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Introduction to Holster Options

By Jessie Indracusin

Background

I have had a lot of questions about concealed carry handguns from viewers recently. This started to bring up the question about holster options. So I put together this updated video about various holster options. This is by no means trying to cover every holster option, but I wanted to provide a good overview of the basic ones that people ask about. Keep in mind, nearly all holsters have their pros and cons. I hope to provide a basic overview of the different options out there.

Thigh Holster Rig

These are pretty much the best tactical holster option available from a usage standpoint. Of course, this has some limitations.

Pros:

1) Easy access based on lower location on thigh. Makes the draw easier from the holster

2) Positioning is very comfortable when standing

3) Extremely secure for tactical movement.

4) Enables waist area free for other tactical gear

Cons:

1) Not concealable at all

2) Can be difficult getting in and out of smaller vehicles

3) Very Expensive

Ankle Holster

The Ankle holster has the best concealment option of all of the above. A favorite for me personally if I have to go to a nice dinner and want to carry a firearm for maximum concealment

Pros:

1) Maximum Concealment

2) Securely holds gun for regular use

3) Very in-expensive. Can be down to $25/$30

Cons:

1) Longest Weapon Draw (No quick draw option in most cases)

2) Running/jogging with ankle holster can be irritating

3) Only works with VERY small handguns

Fanny Pack Holster

A very convenient option for carrying a handgun. I personally like using this in the summer time if I am wearing a T-shirt and shorts in the blazing hot summers in Texas

Pros:

1) Maximum Concealments

2) Works great with larger handguns

3) Can carry even extra magazines for handguns

Cons:

1) Fanny packs in certain parts of the country screams “I have a concealed handgun”

2) Can make you look like a dork

3) A little bulky, can only work when you are wearing very casual summer clothes

Galco Leather Thumb Break Holsters

A personal favorite for conceal carry. This option is how I carry more than 80% of the time.

Example of holster for the HK USP Compact 45 http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPG3.asp?ProductID=2563&GunID=198

Pros:

1) Very close to body on your side, minimum exposure

2) Gun is held very securely

3) Excellent gun retention option if someone trying to wrestle gun off hip

4) Available for nearly every handgun

5) Extremely durable and can be used for 10+ years

Cons:

1) Expensive -Most cost in the $70-$85 range

2) Can irritate your side if concealed and you are not “sandwiching” the gun between shirt and t-shirt

Quick Access Paddle Holsters

Uncle Mike’s makes these holsters, as do many others. They are normally very inexpensive and available in a variety of brands. Quickly allow access to your handgun. Example can be found here: http://www.uncle-mikes.com/products/kydex_paddle_holsters.html

Pros:

1) Inexpensive

2) Fast Gun draws

3) Widely available from a variety of manufacturers

Cons:

1) Poor Weapon Retention (if you are in a struggle with someone trying to get your gun)

2) Not as concealable as a leather Galco holster paddle holster

Serpa Holsters

Excellent option of giving both benefits of a leather paddle holster and the gun retention functions along with the benefits of the speed of an injected mold holsters. Can require additional personal training to use safely and effectively. Can be found here: http://www.blackhawk.com/catalog/SERPA-Concealment,1410.htm

Pros:

1) VERY comfortable to carry.

2) Very good weapon retention option

3) Pricing can be down in the $30 range (but can go up to the $100 range too)

4) Very fast weapon draws

Cons:

1) Can be a dangerous holster to use without proper training (finger can slide down to trigger easier on this design that can cause someone in a panic to discharge their firearm in a draw)

2) Not very concealable. This is a more exposed option

3) Limited selection of firearms -although constantly growing

In the Waistband Holsters (IWB)

I don’t like these at all. In fact I don’t even personally own one anymore. They are extremely difficult to use when you sit in any type of a reclined chair. Can irritate you after as little as 2-3 hours of wear.

Pros:

1) Cheap -numerous manufacturers available.

2) Some people swear by them

3) VERY concealable option (nearly impossible to see at all)

Cons:

1) Can be VERY uncomfortable while sitting in a car, theatre, reclined chairs, etc.

2) Can be difficult to draw firearm quickly

3) Only works typically with very small handguns

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Last Updated (Sunday, 18 April 2010 17:34)