Skip to comments.11 Things to Consider When Choosing a Concealed Carry Holster
Posted on 05/17/2012 2:21:08 PM PDT by marktwain
When choosing a concealed carry holster for your pistol, selecting the best holster you can find will add to your overall total self-defense abilities. A holster/pistol combination is part of your concealed carry defensive system. While looking at a quality holster the one factor you should consider last is the cost. Experience has taught me you get what you pay for. There should be no delays to your reactions caused by inappropriate or inadequately fitting equipment. With your life depending on it, you may never get the chance to tell others you should have picked the higher quality model.
Criteria for Selecting Concealed Carry Holsters:
Concealment allows you to have the element of surprise when responding to an attacker who is threatening you with deadly force. Concealment also helps you avoid unfortunate or uncomfortable circumstances where your handgun may be accidentally exposed to the view of people who may immediately call for law enforcement officers because they see a person with a gun.
You should be able to quickly draw your handgun with ease from your concealed holster. The holster should lend itself to allowing you to gain a complete grip on your handgun while still allowing you to release any retention devices. The draw stroke should be a fairly straight-line draw, pointing towards the target, and line up your sights. Please note this may vary for some holsters that are carried in cross draw, appendix, small of the back, or ankle positions.
A holster/pistol combination you are comfortable with is one more likely to carried and less likely to leave at home.
When preparing for the possibility of an assailant attacking you with deadly force, it is important to remember most attacks will be sudden, up close, physical confrontations. For this reason, retention must be addressed when selecting a holster.Retention devices will vary from internal devices in the holster to simple thumb breaks that will help you retain your weapon if you are engaged in hand-to-hand confrontation (that has not yet escalated to the need or allowed for the use of your handgun).Holsters that lack a proper fit and no retention device may not retain the weapon properly under strenuous activity such as hand to hand defensive tactics. A poorly fitting holster will cause problems with every day usage as well, which could dislodge the pistol from the holster.
Below is a list of retention levels for holsters broken out by levels.
Level One consists of a single retention device, such as a strap and thumb break.
Level Two consist of two retention devices, such as a strap and internal retention device.
Level Three is available but generally they are not suitable for concealed carry uses.
5. Exact Fit and Maintains its Form
A good holster is formed to a specific handgun, and maintains this characteristic in the long term. This will have positive effects on retention and access.
6. Quality of Workmanship and Materials
This is where the buyer will see the most variety of differences between manufactures.
7. Re-Holstering/Re-Enforced Throat
The mouth of the holster should remain open and rigid when the gun is removed. This is important when re-holstering the weapon with one hand. This will allow you to have your support hand free to do other activities such as: use defensive tactics, escape, administer first aid to your self or others, or pull someone to safety. All concealed carry holsters should allow rapid one-handed drawing and unassisted re-holstering.
8. Covered trigger guard & Safety
When looking at a perspective holster, it should cover the trigger guard. Make sure none of the holster material protrudes into the trigger guard, which could depress the trigger. The material should be rigid enough to ensure any object the holster may come into contact with cant depress the trigger.Another area of consideration on the holster is does the holster design disengage the safeties on the pistol? If the design you are considering does this, it is my opinion you should consider another holster design. The reason being, if you were ever involved in a strenuous activity, such as defending yourself from an assailant a sharp blow or fall could cause the weapon to fire while in the holster.The final area of consideration will depend on the individual who carries the pistol, and where they position the holster. When drawing the pistol does the position of the holster endanger the owner during the draw stroke. Here we need to remember anything the pistol is pointed at while it is loaded could be destroyed.
When looking at the holster selected, does it attach and detach from your daily wardrobe easily. If you feel the holster is not easily attached or detached, you may eventually decide to leave it behind.
There are numerous manufactures that direct their product lines at concealed carry holders. The products range from tactical looking clothing for law enforcement and military to a business/professional look. One point to consider when looking at these items is what is preferred versus what is needed to maintain concealment and access. Understanding these choices will vary from person to person. Remember your local weather will have affects on what clothing will be worn during your daily routine.It is important to note if you are using an inside the pants carry or outside the pants belt carry that you pick a belt suited for this purpose. In my years of experience, I have seen people purchase a good pistol and quality holster to attach it to a belt that was not suited for this purpose. The belt should offer good support when drawing, re-holstering, and carrying your pistol, and yet be comfortable to wear every day.In some cases people may choose to change gun size base on the season and the change in wardrobe. This is acceptable as long as you take care in using handgun systems that are similar or train extensively when switching systems.
Women are confronted with anatomical considerations that differ from men when dealing with concealed carry of handguns. It is a fact that most handguns and accessory designs are based around the needs and anatomical priorities of men. For women, several differences must be considered:
1. Hand size
A womans hand size is generally smaller than a mans (Grip size and trigger reach affected and handgun design will be a major consideration)
2. Armpit to Hip Distance
The distance from a womans armpit to their hip is generally much shorter than a mans. Belt holsters may need to ride lower for the female shooter to achieve the proper draw stroke.
Women naturally have wider hips than men. This will affect the rake and cant of the holsters.
4. Physical Strength
Some handgun and holster designs put a less enabled person at a disadvantage. Although training and some techniques can help remedy this there are some designs that are more conducive to the less strong shooters.
Some of the holster manufactures whose holsters I have had good success with are Bianchi, Black Hawk, DeSantis, Galco, and Safariland.
Remember to look for Conceal-Ability, Comfort, Ease and Speed of Access, Retention, and Quality.
We now have open carry in Oklahoma. Size doesn’t matter anymore!
My daily carry is a Glock 23, loaded with Speer 165 grain Gold Dot JHPs, in a Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe. Great gun in a great holster.
I carry any one of my 3 Kimber 5” 1911.45cal ACPs (each has their own holster) in a Galco FED212 Paddle Holster:
Probably going 1911, just don't know how small, or sticking with my Sig 229 for 'small'. Rather shoot the 226 or 220.
There are few bad guns, but I don't 'feel' Glocks.
That’s what I like the idea of. 5” 1911 in .45ACP. Had good luck with Kimbers and one Dan Wesson I received as a (very nice) gift.
Did you ever consider a Commander Model 1911? I’m in a suit most of the time; jeans and a sport coat otherwise. The 5” is a big handgun to conceal, as is my 226. I don’t have a CCP year, but I’m in a must-issue state.
I take it you're comfortable with the molded holster touching only where the trigger guard meets the frame. Doe it feel secure or does it move in the holster?
Fobus Holsters are good for IDPA and other related competitions, but there are numerous videos out there of them being ripped off of a persons belt. I perosnally prefer CompTac products, their products are first class, customer service is exemplary, and they support the shooting community in numerous ways throughout the country.
Just my two cents worth.
After a number of other trials, I finally settled a year ago on this one for my Ed Brown Cobra Carry 1911. Being totally satisfied, I don’t think I’ll ever need another.
I like my pocket holster my S&W .380.
My Florida Concealed Weapons Permit Gun Course instructor had the best idea I’ve come across.
He wears loose-fitting cargo pants. His cocked Glock goes in his deep right-hand pocket.
It can’t be seen. (The multiple pockets of cargo pants hide the bulge nicely.) It’s a natural move to put your hand in your pocket - the bad guy thinks you’re getting your wallet.
It’s also very comforting to be able to feel your weapon against your thigh.
Most of my casual pants are now cargo pants.
Fobus is awesome. Check them out.
Bookmarking for home.
I’m looking for an under-the-bosom concealed holster for women, so far unsuccessfully.
Any suggestions. And yes, it is a small automatic. (The weapon had to be small as my hands are the size of an average 10-year old.)
Anyone ever use a Remora No Clip Holster? I’m looking at that right now.