For The Love of Holsters

Editorial holster pic 125px
| | 64 Comments

Who reading this has more than one holster for the same gun? My hand is up.  I am guilty of buying  holsters on impulse. But I justify each purchase by claiming that I am looking for something specific: comfort, security, concealment, color. Even though I know that no holster I buy will be perfect, I also know that the next holster I buy will  solve the problem I had (or thought I had) at the time I decided to buy the holster.

I have ALL sorts of holsters: leather, Kydex, paddle, belt slide, IWB, OWB. The only thing I don’t have is a shoulder holster, because I strongly believe in the mantra of “same gun, same place, every time.” And I’m a strong-side hip carry sort of person.

Each holster was purchased for a specific reason and for the specific qualities the holster offered.  While no single holster has been perfect, each has brought something to the party and I’ve used each one depending on the circumstances and demands of the situation.  That type of variety is very a good idea. Of course you understand the wide variety of jobs a holster has. It must protect and conceal the firearm while at the same time allowing quick access to the pistol in times of emergency. Some holsters are better than others at some of these elements. Depending on your situation, you should select the holster that best serves your needs.

Perhaps you need almost total concealment in a place where casual clothing just won’t cut it, like church. In such a case, a nice IWB tuckable holster will allow you to cover the pistol with your tucked in dress shirt, thus being prepared but discrete at the same time. The Uncle Mike’s Reflex Holster in once situation I occasionally face: working in plain clothes for my local police agency. This doesn’t happen often, but when I am called on to work in plain clothes, I like the retention offered by the Reflex and the automatic locking feature when I return the pistol to the holster. The Reflex gives me the double bonus of operating exactly the same way as my Uncle Mike’s Level III duty holster.

I can’t even say I have a favorite among all the holsters I own. And, quite honestly, I own some because they just look great. I’m the kind of guy who just can’t pass up a great-looking hardworking  holster if I think I have a need for it. Yes, they are impulse purchases but they are not made without some thought. The reality is, I know that each holster will require that I train to fully understand the nuances of each. Because I practice the same style of carry (strong-side hip) much of the same rules apply. But I still make it my business to know what I’m doing with each holster before I strap up for real. I use a Rings Blue Gun for mechanics and in-home dry practice and make sure I put in range time as well.

So, celebrate the diversity of your holster box. There is a lot in there to be proud of and, if you are like me, a holster is so important you can’t just have one.


64 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. I too am looking for that perfect holster. I buy on impulse sometimes. I guess there is no perfect holster that one can purchase at a reasonable price and get perfect fit and comfort. Guess I’m just doomed to keep trying and hope that there is one out there somewhere.

    1. Depending on what you carry, I have had great luck with crossbreed style holsters I have gotten off eBay. Paid about $50 and the shipped right away. I carry a 3″ Kimber most of the time and a Sig 380 when I’m going light. Holsters conceal well and are reasonably comfortable. I have learned over the years not to spend under $50 for a holster unless you’re getting some kind of sale or close out. Cheap holsters never work out.

  2. I’m a 63 yr old woman. I will buy a Walther PPK/S .380 Semi-Auto soon.
    I don’t know what kind of holster to use. I plan to use a clip type holster and wear the pistol on the right side or the small of my back. I think I’d be more comfortable reaching to the right-rear instead of up high on the right side or across the front to the left.
    Any advice ?

    1. Wendy go to WWW .SNEAKY PETE HOLSTERS.COM
      I bought three for three guns LCP ,KIMBER SOLO an KIMBER
      45 crimson carry. It looks just like a cell phone case .I wear
      Ever wear church,shopping ,work I am in outside sales
      You won’t be disappointed. It just clips on my belt or with out
      A belt. Have a blessed day.

      1. I have the sneaky pete as well for my Ruger LC9 and I love it for the work I do in a big city. I have to work in professional casual clothing and this conceals and works great to access.

    2. I usually carry a 1911 but love the PPK easy carry. The Galco SOB ( Small Of The Back ) is a nice little rig

  3. A holster without a gun is like a condom without a c–k. Neither one will “fire”.
    Go to a gun shop with a large inventory and practice “dry fire” until you find the right gun. Believe me, when the right gun hits your hand, you will know it. The weight, the balance, the trigger pull, etc. will all fall into place to make the gun “feel” good as an extension of your arm.
    I have a nickle plated Colt Trooper Mark III .357 magnum that I carried with the Highway Patrol in Florida and I have never found another handgun that ‘feels’ as good in my hand. I’ve tried many, but none can compare.

  4. Hello all, I agree with a lot of your philosophies. We make several different styles and designs for weapons and specialize in holsters with attachments like lights and lasers. Tim, I’d really like for you to test out some of ours as we welcome opinions on our products.

    Thank you, Multi Holsters
    http://www.multiholsters.com

  5. My firsts time on this site, just waiting to see what it is.

    1. Welcome Jim, A lot of great information here.

  6. I am looking for a strong right side holster for a 5.7×28 FNH that allows concealment and fast draw

  7. I think I frst saw a link here, but If you guys are in need of some serious leather…give Adam’s Holsters a shout! I really really like my holster. It’s made carrying move from a necessity to an enjoyable luxury!

  8. Recently Concealed Carry Magazine reviewed the N82 holsters. I bought one the day day I read the article. Since I have drawers full, I bought the cheapest one first figuring if I had to throw it in with the other “great” holsters I have, I’d be throwing less money away. Their top of the line features a retention lock in a tuckable IWB and I’ll be buying that next weekend at Wanamaker’s Gun Show in Tulsa.

    1. I love my N82 Tactical holster. I bought the least expensive one as well. I could sleep in that thing it is so comfortable. No trouble driving in my bucket seats while wearing it. It is definitely the most comfortable IWB I have owned and would have happily paid more for it.

  9. I guess there are many of us who search for the perfect holster for all occasions and i suspect that there is no such animal.
    I am even as we speak considering a try out for a small of the back Galco worn more on the hip for added accessability for my Model 360PD Smith with the Pachmaur “Gripper” extended grips.

  10. I am trying to figure out how to carry my Ruger SR9 with laser sight in-pocket. No luck yet.

  11. Nice article; I also have a drawer full of holsters, until now; my last purchase was at rmholsters.com this is the last holster I will ever need. You always hear about the big name brands, but don’t forget the lesser known brands that have excellent products.

    Bill

  12. I like the Crossbreed IWB holsters. They are comfotable to wear and do a great job of concealing. I have one Crossbreed for each of my pistols. I usually carry two weapons and I switch out on IWB holster once a week. I carry a Springfield XDS and a Glock 19.

    1. I too used a cross breed IWB holster for my Kel-tec PF9 and forget it’s there most of the time. It has never been uncomfortable and conceals under a t-shirt.

  13. Tim, like you I have several holsters but I stopped buying them after I purchased the Versa carry 2. This holster is absolutely awesome and very comfortable and allows me to carry my Taurus PT745 very well. Ninety percent of the time I don,t even know I’m carrying and for just $25.00 I feel everyone should try it the next time they want to try something new.

    1. I have 2 Versa Carry 2. One for a SW Bodygguard and one for SW Compact 9 and love them both. The most comfortable I have ever worn for long hours. Especially driving.

  14. Comp-Tac IWB are very very comfortable. Service is excellent. Have one for my Kimber and Glock 30. You literally forget it is there. About 60 thousand miles driving with them on and 2 years every day carry of the 1911

  15. The most comfortable carry holster for me is a frabric tactical holster with velcro waist band. This was designed to carry in front of trousers. I prefer to attach around my upper waist with the holster under my left arm. I travel with a S & W DAO Bodyguard. I am right handed and wear a button down shirt in the car with middle two buttons open. I can draw quickly with my right shooting hand. Even while seated!

  16. I like to research and try recommended holsters, so my box is half full. Staying with strong side hip, my LCP rides in a modified Galco, which stays open for reholstering, but has had the unreliable little “J” hook replaced with a standard steel spring belt clip, still tuckable. For my Sig SP2022 and XD 9mm I really prefer holsters from N82tactical (Nate Squared) and will probably stay with them for my XD sub comact 40, too. Nice fit and comfortable all day (and affordable). Prefer IWB tuckables. For range exercises a Blackhawk Serpa carries my XD sc40.

    1. I bought a N82 for my XDm 45. My XD 40 sub fits it too and sometimes I think better.

  17. I too also fancy different holsters. I have, however, discovered that after 25 years as a police officer where I carried on and off duty, that there is only one way for me that works. That’s carrying the same type weapon and always carrying it in the same place. As a firearms instructor for over 20 years I know that training is what we all fall back on in an emergency. If you don’t train for emergencies, you’ll have to make it up as you go. Very dangerous. Reaching for a firearm from your IWB holster is dangerous if you have decided, for whatever reason, to carry a shoulder holster that day. You just lost your element of surprize! I stay with a Glock and a IWB Crossbreed all the time!! Even works with just a t-shirt for an upper garment.

  18. My summer carry is a Ruger LCP. I have three holsters, Two Fobus and, my favorite, a Nat2Tactical IWB. It has excellent padding to prevent the gun from riding against my skin and it is very absorbent. I will have to find a way to clean it.
    I liked it so much I got a deluxe version for my 1911 Commander. The retention is unique twist… literally.

  19. I’m with you. The best holster is the next one. Change of season, change of dress, change of holster. I’m a 5 o’clock to 6 o’clock man, depending on season and holster. I prefer the leather because they are easier on me and my gun. Plus they hold closer to the body for less printing.

  20. I agree with you all the way, I thought I was going crazy trying to find a holster that works for me. one holster works for one thing but the gun I need doesn’t fit it or while driving I can’t get to my back FBI cant holster, I need a cross draw holster for this but it is hard to conceal because I’m overweight, unless I wear a shirt I can wear untucted or wear a sports coat. now do I buy several holsters for several carry guns or just try to carry only one gun for most occasions. but sometimes I would just rather wear my tarus 85 in an ankle holster, but I need a deep concealment holster for the same gun. what to do, what to do.

  21. Damn, it’s almost as if I wrote the article. Just about every thing Kevin said applies to me. (withe the exception of be on call with the local PD) And yes, I am still looking for that “elusive” perfect holster.

  22. I read your editorial and appreciate what you say about holsters. I have four for my Kahr P9 and the last one I purchased seems to fit my needs the best. However, I think the real problem with concealed carry holstering is the absense of decent clothing that naturally covers the weapon, and provides easy access to additional magazines. You could help us folks out by researching CC clothing and what’s available.

  23. Holster selection is more difficult than gun selection

  24. I also have many holsters. I make my 0wn. I like traditional leather. Each one is custom made to fit a specific gun. My favorite cary is strong side hip, My holsters are made to ride in back pocket, secured on belt. For cocked-and-locked carry the safety strap rides between the hammer and firing pin.An over shirt tail out keeps the weapon concealed. I also carry a back up weak side that I can draw and fire effectively left handed,once again custom made for the desired weapon.

  25. I have trouble finding left handed holsters.
    I have one holster that fit on either side.
    Only it just fits my small 9 mm… I have two other mid size 40 cal. & a 45 cal.
    The price of left handed holsters seem to cost a little more too then a right handed one.

    1. you might check out “3 speed holster” for the left handed holster – I don’t think it costs more for left handed one

      1. 3 Speed is good for compact…Full size makes you look like you have a woody

  26. Besides the good holster info the big takeaway from the above is the following:

    …”my business to know what I’m doing with each holster before I strap up for real. I use a Rings Blue Gun for mechanics and in-home dry practice”

    My thoughts: I’ve been using blue guns from before Rings was making them. A great teaching tool that keeps students from being able to hurt themselves or others while working on tasks best done with “EMPTY” guns.

    Also just hand a blue gun to a person and see if they have muzzle discipline with it. If they don’t their, “but it’s not a real gun” answer can become a teachable moment for them or a warning to keep out of small arms range to you.

  27. 3 speed holster is the one that meets my concealed carry and accessability needs the best. It will be the final holster purchased for my kahr cw 40 w/ ct laserguard. The service and price are unbeatable. It has wonderful retention and safety features, and it’s made in the usa.

  28. @ Ernie. I just bought (not received yet) a N82 Tactical Original Tuckable Holster for my S&W M&P 9C for lefties. There’s no additional cost for that.

    @ Rolumo. N82 Tactical has the SR9 with Crimson Trace Laser “Original Tuckable” model available for $69.95!

    Hopefully in the future a lefty version of their Professional Tuckable will become available, but I’m happy to start with their original.

    I will say that I had about a 20-30min conversation with one of the owners Nate J. and he gave me a good rundown of the holster. If he gave me that much time during his busy day, I can just imagine that their customer service is just as great!

    I don’t work for them, but just happy to pass the message along.

    1. I don’t know anyone that works for them, but anyone that has ever used their product can’t say enough good about them.

      Luckily for me I’m a righty and have had no problem getting the basic and tuckable pro model. I can use my holsters for my Taurus 24/7 G2 .40, Millenium PT145, or Beretta Nano and they all fit like a glove and lock into place without fail.

  29. I have gone thru 3 different holsters IWB trying to find exactly what I want. I do not like the belt tab/clip/hook on most, too easy to tear seats. I just received a Crossbreed Holster (micro-clip) it has been great so far (the 3 days I have had it) it does not pinch/poke like most. It is a little large for an LCP but still has the it’s not there feeling. I ordered the deep conceal clips what they call V-clips so they do not have a tab or hook sticking out to grab anything. Plus there is nothing to see for those people who are scared to know you carry and are always looking for the clip/tab/hook sticking out…

  30. I am looking for an inside the waistband holster for my Glock model 22. Any suggestions?

  31. I am guilty of the same. I have probably purchase a dozen holsters in the last two years. Each one offering a different benefit, but after a certain amount of use they all seemed to have their challenges. That is……….until about 8 months ago. I was in the local uniform shop picking up my tac vest, from having some alterations done, and the owner said he had something come in, the week prior, and he couldn’t wait to show me. He returned from his office with what appeared to be an IWB………”Hold up. You know after all the years I’ve been coming here; that I HATE carrying IWB. It’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward and I’m always sweating on my gun.” is exactly what he heard before he even reached me. He responds with, “This is something new. Try it for a week and if you don’t like it; bring it back.”

    I reluctantly took it, threw it in the passenger seat of my truck and didn’t give it a second look. That following weekend a friend called and needed a plain clothed backup, in suits, but we weren’t allowed to wear our jackets. Stuck in a situation of wanting to help him out, I remembered it was still in my truck. I retrieved the holster, got changed and headed out the door.

    While driving to the job I found myself reaching for my hip, thinking that I had forgotten to grab my sidearm. It was there, right where I had put it…….it was SO comfortable that I couldn’t believe I found myself second guessing if I in fact had it on.

    I can’t say enough about this holster: supreme comfort in hot and cold weather, tucked or untucked shirt, active retention and I’m not sweating on my gun. I’m able to carry my full size, compact and subcompact all in the same holster and they fit perfectly.

    I never thought I’d see the day that I found “the perfect” holster for me, but I have. I tell everyone I can about the greatness of the holster. So much in fact that my wife, and several friends/colleagues have switched and made this their full time holster of choice. Plus there is a FULL lifetime warranty, if it breaks, you wear through the leather or anything else; they’ll replace it free of charge.

    N82tactical is the one for me

  32. Galco forward cant lined black leather……Ultra compact….
    condition1……

  33. I have a sig p239 .40 cal and I need to find the perfect holster for it. Any ideas? I was thinking of maybe going to my local police department to ask them but any time you talk to policeman about guns and questions regarding them sometimes It seems like your talking about a taboo subject. But I understand they must get a lot if questions about guns and all sorts of stuff all the time and it must be just so Repetitive for them. Thanks for your help and time!

    1. I prefer a DeSantis pancake for my P239 everyday wear. It hugs me and doesn’t show. I usually wear a suit or some outer jacket. In the summer, I let the shirt-tails cover it.

      I would like to get a well designed paddle model too, as I can just throw it on quickly when I walk the dogs and stuff. IWBs are not for me. I have a friend who swears by his pocket holster.

  34. i just bought some Ramora IWB holsters for my Glock 27 and my Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV and love them. No clip they stick to your skin and never come out with your weapon.

  35. Hey still trying to find the perfect one for the setup I have. I have the Smith & Wesson m&p. 40 the NcStar light/lazer on it. This is a full size gum. Just can’t seem to find anything that I like and is comfortable. Any ideas?

  36. LOVE my SmartCarry!! My petite frame won’t allow me to carry IWB so I had to conceal deeper….front & center!

  37. Looking for holster for Stoger Cougar 8045F. This is same gun as Beretta Cougar 8045F.

  38. Great article and I like most here have a drawer full of holsters, I use Crossbread IWB holsters with horse hide. I live in FLA and the horse is great for both body and weapon. I have a holster for each weapon, my prime carry being and XDS. I wear it at 4:00 all day everyday and find it very comfortable. The only issue is in the car, however I have a weapon within easy reach. I drive a Corvette so the passenger compartment is rather small but has lots of great stash points.

  39. I need a holster for a 586 4″ S&W. Cross draw or small of back or right side FBI tilt. Leather

  40. I’ve had a hard time finding a holster for my Colt Commando .38 special. A revolver shoulder holster or behind the back kind ate hard to find and is economical. I live in Carson City, Nevada and grew would appreciate any help. Thanks.

  41. I’m a lefty, with a S& – M&P Shield 9mm. Looking for a good IWB holster. Any sugestions!

  42. Still looking for a holster for my Beretta .380 Cheeta. The other problem is I’m a small framed woman, not too many places to conceal and I love my Beretta! Don’t want any other gun! At least, not yet. Any suggestions?

  43. I have had multiple daily carry kits but settled on a favorite. The Crossbread Super tuck with a G27 with pierce extensions and night sites. I carry 24/7 This set up came with a lot of trial and error but do what is best for you after plenty of practice and study.

  44. I bought an IWB holster made by company in Maine (Patriot Leather) and love it. They went out of business but I just found a dealer who has a few (Will tell you who after I buy another one..LOL). It allows you to tuck a shirt in between the gun and pants, is a simple design that can be easily modified for any gun by placement of a rivet (That can be drilled out if needed), and has two strong clips that keep it from moving. No retention strap but I bet a good leathersmith could put one on for you. Not big on retention straps myself.

  45. I have found the belly band to be very nice (so long as you cut the tag off, lol). I carry that with a sub compact glock 26 with the 15 round mag, police backup size with a full grip basically.

  46. I got my concealed carry license but, haven’t started carrying yet. I guess I’m not quite sure how concealed it has to be. Is the outline of the weapon not supposed to be seen or what? Also, right now I have a highpoint 9 mm but, am thinking about getting a glock. Any suggestions.

  47. First thing is get rid of that high point as it feels like carrying 100 lbs with you. It is one of the heavyest guns i have ever own. Then go see the man or women at the store to get you the right weapon.Glocks are good as many others. I have had nothing but bad luck with a highpoint. Can’t trust them when you will need them.
    P.S. NO OUTLINE TO BE SEEN THEY WILL PULL YOUR PERMIT IN THIS STATE.

  48. Alessi…..that’s all you need .no thumb break retard system I’ve used mine everyday since 1985 I guess its a belt slide style very cozy and secure with the pull thru snap

  49. Thanks’ Kevin for sharing this awesome Blog , I do have allot of Holster’s myself and I do carry my firearm in different place’s on my body so this requires a holster for every occasion , and I may carry a different Firearm depending where I am going , like Hunting walking or out to eat so I do have a sort of different Holster for every occasion , Thanks’ again –Jeff Hayden

  50. I don’t actually carry concealed very often. I have the proper permits. I have a couple of holsters. But my main handgun is a glock 30 .45 and none of the holsters fit the weapon very well. It is a subcompact and the holsters I have either don’t fit it well, or are very uncomfortable. i am looking for a good shoulder holster without the piece across the shoulders. i would like one with the x pattern in the back to distribute the weight better. I have had a neck injury and the holster I have is an Uncle Mike’s. It has a velcro adjustment strap that runs across the top of the shoulders putting all of the weight there. If I wear it very long I end up with a bad neck and headache. If anyone has a suggestion I would appreciate it.

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