March 3, 2022
Written by John Nelson, Former Range Safety Officer
Many individuals today find themselves going through the process to acquire the necessary permits and equipment to carry a concealed firearm throughout their day-to-day lives. A common tendency is to focus heavily on which firearm is “best” for these purposes, and another critical piece of equipment, the holster, often goes overlooked. Far from being a trivial afterthought, the holster is a piece of gear essential for successful concealment and comfortable carriage of a firearm. This article will cover a number of factors to consider when shopping in the market to aid in finding the best solution to your individual needs!
Holster material is an excellent first criteria to examine. Common options on the market today include Kydex plastic, leather, flexible nylon, and “hybrid” options of the previous materials. There are many good options in existence today, but any holster selected should: be made for your specific firearm (not for all firearms of a certain size), “seal” the trigger guard on all sides so no foreign objects can inadvertently reach and pull the trigger while the firearm is holstered, and offer some degree of positive retention to a holstered gun.
The means of attachment from the holster to the clothing of the person carrying it is another important item to consider. First off, your gun should somehow be connected to your person. Carrying your firearm in a bag, purse, or another article not secured to you is something we do not recommend; this is how many guns are inadvertently left behind or otherwise irresponsibly left unsecured where anyone could access it. Common options include both plastic and metal clips, closed belt loops, “pull-the-dot” nylon belt loops, and a myriad of other options. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that the easier it is for a holster to be taken on and off throughout the day the easier it is for the holstered firearm to accidentally detach itself from your person. Try doing some jumping jacks, jog in place, or other light to moderate exercise and make sure the gun and holster remain secure.
The specific style of the holster, meaning where the firearm is built to best carry on your body, should also be considered. Wherever you decide you would like to conceal your firearm, find a holster specifically tailored to that location. A holster that claims to be for appendix and inside-the-waistband (IWB) carry will likely be mediocre at both.
Last, and perhaps most important, is quality. Whatever options you determine best suit your needs from the above elements, be sure to buy quality equipment. Choosing a holster is not where you should seek to save a few bucks or cut corners — it is another critical piece of equipment you should deliberately budget for, making your time carrying as safe, comfortable, and effective as possible.