Carrying a concealed handgun requires more than just the purchase of a handgun. You’ll need to purchase ammunition, a holster, a concealed carry license, and maybe even special training and conceal-friendly clothing. You might want an extra magazine or two and a means to carry those, as well. So while carrying a concealed handgun is a worthy investment, it is a monetary investment nonetheless. As such, some handgun manufacturers also make holsters on the notion that it adds value to offer an accessory that is a matching brand or a custom fit for the gun. The value of these can be questionable, however, as handgun manufacturers are usually good at designing handguns but less so at designing holsters.
Springfield Armory includes a holster with some of the handguns it sells. The XD-S 9mm you see here—watch for my full review later—ships with a paddle holster and a double magazine holster. The pistol retails for $599.99 but should be available for slightly less if you shop around. That’s a decent price for someone who needs just an excellent carry pistol. It’s a great price, however, when you consider that the XD-S ships with two magazines and two holsters. You’ll hear more about the pistol and how it shoots and carries when I do the full review. For now, I want to introduce you to the two holsters.
Paddle Holster for the Pistol
The Springfield Armory’s included paddle holster is made from molded plastic, meaning it offers an excellent custom fit for the XD-S but is also very durable. The holster grabs the front of the pistol’s trigger guard to keep it in place, a friction retention system that offers a varying hold by means of a built-in adjustment screw. A sight channel helps guide the gun in and out of the holster. It’s simple and effective. And that’s just about it for the part that actually holds the gun. The paddle fits comfortably on the hip and offers a retaining lip that ensures the holster stays in place when you draw.
The paddle holster is easy to put on and off, holds the gun at a slight forward cant, and keeps it fairly close as long as you wear your belt pretty tight.
Belt Slide Holster for Two Magazines
In addition to the paddle holster, Springfield also ships this gun with a double magazine holster. Although you would have to buy a third XD-S magazine in order to get the most out of the double magazine holster, you can carry just one magazine in it. Pictured here is the second seven-round magazine that shipped with the XD-S as well as Springfield’s extended magazine, a nine-rounder. All together it keeps 23 rounds of 9mm on board, not counting any in the chamber.
For some reason, the magazine holster is not a paddle but a belt slide, meaning you have to run your belt through the loops in order to wear it. It’s very secure but you won’t be putting it on and off with ease like you will the paddle holster. The holster holds the magazines in a V configuration, which balances nicely but requires a bit of thought when you reach for them.
So far, I really like both holsters and love that they came with the gun. Assuming the XD-S functions reliably (watch for my future review), that’s real value.