Praetor Defense Holsters

The Praetor Defense holster provides a great option for concealed carry and competition alike. (Photos by Roy Lin)

By Shelley Rae (RSS)
November 29, 2011

Outside-the-waistband holsters are inherently more comfortable than inside-the-waistband holsters. They don’t rub on skin, they don’t take up room inside your waistband and they are easier to draw from due to their being positioned a little farther off the body. On the flip side, outside-the-waistband holsters can be more difficult to conceal. The new Praetor Defense line manages to balance the comfort and ease of draw that comes with an outside-the-waistband holster with the ease of concealment necessary for daily carry.

The Praetor Defense holster keeps the gun in a sweet spot that works well for men and women alike. It holds the gun a little higher on the hip, leaning it closer to the body than many outside-the-waistband holsters, so it is easier to conceal. This means the gun is held tightly to the side of the body for men and leaned in above the hip, toward the waist, for women.

The positioning of the gun inside the holster looks different. It tends to raise questions due to the exaggerated height relative to the hip. However, the holster creates a natural position from which to grab the gun, as when the hand is brought straight back and down, it naturally hits the spot where the gun sits.

Another question frequently asked about holsters in general and the Praetor Defense in particular is how the closeness to the body affects the ease and speed of the draw. While the Praetor Defense is not as quick to draw from as many competition holsters, it is still easy to wrap a thumb behind the gun and the draw is much faster than many concealed-carry options.

The belt-loop system on the Praetor Defense holster is designed to hold the holster tightly in place on a 1.5-inch belt. While many holsters walk out of place after exaggerated movement or over the course of the day, the Praetor Defense stays in its spot throughout nearly every type of motion. The belt loops are a very tight fit and take some breaking in to slide on and off a belt with ease. Given a couple of weeks of continual use, the loops of the holster wear in and putting the holster on the belt becomes easier, yet it stays snuggly in position during the course of the day.

Popular in Kydex concealment and competition holsters, the holster has an open-top and a retention screw. It can be adjusted by a simple the turn of this screw for very tight retention. This slows the draw, but increases retention for high levels of movement and activity. Conversely, the screw may be loosened for a faster draw that’s suitable for a competition setting.

The Praetor Defense line was designed by Darrion Holiwell. An 11-year SWAT veteran and current SWAT team leader, he has a stack of competition titles, including wins at the American Heroes Challenge and the Washington State SWAT Rodeo. On top of his tactical experience, Holiwell is also a Master Class IPSC shooter who supports and provides training for the shooting sports.


When designing the Praetor Defense holster, Holiwell went out of his way to create a viable option for both carry and competition. In the process, he created a great, comfortable and easy-to-use carry design that could be used interchangeably for daily carry or in a competition setting. Having a carry holster that can be used for competitive shooting and carry is a huge benefit, as it’s important to be confident and comfortable in both circumstances.

Having the ability to use one holster for both competition and carry gives amateur competitors and concealed-carry-permit holders one platform with which they can practice and increase proficiency, erasing confusion and cross-training that could cost time when seconds count, both for the standings and for your life.

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10 Responses to Praetor Defense Holsters

  1. Graybeard says:

    Nice write-up, except you fail to mention that these are only available for some Glocks. Those of us who carry something else are SOL for now.

    • Ed Friedman says:

      Graybeard, also for Smith & Wesson M&Ps.

      • Graybeard says:

        Ed: according to the Praetor website itself:

        Currently Available for:

        * Glock 17/22/31
        * Glock 19/23/32

        I did see at one point that the S&W M&P was mentioned, but the website (which may be out of date, admittedly) does not have it under the “currently available” list. My supposition until they say otherwise is that the S&W offering is coming but not available yet.

        Still leaves a lot of us out. Not a big deal – except when the offerings are limited I would like those doing the write-up to make some reference to that fact. But I’m not going to get bent out of shape by it either.


        • Ed Friedman says:


          At the top of the products page, it says “Smith & Wesson M&P Series – All Calibers and Models.” I also don’t see that on the product description, but given the lead photo shows an M&P in the holster, I think it’s a safe bet the company website needs to be updated.

          As to your point about non-Glock/M&P owners (myself included), I agree, but those pistols are popular enough to warrant a review. I wouldn’t be surprised if the company launches holsters for other manufacturers’ pistols soon.

          We really do appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Praetor Defense Holsters | Front Sight Productions |

  3. Graybeard says:

    Not a problem, Ed. Like I said – it’s really not a big deal – just a little bit of a let-down when you get excited about a possible holster and then find out it doesn’t fit your pistol. Another cup of coffee and I get over it.

    I suppose that if I were to offer a suggested edit, it would be something along the lines of “… For many Glock and S&W users [t]he new Praetor Defense line manages to balance the comfort and ease of draw…”

    In any case, I appreciate the news! One of my shooting buddies may need this info and now I know about it.

  4. Alexandre J. Arnau says:

    Wish they made them for 1911s.


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