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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I tried to cook today. This, as usual, filled the house with a fine haze of smoke, which isn't a good sign for my culinary skills, bit does make for awesome photo-ops with my Steyr C9A1 with Viridian, since the laser is very clearly visible. I just hope the downstairs neighbors don't call the cops because of all the mad cackling coming from that gun nut that lives upstairs.

Anyway, I snapped a couple of pictures, and I'll take this opportunity to do a quick write-up on my carry rig. I would describe it as comfortable, powerful, simple to operate, and... Sexy. There. I said it.

So, I've got the Steyr C9A1 with a Viridian C5L, all wrapped up in a custom Cleveland's Holsters IWB rig, which I've modded with a magnet to enable Viridian's ECR system that turns my laser on when I draw, and turns it off when I reholster. Combined, this is more cash than anything I've ever bought except my car, so to say I'm proud of it is kind of an understatement. That doesn't mean I can't see it's flaws, though. So, first, the bad stuff:

The large rod that holds the Viridian on the rail is a bit long, it seems, and protrudes a very little bit from the side of the gun. It's hardly noticeable, but it is scarring the horsehide on my holster. I'm keeping an eye on it, and if the scars turn to gouges, I might consider taking a dremel to the end of the rod (when it's NOT on the laser, of course). Easily fixed, mainly a cosmetic issue.

The momentary on function of the Viridian is backwards - If you hold the button down for longer than a second, it goes into a momentary-on function, and turns off as soon as you release. This is kinda silly, because as soon as you need to shoot and your finger goes to the trigger, you lose your light and laser. It should be a momentary-off function, where pressing the button turns it off for a brief time, and it comes back on when you go for the trigger.

Reholstering is a bit difficult. The retention on this holster is TIGHT out of the box, and I loosened it up a bit and flared the bottom edge by the laser a bit, but I still have to be a lot more careful when reholstering than with the standard Cleveland's Holsters rig - My barrel seems to want to go in where the laser should be, and it's a lot more difficult to "feel" where the gun needs to be. I'm getting better at this, and I suspect it's an unavoidable consequence of having a laser on the bottom of your carry pistol.

This rig is also somewhat heavy, and sags my belt a fair bit. For the record, I'm using an old velcro police belt - The thin inner belt, not the massive outer one. It's a pretty decent belt and designed to carry a gun, but a better one would probably improve my results

Now, for the good stuff.

First and foremost, LASER BEAMS. I stepped out in the snow and cold the other night, and did some really simple draw and fire drills, more to test some new reloads than anything else. The Viridian makes it far too easy - It was fun, but no challenge whatsoever. I suspect I'll have to triple my range or more to get the same level of difficulty. In the dark, the green laser was visible not just on the target, but as a clear beam, and would undoubtedly be a SERIOUS intimidator. The light is very bright, and nice and wide, with even illumination and no dark spots. The new light diffuser they put on the end of the C5L really does it's job well, and lights up everything in a wide horizontal arc in front of me, without wasting too much light down towards my feet or up in the air.

Second, the Steyr is an easy pistol to shoot. Ergonomics were great, and it just felt natural in my hand. The trapezoidal sights are a joy in the daylight, and even with the laser off, I could easily silhouette them with the fairly wide empty spaces on either side of the triangle. They're pretty precise, as well, though I have a tendency to get my front sight a little higher than it should be - My brain wants the triangle to completely fill the gaps, so tries to move it up a bit.

Last but not least, the holster is great. I don't have a whole lot of experience with holsters, but the Cleveland's Holsters rig is solidly made and very comfortable. I never thought I'd really need horsehide, but it makes a big difference versus having a piece of cowhide against your skin, and is much less hot and sticky. I also really appreciate the custom molding options that let me carry the laser every day - It's be a shame to leave it at home! It's a bit of a pain to get on and off, but I think that's the case with every IWB holster of this type. My grandpa commented to me that he wanted to get one just like mine after I hung out with him for several days and never got made. I was wearing a T-shirt and cargo pants.

Picture time! Here's the laser in the hazy air of my house.


Here's a clearer view - You can really see how compact the Viridian is.


Here's the whole holster setup, complete with hastily super-glued ceramic magnet that kinda ruins the professional work that was put into making the holster.
 

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Ha! I just got done frying the crap out of my first batch of fish and smoked half the house up! The wife and kids didn't appreciate that.
But as gramps says " when they're Brown they're cookin', when they're Black they're done "

Great comments and review. That laser/light is great.
 

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Very nice set-up. I have a C5L on a SA XDM9c it is very nice also. I am glad I checked out this post because I see the Cleveland holster has leather backing for the entire grip of the C9A1, now that I like a lot too. There are a couple guns on my short list and the C9A1 is one of them (along with a Walther PPS). But I do like that holster I may just have to order one for my M40A1 or a C9 if one ever comes in.
 

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Thanks for the write up!

Send us the information of how you customized the holster with a magnet and we may add that to our design for holsters that feature a Viridian attachment.

Thanks again!
 

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That's exactly the setup I'm working towards with my S9.

Seriously hope I have enough cash this weekend to order a C5L.
I have the Steyr C9-A1 and the Viridian C5L, and to carry it IWB a Cleveland's Holster. I humbly give my stamp of approval for all 3. I also have received the expansion line from C.H., a carry belt. Pictures and review coming soon, and it was WELL worth the small wait time.

Welcome to the Steyr family!

Dax
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Very nice set-up. I have a C5L on a SA XDM9c it is very nice also. I am glad I checked out this post because I see the Cleveland holster has leather backing for the entire grip of the C9A1, now that I like a lot too. There are a couple guns on my short list and the C9A1 is one of them (along with a Walther PPS). But I do like that holster I may just have to order one for my M40A1 or a C9 if one ever comes in.
I carried with their S9A1 holster for quite a while before I got the laser. It's a lot easier to reholster without the laser, and I got pretty quick with it - Quick enough to comfortably shoot IDPA.

One tip - Try and find a consistent point to index the front belt clip. When I put it on, I have to slide the holster inside the pants, clip the front clip, then get the rear one. Once you get the clips on, it's nigh impossible to scoot the holster forward or backward, so you'd best be happy with where it is. The holster won't migrate while you carry, so it's very difficult to move when you're putting it on. I found that most of my pants had a belt loop in the same spot, so I just clipped the front clip right behind the belt loop, and my gun was always in the same spot.

@Dax: I see someone else fell in love with the C9A1 after reading the Guns and Ammo article on the Steyr site.
 

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@Dax: I see someone else fell in love with the C9A1 after reading the Guns and Ammo article on the Steyr site.

Actually it was the magazine I saw first. When I decided to get an upgraded pistol for CC, I went to the store and there it was, all bright and shiny. :) I did my research over a year while the laws in WI were getting passed to allow a return to our rights, and then I got the Steyr. My 2nd choice would have been the XD class of firearms from Springfield Armory. My father got one of those...and still looks at my Steyr with a bit of jealousy. My new quest is an AUG 3....oh fun to try and find!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Trust me, you'll love it.

@Dax - There's definitely nothing wrong with an XD, but I really think Steyr makes some interesting innovations, especially with the trap sights and super-low bore axis.
 
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