Sep 142020

A Proper Concealed Carry Holster

The criteria for a proper concealed carry holster is one of those simple and yet complex concepts I talk to my students about all the time. Many of my students come to class with holsters that are less than adequate to carry a gun safely. One of the reasons this happens is because they buy the holster in the gun store where they bought the gun. The other reason this happens is they don’t know the criteria for a proper holster.  Many of the holsters gun stores sell are a one size fits all type of holster. Can you imagine how many holsters a store would have to have to fit all guns properly? What you need is a holster made for your model gun only.


Many times if you look on the back of the package that the holster comes in on the rack you will see many guns listed for use with this holster. This is a clue! This holster is not MADE FOR YOUR GUN. These holsters have a purpose and can be useful for some aspects of gun transport. One of the ways these holsters can be used is for gun protection in a range bag or a backpack. The range that I shoot at frequently allows you to carry a holstered gun from a backbench to a shooting booth. A holstered gun is a safe way to transport a gun.

Holsters made from Kydex or Leather

A proper concealed carry holster can be made from several different kinds of materials. The most popular today are Kydex holsters and Leather holsters.  Because Kydex is a type of plastic it can be molded around a gun or a gun model to get an exact fit. This type of holster is probably the most popular and in many cases are very affordable. Kydex comes in many colors and can be customized to your tastes by color selection. They can be bought to be worn in many positions on the body.


Inside the waistband (IWB) and Outside the waistband (OWB) are the two most common types of carry. Leather holster makers have been honing their craft for a long time and there are numerous good leather holster makers on the market. Leather is also molded around the gun for an exact fit and of course, can be customized in many ways.

Buying a Holster

Buying a holster is in many ways like any other purchase. You get what you pay for. Talk to anyone who has been carrying a gun for self-protection for many years and you will find a person that has a box of holsters they have tried and for whatever reason have decided not to use.

Holsters are Safety Equipment

No matter what you choose, a holster is a piece of safety equipment. Its job is to protect you and the gun and to allow easy access to the handgun when needed. The holster is also the gun container for transport. To protect you the holster must keep the gun in place and not allow it to be fired until it is clear from the holster. It also needs to hold the gun so it does not fall out under any and all circumstances. After the gun has cleared the holster it must allow the gun to go back in the holster without any restrictions.

The Criteria for a proper concealed carry hoster is as follows:

1. Allows for a full grip on the gun-

This is a very important part of your draw and presentation from the holster. The grip you get on your gun for the draw is the grip you are gonna have throughout your self-defense conflict. There is no changing your grip in the middle of a gunfight.

2. The trigger and trigger guard is fully protected-

This is a necessary feature and of course a safety concern. I do not want to see any trigger or trigger guard hanging out of my holster. I want them protected from all sides. Anything can get inside these spaces and cause the gun to fire.

proper concealed carry holster

3. Has unassisted retention-

First, the gun will not fall out of the holster when turned upside down. I want my gun locked into the holster. Second not so much that I can’t get it out, but I don’t want it to fall out during strenuous activity, (running or rolling around on the ground). I also do not want it to fall out if I handed it to someone (like a Police Officer).

4. Does not Collapse-

The concealed carry holster maintains its shape for reholstering safely. Many of the cloth or sticky holsters do not maintain their shape after the gun is drawn, They collapse so to speak. This becomes a real problem for reholstering safely. Many times accidents happen in reholstering. That’s why the term reholstering reluctantly has come about. Nobody ever won a prize for reholstering the fastest.

In Conclusion, holsters are a necessary safety device. They are also the way we transport our self-defense handguns throughout the day. A proper Concealed Carry Holster is part of our proper everyday carry (EDC) equipment.

Feb 092020

One of the biggest problems concealed carry holders have to tackle is concealed carry holster selection.

Almost everyone has gone through many holsters and struggled about the selection and carry position. Many of us have boxes of holsters that we have tried and discarded because of safety or comfort. It is not an easy process and there is no one solution for everyone.

Concealed carry holster selection and carry position

Comfort and convenience-there is no perfect selection you are never going to be perfectly comfortable carrying a gun. You will always know you have it and you should for safety reasons. Carrying in the perfect position where you will always be able to get to your gun when seated in your car or in a booth at your favorite restaurant is a matter of practice. You will get comfortable with your carry position over time.

comfortable and small– carried in your pocket or on your ankle or even in a purse may not be the best method to be able to defend yourself and in a lot of cases these methods are unsafe and slow. The gun may not be effective because of its size or caliber and it may take you too long to actually put the handgun into service. Off body carry of a handgun can be one of the most dangerous ways to carry.

Carrying in a position that’s far from your neutral position

Optimal concealed carry holster selection puts your handgun in the best zone for presentation and that is your strong side- Right-handed right side of your body. Left-handed is left side of your body. From your Centerline or belt buckle back to 4 o’clock on either side is optimal. This allows for quick access from the neutral position which is hands in front of you just above your waist palms facing out like you are saying stop!! 3 o’clock strong side hip and appendix AIWB are the best locations for speed and safety. It is optimal for you to learn strong side belt holster first as it teaches the safety concepts of drawing from the holster. Once you have accomplished that you can advance to appendix carry and be able to safely deploy your firearm with practice.

Remember that we have a range locally that only allows strong side holster draw. Why you ask? Because it has been shown to be the safest method available. Remember also that only one in a hundred instructors are certified to teach draw from the holster. That is because of the safety aspect and that it is an advanced skill. Many of you have taken Hotel classes or gun show classes and you learned what to do by the internet. This is not always the best course of action.

Concealed carry holster selection Leather vs Nylon vs Kydex.

Leather tends to get worn out and loose and things sometimes get in the trigger area and that can cause the gun to go off unintentionally. There are leather holsters that list on the package that they fit 20 guns. These are not safe in a lot of cases for concealed carry holster selection. Nylon holsters or floppy material like cloth are very unsafe and should only be used for special situations. Kydex is the best choice for safety and concealment. Kydex does not collapse when a gun is drawn and it always holds it shape.

Concealed Carry Holster Selection

Criteria for concealed carry holster selection

1. allows a full grip on the handgun

2. covers the trigger and trigger guard completely

3. has unassisted retention ( when you turn the holstered gun upsidedown it does not fall out)

4. does not collapse when the gun is drawn



Be sure to learn concealed carry holster selection and use from a professional that knows what they are doing.

Sep 152019

Concealed Carry HolsterSoft Holsters Are Not Safe

Don’t be attracted to these soft holsters for daily carry, it is not safe. If the concealed carry holster collapses you can not put your firearm safely in the holster without pointing the firearm at your support hand or other parts of your body. To do it safely You Must remove the holster from your carry position, insert your gun in the concealed carry holster and then replace the holster with a gun in the position you are carrying it in.

Criteria For A Great Holster

Criteria for a great concealed carry holster is you can get a full grip on the gun, the trigger guard is fully protected, the gun will not fall out of the holster when turned upside down, and the concealed carry holster maintains its shape for reholstering safely.

Don’t Use Your Support Hand

Remember if you have to use your support hand to holster your gun it’s probably not safe. Stiff leather holsters and the Kydex holsters are safer for a daily concealed carry holster option. Have I ever used one? Consequently, I have and I have found them to be unsafe in many circumstances especially if you drop your guard and you are not a true gun safety conscience individual. One place I think they are great is in the car. You know between the seat and the center console. If you have one of the non-slip models you can put that gun right there where it is readily available for action. Above all remember that you can not leave that gun between the seat and the console when you leave your car.

You need to have a proper lockbox in your vehicle to secure that firearm. My favorite is the Gun Vault. This little safe is great protection for leaving your gun in the car. I use my GUN Vault  Gun Vaultsometimes daily, going to the Post Office or other Non Permissive places with my firearm. Check the local paper daily and you will see guns being taken from unoccupied cars. In addition, it is important is to have the make, model, and the serial number of your gun written down somewhere so that you can report it properly to the authorities when it is missing.

Much of this information comes from experience and good gun training. Be sure that you receive good advice and training from a qualified instructor.

All NRA pistol instructors are not certified to teach draw from the holster.  Many do not know the ins and outs of safe holstering and unholstering of a gun. Some ranges have strict holstering rules and those rules are there for a reason. A large number of accidents happen from the improper holstering and unholstering of a weapon. Get the training you deserve. Contact me and I will get you up to speed on holsters, carry positions and proper draw techniques.

Other Related Articles of Interest:

May 092019

draw from the holsterDraw from The holster, according to Karl Rehn, a well-known instructor in the Austin Texas area with KR Training “Is a skill very few instructors are certified to teach”. Presentation and draw from the holster is taught properly by very few instructors. Approximately one percent of all instructors are qualified to teach this skill. That’s only one out of a hundred certified to teach this important skill.

Personal Protection Outside The Home (PPOTH) is the only way certification can be gained from the NRA’s Instructor certification program. Draw from The holster is a skill that takes many hours of prerequisite training.  This is the only NRA certification that actually certifies instructors for that particular task. Instructors that teach basic pistol from the NRA have not been trained in these skills, according to Karl in his new book “Strategies and Standards for Defensive Handgun Training.”

I see many people with improper or inappropriate holsters in my classes. The primary purpose of a holster is to allow access to a handgun while protecting the trigger and trigger guard, in addition, the handgun holster should have enough retention that if it is turned upside down the gun will be retained and not fall out of the holster. In addition, holsters that collapse and do not hold their shape can be very hazardous. Holsters that come with guns in the original box are usually not adequate concealed carry holsters.

Most people never learn a proper draw stroke

Many people never learn a proper and efficient draw from the holster.  They end up with a version of something they saw on YouTube or some other place on the internet. With all these bad habits in place, accidents are a common event. Draw from the holster is a skill that must be honed and practiced with of course proper equipment. When you first start out, slow and correct positioning is the most important aspect. Speed comes from being smooth and smooth is fast enough.  As with any technique, there are often several ways to do it.  Some teach the five-step draw some teach a four-step procedure.  Karl believes in teaching a ready position which is part of your draw stroke.  That gives you a good index position for some close quarters training and shooting without full extension.

Get Some Professional Help

These shooting techniques should not be done without someone watching to make sure that you’re doing it safely and not being a hazard to others around you. Safety for both yourself and others is paramount and of course, safety rule number three must be followed at all times. Any failure to apply all the safety rules in this process can result in holes in your body that your creator did not put there when you were born. We are lucky here to have a range that allows drawing from the holster. The strongside belt holster technique is the only method allowed at our range. Any other type of draw is against the rules and has to be done with the supervision of an approved instructor.

One of my mentors Partick Watts, a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor spent many hours with me honing my skills including the draw form the holster techniques that I use today.

Get that draw from the holster training that can make the difference. Contact me today to set a time for us to hone your draw from the holster skills and make you a better and safer concealed carry practitioner.

Other articles of Interest to Readers:

Mar 312014

draw from the holster training

Conceal Carry Draw From the Holster Training

When you make a choice to conceal carry a gun it is important to get proper draw from the holster training for conceal carry and practice so you can handle your equipment safely and effectively. One area usually missing is learning to draw from your conceal carry holster.

Learn a Proper Efficient Draw

When you draw properly, it can be the difference between life and death. During this class, you will learn and practice the steps needed to draw properly from a conceal carry holster. With practice, you will master the steps for a draw from the holster and combine them into one fluid motion. The draw from the holster training is one of the most important aspects of conceal carry and handgun self-defense. The instructor for the seminar is Rick Sindeband. Rick has many years of experience with firearms and is certified to teach this skill.

Don’t Be Fooled

Only one percent of all firearms instructors are actually certified to teach an individual proper and efficient draw from the holster. One of the key components is the safety aspect. There are many accidents that happen from improper equipment or poor techniques. Watching a video on youtube is not enough. A qualified instructor needs to watch and guide you through the process because you can’t see yourself making mistakes.

Many of the incidents you have seen nationally would have turned out much better for everyone involved had the person been trained properly. If you are on your church security team or just protecting your family. Get the training that saves lives.

Conceal Carry Draw From the Holster and Presentation Class

When: On Your Schedule
Time:  2 Hours
Cost:  $45
Phone: 719-821-3958
Class size is limited Sign up Today

Conceal Carry Draw From The Holster Training Prerequisites

Prerequisites: 18 years old
What to bring:
Centerfire Handgun that fits your strong side holster
2 magazines/speed loader
2 support magazine/ speed loaders holders
100 rounds of ammunition
Sturdy belt