Chad Myers, JM4 Tactical founder and co-owner, emphasizes that this holster is “one hundred percent a USA product.” In a market that’s competitive, Myers has grown weary of “America made” claims on other brands’ holsters that were actually made with foreign materials or labor. His company has been and remains committed to being a true-blue American brand.