Finding the right gun is a difficult task. We spend hours sifting through various types of guns, reviews, etc. Then starts the process of finding the pros and cons of the gun. We talk to various gun owners and friends about their experiences. We call or go to multiple gun shops, taking expert advice from the person behind the counter. Then comes the time to find the right ammo. In all this hustle-bustle, finding the perfect gun holster is often forgotten.
Finding a gun holster is easy because there are so many out there. In fact, The National Shooting Sports Foundation found that 17.2 million background checks were completed this year, versus 15.7 million in 2016. While not a one to one correlation could point to millions of people needing to find the perfect holster also.
There are probably hundreds of holster manufacturers. But finding the perfect gun holster can be daunting. You will have to probably try and test a lot of gun holsters before you find the ONE! Finding the perfect gun holster is not a joke but it should be a process that you go through if you have purchased a firearm.
Why? Because eventually, you may need to carry your perfect new gun in your perfect gun holster. Even the best of your pistols is useless if it is put inside a safe at home. Having a holster that you genuinely like to use will help you keep that firearm with you or make your time carrying that firearm more enjoyable. It is a matter of safety and comfort which has to be taken seriously.
The main purpose of a gun holster is but not limited to carry the weapon. As a responsible gun owner, it is also important to look at the safety features of the holster which prevents the accidental discharge of a bullet and also prevents the firearm from elements in the atmosphere.
Before you start looking at holsters
Even before you start looking a purchasing a pistol it helps to ask yourself a few questions.
- What is the main reason I am purchasing this firearm for?
- Do I plan to carry this firearm on me or keep it locked away until I need it?
- If carrying, do I plan to carry this firearm concealed?
- If concealed, do I know the best method of carrying concealed that will work for me?
Answering these questions will give you some ideas about the firearm you may want to look at. What size firearm to get, what type (revolver vs semi-automatic). The carrying method and even model will greatly influence the type of holster you purchase.
And, this assumes you are only purchasing one holster. I personally have several holsters for different needs. I have concealed carry holsters for summer and winter. I have regular paddle holsters for when I am at the range for example and just need a good place to secure my firearm while I am walking around.
I also have the SHTF holster that comes out if all hell breaks loose and I don’t care who sees it. It was a Safariland that used to be on a drop-leg platform but I converted it to fit on my gun belt instead.
What are the bare minimum characteristics of a holster?
There is no denial in the fact that a gun owner should handle his firearm responsibly and must have 100% positive control over his firearm. Thus the bare minimum requirement of a holster should be that it must be able to cover the trigger to prevent accidental firing. There will be a rare chance that a holster available in the market will not cover the trigger. Although there are certain holsters used in firing competitions that do not cover the trigger purposely.
What are retention holsters?
A retention holster is a holster that has qualities or mechanisms that are intended to prevent the gun from being drawn or obtained by anyone other than the intended user, or prevent the gun from coming loose from the holster.
Retention holsters not only fulfill the bare minimum requirements but also offer a higher level of safety and control because they have an additional method of securing the weapon in the holster.
There are various higher standard retention holsters on the market like Blackhawk and Safariland’s hooded designs.
Safariland hooded hosters are generally level 3 holsters with features like a lever or a button. Some holsters also offer a feature by which only a certain movement of the pistol can only release the weapon.
Factors to consider when selecting the perfect gun holster
- Quality – Saving a few dollars and losing some safety features is not what responsible gun owners should think of. Always read reviews of different products online and go for quality manufacturers only. Cry once, pay once. Quality manufacturers offer a warranty for 2 or more years from the date of purchase.
- Durability – We all love the smell and charm of leather holsters. There is nothing more attractive than a new leather holster but what about leather’s durability? Leather will eventually suffer wear and tear and will lose its shape and retention ability. Kydex is a type of PVC which is durable and far more beneficial than a leather holster. Kydex holsters may not seem attractive but when it comes to durability and safety, leather holsters don’t stand even close.
- Comfort – If you ask any cop or a person who carries a weapon daily on their duty belt for the whole day, they all will not say anything positive for the comfort part. That is because carrying a weapon should be comforting, not comfortable. It is similar to a desk job where you have to sit for 8-9 hours a day. A person even becomes tired of sitting continuously.
The perfect gun holster distributes the weight of the weapon evenly while making sure that the firearm is properly concealed and secure.
Take time to research all the factors mentioned above and then make an informed decision when investing in your perfect gun holster.