Monday, July 11, 2016

Trying To Get Through The Holster Jungle

I have carried a gun for the better part of 2 decades and learned a few things about that. One, gaining weight around my middle (common in men) is not conducive to inside the waistband holsters, and two, a good belt is essential.
The best holster is simple, comfortable, and retains your weapon. Some sacrifice comfort for retention. I don’t think you need to do that. The problem being, everyone is different from personal taste to body size and shape. It’s impossible to recommend a holster because of these differences. You can send someone in a certain direction but they may end up in a completely different place than you. Something like concealed carry is extremely individual.
The best way to a carry a weapon is on your strong side. The best way to carry is in a secure holster. This should be in a place that has very easy access.
There are “tactical” or “concealed carry” shirts out there that have break-away Velcro seams. The poor man’s answer (my answer) is to wear a shirt one size bigger than I wear. This will leave enough room for a medium or even a large frame weapon.
I like pocket holsters but this takes away a pocket. I won’t put anything else inside the gun pocket. I don’t want anything in the way if I need to get to that weapon and I don’t want something getting into the holster and causing a discharge or malfunction of the weapon. I like the method of carry and there are many pocket holsters out there. Every pant manufacturer makes pockets different depths. Some will hold a compact auto and others will only accommodate a sub-compact. With a little practice you can draw from your pocket with a smooth stroke. Pocket holsters keep the gun upright, keeps the gun clean, and also keeps the gun from “printing” in your pocket.
There are several garment-type built in holsters. T-shirt under garments, underwear, coat and vest type holsters are out there. These can work but you may need to adjust them or add to them. I have an undershirt type from SOG. I added a piece of cloth help with the “printing” my compact was doing. I finally just used a pocket holster in it which holds it very well. You must practice your draw with these like any other holster. Clearing the garment is the challenge but it’s possible.
Off body carry is something I don’t recommend. But I guess having a gun in a bag, purse, or backpack is better than none at all. I would be too paranoid keeping track of the bag! But if you never leave your desk or office without your purse or bag then maybe that would work.
I also think that a gun in an off body holster is susceptible to theft.
There are some crazy ideas out there for concealed carry. Some of them sound nuts until you actually use them. So are just crazy! I wouldn’t rule anything out because the next gimmick may just work for you. Be careful of some of those ideas that look good at first. Make sure there safety, retention, and concealment features that will work for you. Some think a bra-type holster is a little out there. Maybe on the outset it seems like a crazy idea. My wife has one and loves it! So don’t be so closed minded and old school that a new idea couldn’t possibly be any good. But gimmicks can be an expensive way to find out that they are just gimmicks.
Last but not least be careful about looking too tactical. Cargo pants may be very functional but may put off the wrong image. Some people swear by them and won’t wear anything else. Tactical shirts and other clothing can be a give-away. If you let it, you can look tactical or military or both. A tac shirt with jeans is much better than a tac shirt and BDU’s or even cargo pants. Blending in is just as important in concealed carry as not printing. Being inconspicuous can mean the difference between stopping a threat, or being the first target.
I have several holsters that I use for different guns and situations. You will find the same. It is a process that I’m not sure any article or advice from anyone will keep you from buying holsters you’ll never use. Hopefully, from the above you will have a better idea of what will work for you and you can save some time and money.
Semper Paratus
Check 6