Who says carrying a large-frame firearm requires a fancy holster with beefy belt clips? Conventional wisdom may say it does, but the folks at Sticky Holster don’t agree. In fact, with the Sticky OR (Optic Ready) 9 holster, not only can you carry a full-sized gun, but the holster is notch cut for a red dot.
If you’re unfamiliar with Sticky holsters, the idea behind the design is that you can still carry a gun and stay protected without needing a belt. One of the biggest challenges with carrying a firearm for personal protection is your wardrobe often has to accommodate the holster mounting system, typically a belt on your pants or shorts.
One solution is a tactical fanny pack, but that’s not always a great option in all conditions. Another good option is a friction holster such as the Sticky Holster. A friction holster works by taking advantage of the natural pressure between your waist and your waistband to hold the holster in place.
Like all Sticky holsters, the OR-9 uses a neoprene dive suit-type material that forms a tacky surface on the outside of the holster. The surface is not sticky like glue but is tacky enough to create a tight contact between waistband and holster. The inside of the Sticky OR-9 is smooth, allowing for an easy draw and reholster. None of Sticky’s friction holsters include any mechanical retention devices. They are essentially sleeves for guns, relying on friction to hold everything together.
The biggest advantage of the Sticky OR-9 is its versatility. It allows for a variety of clothing options that don’t require a belt. Also, the OR-9 is not cut for a particular gun. It will accommodate at least seven guns, according to Sticky’s website. I tested mine on with my Glock 17 Gen 4 MOS with a Vortex red dot.
As versatile as the Stick OR-9 (and every Sticky holster) is, it does have two major drawbacks that caught my attention. The first is that you have to be sure your waistband is tight and stays tight. If it loosens even a little, the holster begins to slip, which could end disastrously if you’re exercising in public. The second big no-no in my book is you can’t reholster the gun one-handed. At the very least, you have to pry the holster’s mouth open with your support hand, potentially muzzling yourself in the process. Worse, you might need to remove the holster from your waistband, insert the pistol, and put the whole setup back into your pants.
A friction holster is a less-than-ideal solution and is definitely not recommended for all-day carry. Need to run to the store real quick in your sweats? How about wanting to throw a gun into your waistband if you have a bit of a hike to the mailbox? Sticky or other friction holsters can work as a temporary carry solution. Friction holsters, including Sticky brand, are really not designed to carry all day. In fact, they are better as a pocket solution with a smaller gun than to carry a full-sized semi-auto around in your daily routine. The heavier the gun, the harder it is to keep a Sticky holster in place.
That said, it’s better to carry your personal protection firearm in the Sticky OR-9 than to leave it at home, where it won’t help at all if you get attacked at the gas station. For $40.95, you can afford to have temporary some peace of mind when your wardrobe options don’t include a belt.