Galco KingTuk Deluxe: Comfortable Strongside IWB Carry

Carry of a concealed firearm requires an excellent holster that not only holds the gun securely but is also comfortable enough that you will want to wear it all the time. After all, if you’re going to conceal carry, it needs to be every day, not just on special occasions. I do a ton of holster reviews each year, which means I receive a ton of holsters from a variety of manufacturers. While some of the holsters have a lot in common, many of them are very different from one another. However, just like the four fundamental rules of gun safety are supposed to never be broken, there are three fundamental rules of holster design that I insist have to be present to pass my test of what makes a good holster a good holster.

Rule #1: The holster must hold the gun securely.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be amazed at how many holsters don’t do this well, or at all. If the gun is not secure, you can’t go about your daily routine without worrying if you’ll find the gun on the floor or popping out from your waistband.

Rule #2: The holster must cover the trigger and trigger guard completely and protect the trigger from being pulled.

Again, this seems like a “duh” moment, but you’d be surprised how many holsters leave the trigger exposed or too easily accessed. For example, soft bellybands leave the trigger vulnerable because you can poke your finger or any other object right through the soft material and make the gun go bang.

Rule #3: You must be able to reholster the firearm one-handed.

Why is this so important? Two reasons: First, if you get involved in a real-life defensive shooting, you’ll need to put your gun away before the police arrive and accidentally mistake you for the “guy with a gun” the dispatcher told them about. Second, if you have to open the holster with your support hand, you’re likely going to flag it with the muzzle,  putting you in danger of shooting your own hand and violating a fundamental rule of gun safety.

Rule #4 is not required for the holster to function properly, but it makes for a better carrying experience: it must be comfortable.

If the holster is not comfortable, you won’t want to wear it, increasing the likelihood you’ll leave your gun at home where it can’t protect you. A gun in the nightstand drawer is useless against the guy attacking you at the gas station.

Galco KingTuk Delix holster with Taurus G4
How well does the Galco KingTuk Deluxe match my holster requirements?

One holster that meets all four of these criteria—the three required and one optional—is the Galco KingTuk Deluxe. Before I get into the review, let me stand up and applaud Galco’s marketing department for such a cheesy yet effective name. Makes me go back to Steve Martin’s early standup days. But anyway…

Galco has long been known as an outstanding leather goods manufacturer that caters to the gun world. The KingTuk Deluxe continues that tradition with a hybrid that combines fine leather work with a Kydex shell. The KingTuk Deluxe is the latest in the line, offering a subtle but important upgrade over the KingTuk Classic that first hit the market a few years ago.  I’ve never been a big fan of all-leather holsters, but hybrids can be quite nice and usually check all my requirement boxes. Let’s see how this one does.

Galco KingTuk Deluxe 

Both the KingTuk Classic and Deluxe share the traditional Kydex and leather hybrid design that has become a mainstay for holster companies offering strongside carriers a more comfortable option. A molded Kydex shell sits in the middle of a leather backing with enough strength to stay firmly upright and in place yet soft enough to mold to the wearer’s side and contour for comfort within minutes of putting it on.

Holding the Gun Securely

How well does the Galco KingTuk Deluxe hold the gun? Since the outer shell is Kydex, it is tightly molded to the shape of the gun, offering a snug fit. Sadly, there is no adjustable retention, but that can be tricky to add to a holster with leather as one of the surfaces. Other manufacturers have done it, but most hybrid holsters don’t have adjustable retention. The drawback of this is that since leather wears over time, being a natural material, the security feature will begin to also wear down over time, possibly allowing the gun to be less secure. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the leather backer is pressed against your body when wearing the holster, so much of the concern about the natural hide loosening up over time might not be as critical as perceived.

Galco Kingtuk Deluxe IWB holster
The molded Kydex shell did an excellent job of protecting the trigger of my Taurus GX4 and held it securely all day long.

Protecting the Trigger and Trigger Guard

When it comes to protecting the trigger and trigger guard, it’s hard to beat Kydex. The molded polymer shell is nearly indestructible under normal conditions, and in this case, the shell does indeed completely cover the boom switch and makes it impossible to pull the trigger, either on purpose or by accident, while the gun is in the holster.

The KingTuk Deluxe’s Kydex mold performs as promised. My Taurus GX4 was fully protected inside, with zero danger of anything or anyone reaching the trigger unannounced or uninvited. This is especially important in an IWB application because a pants waistband can have studs and belt loop stitching that could rub against an exposed or unprotected trigger.

Reholstering One-Handed

Thanks to the stiffness of the Kydex shell, putting the gun away one-handed is a cinch—easy, peasy. There is no need to hold the holster mouth open with your support hand or angle the muzzle toward your body to try to leverage the closed layers apart. Each time I reholstered it, the gun slid effortlessly back into the security of the hard shell with nary an issue.


leather backing of Galco KingTuk Deluxe holster
It’s hard to match the comfort of carrying in a holster with a soft leather backer.

How does it perform in the somewhat options fourth category? If you’ve ever worn an all-leather or hybrid IWB holster, you know the joy of a soft, comfortable backer. It molds to your waist like a tiny little hug. Okay, that might be taking a comparison too far, but you get the picture. A comfortable holster is a holster you will want to wear, one that encourages you to carry your gun so you won’t leave it uselessly at home.

The KingTuk Deluxe’s comfort comes not only from the leather backer but also from two beefy plastic clips with serious teeth that keep the holster firmly attached to the belt. They offer enough flex for easy on and off over a thick leather gun belt. Unlike a lot of its competitors, the KingTuk Deluxe’s clip hooks are tall enough to also hold firmly on a thinner nylon belt, too, offering a bit more flexibility for belt choice. Not every holster clip does that. In fact, many of the ones I’ve tested are too shallow and tend to pop off over the course of a day, sometimes not even holding at all. Not so with these clips. They held true all day. 

galco kingtuk deluxe belt clips
Beefy clips spread the weight across a wide area, adding to the comfort level.

Are there any drawbacks to the Galco KingTuk Deluxe?

I really should take the S off of Drawbacks because it only had one: it’s not optic cut, something I find inexcusable in today’s market when more gun manufacturers are adding optic plates (and sometimes the optic) to their slides as standard. It’s almost like not anticipating that a new car might have power windows. Galco needs to come out with a KingTuk Deluxe 2.0 version to make up for this obvious deficiency.

Wrap Up

Aside from the optic cut issue, the Galco KingTuk Deluxe, at $107.00, is a great option for a comfortable strongside IWB carry.

David Workman is an avid gun guy, a contributing writer to several major gun publications, and the author of Absolute Authority. A logophile since way back, Workman is a quickdraw punslinger and NRA RSO and Certified Pistol Instructor. He helps train new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as practicable. "Real-world shootouts don't happen at a box range."

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