Concealed-Carry Holsters: Separating Good from Bad

by
posted on July 13, 2018
holstr.jpg
“So, what makes my concealed-carry holster bad?” asked my Internet friend. He had me there. I mean, he had bounced into the discussion thread and mentioned his new holster, a Sausage Sack Custom IV from GunHolderCorp, and we’d all told him that his purchase was bad and he should feel bad for making it, and then he asked “But why?”


And, you know, he had a point. In the circles of my shooting buddies, Holster maker X or model Y is just kind of known by cultural osmosis to be bad and wrong, but what makes a bad holster? Or, more to the point, what makes a good holster?

In my book, a holster has to do several discreet things to be considered “good.” Some are mandatory, all are desirable and the more of these tasks the holster does well, the better it is.


Starting with the most important, a concealed-carry holster needs to safely hold a handgun in such a way that it cannot be inadvertently fired when in the holster. An object that won’t do this is not a holster as far as I’m concerned. It might be a very nice, tooled-leather gun-holder thingie you put on your belt, but a holster it ain’t.

“But, Tam,” you say, “A lot of classic revolver holsters back in the day had cutaway trigger guards! For speed!” I think we can safely say we did a lot of things in those days that weren’t very safe in retrospect, like chain-smoke while pregnant or dump raw sewage in rivers. Let’s not do those things anymore.


Another thing concealed-carry holsters should do is present the gun to your hand at the same angle, in the same orientation, every time you reach for it. This is why holsters in pockets should have tacky material on the outside and why holsters in purses (yeah, yeah, that’s a topic for a whole later column) need to be attached by hook-and-loop fasteners or something to the inside of the gun compartment in the purse. When you reach for the gun in a hurry, it needs to be in the place your hand expects to find it. Which brings us to the next point…

CrossBreed combines multiple materials with innovative design in its SuperTuck tuckable holster.



The holster needs to have positive enough retention that the gun won’t come out unless you mean it. This means that you should be able to run and jump and play Ultimate Frisbee and do cartwheels across the front lawn without having to run back and get your gun where it fell out 5 yards prior. Every so often there’s a story about a concealed carrier whose suddenly unconcealed gun went clattering to the ground in a food court or at a graduation ceremony (to name two examples I remember) and be all noisily not-drop-safe. Those loud noises could have been prevented with a good-quality holster.

Oh, and the holster should allow your hand to achieve a full firing grip on the gun. A lot of holsters incorporate a sweat shield or shirt guard or whatever they call it—a raised area of material between the rear of the gun and your body. You can tell the holster makers who know what time it is by the fact their sweat guards are cutaway in such a fashion that they don’t interfere with your achieving a full, secure grip.


After all those considerations, a concealed-carry holster should be durable and well-built. You don’t want to have to go buying a new one every 6 months to a year. I know that when I switched from the Smith & Wesson M&P to the Glock in 2016, I’d been carrying in the same Dark Star Gear holster inside-the-waistband for nearly 5 years straight, all day, every day. Good holsters last.

That, in a nutshell, is what separates the good from the bad in holsters.

Latest

man with pump shotgun
man with pump shotgun

Mossberg Maverick 88: The Affordable Self-Defense Shotgun

The Maverick 88 is a no-frills cousin of Mossberg’s legendary Model 500 pump-action shotgun, and although the two guns are aesthetically and mechanically similar they are not identical guns.

5 Great Concealed Carry Gear Items for the Fall

As the seasons change, so must your carry wardrobe. Here are products to keep you comfortable as the leaves begin to fall.

Review: Elite Survival Systems HIP Gunner Concealed Carry Fanny Pack

Off-body carry is attractive: you just stick your gun in a bag and tote it along with you. Here's one carry option that makes the best of both worlds. 

First Look: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield Plus 3.1-Inch Optics Ready

Now Smith & Wesson Inc. is expanding its line of M&P Shield Plus pistols to include a new optics-ready variant, the M&P9 Shield Plus 3.1-inch OR.

First Look: Zeiss LRP S5 FFP Riflescope

Zeiss recently announced the launch of the new LRP S5 series of first-focal-plane riflescopes.

Review: Zev Technologies Core Duty Rifle

Zev Technologies has steadily increased its footprint in the firearm industry. Best known for placing its unique design spins on components for the most popular Glock and SIG Sauer pistols, this Centralia, WA-based company is also in the AR market.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.