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.
This Holster IS NOT MADE FOR YOUR GUN
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.
IWB and OWB
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.
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.