Finding a good holster for concealed carry is not an easy task and one that should not be treated lightly. For instance, I know plenty of folks who will spend hours upon hours researching a gun and trying it out at the range, yet they’ll spend 10 minutes picking up a holster for it at the local gun shop.
The fact is, a holster is just as important as the gun, because if you can’t get your gun out of the holster or if your gun falls out of a cheap holster, then it’s not going to do you much good and could even cost you your life.
So what should you look for in a quality holster and what’s the best holster to buy? Well, as I just mentioned, it needs to keep the gun in place. If you turn the holster upside down with the gun in it, does the gun immediately fall out? If so, get a new holster. Also, if you’re running, does it slide all around as if it’s going to pop out at a moments notice? If the gun is sliding all around, get a better holster and also get a gun belt (either 1½ inches or 1¾ inches thick) to keep it in place.
Perhaps, most importantly, you need a holster that provides quick access to the gun. I’m sure you’ve seen the “cell phone” or “pager” type holsters or the holsters built into underwear and other “neat” looking holsters that in my opinion are terrible ideas.
I realize these holsters are fun to market and look cool…
But tactically they are a bad idea all around. If the time ever comes that you have to draw your gun to defend your life, you need that gun as quickly as possible. Two seconds could be the difference between life or death and you don’t want to be fishing around in your underwear or trying to get a grip on some cell phone holster.
If the gimmicky holsters are out the window, then what should you look for? Simply put, if you’re going to carry a concealed firearm, get an inside the waistband holster. You don’t want an outside the waistband holster unless you plan on wearing a winter coat all year round. You don’t want a shoulder holster because they’re too slow on the draw and you’ll end up muzzling yourself and everyone near you. And you definitely don’t want an ankle holster, unless it’s for a backup gun. If you use an ankle holster for your primary weapon, you’ll likely be dead by the time you bend over and try to draw the gun.
So if the best type of holster is an inside the waistband, which one should you get?
I’m a fan of the leather holsters with a reinforced mouth. It is extremely important that any holster you purchase is reinforced at the top to allow one handed re-holstering. If you have to use two hands to re-holster then you’ll end up taking your eyes off the threat and that’s a situation you don’t want to be in.
My two favorite inside the waistband leather holsters with reinforced mouths are the DL Clipper and the Milt Sparks Summer Special. Neither of them is cheap and they’ll cost you around $80-$90, but its well worth the price. Just like you don’t ever want to be cheap with a gun, you never want to be cheap with a holster since you might be betting your life on this equipment one day.
The holster that I personally use is the DL Clipper because it felt a little better and I felt I could get a better firing grip on the gun. However, before you go out and purchase this holster or the Milt Sparks Summer Special, make sure and find out the company’s return policy that you buy it from.
You could spend a small fortune trying to find the perfect holster, so make sure you can return a holster within 30 days if you don’t like it and get all of your money back. If a company says they don’t allow returns, move on to someone else because most of them do.
So right now, if you’re staring at your box full of 10 million holsters that you don’t like (and you still don’t like the one you’ve got on now) try out one of the holsters above and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And for heaven’s sake stop using the “gimmicky” holsters that are going to get you killed one day.
Photo Credit: The Hickman Group