1. QUALITY MADE
What is the material and is the holster constructed with quality? Is the leather of premium quality and genuine leather? What weights are the leather and kydex? Will they stand up to your use, wear and tear, and is it appropriate for your use without impairing performance and mechanical function? (Note- Some exotic leathers like Ostrich, Shark, or Lizard skin may look great, but may not not hold up for constant rough field use.) What is its thickness and durability? Are the rivets, clips, grommets, snaps, buckles, rings, and metal parts strong, rustproof, and quality made? Does it have a sweat shield or skin guard? Is it a reputable company? What type of warranty or guarantee does it have? Consider the holster’s weight and bulk. Is the holster designed to minimize the amount of leather needed to hold and protect the gun, thus reducing weight and bulk of the holster.
2. ALL DAY COMFORT
How comfortable is this holster style during each of the different physical positions; walking, bending, sitting, standing, and twisting? Can you wear it while driving? Can you wear it for the entire day comfortably and not even know that you are wearing it?
Does the holster perform as required for the effective concealed carry purpose. How well does the holster hide the handgun during every-day body motions, like walking, bending, sitting, standing, twisting, reaching, etc.? Imagine wearing the holster during these different movements. Is there a cant and angle adjustment for the holster, to provide better concealment and comfort?
4. ADAPTABILITY & FIT
Can this holster be used for different handguns… or with a Laser sight or light? How versatile is it? The safety features of a holster very much require that the holster be engineered and designed for each specific manufacture and model of handgun. Are there modifications available or additions that adapt to other handguns? What are the approximate costs of these adaptations? Is the shooter’s gun properly fitted for this holster. Does the handgun insert so deep in the holster that the gun grips cannot be properly accessed? Does the gun jam so tight into the holster that it takes two hands to draw it or can you draw the gun easily with one hand?
What is its total price relative to other options available now? Do you get any special features, options, warranties, guarantees, repair service, or additions that are worth something? Can you return it without any questions and within what time period? Will they repair or replace it for free? Do you get what you pay for?
How well does the holster provide protection to the handgun during insertion into or removal from the holster or while being carried that will:
- prevent accidental trigger movement;
- prevent accidental disengagement of the safety mechanism;
- prevent forward or rearward movement of the hammer?
7. EASE OF REHOLSTERING & ACCESS
Can you reach your handgun quickly in an emergency or while sitting in your vehicle? A rigid holster will allow a handgun to be returned to it using only one hand, while a flexible one may collapse after the gun is drawn, requiring the use of both hands to reholster. How easy is it to access your weapon and use the holster while walking, bending, sitting, standing, twisting, etc.?
8. EASE OF PUTTING ON & TAKING OFF
Can you simply and easily put the holster on and take it off. Consider if you will be putting this holster on and taking it off throughout the day and under what conditions. Must it be removed for taking care of personal needs in public restrooms? If so, can you do it safely and easily?
Can you wear both open or closed cover garments with the holster? Do you have to wear special clothing or make accommodations in dress or draw when wearing and using this holster? Is a cover vest or larger trousers required to hide the holster and handgun?
Does the holster retain the handgun adequately? Is the holster snug when fitted on a gun belt for a consistent and fast draw and to reduce draw resistance. Is the gun secure in the holster? A holster designed with solid retention will help prevent a gun from being removed from the holster by another.
© 2017 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at ColBFF@gmail.com.