How to Choose a Concealed Carry Holster
It’s a dangerous world out there, and no one can be blamed for wanting to carry a firearm on their person to defend themselves and those around them. Nonetheless, concealed carry isn’t something that should be embarked upon lightly, and finding the right equipment for the job is an essential part of doing it safely. Many gun owners struggle with finding the right concealed carry holster for them and their unique environment, which is a shame given how safe and rewarding the practice can be when it’s done properly.
Here’s what you should be considering when browsing concealed carry holster options, and some common concealed carry mistakes that you should learn to avoid ahead of time.
Choosing a holster for concealed carry is about more than price
Sometimes, gun owners who are on a budget make the foolish mistake of purchasing whichever concealed carry holster is the cheapest in their local area. As a matter of fact, however, it’s about more than price when it comes to finding the right holster for the job. Your firearm needs to be safely and securely stowed out of sight, as stealth is the name of the game. This means that you should resist the temptation to pick up whichever holster is the cheapest and seriously consider your options before making a final purchase, which may entail putting one or two on as a trial-run to see how they fit.
You certainly don’t have to break the bank in order to afford the shiniest concealed carry holster out there but take some time to seriously consider what could go wrong if you skimp out on this piece of equipment. Having your firearm slip in or out of its holster is a veritable nightmare for even the most well-trained shooters, and few things can ruin your day quicker than not being able to access your handgun when you most desperately need it. Thus, it’s worth going to extra mile to find the holster that’s able to endure harsh weather and rigorous movement if you want to be a responsible and safe gun owner.
Many tactical concealed carry holsters will be made out of a high performance engineered thermoplastic. Such companies as Blackhawk and Uncle Mike’s frequently offer such holsters, which are sleek and similar to those relied upon by law enforcement officials and those in the military. These concealed carry holsters are often sleek, sexy, and have an emphasis on speed; they’re designed to help you draw your firearm as quickly as possible when the need arises. As a result, they’re not always as robust in their grip as some other options which will slow you down on the draw but ensure that your gun doesn’t go anywhere without your permission.
IWB Holster Considerations
Regardless of whether you’re searching for a tactical holster or something tamer, you should be on the lookout for such things as belt loops or paddle platforms. These will help you affix your concealed carry holster directly to your clothing or body, and you’ll soon discover that the right loops or paddles can make all the difference in the world. Everyone carries differently and depending on your physique and style you may prefer one holster over another, but be sure that you’re searching for holsters that can be affixed to a wide array of clothing options. After all, most gunowners don’t want to go around wearing the same outfit day in, day out just to keep their piece on hand.
Inside-the-waistband holsters are rather self-explanatory and fit neatly into your pockets or the interior of your waistline. It’s imperative to understand that inside-the-pants holsters should be pointed in such a way that an accidental discharge doesn’t hit your body. It may seem obvious that your inside-the-pants holsters shouldn’t be aimed towards your more important body parts, but you’d be absolutely astounded at the amount of gunowners who have accidentally neutered themselves thanks to a rogue discharge. Think about what’s at stake and don’t fret to spend extra time and money finding a holster that fits neatly into the seat of your pants and points your barrel away from your body if you go for an inside-the-pants option.
A test-run is always advised for inside-the-pants options, too, because they may fit snuggly but ultimately impede your movement. Remember that you need to remain mobile at all times, and that some inside-the-pants options may inhibit your ability to run, leap, crawl, or go prone. You obviously shouldn’t make a fool of yourself testing out every possible position in the store, but don’t be afraid to stretch and see the extent to which your holster will meld with your body as it moves. After all, a holster that’s rigid and incapable of staying with you as you move is effectively worthless.
Plastic vs. Leather Holsters
Despite how impressive it can be to hear about some specially engineer polymer, it’s important to remember that new isn’t always better. Some concealed carry holsters aren’t made of a plastic that you need a PhD to understand, and instead are simply made the old-fashioned way out of tough yet beautiful leather. Personally, I’ve always found leather concealed carry holsters to be the more admirable option. Not only are they usually far more comfortable than polymer counterparts, they’re oftentimes substantially cheaper. For gun enthusiasts who are looking to make their first concealed carry holster purchase, a leather option is highly recommended.
It’s important to realize that most people who carry concealed feel a little bit awkward when they start doing it. This is perfectly natural, as having a firearm strapped to your person at all times is something you need to get used to, even as a law enforcement officials or member of the military. I believe that leather options are more comfortable, stealthier, and generally are easier to get used to for newcomers. When you’re carrying around a complicated bit of plastic that was engineered, you feel a more self-conscious and uncomfortable than you would be with a classic bit of polished leather.
Furthermore, leather conforms to your body shape over time. Finding a “high ride” leather holster is a great starting point, as you want about half of your gun weight even with or above your belt loops. This will give you a more comfortable and secure carry. The mass of your gun should essentially be tucked away just beneath your ribs, and those who ride around in vehicles or sit down often will find that this style of carry is much more tolerable than in-the-pants options.
Although I do love leather holsters, they’re not always the best bet for every CCW handgun. For example, I use a polymer or Kydex holster for my Glock 43 just because I haven’t found a better leather holster for it that is as comfortable.
Security above all else
Remember that security is the most important aspect of a concealed carry holster. You’ll want an option with a thumb snap, as this will prevent your firearm from leaping from its holster when it shouldn’t. Straps aren’t just mechanical, but also psychological instruments – you’ll feel safer when your gun is literally “strapped in” to your person.
Finally, you should be prepared to buy another concealed carry holster, as those who pick up their first quickly find themselves addicted to picking up a wide variety of styles. Different situations call for different holsters, and you’ll soon find yourself browsing winter and summer options if you live in a diverse climate. Just be sure that you focus on a holster that conforms with your body over time and has plenty of safety features like a thumb snap, and you’ll soon have arrived at the perfect concealed carry holster to keep yourself safe.