PHLster Enigma Express - Instructions
Learn how to adjust and wear your PHLster Enigma Express. Even though the Express comes fully assembled, you’ll still need to adjust it to fit your body. Most people don’t luck into a perfect fit right out of the box, and it’s totally normal to take some time to get everything just right. You’ll find an overview of all the possible adjustments here, plus instructions, tips and tricks for concealment and comfort. Take some time to experiment with the different adjustments and techniques until you find the best combination of factors for your unique body shape.
Enigma Express Quick Start Guide
Start here with the PHLster Enigma Express Quick Start Guide. Learn how to put on your Enigma Express and how to work the buckles. You’ll also see what adjustments are possible, and what you need to do to set the Enigma Express up for your body.
To see a diagram of the parts of the Enigma Express, click here.
How To Use the Fidlock Magnetic Buckle
With correct technique, the magnetic buckle on the Enigma Express is very easy to operate. Do not attempt to force the buckle open by pulling straight out. Instead, pull forward on the buckle tab.
How To Use the Leg Leash
The Enigma Express leg leash holds the holster down when you draw. Proper adjustment is critical to getting a comfortable and secure fit. Watch the first video below to learn how to adjust your leg leash correctly — be sure to try both leg leash routing methods to see which one is better for you. The other videos cover how to shorten the leg leash (for smaller users), how to change your leg leash to a different material, and how to troubleshoot if your leg leash loosens throughout the day.
For tips, troubleshooting, and safe leg leash alternatives, check out this blog post.
How To Use the Leg Leash
How to properly wear and adjust the PHLster Enigma Express leg leash. Learn the two different routing methods, and how to adjust the leg leash for best results on your body. Whether you’re just starting out with the Enigma, or whether you’re having issues that need troubleshooting, reviewing this video is the best place to start.
Adjustments and Configurations
The Enigma Express can be adjusted several different ways. Check out the video playlist below for details and instructions on each adjustment.
Enigma Express Adjustments
Here’s how to switch the buckle on your Enigma Express from one side of the faceplate to the other side. This is handy if you are carrying extra gear on your Enigma belt, or if you prefer to hold the gun with the other hand while fastening the belt buckle.
How to Install the Sport Belt
Installing the optional Sport Belt accessory on your Enigma Express is simple. It takes about five minutes, and requires no tools. This video shows how to install and adjust the Sport Belt. Note that the Sport Belt adjusts from both sides, so you can easily change the centering of the back pad.
The Sport Belt is an optional Enigma accessory that improves comfort, and helps keep the Enigma belt tension more consistent.
Reduced Size Buckle - Express
If the Fidlock magnetic buckle bothers you, or if you just need extra space on your belt, try the Reduced Size Buckle.
How to Install the Reduced Size Buckle
How To Get Good Concealment - A Step-By-Step Guide
Our Concealment Mechanics graphics and videos will walk you through the steps to getting good concealment with your Enigma Express. Most people don’t get perfect concealment right away – it takes some work to dial things in for your unique body shape. You’ll need to experiment with your gun placement, belt tightness, Enigma adjustments, and wedge placement to get your best possible concealment.
This video series will walk you through how to find your concealment sweet spot, how to use the Poke and Check method to determine if you need to make adjustments to your Express, and how to decide whether you need to add a wedge.
Once you get past the basics, you can also learn more about the deeper technical and psychological factors that make for good concealment. There’s a lot of information, but you can go at your own pace.
Concealed Carry Comfort
Comfortable concealed carry starts with knowledge rather than gear. Watch this video to identify any comfort issues you might be having, and learn the basic skills for getting comfortable. After watching, you’ll be much better equipped to find solutions that work for your chosen holster, carry position, and body type.
Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting
• What if the leg leash prints in leggings?
As a general rule, if your leggings are tight enough to see panty lines, they’re tight enough that your leg leash may show. Adjusting it so it’s in the crease of your buttock will help minimize the visual impact. You can also try the alternative leg leash routing method from the instruction video in the leg leash section above. If you prefer an aftermarket solution, check out the Bumster from Levo Designs.
The holster screws on the Enigma Express are hard to tighten or loosen. That’s on purpose! Your Enigma Express comes with pre-patched Nylock screws — that means the screws have thread locker pre-applied, and you don’t need to add any additional thread locking compounds such as Loctite or Vibratite. HOWEVER, the Nylock does make the screws harder to loosen or tighten.
Can I adjust the retention of the Enigma Express holster?
No, the Enigma Express has a fixed retention holster shell, and it is not adjustable. If you’re having problems with your gun being too tight or too loose in the holster, first double check that you have the correct holster shell for your gun model. The Express works only with the specific gun models that are listed. Aftermarket modifications to the gun may cause problems with retention.
Next, read this article on how holster retention works, and test your retention as shown. Do not test holster retention by shaking the holster upside down – that is not the correct way to test.
If these steps don’t resolve your issue, you can contact us for help. Before you contact us, though, please make sure you’re testing your holster retention correctly. Thank you!
• Finding your concealment sweet spot – Remember that the concealment principles are universal, and all bodies are unique. If your exact body type isn’t shown in the video, you can still use the concealment principles to find your own sweet spot.
• Comfortable Concealed Carry Explained – Comfortable concealed carry starts with knowledge rather than gear. Watch this video to identify any comfort issues you might be having, and learn the basic skills for getting comfortable. After watching, you’ll be much better equipped to find solutions that work for your chosen holster, carry position, and body type.
Enigma comfort tips:
The Enigma is a skeleton. You start with the basic bone structure, and then you flesh it out to suit your body shape and your individual comfort needs. Since everyone is different, it takes some experimentation and customization to get the level of comfort and concealment you want.
The Enigma is designed to be a hardcore piece of fighting equipment that can survive extreme scenarios. In order to make it hold up to those demands, we chose materials for strength and rugged durability. The Enigma is designed to be ergonomic and adjustable – but it’s NOT soft.
Skin comfort is an important factor in overall concealed carry comfort, and that’s why we made the Enigma as open to customization as possible. The easiest way to achieve skin comfort is just to wear an undershirt, camisole, underwear, or a bandeau under your Enigma. However, if you prefer to wear your Enigma directly against the skin with no undergarments, there are a variety of comfort solutions available, from aftermarket covers to sport belts to creative DIY solutions. You can choose whatever mods you need to get to your desired level of skin comfort. Like everything Enigma, expect it to take some experimentation.
• If the Enigma’s magnetic buckle sits over your hip bone and causes a pressure point, try switching to the reduced size buckle instead.
We welcome you to join the PHLster Concealment Workshop group on Facebook. It’s a large and active community with people from all walks of life. See how other people are wearing their Enigmas, and get inspiration for mods and adjustments. You can see the Enigma in action on people with different body shapes, with different wardrobes.