These instructions are for the Standard Enigma, left handed assembly, with fixed retention holsters ONLY. If your holster has adjustable retention, you’ll need to follow the adjustable retention video found in the Enigma Academy. If you are right handed, click here.
If you’d prefer video instructions instead, please click here.
SAFETY WARNING: Do not modify, drill, sand, or cut your Enigma faceplate in ANY way. Thoroughly read the Enigma safety page before continuing.
HOLSTER COMPATIBILITY: Please note that you must have a compatible holster shell for the Standard Enigma before beginning. See the holster fit guide for more information. If your shell does not fit, STOP and review the fit guide before continuing. DO NOT drill, cut, or otherwise modify your holster shell in ANY WAY.
If your gun has a light or laser mounted in front of the trigger guard, this is not the correct instruction guide for you. Click here to find out what you need.
If your holster doesn’t fit, DO NOT try to “make it fit” or “make it work.” Close enough is NOT good enough.
Table of Contents:
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Pliers or vice grips
- Wide rubber band, rubber glove, or other similar grippy object
Here are the pieces that come with your Enigma.
- Enigma faceplate
- Leg leash
- (OR 19) Buckle capture
- Fidlock magnetic buckle
- Two long screw posts
- Two plastic spacers
- Two long screws
- Two short screw posts
- Two rubber washers
- Two metal finish washers
- Two silver screws with pre-applied thread locker (yellow goop on the threads)
- New Buckle capture. Your Enigma will come with either 4 OR 19, not both.
Step One: Orientation
To begin, determine the correct orientation of your holster shell on the Enigma faceplate. For left handed assembly, the side of the faceplate (1) WITHOUT the AXL logo is the FRONT. You may find it helpful to write yourself a note with masking tape on the FRONT of both your holster shell and Enigma faceplate.
Step Two: Prepare Shell
Remove the wing and all the other hardware from your holster shell, including belt clips. Don’t throw anything away – just set it aside for now.
SAFETY WARNING: Use only the screws and screw posts that come with the Enigma. Do not use any of the screws or posts that came with your holster. Using the wrong screws can break your holster or Enigma. Follow these instructions exactly, and contact us if you have questions or concerns.
(Note: If you’re using a PHLster City Special holster shell, you’ll remove all hardware except the retention screw. Keep the plastic spacers that come with the holster.)
Step Three: Prepare Buckle
Prepare your buckle capture (4) as shown. If your Enigma came with the new buckle capture (19), skip to step 3.5.
Thread the female side of the Fidlock magnetic buckle (5) onto the wider tab of the buckle capture (the side with the three rivets).
Thread the narrower tab of the buckle capture through the slot.
Pull both tabs tight and press together. The buckle should lie over the fabric section as shown.
Step 3.5: Prepare Buckle – New Buckle Capture
Prepare your buckle capture (19) as shown. The new buckle capture attaches to the faceplate the same way as the old one (4) did, so you can follow all the steps after this with no changes.
(If your Enigma came with the old buckle capture (4), skip this step.)
Thread the narrow side of the buckle capture through the female side of the Fidlock magnetic buckle (5).
Pull through and even up the ends.
Step Four: Prepare Screws
Prepare both of your belt attachment screws (12).
The belt attachment screws come with pre-applied thread-locking compound called Nylock. Nylock looks like yellow goop on the threads. It makes the screws harder to tighten (which is also why they’re less prone to loosening over time). It is reusable, and the screws can be tightened many times without losing grip.
To make the assembly process easier, prepare the belt screws as shown.
Use a pair of pliers or vice grips to hold one of the long screw posts (6). Insert each belt attachment screw (12).
Tighten the screw into the screw post until it stops. This will set the Nylock, making it easier to attach your Enigma belt later. Remove the screw from the screw post and repeat with the other screw.
Note: You will feel some resistance when the Nylock engages. This is normal. Stop turning the screw when the screw head starts to touch the post.
Prepare both belt attachment screws.
SAFETY WARNING: Do not remove the Nylock – it’s necessary for your Enigma to function correctly and safetly. Do not attempt to clean it off, and do not apply other thread-locking compounds on top of it.
Step Five: Attach Belt and Buckle
Attach both the belt (3) and buckle capture (4) to the FRONT of the faceplate. The buckle can be installed on either the left or right side of the faceplate, but most people prefer to have the buckle on their non-dominant side.
If you’re not sure which adjustment holes to use, start with the top, middle holes (see pic below). Visit the Enigma Academy for more information on how to adjust your Enigma for best concealment.
If you’re using the optional Sport Belt upgrade, install that instead of the regular belt (4). The belt attachment point is exactly the same.
If you’re using the new buckle capture, (19), install that instead of the old buckle capture (4).
If you’re using the optional Reduced Size Buckle, install that instead of the regular buckle capture (4) and Fidlock (5).
This is the hardware stack order for attaching the Enigma belt and buckle capture. From front to back:
- Short screw (12)
- Metal finish washer (11)
- Belt attachment OR buckle capture (4 or 19) or optional upgrades
- Rubber washer (10)
- Enigma faceplate (1)
- Short screw post (9)
Drop the short screws (12) through the finish washers (11) as shown. Push the screw through the small hole on the belt attachment or buckle capture.
Next, add the rubber washer (10) behind the belt attachment or buckle capture.
Go through the selected hole on the FRONT of the Enigma faceplate. The rubber washer will be sandwiched between the belt/buckle attachment and the Enigma faceplate.
Add the short screw post (9) to the back of the faceplate.
Repeat these steps for both the belt and buckle capture.
Step Six: Tighten Belt Screws
Tighten the belt attachment screws.
The belt attachment screws are hard to tighten. Use a rubber band, rubber glove, or duct tape to grab the backside of the screw post.
Set the whole assembly (including the rubber band) down on a hard surface for extra leverage.
(Protect your surface in case you slip.)
Recommended for people with low hand strength: Use a power driver + your body weight. Press down hard and power the screw in with short bursts.
Your belt attachments should be tight. They should be difficult to rotate on the Enigma faceplate.
NOTE: If your screws spin without tightening, try another method of gripping the screw posts. If you’re using a power driver, do not spin the screws excessively, or you will burn through your faceplate. If you’re having trouble, stop and use a different method. Click here for tips and tricks.
The belt screws are hard to tighten, and that’s on purpose.
Step Seven: Attach Leg Leash
Attach your leg leash to the faceplate. It can go through either of the two slots. Place it on the side closest to the leg you plan to use.
Pass the loop of the leg leash through the slot. Pass the body of the leg leash through the loop, forming a girth hitch. Make sure your leg leash buckle faces up as shown.
Pull tight, making sure the drop portion of the leash isn’t twisted.
Step Eight: Prepare Modwing
Prepare your Modwing.
If you’re using a Dark Wing or Raven (RCS) Wing, skip this step. If your holster did not come with one of those three wings, it may not be Enigma compatible. Check the fit guide here for more details.
- Modwing Nut
- Large insert
- Small insert
- Modwing screw
- Eyelets (optional, but recommended)
Your Modwing (13) will most likely come with two wing inserts (15, 16). Use the smaller insert (16) for your Enigma assembly.
NOTE: Your Modwing should come with eyelets (18). These fit into the large holes at the bottom of the modwing. They help reduce the diameter of the holes, making your hardware stack lock up tighter with the Enigma faceplate. Eyelets are recommended, but if your holster manufacturer did not include them with your Modwing, you can still assemble your Enigma without them.
Attach the smaller Modwing insert (16) with the screw (17) and nut (14) included.
Make sure the tall side of the insert is on your right, as shown here.
If you’re using the PHLster eMod kit for a better interface with the Enigma faceplate, install the eMod insert instead of the regular Modwing insert. Replace the Enigma spacers (7) with the appropriate eMod spacers (short spacers with short eMod, tall spacers with tall eMod).
Drop the eyelets (18) through the holes in the Modwing.
Step Nine: Attach Holster
Attach your holster to the faceplate. The order of the hardware stack is as follows:
- First: Two long screws (8)
- Second: Enigma faceplate (1)
- Third: Plastic spacers (7)
- Fourth: Modwing with eyelets
- Fifth: Holster shell
- Sixth: Long screw posts (6)
Note: City Special users only – you will add the tall spacers that came with your holster between the holster shell and the Modwing. (Between the fourth and fifth steps above.)
Put the long screws (8) through the faceplate. Hold them in place with your thumb. Flip the faceplate over and add the plastic spacers (7), then the Modwing. (Make sure your eyelets didn’t fall out of the Modwing.)
Add the holster shell, making sure the FRONT of the shell is toward the faceplate.
Add the screw posts (6), and tighten lightly.
Before fully tightening the faceplate screws, straighten out your assembly.
Make sure the holster is straight, and the top of the Modwing is level with the edge of the faceplate. Then tighten the screws fully.
NOTE: The faceplate screws need to be tight. Once you have finished trying on and adjusting your Enigma, use thread-locker on your faceplate screws. We highly recommend VibraTite VC3, which is a reusable thread-locking compound.
Step Ten: Check Spacer Height
Check your spacer height.
The Enigma comes with standard size spacers (7) for general use. If you have a slim gun, the included spacers might be too tall. You want the Enigma faceplate to be flush with the front of the holster when viewed from the bottom. If the spacers are too tall, it will stand proud, which can make your concealment worse.
If your holster shell came with shorter hard plastic spacers, you may be able to try those. You can also use a stack of #10 flat washers to build the appropriate height.
Look at your assembly from the bottom. These spacers (7) are too tall, causing a gap between the faceplate and the front of the holster shell.
The spacer on the left comes with the Enigma (7). If it’s too tall for your gun, try a shorter spacer, or use a stack of #10 flat washers to reach the appropriate height.
These shorter spacers are just right, and the faceplate sits flush with the holster shell.
Note: It’s okay for the faceplate to flex slightly where it encounters the wing, as shown.
If you get too much faceplate flex, try the eMod kit, which is angled to blend cleanly with the faceplate. When using the eMod kit, use the spacers that come with the eMod kit instead of the spacers in the Enigma kit.
Step Eleven: Connect Belt
Take the free end of the belt (3) or sport belt, and pass it through the Fidlock buckle as shown. The loose tail of the belt should be on the outside when you wear it.
Double check your setup carefully to make sure everything is correct. It’s easy to miss things, so take some time to make sure you completed each step correctly.