No other time in my memory has more called for carrying the 20+1-shot-capacity Ruger 57 as a primary, secondary or “get-home” gun. This remarkable, lightweight and accurate pistol can deliver light-recoiling, powerful rounds on target in a way not possible from almost any other pistol/caliber combination.
The Ruger 57 has more compact dimensions than the FN Five-seveN pistol that introduced the amazing little 5.7x28mm round to the world. Although the Ruger 57 is sized a bit larger than most defensive pistols due to the longer chamber required by the 5.7x28mm cartridge, it still is eminently carryable. The proof of the Ruger 57’s popularity and “carryability” is evidenced by the large number of holsters (approximately 25) available on Ruger’s website that are designed to accommodate the 57. I tested two from DeSantis.
While there are a number of holster designs for the 57 on the market, I prefer outside-the-waistband, belt-mounted carry due to the 57’s length. The synthetic DS Paddle and the all-leather 002 Speed Scabbard from DeSantis give you two different carry options for a variety of situations.
DeSantis DS Paddle Holster
The DS Paddle Holster is an open-top/open-bottom polymer rig with dual tensioning screws for precise friction fit. The paddle mounts easily over the belt and, despite being made of polymer, is quite comfortable to wear. The paddle is adjustable, and a belt-slot attachment is now included in case you don’t care for the paddle attachment. My DS paddle was an early sample, so I was unable to test the DS using the belt-slot attachment.
I first wore the DS Paddle with the Ruger 57 under a jacket for a mile-long morning walk. There was no chafing, undue pressure or irritation caused by the paddle during the walk. I could have accessed the 57 quite easily had I needed to do so.
Because of DeSantis’s use of thick polymer in the construction, the DS Paddle is best suited as a trail or sporting holster. And it is excellent for that purpose. It will stand a lot of abuse despite being lightweight and obviously won’t be affected by adverse weather conditions. It also won’t trap water. MSRP is $48.99. If you purchase the DeSantis DS Paddle from the Ruger website rather than direct from DeSantis, it comes with the Ruger emblem molded in. The price is the same.
DeSantis 002 Speed Scabbard
The all-leather DeSantis Speed Scabbard is a classic. And it adapts well to the Ruger 57 platform. Because it is constructed entirely of supple leather, it pulls the 57 in tight to the body, thus greatly reducing its print against outer clothing.
The Speed Scabbard is an open-top holster that covers and protects the full length of the Ruger 57 barrel and slide. There is a single tensioning screw on the holster to adjust the friction fit for retention or draw speed, and it allows for compensation for any slight stretching of the leather over time.
The Speed Scabbard is an extremely comfortable and unobtrusive holster that excels in concealment of a large pistol under a loose covering garment. I had an unexpected opportunity to wear the 57 in the Speed Scabbard during a recent evening of heightened concern in my neighborhood. The Ruger 57, with its remarkably light weight, carried beautifully during the hot summer evening. I used the Speed Scabbard rather than the DS Paddle holster to maintain a low profile. MSRP of the Speed Scabbard for the Ruger 57 is $78.99.
The Ruger 57 is a very versatile pistol and a critical piece of defensive or survival gear. Having multiple carry methods only enhances its versatility.
About Scott W. Wagner
After working undercover in narcotics and liquor investigations, Scott W. Wagner settled down to be a criminal justice professor and police academy commander. He was also a SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader before his current position as patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. Scott is a police firearms instructor certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.