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Shopping Gun Holsters? What to Know Before Pulling the Trigger

by Ben Jimenez 4 min read

Woman Practicing Gun Safety

Whether you are new to carrying a gun or a seasoned veteran of concealed carry, it pays to know exactly what to look for when it comes to investing in a new concealed carry holster.

These questions regarding your lifestyle, carrying habits, and carrying needs can help you make a sound investment in the right gun holster for your concealed carry.

How do you spend your day?

Taking into consideration how you spend your day has a major impact on the kind of gun holster suited to your needs.

For example, those who spend much of their day in a seated or otherwise sedentary position may want to consider using a holster that affords a cross body draw. For those who work in vehicles, such as truck or taxi drivers, cross body placement also means there is less chance your seatbelt will hinder your draw.

By contrast, if you spend most of your day standing, waistband carry provides convenient and comfortable access to your firearm. Many pros also find this is the most natural drawing position, as hand-to-waist movement is quick and easy to accomplish.

Many carriers find it is best to have holsters for different situations and activities, such as jogging, hiking, hunting.

Do an honest assessment of your daily activities and your personal needs when determining what kind of holsters you need, and practice your draw and fire with each holster style at your local firing range.

How do you typically dress?

This question is particularly important for those who intend to carry their handgun concealed, as the way you dress will often dictate what kind of holster you use for concealed carry.

If your daily wear typically includes a jacket, sports coat, or vest, concealing a weapon under these items is often quite easy, and you can take your pick of one of the many holster styles available.

Thicker materials aren’t always better when it comes to concealing a weapon. While heavy outer layers are great for concealment, they can also make it difficult to access your gun quickly.

man drawing concealed carry

Why and how will you carry your handgun?

Your intent when carrying a handgun has a significant impact on what kind of holster you choose.

Do you carry a handgun professionally as a member of a security team, law enforcement, or the military? Are you carrying for personal protection?

Consider whether you will be carrying openly or concealed. Many individuals who carry openly do so as part of a law enforcement or security team. While open carry is generally permitted without a license in 31 of the United States, it is prohibited or restricted in others, and it is important to check state laws regarding carrying practices before choosing how you will carry.

Concealed carry, on the other hand, is legal to varying degrees in all 50 states, but typically requires the carrier to apply for and obtain a license. Most individuals outside of the law enforcement who choose to carry a handgun choose concealed carry for the primary reason that it is carried for self-defense, and concealing your weapon allows for the element of surprise that can be the difference between life and death in an emergency.

If you carry a handgun professionally and openly, you will require a holster that offers active retention to ensure your handgun stays put in active situations. Basic holsters feature thumb snap retention mechanisms that are easy to manipulate, while more advanced holsters utilize active retention methods, such as hoods and push-buttons, to keep your weapon firmly in place.

With concealed carries that are used for daily self-defense purposes, retention is typically less of a concern unless you are particularly active throughout your day, and you may be more concerned with aspects such as holster comfort and fit.

If you are new to concealed carry, look for a high-quality holster that offers adjustable retention. This will allow you to test out your ideal amount of retention and adjust it as you become more adept at handling your firearm.

What holster material is best for you?

IWB KYDEX Holster

Holsters are available in a variety of materials, but the most popular is Kydex because it is durable and offers a better fit for your handgun, as well as protection from water, sweat, and dirt.

Utilizing a leather concealed carry belt with a Kydex holster allows the wearer to get the reliability and durability of Kydex and the outward aesthetically pleasing looks of leather. After all, the whole point of a concealed carry is that it remains concealed and, if you are carrying correctly, no one will see your holster anyway.

Bottom Line

As a responsible carrier and gun owner, it is your responsibility to put as much thought and planning into how you will safely carry your firearm as you invest in the firearm itself. Do your research and ensure that your concealed carry holster is the right choice for your carrying needs.

Shop Kydex Holsters

Ben Jimenez
Ben Jimenez


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