Before we get started, I’d just like to say to the owner Oregon Trail Defense that having half a thumb and being a legit hero for getting over your injury in a way that has given you a successful business is no excuse for spelling “Defence” wrong. Sort it out. Yours sincerely – England.
If you’re not familiar with Oregon Trail Defense and their products, it’s really worth checking them out. USMC Veteran owned and operated, OTD made their claim to fame with the “Nub-mod” which was created by the owner to compensate for leaving half of his thumb overseas, meaning he could still use his Safariland holsters. They quickly gained popularity with the whole handed community however, due to the added ease of drawing especially while wearing gloves. I’ve been looking to pick one of these up ever since I got my 6354DO, so was very happy to hear that Tactical Kit would be getting some in.
On first receiving the nub mod I was surprised to see just how simple the system is. I wasn’t expecting complex German engineering but even so, there’s no denying that this was designed by a Marine. Installation couldn’t be easier, you simply place each half of the nub mod on their corresponding sides of the holster’s release lever, and screw the pancake together. Once installed, the nub mod is solidly fitted with no rotation on any of its axis’. Before it arrived I was worried that the nub mod would come loose or be easily rotated, but the scalloped inside locks around and under the OEM release lever providing a very stable fit.
Something I often hear when discussing the OTD nub mod is that the Safariland holsters are already very quick to draw from, and I totally agree with this statement. I personally have never missed the original lever when drawing, and don’t see it as an area where the 6354DO is lacking. In using the Sarailand with a nub mod installed however, it is clear that the draw can be faster. This may seem like overkill for many, but for those who are using these holsters to carry live, and are in situations where they may have to draw and switch someone’s lights off in a split second, having some excess speed may come as a welcome upgrade.
I also found that the nub mod gives a vast improvement to dexterity when wearing winter gloves. While gloves like the Insulated PIGs are designed to be as dextrous as possible, there is no avoiding the loss of feeling in your fingers when you add layers of fabric. Having an oversized lever really helps to give the warm fuzzy feeling that you’ve definitely hit the spot and your gun is on the way out. One other upgrade I’ve seen to help when using gloves is to add a small strip of grip tape to the front of the nub mod. This means that the lever itself will be gripping your glove, and means that there is no chance your thumb will slip off without moving the lever through its full length of travel.
As ever I try to find issues with the gear I review, but the nub mod proved hard to complain about. My only complaint with it is that the screw that comes with the nub mod seems to be quite soft, and the flat edges of the allen key interface seem to be rounding already. For this reason I would have preferred a Hex key screw, especially as the nub mod comes with the appropriate tool, so there’s no need to worry about people not having the right equipment to install it. Another issue that was raised by Milsimminded on instagram was that the nub mod could make it easier for someone to steal the gun from your holster. This complaint has merit, as the whole purpose of the nub mod is to make the previously concealed release lever more obvious. OTD chimed in on this issue themselves though, and admit that this version of the nub mod wasn’t intended for duty use, and recommend that those who carry in public duties should be using level 3 holsters equipped with the level 3 nub mod and exercising good personal defense/situational awareness.
My final thoughts on the OTD nub mod? If you’ve got a Safariland holster and a little Christmas money lying around you should buy one. It is far from a necessary upgrade (unless you only have 50% of a thumb remaining), but is definitely a welcome one. For what I use it for, and for what I’m sure 90% of my readers use it for, the nub mod is an upgrade that achieves the rare feat of adding without taking away. If you want to give yourself a +5% speed buff with no drawbacks, buy one.
Thanks for reading this short review of the Oregon Trail Defense Nub Mod. I’d like to say a special thanks to Tactical Kit for providing it for review, and you can check them out on TK’s site here. If you have any questions about the nub mod, fire them over to my Instagram @thegeardocrow.