If you’re looking for a holster for Ruger’s MAX-9 with an optic, CYA Supply Co. has you covered. While browsing posts on an enthusiast site, someone asked about a holster for this specific setup. At the time, I was surprised that not many existed. Which is unfortunate, as I had both a MAX-9 and an optic for it. But no way to test them out as a carry option. Then I found CYA Supply Co., and sure enough, there it was. Competitively priced too. So I reached out to get a couple of samples. Because comparing and reviewing holsters is an endless process.
About CYA Supply Co.
Like many of my favorite companies, CYA Supply Co. got its start in a garage, back in 2015. While the co-owners originally built their own thermoforming machine, and made their own wooden molds, they’ve come a long way. Now their molds are CNC machined from 3D scans of actual firearms. Even though they have grown big enough to be in several chains and independent stores across the country, two things have not changed. They are still 100% family-owned, and made in America.
Rather than Kydex, CYA Supply Co. uses Bolatron for their holsters. Although the materials are similar, Bolatron seems to have an edge when it comes to more accurately conforming to a specific shape. It’s also known to be a little softer, so it’s easier on a handgun’s finish. Neither material is totally superior to the other, so it’s the overall feature set that makes a difference. Note that Bolatron can be less expensive to purchase. Combined with their smart manufacturing processes, this allows CYA Supply Co. to offer lower prices, without sacrificing quality.
The Ruger MAX-9 Base IWB holster
This holster has a nice feature set for its $37.74 price point. When I first slipped my MAX-9 in, there was a nice audible click. And that retention is adjustable. Just like the cant, which goes from 0 to 15 degrees. A full sweatguard extends right up the very back of the slide. As I was looking at that, I noticed the edges were impossibly smooth. I’ve got another holster that cost nearly twice as much, and it’s not finished as nicely. That, coupled with the minimalist cut and 0.080″ thick Bolatron makes for a light holster that’s comfortable to carry. And all the hardware is stainless steel with a black finish.
Color options include black, FDE, carbon fiber (+$2), teal blue, or OD green. Choose from left or right hand draw, and optic cut or no cut. CYA Supply Co. offers some accessories for their holsters as well, and they’re 15% off at the time of order. One of these is the 1.5″ Discreet Carry Concepts Monoblock Gear Clip, which I was curious to try. There’s also a TuckWing and UltiTuck combo from UltiClip. For those that like to be very prepared, spare hardware can be purchased for a nominal fee as well. You can find the Base here.
MAX-9 IWB EDC with CYA
My MAX-9 slid right into the holster, and clicked into place. After tinkering with the retention, I was satisfied that it would hold it well, yet allow for a smooth and easy draw. One thing I noticed right away was how well the contour matched the pistol. It follows the slightly undercut trigger guard very closely. This is especially critical on such a small pistol, where there’s not so much to grip. I also appreciated just how smooth the edges were, as this is an area that isn’t finished so well on some other holsters.
I’m between jobs, so there was no carrying at work. My days consist of hanging out with friends, going shooting, and then having Mexican food, with a weekly trip to the store. While that means I wasn’t likely to be carrying all day, it still gave me enough exposure to determine that this is a really comfortable holster. I’ve carried a variety of pistols over the last 15 years, and the little MAX-9 in this holster reminds you it’s there, but not in a cumbersome way. At home, I practiced drawing, and reholstering enough that I feel pretty confident. Of course, I feel more confident that I’ll likely never need to put that into use in our sleepy little town. But better to have it and not need it…
The optics cut
Another thing that I really appreciate about CYA Supply Co. is that their holster pricing is the same for the Optics Ready version as it is for the No Optics version. The price is reasonable enough that you could just get both, but there’s no need to. If you’re not using an optic, but plan to at a later date, just get the Optics Ready holster. It will still hold your pistol just fine. I’ve got another pistol that I cannot find a holster for at all, let along one that’s optics ready. So it’s definitely a big deal to me that they make this so easy and affordable.
Option 2, the Ruger Max-9 – Ridge IWB Holster
One of the holsters I received includes the Discreet Carry Concepts Monoblock Gear Clip 1.5″ and a ModWing concealment claw. It’s also open at the muzzle, for compensated or threaded barrels. Perhaps the MAX-9 isn’t the ideal pistol for this holster, since it’s not threaded. But it did allow me to try the other features. At $57.74, the Ridge is a little pricier than the Base, but if you need the extra security and concealability, it’s worth it.
The Monoblock is split into two legs, for better contact and more clamping force. It’s not going to slide on a belt. The removable claw pushes against the belt to reduce printing. Together, they make for a holster that conceals better and stays in place better too. I can conceal my pistol just fine with the Base holster, but if I was skinnier, and needed to be even more discreet, this would be the way to go for sure. You can find the Ridge here.
Family-owned, made in America, lifetime warranty, and a 30 day no questions asked free return policy all sound good. Just as important, the quality is there, at a price that’s very reasonable. There are less expensive options out there. And that will get you rough edges, poor fit, bright (not matte black) hardware, and questionable retention. For not much more money, CYA Supply Co. offers a much better product. At the other end, you could certainly spend more. But that’s not going to get you better quality or features either. They’ve managed to strike an excellent balance here. “Affordable” doesn’t have to mean compromising at all. Check them out at cyasupply.com.
I’d like to thank CYA Supply Co. for providing the holsters used in this review. They went above and beyond, shipping three different holsters, so I could check out the features and two of the color options.